Michael D. Shimon, 34, of Rolla pleaded guilty to promoting and possessing child pornography, according to a press release from Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney Brendon Fox.
Shimon admitted to possessing more than 150 explicit photos and videos of minor children, according to the press release, at his plea hearing. After his guilty plea, Judge William E. Hickle sentenced him to 12 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for each count.
Shimon pleaded guilty to one count of promoting child pornography and two counts of possessing child pornography.
An investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, with the assistance of the Rolla Police Department, culminated in charges for felony promoting pornography and felony possession of child pornography, in September 2016.
“These are hard crimes to solve because they are normally done behind closed doors, and there are seldom any witnesses.  That’s why I am so grateful that our various local law enforcement agencies work together to put people like Mr. Shimon behind bars.  I want to particularly commend Corporal (Patrick) Sublette of the Highway Patrol for all of his hard work on this case," Fox said in his press release.
According the original probable cause statement for Shimon’s initial arrest, an officer with the Missouri Highway Patrol was conducting an online investigation on a network for offenders sharing chid pornography. The officer was able to connect directly to the suspect's digital device at a specific IP address and was able to download a video file which showed a female that appeared to be under 18 years of age from Shimon’s device.
"With "13yo" being part of the video's [file] name, it appears the child is being described as being 13 years old." The officer noted that "the video appears to have no artistic merit."
The officer explained, in the probable cause statement, that using public records, he was able to determine the IP address was registered to Fidelity Communications Company.
"On July 12, 2016, a court ordered subpoena was obtained and sent to Fidelity Communications to obtain subscriber information," The probable cause statement reported.
Fidelity Communications responded to the subpoena and informed MSHP of the address belonging to the account, located in the 1700 block of North Walnut Street in Rolla.
“These are hard crimes to solve because they are normally done behind closed doors, and there are seldom any witnesses.  That’s why I am so grateful that our various local law enforcement agencies work together to put people like Mr. Shimon behind bars.  I want to particularly commend Corporal (Patrick) Sublette of the Highway Patrol for all of his hard work on this case," Fox said in his press release.