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Press Release

Missouri Man Caught in Overseas Sting Admits Child Pornography Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A man from Kirksville, Missouri on Thursday pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge after being caught by an undercover police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl. 

Corey Alexander Wadel, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography. Wadel admitted that he possessed more than 600 images containing child sexual abuse material and exchanged that material with others online.  He also admitted taking pictures of himself exposing his genitals to two young children.

The investigation began after law enforcement in the United Kingdom notified Homeland Security Investigations that someone in the United States, later identified as Wadel, was talking to an undercover officer posing as a twelve-year-old female. Using Kik Messenger, Wadel sent explicit images and videos of himself to the officer.

As part of the plea agreement, both sides have agreed to recommend 12 years in prison when Wadel is sentenced in July. 

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman prosecuted the case.

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated March 28, 2024

Project Safe Childhood