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Independence, Missouri man pleads guilty to transporting child pornography

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An man from Independence, Mo. pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to uploading videos of child pornography to his online storage accounts.

Joshua M. Rodgers, 29, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to one count of transporting child pornography.

Rodgers uploaded hundreds of images and videos of child pornography to his cloud storage online Google account, particularly in his Google Drive file, as well as to Dropbox, an online cloud file storage program, from Dec. 4, 2017, to Feb. 27, 2019.  In particular, on November 23, 2018, Rodgers uploaded two videos depicting child pornography to Dropbox through the internet.

During the course of the investigation, the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force received four CyberTip reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding a total of 548 videos of child pornography uploaded to Rodgers’s Google accounts. Investigators then identified 728 images and 771 videos of child pornography in Rodgers’s Google account. Of those, roughly 101 files involved infants or toddlers. An additional 1,022 images and 124 videos depicted “age difficult” persons and child erotica.

On Oct. 22, 2019, federal agents executed a search warrant at Rodgers’s residence. They seized his computer, which contained 658 videos and 139 images of suspected child pornography, including prepubescent victims, sadomasochistic behaviors, and bestiality.

Rodgers also admitted to previously communicating with a female from Ohio, beginning when she was 15 years old, and he admitted to sharing images and videos with her. Rodgers repeatedly asked her to send him pornographic images and videos of herself. He even bought her a sex toy, and had it sent to her to use in videos she could create for him. Rodgers also sent her videos of child pornography.

Under federal statutes, Rodgers is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth W. Borgnino. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

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