UPDATE 1/18/23 — Rhoden is scheduled to have a criminal setting at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 14.
Original story, published on Jan. 10:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A man was arrested after law enforcement found thousands of images and videos of child pornography.
Craig Allen Rhoden, 55, of Springfield, was arrested and charged with three felonies: one count of first-degree promoting child pornography and two counts of possession of child pornography. Rhoden was arrested on Jan. 5 and placed in the Greene County Jail.
According to a report written by the Springfield Police Department, Rhoden was tracked down through online tips from Yahoo! Inc. about possible Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). Yahoo reported that 560 images or videos uploaded by a user named “Sam Sam” contained possible child pornography.
Multiple email accounts connected to the same person were found to be used in the delivery and acquisition of child pornography. The images depicted children of ages as young as days old. Law enforcement was able to tie those email accounts to Rhoden.
Further investigation found that Rhoden had a page on a Russian image-sharing website where he allegedly distributed child pornography to others. On the site were pictures of children at Walmart. Among Rhoden’s emails were paychecks from Walmart.
According to court documents, when police detained Rhoden and interviewed him, Rhoden admitted that the email accounts were his. He told officers that they would find thousands of pictures and videos of prepubescent children on his devices. He also told them while he was working at a Springfield Walmart, he was taking explicit photos of children and trading them online.
In all, Rhoden had been trading child pornography for over ten years, the investigation found.
Rhoden has not yet been scheduled for a court date. This article will be updated as more information is released.