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Press Release

Wauneta, Nebraska Man Sentenced to 70 Months Imprisonment for Receiving Child Pornography

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

United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Richard E. Cooley, 61, of Wauneta, Nebraska was sentenced in the United States District Court in Lincoln, Nebraska for receiving child pornography.  The Honorable John M. Gerrard sentenced Cooley to a 70 month term of imprisonment.  There is no parole in the federal prison system.  After his release from prison Cooley will begin a seven year term of supervised release.

Cooley received a thumb drive containing 26 videos and 400 images of child pornography in August 2013.  The victims were as young as 3 years old and involved a number of prepubescent minors.  He received the child pornography from Gerald Vrbas who was previously sentenced to fifteen years in prison for producing child pornography.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the North Platte Police Department.

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 February 4, 2015