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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Denver Man Ordered Held Without Bond After Being Arrested For Receipt And Possession Of Child Pornography

U.S. Postal Inspectors and U.S. Attorney’s Office release photo of defendant and ask for the public’s help to see if the defendant had inappropriate sexual contact with minors

DENVER – A Denver man facing child pornography charges was ordered held without bond yesterday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe after the court found the defendant, John Lee Mudgett, was a danger to the community.  Mudgett, age 67 of Denver, faces charges of receiving and possessing child pornography, United States Attorney John Walsh and Denver Division U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Adam P. Behnen announced.  He was arrested without incident on June 4, 2014.

According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, during an undercover investigation, it was determined that Mudgett had made 34 orders of child pornography via the internet, purchasing 70 items costing him a total of $2,047.92.  These orders were made between July 9, 2007 and April 1, 2011.  On June 4, 2014, Postal Inspectors and other law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at the residence of John Lee Mudgett.  The majority of the items he ordered from the website and that were delivered via U.S. Mail were recovered from his residence.  Inspectors also found a large cache of child pornography and child erotica during the search. The child pornography and child erotica were located in both electronic and hard copy formats.

The residence consisted of two bedrooms, one of which was utilized as a home office.  Both the bedroom and home office contained framed photographs of nude, prepubescent males and females hanging on the walls.  In addition to the framed photographs, there were printouts of child pornography and child erotica in plain view in the residence.  Some of the photographs contained visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  Numerous pairs of boy’s underwear were also located in Mudgett’s home as was a collection of newspaper articles that were about rape and/or the murder of children.

Postal Inspectors and prosecutors are asking for the public’s help to determine if Mudgett had inappropriate sexual contact with minor children.  Please refer to attached photo of John Mudgett.  If anyone has information about potential criminal activity regarding Mudgett and minors they are asked to call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 303-313-5345.

“The defendant faces serious charges related to the receipt and possession of child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  “There is some concern that Mudgett may have had inappropriate sexual contact with minors.  I want to encourage anyone who may have knowledge of this type of conduct to come forward and notify the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.”

“The demand for child pornography facilitates sex crimes against children.  Protecting children from these egregious crimes is a high priority for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” said Adam P. Behnen, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Denver.  “We continue to aggressively investigate, apprehend and assist in the prosecution of individuals who seek to exploit children via the U.S. Mail.”

If convicted of the one count of receipt of child pornography, Mudgett faces not less than 5 years, and up to 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.  If convicted of the one count of possession of child pornography, the defendant faces not more than 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judith Smith and Colleen Covell.

A criminal complaint is a probable cause charging document.  Anyone accused of committing a federal felony crime has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a grand jury.

The charges contained in the Criminal Complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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

Updated June 22, 2015