Feds arrest Greene County man in federal child pornography investigation

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 9:59 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to the arrest of a man in a federal child pornography investigation.

Gordon Wesley Roughton, Jr., 40, of Greene County, faces federal charges. He most recently worked as a seasonal bus driver for a program involving the Springfield-Greene County Parks Board. He is no longer employed by the parks board.

Investigators found four images of a toddler they say depicts child pornography uploaded to MeWe, a social media and social networking service. Investigators tied the pictures to the IP address of Roughton.

Investigators say Roughton admitted to the activity, confessing an interest in children since he was in his 20s. Investigators say he uploaded the images to trade them online. Investigators say they located the photos in Roughton’s deleted folder on his cellular phone.

Roughton told investigators he worked as a teacher in the Fordland School District. Superintendent Chris Ford says that is not the case.

“This is a personnel issue and the district is looking into the situation,” said Supt. Ford. “Mr. Roughton has not and is currently not working for the Fordland R-3 School District.”

The Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force says these kind of crimes can take many different shapes, which impacts the type of investigation.

”There’s just so many different avenues that our investigations take,” Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force Commander Chip Root said. “There’s not really one method over another I guess. There are just so many different ways that people you know, exploit children. So it requires us to be flexible.”

Root said when he first started in the mid 2000′s, most cases were “proactive.”

”We’d work under cover, you know sometimes portray ourselves as a child or some type of adult,” he said.

While they still use this method to lure offenders, he said most cases start as tips now.

”From either other law enforcement agencies or even the general public,” Root said. “And as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That’s probably, our largest case load comes from the national center by far.”

The task force covers 20 Southwest Missouri Counties, Root said.

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