Federal Employee Indicted for Receiving Child Pornography
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment today against Eric Worrell, 57, of Rancho Cordova, charging him with receipt of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, a thumb drive found in a hallway outside the offices of the federal Department of Transportation in Sacramento was turned over to investigators, who determined it belonged to Worrell. A forensic review of the thumb drive and Worrell’s work laptop found they contained hundreds of images of child erotica and child pornography.
This case is the product of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General. Special Assistant United States Attorney Josh F. Sigal is prosecuting the case.
Worrell has remained in custody since his arrest on March 19, 2015. If convicted, Worrell faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.