|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON|
|THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2010||PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER|
|http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe||CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902|
CLEVELAND, TEXAS MAN GUILTY OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
BEAUMONT, Texas – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 22-year-old Cleveland, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
JORDAN SCOTT WHEELER pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with possession of child pornography today before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone. Wheeler was immediately remanded into custody to await sentencing.
According to information presented in court, on Aug. 18, 2009, Wheeler pawned his laptop computer at a Cleveland, Texas pawn shop. After defaulting on the loan, a pawn shop employee was preparing the laptop computer for resale and discovered images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The pawn shop contacted the police, who examined the laptop computer and determined there were at least 611 images of child pornography. A search warrant was issued for Wheeler's residence resulting in the discovery of a second laptop computer which contained over 1,000 images of child pornography, some of which depicted children under the age of 12 involved in sexually explicit conduct.
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.
Wheeler faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the US Secret Service and the Cleveland Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.
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