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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ocean Springs Resident Pleads Guilty to Production, Transportation, Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography


Gulfport, Miss – Philip Joseph Spear, age 59, of Ocean Springs, entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court today to a criminal information charging him with production, transportation, distribution and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze.

Spear was charged after a federal search warrant was executed at his residence in Ocean Springs and numerous electronic devices including computers, a camera and hard drives were seized. A forensic examination revealed numerous images and videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Today, Spear pled guilty to two counts of production of child pornography, one count of production of child pornography by a person who has custody of a minor, one count of transportation of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He will be sentenced on June 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. before Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. The maximum penalties for the crimes charged are as follows:

Production of child pornography - 30 years and a $250,000 fine on each count;

Production of child pornography by a person who has custody of a minor – 30 years and a $250,000 fine;

Transportation of child pornography - 30 years and a $250,000 fine;

Distribution of child pornography 20 years and a $250,000 fine; and

Possession of child pornography- 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

This 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 prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Offices in Oxford and Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Jones is prosecuting the case for the government.

Updated March 9, 2017