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Press Release

Taney County Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Child Sexual Exploitation

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Merriam Woods Village, Missouri, man has been sentenced in federal court for the sexual exploitation of children.

Mark Nicholas Cobb, 60, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark on Friday, Jan. 7, to 25 years in federal prison without parole.

On June 23, 2021, Cobb pleaded guilty to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Cobb admitted that he received and distributed child pornography.

Investigators received several CyberTips regarding Cobb from different sources. On Sept. 16, 2017, a private citizen contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to report that his 9-year-old daughter had been contacted by Cobb through Secretchattalktostrangers, a communication and social media application. On March 5, 2019, Facebook reported a Facebook Messenger chat session that contained possible images of child pornography. On Dec. 17, 2019, Google reported a file of possible child pornography stored in Cobb’s Google Photos account. Investigators confirmed the images were child pornography.

On Feb. 25, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Cobb’s residence. Investigators found a video and images of child pornography on Cobb’s cell phone. Some of the images and the video were pornographic images and video that depicted Cobb and included children.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations 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 January 10, 2022

Project Safe Childhood