Independence Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Independence, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to possessing and sharing hundreds of videos and images of child pornography over the internet.
James Andrew Clingenpeel, 31, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to one count of attempting to distribute child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
By pleading guilty today, Clingenpeel admitted that he utilized a peer-to-peer file-sharing network to distribute a video of child pornography over the internet. Clingenpeel’s criminal conduct was discovered during an FBI national investigation into the network, which allows users to share child pornography on their computers with other members over the internet. Clingenpeel was an “Ultimate” member with an account since October 2013. An undercover FBI undercover operative invited Clingenpeel to join his network; Clingenpeel then shared 436 files that contained 9.1GB of content to the network.
Clingenpeel also admitted that he was in possession of child pornography. On April 19, 2016, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Clingenpeel’s residence. Officers seized three electronic devices; a notebook computer contained 550 videos and 180 images of child pornography and a computer hard drive contained one video of child pornography, more than 100 images of possible child erotica, and one video of possible child erotica.
Under federal statutes, Clingenpeel is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 David A. Barnes. It was investigated by the FBI and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.
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."