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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Belton Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography After His Lost Cell Phone is Found at a Truck Stop

Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Belton, Missouri, man whose lost cell phone containing child pornography was found at a truck stop, pleaded guilty in federal court today.

Christopher Lee Caven, 39, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer to receiving child pornography over the internet.

By pleading guilty today, Caven admitted that he used his cell phone to receive child pornography via Kik, an online sharing application.

Caven’s cell phone was found at the Flying J Truck Plaza in Peculiar, Missouri, on March 5, 2017. The person who found the cell phone was unable to locate the owner and attempted to conduct a factory reset of the phone in order to set it up for his own use. In the process, however, he discovered a large amount of child pornography in the photo folder and contacted law enforcement.

Investigators found 402 video files of child pornography and 302 images of child pornography on Caven’s cell phone. Many of the images depicted children as young as toddlers posed in sexual positions or being sexually violated by others.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, the government and Caven agree to recommend to the court a sentence between 15 years and 18 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine A. Connelly. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 13, 2020