You are here

Justice News

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

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Joplin Man Indicted for Producing Child Pornography

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for producing child pornography.

William Lee Potts, 21, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint filed against Potts on May 3, 2019.

The federal indictment charges Potts with one count of using a minor to produce child pornography from April 26 to May 1, 2019.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Potts was found in a Joplin motel room with the 16-year-old child victim on May 1, 2019. Investigators searched his cell phone and found sexually explicit images and a video of child pornography.

The charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Waynesville, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, and the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes 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 For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 7, 2019