COLUMBIA — A St. Louis-area man was arrested Wednesday morning following a nearly five-month investigation by the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force, said Don Ledford, public affairs officer for the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
Jordan R. Pickeral, 25, of Breckenridge Hills, was indicted on two counts of attempting to transfer obscene matter over the Internet to a minor.
The charges stem from incidents on July 17, 2007, and Aug. 21, 2007, when Ledford said the suspect is believed to have sent obscene matter to an undercover Task Force investigator who was posing as a 13-year-old girl named “Tiffany.”
The Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force was created to investigate Internet crimes against children. Detective Andy Anderson of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and coordinator of the task force said that undercover investigations are an effective way of protecting children from predators.
“Undercover investigations are extremely important,” Anderson said. “They give us the ability to investigate and often times charge people without children being victimized or their lives being ruined.”
A federal grand jury indicted Pickeral on Dec. 14, 2007, with attempting to transfer obscene matter over the Internet to a minor. If Pickeral is convicted on both counts he faces up to 20 years in prison, under federal statutes.