You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Joplin Man Sentenced for Child Porn

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.

 

Mark Eugene Drew, 59, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to eight years in federal prison without parole.

 

On Jan. 25, 2016, Drew pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography.

 

Court documents cite Drew’s long-term involvement in a Web site that hosted a massive collection of child pornography and erotica, some of which Drew contributed. Beginning in November 2010, the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section launched an investigation into a Web site (referred to as “website A” to protect the integrity of the investigation) that was used to post and exchange depictions of the sexual abuse of children. During the course of the investigation, approximately 24 individuals in the United States were identified as contributors to “website A.” In over half of these cases, the investigation revealed that the users not only posted images to “website A,” but also actively committed sexual crimes against children.

 

Drew was identified as one of the contributors. According to court documents, he created digital albums and posted them to a Web site utilized for the exchange of child pornography. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Drew’s residence on Nov. 21, 2013, and seized three computers, a flash drive and a DVD. A total of 351 images of child pornography were found on the computer equipment. Messages exchanged between Drew and other individuals were also recovered. During these exchanges, Drew claimed to have engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor.

 

Drew also admitted to the investigators that he was sexually attracted to children and bragged about having sex with children.

 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force and the FBI.

 

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: 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 14, 2016