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Justice News

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

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ocean Springs Man Sentenced for Producing, Transporting, Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography


Gulfport, Miss. – Philip Joseph Spear, 60, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, was sentenced on July 6, 2017, by Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., to 160 years (1920 months) in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for producing, transporting, distributing, and possessing child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Harold Brittain, FBI Jackson Division Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. Spear was also ordered to pay $47,500 in restitution to victims, and a special assessment of $30,000 for a related crime under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

In September, 2016, a federal search warrant was executed at Spear’s residence in Ocean Springs. Electronic devices including computers, hard drives, a digital camera, a media card and an iPad were seized. A forensic examination revealed illegal images and videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Spear pled guilty on March 9, 2017, to a six count Bill of Information charging him with producing, transporting into the United States, distributing and possessing child pornography. His victims ranged in age from infant to 16 years old.

"A principle part of the FBI’s mission is to protect the American people, and we are especially dedicated to the most vulnerable among us – children," said Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. "Phillip Spear despicably violated the human rights of children and stole their innocence. We hope his sentencing of 1,920 months in federal prison sends a strong warning and clear message to others who take part in unspeakable crimes against children."

"This man is exactly where he deserves to be—behind bars for the rest of his life," said General Hood. "His disgusting actions have no place in Mississippi, or anywhere else, and our child exploitation task force and agency partners take their responsibility seriously to get sick predators far away from our innocent children. I am very pleased with the work of all those involved in this case."

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, deputies from the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Office and prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Offices in Oxford and Jackson. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrea Jones and Glenda Haynes prosecuted the case for the government.

Updated July 7, 2017