SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Springfield, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Jarod “Bull” Michel, 31, of Springfield, was charged in an indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Michel’s arrest and initial court appearance.
The federal indictment alleges that Michel received and distributed child pornography over the Internet between July 18, 2013, and May 20, 2014.
According to court documents, Michel’s computer was identified by two separate law enforcement agencies conducting independent undercover investigations concerning the distribution of child pornography using peer-to-peer file-sharing software. Investigators allegedly downloaded several videos of child pornography that were being shared over the Internet by Michel’s computer.
The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Michel to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offense, including a laptop computer.
Dickinson cautioned that 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 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."