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Suspect accused of sharing child porn

Investigation started eight months ago.
Friday, February 2, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:20 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A 37-year-old Columbia man was arrested Tuesday morning on a warrant charging him with distributing videos depicting the molestation of very young children, according to Boone County court records.

The investigation started eight months ago when information surfaced that the suspect was not only downloading numerous videos of child pornography, but also making them available to others through free file-sharing programs over the Internet, according to a news release from the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force.

Detective Andy Anderson of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, who led the investigation as part of the task force, would not say exactly what prompted the investigation.

“It can be tips, cyber tips, information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or results from our undercover investigations” that lead to a particular suspect, Anderson said.

In this case, three videos of child pornography obtained by the Sheriff’s Department in May, two of which included a 5-year-old, were being offered through a file-sharing program, according to Boone County court records. The police obtained a warrant in June to search the suspect’s home, finding and forensically analyzing a computer, in which they said they discovered more videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, according to the news release.

On Oct. 26, charges were filed against Chad E. Mullen in Boone County Circuit Court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mullen was arrested Tuesday morning at a relative’s residence, according to the news release.


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