Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Johnson County man charged with producing child pornography

U.S. Department of Justice

A man from Johnson County, Kan., has been charged with producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Michael D. Arnett, 38, Roeland Park, Kan., is charged with one count of producing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. He was charged today in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.

The complaint alleges the investigation began when Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston asked the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children to help identify victims who appeared in images of child pornography that had been seized.

Investigators identified a water bottle in one of the photographs with the name of a swim and scuba center in Johnson County, Kan. With the help of teachers at an elementary school in Johnson County, Kan., investigators identified the children in the photographs.

On May 15, 2012, investigators served a search warrant at Arnett’s home in Roeland Park, seizing computers that contained images of child pornography. 

“HSI agents use good old fashioned police work as well as high technology tools to track down child predators and to protect victims,” said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the ICE HIS in Chicago. “Our goal is that every child grow up free of fear from sexual exploitation.”     

If convicted, Arnett faces a penalty of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of producing child pornography, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the charge of possessing child pornography.

ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Martin is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.