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McCook Man Sentenced to 31 Years for Production of Child Pornography

Department of Justice

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Jeron Messersmith, 29, formerly of McCook, Nebraska, was sentenced on February 7, 2024, in federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska, for attempted production of child pornography and production of child pornography. Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Messersmith to 372 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After Messersmith’s release from prison, he will begin a 20-year term of supervised release. Additionally, Messersmith was ordered to pay $9,000 in restitution.

In February of 2021, Messersmith’s cellphone was downloaded and reviewed as part of a child sex assault investigation. While reviewing the phone, law enforcement discovered child pornography. Law enforcement additionally found numerous text messages and social media conversations between Messersmith and several minor females. In the conversations, Messersmith often requested sexually explicit files from each minor and engaged in romantic and sexual conversations. Photos or videos of each of the minor victims were located on Messersmith’s phone. Pursuant to some of the messages, Messersmith had attempted to travel to another state to engage in sexual relations with one of the minor females.

This case was investigated by the McCook Police Department and brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit