A Springfield, Mo., man who possessed thousands of videos and photos of child pornography was sentenced in federal court for trading those images of child sexual abuse over the internet.
Craig Allen Rhoden, 55, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to 15 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Rhoden to pay $150,000 in restitution to 30 victims.
The court also sentenced Rhoden to 15 years of supervised release following incarceration. Rhoden will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and will be subject to federal and state sex offender registration requirements, which may apply throughout his life.
On April 18, 2023, Rhoden pleaded guilty to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Rhoden’s residence on Jan. 5, 2023, after receiving CyberTip reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Rhoden had uploaded hundreds of images of child pornography. Rhoden admitted that he participated in the exchange of child pornography, including trading images and videos of infant victims, and that he uploaded images of child pornography to a website. Rhoden also admitted that he took “upskirt” photos of children at the Walmart where he was employed and uploaded those photos to a website he operated.
A forensic analysis of Rhoden’s electronic devices found more than 16,000 videos and photos of child pornography.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.