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Dojo Pizza owner facing child exploitation charges

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The owner of a south St. Louis pizza place was charged Thursday amid accusations of producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan said.

Loren Copp, owner of Dojo Pizza on Morganford, will appear in federal court Friday.

Prosecutors said investigators discovered child porn on digital media after a search of the building last year. If convicted, Copp faces 30 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Local police, FBI, Homeland Security, and animal control authorities raided the business in November 2015, carrying several items from the building. The month prior, St. Louis police responded to the same address in response to calls that Copp was contributing to the delinquency of a minor and endangering the welfare of a child. That case was turned over to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

At the time, Copp said he was not involved in human trafficking.

"I have not been charged with anything along those lines," he said.

Copp said he lived in the building with his own kids and was told he had to close his business down because the structure was not up to code. Meanwhile, he said the incident regarding child endangerment involved a firearm in his bedroom.

According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Copp has a past filled with lawsuits, bankruptcy, and allegations of fraud.