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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Estranged Joplin Couple Sentenced to 20 Years for Child Porn After Reporting Each Other

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man and woman were sentenced in federal court today for receiving child pornography over the Internet after the estranged couple turned each other in to law enforcement.

 

Ernest “Andy” Britten, 37, of Joplin, Mo., and his ex-wife, Kendra Britten, 34, of Miami, Okla., formerly of Joplin, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough. Ernest and Kendra Britten were each sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole, the maximum statutory penalty. The court also ordered them to each pay a $40,000 fine and sentenced them to supervised release for the rest of their lives following incarceration.

 

On Jan. 19, 2016, Kendra Britten pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet. On Oct. 5, 2015, Ernest Britten pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet.

 

On Nov. 10, 2011, Kendra Britten brought a computer into the Joplin Police Department because there was child pornography on the computer. The computer, a Smildon Raidmax Gaming Deluxe, was utilized by Kendra and her then-husband, Ernest Britten. Kendra Britten decided to turn in the computer after Ernest Britten threatened to report her for possessing child pornography.

 

Investigators discovered 59 videos and 29 images of child pornography on the computer. The videos included children ages 3 to 14. The videos included bondage. According to court documents, the Brittens utilized a peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download child pornography.

 

Officers were unable to locate the Brittens and the case was suspended. On Jan. 8, 2014, officers were contacted by the Miami, Okla., Police Department, which requested information for their investigation of the Brittens for manufacturing child pornography and sexually abusing an 8-year-old victim.

 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

 

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 April 19, 2016