News and Press Releases

project Safe childhood

stanberry man pleads guilty to child porn,
faces at least 15 years in prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Stanberry, Mo., man who produced child pornography and possessed more than a thousand images of child pornography pleaded guilty in federal court today.

Jeffrey Dale Wiederholt, 34, of Stanberry, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to one count of attempting to produce child pornography, one count of transporting child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography.

In August 2010, federal agents learned that Wiederholt was actively trading child pornography with a number of individuals. Wiederholt was caught trading child pornography with another person who was the target of an investigation conducted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigation.

Upon a review of Wiederholt’s email account and personal cell phone, as well as his postings on the Russian image-hosting Web site that caters to traders of child pornography, it was apparent that he had produced images of child pornography.  Multiple emails, message board postings, and Wiederholt’s own confession confirmed that Wiederholt used a minor to produce child pornography on Dec. 29, 2010. Wiederholt saved an image of the minor, who was less than 12 years old, on his personal cell phone. Wiederholt communicated to multiple individuals, as well as in his confession, that he was sexually abusing this minor. Wiederholt subsequently distributed this image and others via email and on an image-hosting service.

A forensic examination of Wiederholt’s laptop computer demonstrated that he was in possession of at least 1,238 images and 33 video files of child pornography.  Wiederholt’s email account demonstrated that he had distributed and received dozens of emails containing numerous images and videos of child pornography.  Some of these images depicted acts of a sadistic and masochistic nature.

Under federal statutes, Wiederholt is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole for attempting to produce child pornography and a mandatory sentence of five years in federal prison without parole on each of the other two counts, up to a maximum sentence of 70 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Wiederholt must forfeit to the government a laptop computer, a Blackberry cell phone and a digital camera, all of which were used to commit the offenses.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Justice – Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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