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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Independence Sex Offender Sentenced to 15 Years for Child Pornography

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A registered sex offender in Independence, Mo., has been sentenced in federal court for possessing and exchanging child pornography over the internet.

Harrison Elliot Combs, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark on Wednesday, May 15, to 15 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Combs to 20 years of supervised release following incarceration.

Combs, a registered sex offender, has a prior conviction for possessing child pornography.

On Aug. 10, 2018, Combs pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography over the internet, eight counts of attempting to distribute child pornography over the internet, and one count of possessing child pornography.

This investigation began when a law enforcement officer was conducting an investigation into a peer-to-peer file-sharing network. On three separate occasions, Combs’s computer was downloading child pornography from the network. On Sept. 23, 2016, officers executed a search warrant at Combs’s residence and seized his cell phone and other items. Examiners discovered approximately 1,631 images and 168 videos of child pornography on those items. The majority of the images appeared to be of infant- to toddler-aged females involved in sexually explicit conduct by adults. In addition to his cell phone, child pornography files were also associated with computers, a gaming system, a thumb drive, and optical discs belonging to Combs. 

In January 2017, Combs’s computer was again identified by law enforcement as downloading child pornography from a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on several occasions. There were approximately 1,962 image and video files downloaded between Jan. 7 and Jan. 16, 2017. The files included prepubescent males and females as young as toddlers involved in sexually explicit conduct by adults. Officers executed a search warrant at Combs’s residence, where they arrested Combs and seized his cell phone.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine A. Connelly. It was investigated by the FBI and the Kansas City, 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."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 16, 2019