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Press Release

Joplin Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Child Sexual Exploitation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
West Virginia Man Sentenced to 30 Years

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Mo., man and a Philippi, West Virginia, man were sentenced in federal court today for sexually abusing a child. 

Ronald Lee Fields, 56, of Joplin, and Shannon Calhoun, 33, of Philippi, formerly of Joplin, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark. Fields was sentenced to 20 in federal prison without parole. Calhoun was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Fields and Calhoun to each spend the rest of his life on supervised release following incarceration.

Fields and Calhoun each pleaded guilty in November 2017 to one count of the sexual exploitation of a child.

Officers with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force executed a search warrant at Fields’s residence on July 31, 2017, and seized various electronic devices, including a computer. Images of child pornography were found on those devices, which depicted Fields in a motel room with a child about five years old. Some photos depicted Fields and Calhoun sexually abusing the child. The photographs were taken at a variety of locations in Jasper and Newton Counties between April 20 and July 21, 2014.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes 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."

Updated August 1, 2018

Project Safe Childhood