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Press Release

Joplin Man Sentenced for Child Porn

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Project Safe Childhood

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

 

Frank Edwin Ness, 45, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Ness to a lifetime of supervised release following incarceration, and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution to one of his victims.

 

On May 28, 2015, Ness pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet between Jan. 1, 2004, and July 16, 2014.

 

According to court documents, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ness’s residence on July 16, 2014, and seized his desktop computer. Investigators found hundreds of videos and thousands of images of child pornography on the computer. Ness told investigators that he had been looking at child pornography for approximately 10 years.  He admitted that he had sent child pornography to other individuals, and that he received child pornography from other individuals, using e-mail addresses he created using “made up” females names.

 

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

 

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."

Updated October 22, 2015

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Project Safe Childhood