Boyle County Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Production of Child Pornography and Distribution of Methamphetamine

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Richard Eugene Derringer, 47, previously of Junction City, Kentucky, was sentenced to life in federal prison, on Wednesday, before Chief United States District Judge Danny C. Reeves, for the production of child pornography and distribution of methamphetamine. 

In August 2019, Derringer was convicted by a jury of using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing child pornography; conspiracy to use a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing child pornography; possession of child pornography; and distribution of methamphetamine. Derringer was acquitted of one count of attempted distribution of child pornography.

According to the evidence at trial, Jacquolyn Walls-Land, who previously pleaded guilty to one count of using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography, took videos of the minor female victim while Derringer sexually abused the victim.  The sexual abuse, and recording of it, occurred on March 11, 2018. The evidence established that Derringer forced the minor victim to smoke methamphetamine with him, on multiple occasions, during an approximate 3-hour period while the sexual abuse occurred. Derringer even took hits of the methamphetamine himself and then exhaled into the minor victim’s mouth. The minor victim reported the sexual abuse and forced drug use to her mother, approximately 8 hours after the abuse ended, and the minor victim was taken to a local hospital, where she tested positive for methamphetamine. 

Derringer’s co-defendant, Jacquolyn Walls-Land, will be sentenced on December 16, 2019.  She faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison, and up to 30 years, and a maximum fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.

“The production of child pornography is one of the most despicable crimes that law enforcement investigates and our Office prosecutes,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “The facts of this case are particularly egregious and the defendant’s abuse of the victim certainly warrants the life sentence he received. It should present a clear message that we are committed to holding accountable those who commit acts of abuse and who manufacture child pornography. Because the victim showed remarkable bravery in reporting the crime, law enforcement was able to prevent the defendant from preying on others.”

United States Attorney Duncan; James Robert Brown, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Richard Sanders, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the sentence. 

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and Kentucky State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Marye and Mary Melton represented the United States. 

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