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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Jan. 9, 2013                   

KANAWHA COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN FEDERAL COURT TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that a Kanawha County man pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of child pornography.  Tracey E. Cooper, 38, of Dawes, Kanawha County, W.Va., admitted that on December 21, 2011, he knowingly possessed on his computer more than 600 images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, that is actual or simulated sexual intercourse and the lascivious exhibition of the genitals and pubic area of the minors.  Cooper admitted that he knew the images and videos constituted child pornography.  The defendant also admitted that many of the images depicted prepubescent minors.  Cooper further admitted that at least one of the images portrays a prepubescent minor depicted in sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence. 

Cooper further admitted that he used the peer-to-peer file sharing programs, Shareaza and Aires, to download, receive and share child pornography.   

Cooper faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on March 28, 2013 by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation West Virginia Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation and the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Johnston is in charge of the prosecution. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/wvs/PSCpage.html.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and follow the link named “Resources.”

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