Oakland Man Pleads Guilty to Using a Cell Phone to Entice a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity

July 29, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - Michael Westley Dever, age 37, of Oakland, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to using a cell phone to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to the plea agreement, beginning in August 2008 and continuing until October 16, 2008, Dever engaged in sexually explicit text message conversations with a minor female relative. Dever admitted that on one occasion he also enticed the girl to take off her clothes so that he could photograph her in sexually provocative poses. In addition, Dever sent the girl photographs of himself, including a picture of his erect penis.

Dever faces a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison, followed by supervised release up to life. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for September 28, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.

This case was 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 United States 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 via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Details about Maryland’s program are available at

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch and her office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bonnie S. Greenberg, who is prosecuting the case.



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