BOY SCOUT DEN LEADER / KARATE INSTRUCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSE
FORT WORTH, Texas — Timothy J. Weirich, 41, of Arlington, Texas, pleaded guilty Wednesday, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton, to a superseding information charging one count of receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Weirich, who remains in custody, faces a statutory sentence of not less than five or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for August 27, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means.
According to the factual resume filed in the case, in September 2011, Weirich used the Internet and file-sharing software to download images and video files to his computer that depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The investigation began in October 2011 when special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Beaumont, Texas, and officers with the Houston, Texas, Metro Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, conducting an undercover investigation to identify individuals distributing child pornography, determined that Weirich had used a file-sharing program to download images and videos of child pornography onto his computer. When agents executed a search warrant at his residence on November 16, 2011, they found child pornography on Weirich’s computer.
According to the complaint filed in the case, Weirich advised agents 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 was a den leader for the Boy Scouts of America, as well as a karate instructor at his children’s karate class. The investigation has revealed no evidence of child molestation.
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
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris R. Wolfe is in charge of the prosecution.
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