Independence man receives prison term for child pornography

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An Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court for uploading hundreds of images and videos of child pornography to his online storage accounts and sending videos of child pornography to an Ohio teenager.

Joshua M. Rodgers, 29, received an eight-year federal prison sentence without parole from U.S. District Judge Greg Kays. Rodgers must also undergo lifelong supervised release after incarceration and pay $35,000 in restitution to his victims. Upon release, he is required to register as a sex offender and comply with federal and state sex offender registration requirements.

On July 17, 2023, Rodgers pleaded guilty to transporting child pornography. He admitted to uploading numerous child pornography images and videos to his Google cloud storage account and Dropbox from December 4, 2017, to February 27, 2019.

The Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force received four CyberTip reports on April 29, 2019, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about 548 videos of child pornography uploaded to Rodgers’s Google accounts. Investigations revealed 728 images and 771 videos of child pornography in his account, including 101 files involving infants or toddlers. Additionally, 1,022 images and 124 videos depicted individuals of uncertain age and child erotica.

Federal agents executed a search warrant at Rodgers’s residence on October 22, 2019. They seized a computer containing 658 videos and 139 images of suspected child pornography, featuring prepubescent victims, sadomasochistic behaviors, and bestiality.

Rodgers also admitted to interacting with a 15-year-old girl from Ohio, sharing images and videos with her. He repeatedly requested pornographic images and videos from her, bought her a sex toy for video creation, and sent her child pornography videos.

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

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