A Joplin man was charged in federal court on October 12 with receiving and distributing child pornography. Authorities began investigating 26-year-old Kaleb Wilson when they were alerted by Instagram that a user had uploaded child pornography. A separate investigation of Wilson began when the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force was contacted by detectives in Vancouver, Washington requested assistance in a case where a minor child had been exchanging sexually explicit messages and images with an adult, later identified as Wilson.

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News release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri

A Joplin, Mo., man was charged in federal court today with receiving and distributing child pornography after exchanging pornographic images with a child in the state of Washington.

Kaleb Wilson, 26, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo.

According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s federal criminal complaint, Instagram submitted a CyberTipline report on May 5, 2017, to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The report indicated that an Instagram user, later identified as Wilson, had uploaded multiple images of child pornography between March 21 and March 26, 2017.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Wilson’s residence on April 2, 2018, and seized several electronic items, which are pending forensic examination.

On Aug. 14, 2018, a detective with the Vancouver, Wash., Police Department contacted the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and requested assistance in a separate investigation of Wilson. The Vancouver investigation was launched when a resident of that jurisdiction reported that her minor child had been exchanging sexually explicit messages and images with an adult male, later identified as Wilson.

Wilson allegedly communicated with the minor victim via the social media application Kik. According to the affidavit, Wilson and the child victim communicated and exchanged pornographic photos with each other from December 2016 through Aug. 8, 2018.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."