FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
For Information Contact:
West Virginia Man Pleads Guilty
To Distribution of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON - Lonnie Newhouse, 46, of Beckley, West Virginia, has pled guilty to a charge of distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Newhouse appeared on May 4, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and entered the guilty plea before the Honorable Beryl A. Howell. He faces a mandatory-minimum sentence of five years of imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years of imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for July 13, 2012.
According to a factual proffer of evidence presented during the court proceeding, on September 6, 2011, an MPD member of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, who was operating undercover and posing as a pedophile as part of the investigation, communicated with Newhouse by instant messenger and telephone. During the course of the communications over the next several weeks, Newhouse sent the undercover officer 11 images and one video of child pornography. Newhouse was arrested on Oct. 13, 2011.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD, with assistance from other law enforcement agencies.
Project Safe Childhood is 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. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director McJunkin, and Chief Lanier commended the work of all who participated in the investigation. They especially acknowledged the efforts of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the work of Criminal Investigator John Marsh of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Finally, they commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Marcus-Kurn, who is prosecuting this case.