SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A local woman became the fifth defendant, Oct. 20, to plead guilty in federal court to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise that victimized at least three children following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and law enforcement partner investigation.
Angela Marie Brown, 39, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise from Jan. 1, 2017, to Nov. 6, 2019.
By pleading guilty, Brown admitted that she engaged in a series of felony violations, including the sexual exploitation of a minor and receiving and distributing child pornography. Those felony violations, constituting three or more separate incidents and involving more than one minor victim, comprise 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, have 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 had 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 additional Google accounts that contained child pornography.
On Nov. 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 17-year-old minor. Officers seized five laptops, two hard drives, an Apple iPad, a cell phone, and seven USB/micro-SD cards. A forensic analyst found images of child pornography depicting Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, and a third child, a toddler identified in court documents as Jane Doe 3. The investigation uncovered a total of 27,542 pornographic images and videos of subjects whose ages were difficult to determine. In addition, 682 images and videos were discovered depicting individuals engaged in sex acts with animals. There were also 111 videos and images of child exploitive animated pornography 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 until April 2019. McMillan said he wanted to drug and sexually assault Jane Doe 1 (who was 13 years old at the time). Brown said she would be interested in assisting him in drugging and raping children and adult women. McMillan also sent Brown sexually explicit images of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 3. They exchanged incest-related pornography, bondage pornography, bestiality pornography, child pornography, and child erotica. They also had conversations about having sexual contact with children and about having children together and impregnating them.
Investigators found Facebook conversations in which McMillan and Brown extensively discussed engaging in sexual contact with other individuals, including children.
Under federal statutes, each of the five defendants is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case was investigated by HSI, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the Springfield, Missouri, Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of 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 marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
Learn more about HSI’s mission to combat child exploitation on Twitter, @HSIKansasCity.