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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Carl Junction Sex Offender Sentenced for Child Porn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Carl Junction, Mo., man who was a prior sex offender was sentenced in federal court today for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

 

Steven Ray Cottle, Jr., 36, of Carl Junction, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 20 years in federal prison without parole followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Cottle was required to register as a sex offender due to his Jan. 25, 2001, conviction for indecent exposure in Oklahoma.

 

On Jan. 13, 2016, Cottle pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

 

Agents with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force were conducting an undercover investigation in December 2013 and identified Cottle’s computer as receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet through a peer-to-peer file-sharing program. When agents executed a search warrant at his residence on Feb. 13, 2014, Cottle attempted to hide his laptop computer and two thumb drives by placing them in the attic access space, accessible from within the closet of his bedroom, before he came downstairs to talk to law enforcement officers.

 

Investigators discovered numerous images and videos of child pornography, as well as other images of bestiality and bondage, on the laptop and thumb drives. Some of those images depicted children as young as three years old.

 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

 

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 September 23, 2016