News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

Ft. Leonard wood soldier pleads guilty to child porn,
faces at least 15 years in prison

December 15, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., soldier pleaded guilty in federal court today to producing child pornography.

Lawrence Ellrick, 35, of Ft. Leonard Wood, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to the charge contained in a Sept. 28, 2011, federal indictment. Ellrick remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing.

Ellrick admitted that he used a minor, identified as “Jane Doe,” to produce child pornography between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2010.

By pleading guilty today, Ellrick agreed to forfeit to the government a computer hard drive, a laptop computer, a desktop computer and a digital camera, all of which were used to commit the offenses.

Under federal statutes, Ellrick is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations and Army CID.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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