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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Watertown Man Charged with Receipt, Distribution, and Transportation of Child Pornography

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Watertown, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography and Transportation of Child Pornography.

Derek Michael Mason, age 19, was indicted on August 17, 2020.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on August 21, 2020, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, life of supervised release, and up to $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that between May 1, 2017, and May 5, 2020, Mason knowingly received and distributed, and attempted to receive and distribute child pornography that had been mailed, shipped, and transported in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including a computer.

The Indictment also alleges that between October 14, 2019, and May 5, 2020, Mason knowingly transported child pornography using the internet, and uploaded graphic image and video files depicting one or more minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct into his Dropbox account with his e-mail address.

The charges are merely accusations and Mason is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Division of Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper is prosecuting the case.   

Mason was released on bond pending trial.  A trial date has not been set.

Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 26, 2020