Undercover work leads to child porn suspects
October 21, 2009

Investigators with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and special agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency executed a search warrant on October 20, 2009 at 107 S. Patterson Ave, Joplin. This search warrant was a result of a two week undercover investigation by Joplin Cyber Crimes Detective Chip Root, for the possession and distribution of child pornography. Arrested at the scene was Robert K. Childers, 51, of the residence, pictured at left. He is currently in custody at the Joplin City Jail pending the filing of felony charges through the Jasper County prosecutor’s Office.

This is the third individual arrested and second search warrant served in the past few weeks for the Southwestern Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.

Bradley A. Claus, 23, was arrested on October 16, 2009 for enticement of a child and sexual misconduct with a child. The Claus' arrest stemmed from an on-line investigation conducted by Jasper County Cyber Crimes Detective Ed Bailey.

Barry County Deputy Brian Martin, assigned to the Southwestern Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force, on September 28, 2009 applied for and served a search warrant in Dade County, with the assistance of the Dade County Sheriff’s Office and special agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Robert V. Hoffman, 65, was arrested on a VA warrant for distribution of child pornography. On 10/2/09 Hoffman was taken before a federal magistrate in Springfield and remains in federal custody.

The Southwestern Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force is comprised of the following agencies: Barry County Sheriff’s Office, Barton County Sheriff’s Office, Cassville Police Department, Dade County Sheriff’s Office Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, Joplin Police Department, McDonald County Sheriff’s Office, Newton County Sheriff’s Office and the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

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