US. Attorney Highlights Recent Project Safe Childhood Convictions
Over the past two weeks, five defendants have pleaded guilty or have been sentenced in the Northern District of Oklahoma for sex crimes involving minors, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. The prosecutions are part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and come on the heels of Operation Broken Heart, a two-month, nationwide operation that netted almost 1,700 suspected online child sex offenders and identified 308 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse.
The Project Safe Childhood initiative marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and identifies and rescues victims.
“Our Project Safe Childhood initiative is crucial to ferreting out criminal deviants who try to sexually exploit minors. We conduct local undercover sting operations as well as use cyber-based investigative techniques to identify these child predators,” said U.S. Attorney Shores. “As a prosecutor, I sought justice for victims of child sexual abuse, human trafficking, and child pornography. I know just how important these cases are, which is why we continue to prioritize them. We must get child predators off our streets and behind bars. I’m thankful for the aggressive prosecution of these cases by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chris Nassar and Shannon Cozzoni. Moreover, our partnerships with local, state, and federal investigators are crucial to protecting children in northern Oklahoma. There is no more righteous cause than protecting children.”
Levi William Welker, 29, of Tulsa, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison followed by seven years on supervised release for distribution of child pornography, enticing a minor, and tampering with a witness and evidence. In February 2016, Welker shared child pornography using a bit torrent file sharing network. Investigators initially discovered 68 images on a torrent file which was traced to Welker’s IP address. During a search, investigators located more than 7,000 image and video files of child pornography. Welker also admitted that he later used multiple social media apps and communications devices to manipulate and lure two minor children to engage in sexual activity with him. He pretended to be 16 years old and provided the victims with cell phones in order to secretly communicate. When one of the children’s parents became suspicious, they reported Welker to the Tulsa Police Department. After the investigation commenced, police discovered that Welker messaged one of the victim’s social media accounts, asking her to lie to police and destroy evidence. He also destroyed other digital evidence in an effort to thwart the investigation. The Court remanded Welker into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility. The FBI and Tulsa Police Department investigated these crimes.
Kenny Wayne Brown, 52, of Gainesville, Texas, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison followed by 10 years on supervised release for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. From Sept. 6 to Sept. 28, 2018, Brown unknowingly initiated contact with an Internet Crimes Against Children task force officer from the Bristow Police Department who was posing as a minor female. Using social media, he engaged the “girl” in explicit sexual conversation and sent pornographic images of himself to the “girl.” He eventually arranged to travel from Texas to Bristow, Oklahoma, in order to engage in sexual activity. During the arrest at the arranged location, Brown attempted to flee from officers nearly striking them with his vehicle until he was eventually stopped and arrested. Investigators discovered that Brown was also charged with online solicitation in May 2018 in Texas. The Bristow Police Department conducted the investigation.
Jeffrey Scott Cooper, 46, of Broken Arrow, was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison followed by five years on supervised release for attempted receipt of child pornography. From Dec. 18 to Dec. 20, 2018, Cooper unknowingly made contact with an officer from the Tulsa Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Task Force posing as a minor female. Using a social media app, Cooper started the conversation with what he believed to be a minor female. He then engaged the “girl” in explicit sexual conversation, eventually arranging to meet in order to engage in sexual activity. On Dec. 20, 2018, investigators arrested Cooper after he arrived in his company car at the arranged meeting location. The Tulsa Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
Sean Clarke McCain, 32, of Tulsa, was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison followed by five years on supervised release for attempted receipt of child pornography. From Dec.18 to Dec. 20, 2018, McCain unknowingly made contact with an officer from Tulsa Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Task Force posing as a minor female using an online messaging app and attempted to receive photographs of the “minor” engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He then engaged the “girl” in explicit sexual conversation, eventually arranging to meet in order to engage in sexual activity. McCain was later arrested at the arranged meeting location. The Tulsa Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
Robert Shawn Thomas Davis, 26, of Owasso, pleaded guilty on June 11, to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. On March 25, 2019, Davis unknowingly initiated contact with an FBI Task Force Officer who was posing as a minor female. Davis engaged the “minor” in sexually explicit conversation, asking to meet her and to bring other children along to engage in sexual activity. He eventually arranged to meet the “minor.” At his plea hearing, Davis admitted that from March 25 to April 4, 2019, he used a social media app on his phone to attempt to persuade, induce and coerce and entice a what he believed was a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity with him. The Court set sentencing for Sept. 24, 2019. Davis faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison The Tulsa Police Department and FBI conducted the investigation.
Following their federal prison sentences, all convicted sex offenders are required to comply with requirements designed to restrict their access to children and to register as sex offenders.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Nassar prosecuted these crimes.