Springfield man sentenced to 14 years on child pornography charges

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/Edited News Release) - A Springfield, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court Thursday for receiving child pornography over the internet.

Scott James Wells, 56, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 14 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Wells to a lifetime of supervised release following incarceration, and ordered him to pay $15,000 in restitution to his victims.

On May 4, 2021, Wells withdrew his plea of not guilty on the day his criminal jury trial was scheduled to begin. Wells entered a nolo contendre, or “no contest,” plea, neither admitting nor disputing the federal charges against him, but acknowledging the government had sufficient evidence to convict him of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt. The court found Wells guilty of one count of receiving and distributing child pornography. Wells has been detained in federal custody since that date.

According to court records from the U.S. Department of Justice, Wells received child pornography over the internet between Dec. 15, 2016, through March 22, 2017. Law enforcement received two CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after Wells used his Facebook account to transmit two images of child pornography to another Facebook user.

Officers executed a search warrant at Wells’s residence and seized his laptop computer, which contained child pornography.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James J. Kelleher and Nhan Nguyen. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent J.D. Holdman and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

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