News and Press Releases

FAYETTE COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY POSSESSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va – Joseph Dwayne Valentine, 40, of Gauley Bridge, West Virginia, entered a plea of guilty yesterday to possession of child pornography.

The conviction stems from an investigation conducted by agents with the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In November 2007, agents seized computers and compact disks from Valentine's home in Gauley Bridge. A forensic analysis of the computers and disks revealed hundreds of images of child pornography. Special Agent Michael Fleener testified at the plea hearing that the records found in one of Valentine’s computers indicated that Valentine had purchased child pornography videos from a website being operated out of Riga, Latvia.

Valentine, who prior to his arrest worked as a correctional officer for the West Virginia Division of Corrections, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and restitution. Valentine will also have to register as a sex offender.

United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston set sentencing for September 22, 2010, and ordered that Valentine be supervised under electronic monitoring until that date. Assistant United States Attorney Larry R. Ellis is handling the prosecution.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about cases and related activities please visit www.justice.gov/usao/wvs and www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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