The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

April 8, 2014

Judge grants probation to man in child-porn case

A judge granted a suspended sentence and probation Monday to a defendant convicted of possessing child pornography on a computer at the business where he worked in Joplin.

Circuit Judge David Dally assessed Tony W. Ramos IV five years at a sentencing hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court, but suspended execution of the sentence and placed the defendant on supervised probation for five years.

Ramos, 30, of Joplin, pleaded guilty Feb. 14 in a plea agreement that limited the prison time he might be assessed to five years and promised that the prosecutor’s office would not oppose the possibility of probation. A second count of promoting child pornography was dropped by the prosecutor’s office as part of the plea deal.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by a Missouri State Highway Patrol investigator assigned to the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force. The investigator was targeting a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on the Internet frequently used by pedophiles to share illicit material when he came upon two suspected child-porn videos that had been downloaded to a computer in Joplin.

Further inquiry turned up 17 videos in a shared folder on the computer, 10 of which were known by cyber crime investigators to contain confirmed child pornography. The location of the computer was determined by subpoena, and a search warrant was served at a shop on 32nd Street in Joplin. Of three computers found at the business, the illicit videos were determined to be on a computer used by Ramos in a corner of the shop’s office, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

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