Northland Man Charged in Child Porn Ring

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PLATTE CITY, Mo. -- A Northland man has been charged for his role in an alleged child porn ring stretching from Kansas City to Denver and San Diego.

Raymond M. "Mike" Appling, 30, of Kansas City, Missouri, has been charged with promoting child pornography and invasion of privacy following an investigation that included FBI agents in Denver and San Diego and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.

According to court documents a Denver man was arrested last July and confessed to molesting one or more children and producing child pornography. During a search of that man's home, investigators discovered a series of pictures with two adult males and three pre-teen girls. Metadata connected the images to a particular Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera.

A later search of the man's residence uncovered an encrypted drive which had been hidden inside a mattress platform in the man's master bedroom. A folder contained on the encrypted drive named "Mike" contained 73 photographs and three videos of suspected child pornography.

On December 6, 2011, FBI agents in San Diego executed a search warrant at another man's house. Officers located a box with paperwork for the Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera tied to the images discovered in Denver. That man said he had given the camera to Appling in November 2011.

Officers with the Kansas City Police Department then served a search warrant on Appling's residence in the 200 block of North Garrison earlier this month. There, detectives recovered a Canon EOS Rebel T1i camera which detectives allegedly tied to the series of images found in Denver.

Investigators were later able to identify a nine-year-old girl known to Appling among the images found in the folder named "Mike."

Investigators also found text messages indicating that Appling, his wife, and the girl had met with the men from Denver and San Diego in June 2011.

Appling is charged with promoting child pornography and invasion of privacy in the first degree for allegedly manufacturing obscene material of a nude child in a shower. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison on the pornography charge and four years in prison for invasion of privacy. He is currently being held in the Platte County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 cash-only bond.

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