Monday, November 17, 2014

Grand jury indicts Economic Development employee on child porn charge

(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)

Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an employee of the South Central Ozarks Council of Governments has been charged in federal court with possessing child pornography on his worksite computer.

Steven Gregary Reed, 36, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Reed remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.

Reed is employed as the coordinator of solid waste management with the South Central Ozarks Council of Governments, an economic development organization for seven counties in the south central region of Missouri (Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas, and Wright Counties), which is headquartered in Pomona, Mo.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, a law enforcement officer was conducting an undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography using peer-to-peer file-sharing software. A computer at the office of the South Central Ozarks Council of Governments was identified as advertising more than 100 files of suspected child pornography to share online. The same computer was identified as repeatedly searching for online child pornography for several months.

On Oct. 29, 2014, the affidavit says, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the office and determined that the desktop computer used by Reed was the computer identified in their investigation. Officers identified seven videos that contain probable child pornography on the computer, according to the affidavit, five videos that contain probable child pornography on Reed’s work laptop computer and 60 images of child pornography (with some of the boys as young as six years of age) on Reed’s flash drive.

Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint 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 Abram McGull, II. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Howell County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

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