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
March 8, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wheeling Resident Enters Guilty Pleas to
Child Pornography & Failure to Register As a Sex Offender
WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — A 62 year old Wheeling, West Virginia, resident entered guilty pleas on March 7, 2011, in United States District Court in Wheeling before Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.
United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that CHARLES WINLAND entered guilty pleas to a two-count Indictment charging him with one count of possession of child pornography on February 18, 2010, in Wheeling; and, one count of failure to register as a sex offender between February 19, 2010, and May 19, 2010, in the Northern District of West Virginia.
WINLAND’s crimes were discovered after the West Virginia State Police conducted an online undercover investigation and then executed a search warrant on the home where WINLAND was living in February of 2010. WINLAND fled the Wheeling area after the search took place but was located in Daytona, Florida, by the State Police and the United States Marshals Service. He was arrested in Florida and returned to West Virginia in May of 2010 where he has remained in custody pending the disposition of his case. WINLAND was previously convicted of First Degree Sexual Abuse in Harrison County, West Virginia, in 2006.
WINLAND, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces a minimum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment for possessing child pornography; and a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for failure to register.
The case was prosecuted by United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II and Assistant United States Attorney Randolph J. Bernard.
The case was investigated by the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is headed-up and organized by the West Virginia State Police; and the United States Marshal Service.
This case was brought 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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