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Press Release

St. Louis County Man Admits Possession of Tens of Thousands of Child Pornography Videos, Pictures

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

ST. LOUIS – A man from St. Louis County, Missouri pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge and admitted possessing more than 63,000 images and videos containing child pornography.

Christopher D. Cotton, 32, admitted uploading files containing child pornography to DropBox, which triggered a report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and an investigation.

On July 13, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a court-approved search warrant at Cotton’s home in St. Louis County near Florissant. Cotton admitted both viewing and collecting child pornography. He also told officers that he'd received child pornography from “maybe fifteen or more” minors with whom he had contact via social media, the youngest of which Cotton said was 13 years old.

Investigators would later find a total of at least 16,677 images and 46,414 videos of child pornography stored online and on Cotton’s electronic devices, including a laptop and three cell phones.

Cotton pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Wednesday to one count of receiving child pornography. The charge carries a potential penalty of from five years to 20 years in prison. Cotton could also be fined up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by the Maryland Heights Police Department, the St. Louis County Special Investigations Unit and the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jillian Anderson 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

Updated April 12, 2023

Project Safe Childhood