Ocean Springs man sentenced to 160 years on child pornography charges

Ocean Springs man sentenced to 160 years on child pornography charges

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A 60-year-old Ocean Springs man has been sentenced to 160 years in federal prison for producing, transporting, distributing, and possessing child pornography.

After searching the home of Phillip Joseph Spear in September 2016, investigators found computers, hard drives, a digital camera, media card, and an iPad. Following a forensic examination, "illegal images and video of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct was found on the devices."

On March 9, 2017, Spear plead guilty to a six-count bill of information that charged him with creating, transporting to the United States, distributing and possessing child pornography.

Investigators say victims ranged in age from infant to 16 years old.

"A principle part of the FBI's mission is to protect the American people, and we are especially dedicated to the most vulnerable among us - children," said Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. "Phillip Spear despicably violated the human rights of children and stole their innocence. We hope his sentencing of 1,920 months in federal prison sends a strong warning and clear message to others who take part in unspeakable crimes against children."

In addition to a lifetime of supervised release, Spears has also been ordered to pay $47,500 in restitution to the victims, and a special assessment of $30,000 for a related crime under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

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