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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Springfield Sex Offender Indicted for Child Porn

Project Safe Childhood

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a prior sex offender in Springfield, Mo., was indicted by a federal grand jury today for receiving and distributing child pornography.

 

Gary Thomas Sheldon, 52, of Springfield, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Sheldon on July 16, 2015.

 

Today’s indictment alleges that Sheldon received and distributed child pornography over the Internet from Oct. 5, 2014, to July 15, 2015. Sheldon, a registered sex offender, was convicted of possessing child pornography in October 2000. As a result, if convicted, Sheldon will be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole.

 

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, law enforcement officers received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which had received the tip from an adult pornography Web site where Sheldon had allegedly uploaded an image of child pornography. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Sheldon’s residence on July 15, 2015.

 

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 Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Southwest Missouri Cybercrime 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 21, 2015