News and Press Releases

DOJ Seal


William J. Ihlenfeld, II

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

November 3, 2011


Kearneysville Resident Enters Plea to
Possession of Child Pornography Charge


MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — A 40-year old Kearneysville, West Virginia, resident entered a plea of guilty this week in United States District Court in Martinsburg before Magistrate Judge David J. Joel.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM ODEN entered a plea of guilty one count of an Indictment charging him with Possession of Child Pornography on February 17, 2011, in Jefferson County, West Virginia. At the time of the offense, ODEN was a registered sex offender as the result of his 2010 conviction in Onslow County, North Carolina, for the criminal offense of Indecent Liberties with a Child. ODEN, who is in custody pending sentencing, faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The case against ODEN began in January 2011 when the West Virginia State Police’s Crimes Against Children Unit was contacted to investigate an allegation that ODEN, nearly 40-years old at the time, was involved in a relationship with a 17-year old female.

The State Police then teamed with the United States Marshals Service and obtained a search warrant for ODEN’s home in Jefferson County and seized his Hewlett Packard laptop computer. A forensic analysis of the seized computer revealed that ODEN possessed graphic video files of the female victim. The investigation also established that ODEN had provided graphic photos of himself to the female victim, and that he had first became involved with her when she was 16 years of age.

“The defendant in this matter obviously did not get the message when he was convicted in North Carolina for taking advantage of a child. This latest conviction should serve as a wake-up call to him that this type of behavior is not tolerated in West Virginia,” said USA Ihlenfeld. “I must commend the efforts of the State Police and the United States Marshal’s Service for solving this case and for taking another predator off the streets.”

“Sex offenders are not welcome in West Virginia and we work daily as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to rid West Virginia of on-line predators and we will continue to pursue these offenders through every means possible,” said Sgt. Chris Casto, Deputy Director of the West Virginia State Police’s Crimes Against Children Unit.

“The United States Marshals Service appreciates the work done by the United States Attorney’s Office regarding the prosecution of sex offenders. We will continue to work collaboratively with that office, and with the State Police, to ensure that all sex offenders are in compliance with the law,” said United States Marshal Gary Gaskins.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin K. Reisenweber.