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W.P. detective finds evidence leading to fed. child porn charges against Taney Co. couple

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West Plains Police Detective Joe Neuschwander, a member of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force recently lent assistance to Taney County investigators that resulted in the filing of federal charges against a Merriam Woods couple accused of producing child porn.

On Jan. 28, Neuschwander reported, agents with the task force executed a search warrant at the home of Mark John Millman, 36, and wife Tara Sau Millman, 41. Items capable of storing digital media were reportedly confiscated in the search and the Millmans were taken into custody.

According to the original criminal complaint, the investigation uncovered sexual images and videos of child pornography found on both Mark and Tara Millman’s cell phones. Among those photos, the complaint says, were images depicting the Millmans’ sexual abuse of children.

Mark Millman is a British citizen and a legal alien resident, according to a news release provided by Western District of Missouri U.S. Attorneys Office Public Affairs Officer Don Ledford. Each is charged with a count of using a minor to produce sexual content and a count of receiving and distributing child pornography, and both have been jailed without bail since being taken into custody, Ledford added.

The investigation was initiated after San Diego-based Homeland Security Investigations officers began monitoring users of a cloud storage platform that provides encrypted, cloud-based services for business and individuals, Ledford said. Agents accessed a weblink to an encrypted chat room with about 145 registered users, and Mark Millman was allegedly found to be a participant who uploaded or posted files containing child porn. The investigation led to the search of the couples' home and Neuschwander’s discovery of evidence supporting the federal charges.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller, and was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice to fight child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood coordinates federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims, Ledford said.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, visit the website and click on the "resources" tab.

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