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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 20, 2018

Jackson Man Sentenced to Over 17 Years in Federal Prison for Production and Possession of Child Pornography

 

Jackson, Miss. – Michael Gene Rushing, 58, of Jackson, was sentenced yesterday by Senior U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee to 210 months to serve, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for producing child pornography and possession of child pornography, announced U. S. Attorney Mike Hurst, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

Sometime before August 30, 2017, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office (AG), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been investigating Wholesale Auto Parts, located at 950 S. Gallatin Street in Jackson, for trading prescription narcotics for heroin with nurses. Periodic surveillance and other investigations revealed that Michael Gene Rushing had also been trading illicit drugs for sex with juveniles.

On August 30, 2017, state officers and federal agents executed a state search warrant at the Wholesale Auto Parts where agents seized electronic devices and illicit drugs. The forensic examination conducted on the devices revealed the presence of videos and images of child pornography. Michael Gene Rushing had been video recording himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a minor as young as 13 years at the business on numerous occasions.

"These criminal actions are some of the most despicable and heinous crimes in our society. We will marshal all of the resources and power of all levels of law enforcement to make sure individuals like this Defendant who prey upon our young people are not only brought to justice but also severely punished for harming our children," said U.S. Attorney Hurst.

"Child exploitation is a debilitating and degrading crime that has no place in our society," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Freeze. "In our ongoing mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States, the preservation of minors' rights and safety is of utmost importance to the FBI. This successful prosecution is a direct result of the strong partnerships between the FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office, Mississippi Attorney General's Office, DEA and Rankin County Sheriff's Office."

“This is a sick man, and I thank Judge Lee for placing him as far away from other children as possible,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “It took the work of many agencies to get this pervert behind bars, and I thank them all for their dedication to protecting the lives of Mississippi’s children.”

A restitution hearing for this case will be held before Judge Lee in Jackson on August 30, 2018.

The case was investigated by the FBI Jackson Division's Child Exploitation Task Force, which is made up of agents from the FBI and the Mississippi Attorney General's Office, and officers from the Prentiss County Sheriff's Office. The DEA, MBN and Rankin County Sheriff's Office also assisted with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenda Haynes.

Updated July 20, 2018