News and Press Releases

Federal Jury Convicts Area Resident of Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

June 22, 2011

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – After less than five minutes of deliberations, a Brownsville jury has convicted a 55-year-old Los Fresnos, Texas, resident of distributing and possessing child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Mark William Woerner, 55, formerly of Las Vegas, Nev., and a current resident of Los Fresnos, was convicted of two counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of distributing images containing visual depictions of children engaged In sexually explicit acts late Tuesday, June 21, 2011, after one and and one-half days of trial testimony in U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle’s court.

The jury heard testimony that the investigation leading to the charges against Woerner was initiated after files containing child pornography were downloaded using a peer to peer file sharing network during undercover operations in Rochester, N.Y., and Wheaton, Ill. The FBI in Rochester and the Wheaton Illinois Police Department determined that Woerner, residing in Los Fresnos, was the peer to peer file sharing profile user. The FBI conducted further investigation and learned that Woerner also possessed a Yahoo! e-mail address from which he sent more than 90 videos and 1300 images containing child pornography between January 2010 and July 2010.

Woerner faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and up to 20 years on each of the distribution of child pornography convictions and up to 10 years on each of the possession of child pornography convictions. Woerner also faces a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of conviction. Judge Tagle has set sentencing for Sept. 19, 2011.

Woerner has been in custody since his July 2010 arrest and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie Wirsing and V. LaTawn Warsaw are prosecuting the case.

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