The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control announce the arrest of Ross S. Steele, 57, of Platte City, Missouri, for promoting child pornography on Thursday, July 25, 2019. The arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Division of Drug and Crime Control’s Digital Forensics Investigative Unit. The Platte County Sheriff’s Office and the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force assisted in the investigation.
On Thursday, investigators executed a search warrant at Steele’s residence located on NW 134th Court in Platte City. As a result of their search, investigators seized child pornography and computer equipment. Steele was arrested and transported to the Platte County Jail. On Friday, July 26, 2019, the Platte County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office formally charged Steele with one count of promoting child pornography and three counts of possession of child pornography. Steele is currently being held without bond.
The Division of Drug and Crime Control encourages Internet users to promptly report to the Patrol or local law enforcement anyone who attempts to engage in unwanted, inappropriate, or sexualized communications with children. The Digital Forensics Investigative Unit is partially funded by the Missouri Department of Public Safety State Cyber Crime Grant and the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The above charges are mere accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of these charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.