A Pierce City man is one of four southwest Missouri residents who have been indicted by a federal grand jury on separate and unrelated cases of child exploitation.
William Fred Rohe, 54, a convicted sex offender, was arrested at the Pierce City Park last month after he made arrangements online to meet a young boy.
The two-count indictment, handed down yesterday, charges that Rohe used the Internet between Aug. 2 and Aug. 6 to induce a minor under the age of 14 to engage in sexual activity. Rohe is also charged with possession of child pornography.
The indictment contains a forfeiture allegation that would require Rohe to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including multiple computers and hard drives.
Agents from the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security and the Pierce City Police Department participated in the surveillance and arrest.
Rohe is a prior sex offender who has not registered in Missouri.
Jason Farris, 31, of Anderson, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury alleging Farris received and distributed child pornography over the Internet between July 17 and Aug. 26.
This case was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and the U.S. ICE Office of Homeland Security.
Adam Hammond, 22, of Climax Springs, was charged in a three-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.
The superseding indictment replaces an indictment returned against Hammond on May 11 and includes an additional count of producing child pornography. The indictment alleges that Hammond used a minor, identified as "Jane Doe," to produce child pornography between Oct. 31 and Dec. 29, in 2010, in Polk County.
In the original indictment, Hammons is charged with using the Internet and a cell phone to induce an individual under the age of 14 to engage in illicit sex and with receiving and distributing child pornography.
The case was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force, the Polk County Sheriff's Department, the Camden County Sheriff's Department, and the U.S. ICE Office of Homeland Security.
Lawrence Ellrick, 34, an active duty soldier at Ft. Leonard Wood, was charged in a two-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.
The superseding indictment replaces an indictment returned against Ellrick on Feb. 10 and includes an additional count of using a minor to produce child pornography between Jan. 1 and May 31 in Texas County.
In the original indictment, Ellrick is charged with possessing child pornography between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2010.
The case was investigated by the U.S. ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations and Army Criminal Investigations Command (CID).
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher.
The cases were brought as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood utilizes federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.