David Lee Knowles, 55, of Nevada, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charge contained in a federal indictment. Knowles is a registered sex offender as a result of his 1997 conviction for sexual assault.
By pleading guilty today, Knowles admitted that he received and distributed child pornography between May 31, 2012, and Jan. 3, 2013. A law enforcement officer was conducting an undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography with peer-to-peer, file-sharing networks. Knowles’ computer was identified as sharing videos of child pornography over the Internet.
Knowles must forfeit to the government any property used to commit the offense, including an iPad2, a desktop computer, an iPhone and an external hard drive.
Under federal statutes, Knowles is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the FBI and the Joplin Police Department