A Climax Springs man has been sentenced to prison on child pornography charges thanks to an investigation conducted with the assistance of members of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, which includes officers from the Barry County Sheriff's Department and the Cassville Police Department.
Adam Hammond, 22, will spend 20 years in federal prison for producing child porn and enticing a minor for sex. The sentence was handed down Friday by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr. The court also ordered Hammond to pay $1,766 in restitution to his victim.
According to court records, Hammond met his victim when she was 11 years old through a social network site on the Internet and persuaded her to send him sexually explicit images of herself.
On Dec. 29, 2010, Hammond traveled to the victim's home and picked her up. The victim's mother saw her daughter leaving with Hammond and pursued them in her vehicle. Hammond lost control of his vehicle in the chase and crashed. Police officers arrived on the scene and arrested Hammond.
After his arrest, Hammond pleaded guilty to using a minor to produce child pornography. Hammond also admitted that he used the Internet and a cell phone to entice a minor to engage in illicit sex with him.
The case against Hammond was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Polk County Sheriff's Department, the Camden County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations.
In a separate investigation, Joseph Robertson, 29, of Goodman, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet and will be sentenced to 14 years in federal prison without parole.
An investigation by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force led to Robertson's arrest.
According to Beth Phillips, United States attorney, an officer with the task force used a file-sharing program to download an image of child pornography that was being shared from Robertson's computer. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Robertson's home and seized a computer that contained numerous images of child pornography.
The cases against both Hammond and Robertson were filed as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched by the Department of Justice.