two indicted on child porn Charges
Cori Merklinger, 24, of Reading, PA, and Ambur Ham, 20, of Parkesburg, PA, were charged today by Indictmentwith one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography, and three counts of production of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Merklinger was additionally charged with one count of distribution of child pornography.
If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison with a maximum sentence of 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million, a mandatory minimum period of five years up to lifetime period of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment for each count. Merklinger also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years for the distribution count, plus an additional $100 special assessment.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Berks County Detectives and the Chester County Detectives, with assistance from the Berks County District Attorney’s Office and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle L. Morgan.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525