BOY SCOUT DEN LEADER / KARATE INSTRUCTOR ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSE
No Indication of Any Child Molestation at This Time
FORT WORTH, Texas — Timothy J. Weirich, 41, of Arlington, Texas, was arrested late Thursday, November 17, 2011, on a federal child pornography charge outlined in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. He remains in federal custody.
According to the complaint, an undercover operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Beaumont, Texas, with assistance from the Houston, Texas Metro Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, identified an IP address linked to a computer at an Arlington, Texas, address that had used file-sharing software to download images and videos of child pornography.
Last week, ICE HSI agents visited that location and interviewed a witness at the residence who allowed agents to examine computers. A preliminary forensic examination conducted on one computer revealed the presence of child pornography.
After the discovery of child pornography, agents located Weirich at his place of employment. He stated that he was the only person responsible for the child pornography found by agents and that his interest in child pornography started out as a curiosity and then progressed into a compulsion he could not control. He also informed agents that he is currently a den leader for the Boy Scouts of America, as well as a karate instructor at his children’s karate class. While the investigation is ongoing, at this time ICE HSI notes that it is unaware of any child molestation.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If convicted of this offense, however, Weirich faces a maximum statutory sentence of not less than five or more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. The U.S. Attorney’s office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.
This matter 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 U.S. 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 matter is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex C. Lewis and Chris R. Wolfe.
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