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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

February 9, 2012


Grand Jury Indicts Three Individuals

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA - Three individuals were named in three separate Indictments returned on February 7, 2012, by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Wheeling, West Virginia.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that:

CURTIS L. SMELLEY, age 39, of Wheeling, West Virginia, was named in a two-count Indictment. Count One charges SMELLEY with “Interstate Domestic Violence” and Count Two charges “Interstate Communication of a Threat.” If convicted, SMELLEY faces a maximum exposure of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count One and 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Two. This case will be prosecuted by Ihlenfeld and was investigated by the Wheeling Police Department.

CLYDE BATES, age 67, of Fairmont, West Virginia, was named in a one-count Indictment charging him with possession of child pornography in Fairmont on August 27, 2010. The Indictment also contains a Forfeiture Allegation wherein the United States seeks to forfeit an Apple MacBook notebook computer with hard drive and any items constituting or containing child erotica. If convicted, BATES faces a maximum exposure of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Perri and was investigated by the Fairmont Police Department. 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 PRESS RELEASE

TARVIS LEVITICUS DUNHAM, age 41, was named in a seven-count Indictment. Count One charges that on June 14, 2011, while an inmate at USP Hazelton, DUNHAM attempted to kill a case manager employed by USP Hazelton. Count Two charges DUNHAM with forcible physical contact with the case manager. Counts Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven charge DUNHAM with assaulting, resisting and impeding certain officers at USP Hazelton who were engaged in the performance of their official duties with such acts involving physical contact by DUNHAM. If convicted, DUNHAM faces a maximum exposure of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to Counts One, Two, Four and Five; and, 8 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to Counts Three, Six and Seven. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brandon S. Flower and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Investigative Services Unit at USP Hazelton.

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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