DeSoto County man sentenced to over 17 years for distributing child sexual abuse material

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A DeSoto County man has been sentenced to serve 17 years in prison for distributing child sexual abuse material through a mobile messaging application.

According to court documents, the Department of Homeland Security received information from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children that a mobile messaging application user was distributing images and videos of child sexual abuse material.

Around the same time, the Oxford Police Department received similar information about the user from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The agencies then coordinated an investigation that revealed 39-year-old Jessie Edward Winters used the application on his cell phone to engage with other users in a chat group in distributing and receiving the material.

Winters possessed over 200 images and 200 videos, some involving prepubescent children.

“The distribution of child pornography is a particularly reprehensible crime, and the defendant deserves every minute of every day of this sentence,” U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner said. “This conviction and sentence highlight the combined efforts of our state and local partners with federal investigators and prosecutors to hold accountable those who take pleasure in the sexual abuse of children.”

U.S. District Court Judge Sharion Aycock sentenced Winters to 210 months in federal prison for the offense to be followed by 10 years of supervised release on Thursday. Restitution to victims depicted in the materials will be determined at a later hearing.

“This sentence sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who prey upon children. Winters will serve close to 20 years in federal prison for his heinous acts,” HSI New Orleans Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric DeLaune stated. “HSI, with its unique international authorities, works tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to protect children from exploitation, here at home and around the world.”

The Department of Homeland Security and the Oxford Police Department investigated the case with assistance from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department.

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