Man charged with distributing child porn

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Goodman man has been charged in Barry County with four counts of distributing child pornography. His arrest came as a result of an undercover operation conducted by Barry County Sheriff's Detective Brian Martin and Cassville Police Department Detective James Smith, both members of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Joseph Robertson, 27, is currently being held in the McDonald County Jail on a $200,000 bond. He is charged in McDonald County with failure to register as a sex offender.

According to Martin, Robertson is a prior sex offender who is on probation. Robertson registered the address of where he was living with the sheriff's office but failed to register his e-mail addresses, which violates state laws.

Martin said Robertson shared several images of child pornography with Martin and Smith during the investigation. A search warrent was served at Robertson's residence in Goodman and several computers were seized.

"When we interviewed him initially, he denied it," said Martin. "Subsequently he has admitted to the crime."

Once McDonald County releases him, Robertson will be transferred to Barry County. Martin said federal charges are also pending against Robertson.

In a separate case, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force was called into assist with a child pornography case out of Barton County that surfaced as a result of a drug investigation.

"A computer was picked up looking for drug contacts, and a lot of homemade child pornography was found on it," said Martin.

John Ferguson, of Alma, Kan., was arrested on child pornography charges, and Martin said he is also facing federal charges.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcment (ICE) was also involved in both investigations, according to Martin.

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