News and Press Releases

project safe childhood
convicted sex offender sentenced to 40 years
for receiving, possessing child porn

March 10, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a La Plata, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for possessing and receiving child pornography over the Internet.

Jeffrey Michael Powell, 32, of La Plata, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to 40 years in federal prison without parole. Powell is a registered sex offender with a 2003 conviction in Illinois for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

On April 20, 2010, Powell pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet and to possessing child pornography in July 2008.

A person living in the same residence as Powell discovered multiple movies of child pornography on a disk he borrowed from Powell's computer on July 8, 2008. The person, who later found more child pornography on Powell's computer, called the Sullivan County, Mo., Sheriff's Department.

A forensic examination of Powell's computer indicated that multiple movies of child pornography had been downloaded through the use of a file-sharing program. Powell admitted that he used the program to search for, and then download, more than 600 images of child sexual abuse. These images included depictions of bondage and violence, as well as victims under the age of 12 years.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Sullivan County, Mo., Sheriff's Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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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