SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A local woman became the fifth defendant on Oct. 20 to plead guilty in federal court to participating in a child exploitation business that victimized at least three children following a Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) and a law enforcement partner.
Angela Marie Brown, 39, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Justice David P. Rush to participating in a child exploitation business from January 1, 2017 to November 6, 2019.
In pleading guilty, Brown admitted that she had engaged in a series of criminal offenses, including sexual exploitation of a minor and receipt and distribution of child pornography. These criminal offences, constituting three or more separate incidents and involving more than one minor victim, constitute a child exploitation enterprise.
Co-defendants Kevin Grant McMillan, 35, Christine Marie Rossiter, 36, and Amber Marie Baley, 38, all of Springfield, and Casie Dee Rice, 52, of Branson, also pleaded guilty to the same charge.
The federal investigation began in May 2019 after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified law enforcement that McMillan uploaded three files of child pornography through his Gmail account. The Springfield Police Department was also investigating McMillan in a separate case involving an 8-year-old child, identified in court documents as Jane Doe 2. Springfield investigators identified other Google accounts containing child pornography.
On November 6, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at McMillan’s residence, where they contacted a second 15-year-old minor, identified in court documents as Jane Doe 1, and a minor 17 years old. Officers seized five laptops, two hard drives, an Apple iPad, a cell phone and seven USB/micro-SD cards. A forensic analyst found child pornography images depicting Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2 and a third child, a toddler identified in court documents as Jane Doe 3. The investigation revealed a total of 27,542 pornographic images and videos of subjects whose age was difficult. determine. Additionally, 682 images and videos were discovered depicting individuals engaging in sexual acts with animals. There were also 111 videos and images of animated pornography exploiting children located on the devices.
Investigators also found MMS messages between McMillan and Brown, who lived with him on and off for several years, from January 2017 to April 2019. McMillan said he wanted to drug and sexually assault Jane Doe 1 (who was 13 at the time). Brown said she would be interested in helping him drug and rape children and adult women. McMillan also sent Brown sexually explicit images of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 3. They traded incest pornography, bondage pornography, bestiality pornography, child pornography, and sex. childish eroticism. They also had conversations about child sexual contact and having children together and impregnating them.
Investigators found Facebook conversations in which McMillan and Brown discussed at length having sexual contact with other people, including children.
Under federal law, each of the five defendants faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a federal life sentence without parole. The maximum legal penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as sentencing of defendants will be determined by the court based on the Sentencing Advisory Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of pre-sentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case was investigated by HSI, the Southwest Missouri Cybercrime Task Force and the Springfield, Missouri Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller.
HSI is a branch of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and financial move. HSI’s workforce of more than 10,400 employees includes more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities across the United States and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative police presence overseas and one of the largest international law enforcement footprints in the United States.
Safe Childhood Project
This case was brought within the framework of Safe Childhood Project, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to address the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit child sexual abuse, and to identify and rescue victims.
Learn more about HSI’s mission to fight child exploitation on Twitter, @HSIKansasCity.