News and Press Releases

Erie Man Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2011

ERIE, Pa. ‑ A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Justin Winkelman, 21, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Winkelman possessed computer images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Launched in February 2006, Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Judge McLaughlin scheduled sentencing for June 6, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Winkelman.

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