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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

 

October 14, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield Resident Arrested
on Child Pornography Charge

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — A 66 year old Springfield, West Virginia, resident was arrested on charges contained in an Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that DON WINDELL COATES was arrested late last week after being named in a one-count Indictment charging him with Possession of Child Pornography. The Indictment alleges that on May 22, 2007, in Hampshire County, COATES possessed computer hard drives containing approximately 200 images of child pornography that had been shipped in interstate commerce via a computer.

COATES was arraigned on the charge and was released on bond. His trial has been scheduled for November 16, 2010.

If convicted, COATES faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

This case is 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.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul T. Camilletti. It was investigated by the West Virginia State Police.

It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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