Former West Plains Economic Development Employee Sentenced for Receiving Child Porn

A former employee of the South Central Ozarks Council of Governments was sentenced in federal court today for receiving child pornography on his worksite computer.

Steven Gregary Reed, 37, of West Plains, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to six years and six months in federal prison without parole.

Reed, who pleaded guilty on Sept. 8, 2015, was employed at the time of the offense as the coordinator of solid waste management with the South Central Ozarks Council of Governments, an economic development organization for seven counties in the south central region of Missouri (Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas, and Wright Counties), which is headquartered in Pomona, Mo.

A law enforcement officer with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force was investigating unlawful Internet usage and noticed that a certain computer had over 100 files of suspected child pornography. The officer continued to monitor the computer for several months and noticed the computer to be on a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on a regular basis, searching for child pornography. The computer was assigned to the South Central Ozarks Council of Governments.

On Oct. 29, 2014, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the office and determined that the desktop computer used by Reed was the computer identified in their investigation.

Reed admitted to officers that he had watched child pornography the night before the execution of the search warrant. Reed viewed child pornography on a regular basis at work and home. Reed stated that he never downloaded child pornography at home but he did at work. He admitted to placing downloaded child pornography on a flash drive that he kept in his car. He added that he looked at child pornography on his work computer and often downloaded child pornography on his work computer.

Reed had approximately 131 movies and 126 graphic images of child pornography on his work computer.