Thursday, December 18, 2014

Joplin man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

A Joplin man pleaded guilty to child pornography charges Monday in federal court in Springfield.

Danny Leon Wright, 61, was arrested June 23 at his home on the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. His sentencing will be held at a later date.

The details behind Wright's arrest were given in the probable cause affidavit written by Joplin Poilce Officer Charles Root, a member of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is printed below:

On June 23, 2014, the Affiant executed the search warrant at the above address. Danny Leon Wright was the only person home at the time of the search. An interview of Mr. Wright was conducted and the Affiant advised him of his Miranda rights and he stated he understood his rights. The interview was conducted while sitting at Mr. Wright’s dining room table and audio recorded.

During the interview, Mr. Wright admitted to creating and using the email account
“” and to using this e-mail account to send and receive child pornography. He initially stated the youngest age of child he has observed was a five year old female. After being pressed on the issue, he admitted that he has seen children as young as one year old. He described this child as wearing a white dress and was naked from the waist down. This image was included in Cyber Tips 2227936 and 2228121 along with other images of suspected child pornography.

Wright also disclosed that he distributed and downloaded child pornography using the internet for several years. He said he had downloaded child pornography of a female child and portrayed the child as a  family member. While the defendant does have a family member the same age as the child in the image, he denied ever having touched this child in a sexual manner. Mr. Wright admitted that he has had thoughts of having sex with the child but has not done so. He said while responding to various e-mails between himself, “Jim” (referring to Joplin resident Jim Hagny, who is facing similar charges) and other subjects, Wright discussed having oral sex and having vaginal intercourse with this family member. He said he had discussed wanting to have anal intercourse with her but said he informed these subjects that he has not done so at this point.

Danny Wright admitted to meeting “Jim” on the website Craigslist. He said on this website, the two discussed having, “family sex”. He said he also used a website that began with, “IM” and said it ended with, “.ru”. The Affiant pointed out that this was a Russian website and he said he didn’t know where it was but admitted to using it to locate nude kids. He said he last used this website approximately 1 ½ to 2 months ago. He said he stopped doing this because he knew he had gone too far, so he sent “Jim” an e-mail stated that he had lied and made the whole thing up about having sex with his granddaughter.

Mr. Wright disclosed that he would use the search term, “preteen model” to search for children and said he has located both images and videos of child pornography. He stated does not store any type of pornography on the computer because his wife does not approve. He said he searches for, downloads and views child pornography and in doing so, he masturbates to it while watching it. He said when he is finished, he deletes the images or videos from the computer. Mr. Wright stated he has had the desktop computer for several years. During a forensic preview of Wright’s desktop computer, it was discovered that he had reinstalled the Windows operating system on May 1, 2014. When asked about this, he stated he gets viruses and when his computer starts getting slow, he reinstalls the operating system.

Mr. Wright was asked about having sex with children. He admitted that when he was 14 years old, he would be asked to babysit his 9 year old niece and had sex with her. He said he has always had an attraction to sex with kids his whole life but will not act on his attraction.

While speaking with Mr. Wright, the Affiant asked him if he thought what he did was illegal. He said what he did was clearly illegal and he was afraid the police would show up at his house someday. Wright also advised that he was going to leave his wife of three years and was homeless. He stated he would have to find a homeless shelter to stay in as he has no real source of income.

On June 23, 2014, at approximately 1455 hours, the Affiant informed Mr. Wright that he was under arrest and he would be transported to the Joplin City Jail pending the filing of a federal complaint.


Anonymous said...

Typo... Charles Root :)

Randy said...

It has been fixed. Thanks for catching that.

Anonymous said...

when he was a police officer in galena Kansas he went by the name Chip Root...he was often referred by citizens by the name Chipped Tooth