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William J. Ihlenfeld, II

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist


February 3, 2014

Utah Sex Offender Convicted
of Failure to Register

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A sex offender from Utah who moved to West Virginia last year and failed to register has been convicted in federal court.

JONAH L. BEGAY, age 38, of Wheeling, West Virginia, appeared before Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr., and entered a plea of guilty to "Failure to Register and Update Registration as a Sex Offender." According to U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, BEGAY was previously convicted in Utah District Court of “Attempted Sexual Abuse of a Child” and as a result is required to register as a sex offender under both state and federal law. His conviction in Utah involved a 10 year old victim.

On November 11, 2013, police officers were advised that an individual later identified as Mr. BEGAY was being aggressive and appeared to be intoxicated in an area near Bridge Street Middle School. Officers responded and arrested BEGAY and then learned that he had moved to Wheeling in June, and in October began working at the McDonald’s restaurant in the Elm Grove section of Wheeling. At no point did BEGAY update his registration with the State of Utah nor did he register in the State of West Virginia. BEGAY, who is in presently in custody, faces up to 10 years in prison.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen L. Vogrin and was
investigated by the Wheeling Police Department, the United States Marshals Service and the West Virginia State Police.

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