Poplar Bluff man pleads guilty to child pornography charge

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Poplar Bluff man faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Friday to possessing child pornography.

Coy Delaney Alspaugh, 52, of the 200 block of County Road 527, entered guilty plea to one felony count of possession of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr., according to the federal prosecutor's office.

Limbaugh set sentencing for 10 a.m. Feb. 23.

At that time, Alspaugh faces a maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, followed by a period of supervised release for life.

On May 1, law enforcement officers knocked on the door of Alspaugh's home. Although he was not home, the officers informed his son they had reason to believe someone in the home was accessing child pornography on the Internet.

The home computer was given to law enforcement officers for analysis. Police said Alspaugh later contacted the seizing officer and told the officer he was the person responsible for the child pornography on the computer.

Alspaugh reportedly stated he used the computer to find child pornography on the Internet and further reported he had been viewing child pornography for several years.

Alspaugh also admitted he was aware it is illegal to possess images of child pornography. He stated the computer belonged to him and he had hidden the child pornography files so other users in the home would not be able to find them.

Alspaugh reportedly agreed to allow a forensic analysis to be conducted on his computer and hard drive by signing a consent-to-search form.

Forensic analysis of the hard drive revealed Alspaugh possessed more than 600 image files, including more than 90 video files, of child pornography.

The charge against Alspaugh was the result of an investigation by Jeff Shackelford and Scott Phelps with the SEMO Cyber Crimes Task Force.

"Through the use of a tracking program designed by the [Internet Crimes Against Children] Task Force, to track persons collecting and trading items of child pornography through file sharing networks, I was given the February 2008 database results for the state of Missouri, which showed one IP address, in particular, in the Poplar Bluff area that had numerous transmissions [uploads/downloads] of child pornography," Shackelford said earlier.

A trace of the IP [Internet protocol] address was conducted and the City of Poplar Bluff Municipal Utilities [City Cable] was found to be the owner, said Shackelford, who serves as the task force's commander.

"The user/subscriber information was obtained through a subpoena, and found that Bryan Alspaugh was the account holder of this Internet protocol address," Shackelford said.

When Bryan Alspaugh was interviewed, Shackelford said, he learned Alspaugh's father and brother also used the computer.

"I received consent to search this computer in a forensic examination and found numerous video and image files of child pornography, and mainly all of these were of prepubescent females," said Shackelford, who interviewed Bryan Alspaugh's father, Coy Alspaugh, regarding his findings.

After being told of his rights, the elder Alspaugh agreed to talk with Shackelford.

"In this interview, Coy admitted that all the files of child pornography were his and that he had obtained these from the Internet," Shackelford said. "Most of the video files depicted females, approximately 6 to 12 years of age, and possibly younger, being sexually assaulted and forced to have sexual intercourse or perform sex on unknown males and other prepubescent males."

The elder Alspaugh, according to Shackelford, told him he had acquired all of these files, and that "he had hidden the folder containing these files in the computer's file structure so that his sons or visiting friends would not see them on the computer.

"Coy stated that he knew the files were illegal, and that he acted alone in acquiring and saving of these files."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: