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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Final Operation Independence Day Defendant Pleads Guilty to Attempted Receipt of Child Pornography

A Skiatook man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Tuesday to attempted receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Corey Daniel Vessar, 31, is the final defendant to enter a guilty plea in the Northern District of Oklahoma after being arrested as a result of Operation Independence Day, a month-long operation to apprehend predators and recover victims of child exploitation and sex trafficking.

“Corey Vessar tried to convince someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl to send him sexually graphic images. Thankfully it was an undercover officer and not actually someone’s child,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “I respect the investigators and prosecutors willing to perform the difficult work of investigating these predators. Every day, these officers bear witness to the perverse actions of predators who seek to groom and exploit our children. The service of police officers and federal agents who pursue justice for children - the most innocent among us - is to be commended.”

In his plea agreement, Vessar admitted that from June 11 to June 18, 2019, he attempted to receive child pornography from an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old female. Instead, he was communicating with an undercover officer. During the discussions, Vessar sent the “girl” sexually explicit pictures and videos of himself and also requested she send explicit images.

U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan set sentencing for April 13, 2020.

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Nassar prosecuted the case.

Operation Independence Day is part of the broader Project Safe Childhood initiative. PSC combats the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse and was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Lennea Montandon 918-382-2755
Updated January 7, 2020