OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist
November 10, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two Defendants Entered Guilty Pleas to
Child Pornography Charges
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — Two defendants entered guilty pleas on November 8 and 9, 2010, in United States District Court in Martinsburg before Magistrate Judge David J. Joel.
United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that:
DON WINDELL COATES, age 66, of Springfield, West Virginia, entered a plea of guilty to one count of an Indictment charging him with possession of child pornography. On May 22, 2007, a search warrant was executed at COATES’ home, and the West Virginia State Police seized four computers and an external hard drive. Three of the computers and the external hard drive contained 200 images of child pornography. COATES, who is currently free on bond pending sentencing, faces a minimum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
MARCUS EUGENE STALEY, age 40, of Martinsburg, entered a plea of guilty to one count of an Indictment charging him with possession of child pornography. On March 5, 2010, a search warrant was executed at STALEY’s home, and the West Virginia State Police seized a computer and related media. A forensic analysis of the seized items revealed 6,373 graphic images and 197 videos containing child pornography which had been moved in interstate commerce. STALEY, who is currently free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police.
The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul T. Camilletti.
These cases are being prosecuted 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, 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.
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