A sex offender who was previously convicted and served prison time in Texas was sentenced Tuesday in Missouri to the maximum punishment of 120 years in federal prison on child pornography charges.
Jeffrey Dean Shelton, 46, pleaded guilty in April in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau to felony counts of attempted production of child pornography, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography.
Shelton spent more than 20 years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting three children in Texas in the 1990s. He was released in February 2011, though it's unclear why he ended up in Missouri.
Shelton had been accused of sexually exploiting two southeast Missouri girls he abducted four days apart.
Prosecutors said Shelton abducted a 5-year-old girl in October 2012 from that family's home a mile from his Poplar Bluff one, then produced videos of her in sexual conduct.
Shelton was arrested later that day after he assaulted his girlfriend and restrained her with duct tape when she found him with the girl at his home before he fled with the child, ultimately calling police to turn himself in as he drove aimlessly on rural roads.
Authorities also said Shelton was found to have made other sexually explicit videos involving a 10-year-old girl, and in both cases he threatened the victims if they didn't comply with his demands.
As part of his plea deal, Shelton admitted having more than 200 images of child pornography on a laptop computer found in his vehicle after his arrest near a convenience store south of Poplar Bluff.
During his call to police setting up his surrender, a dispatcher asked to speak to the child.
"I don't know where my house is," the girl told the law enforcer in audio provided by police. "I want to go home."
After Shelton's arrest, the girl was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
State charges against Shelton were dropped last December after federal grand jurors indicted him on the child porn charges.