Mississippi Man Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Attempting to Transfer Obscene Material to a Minor
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DON EDWARD PANNELL, II (“PANNELL”), age 32, of Harvey, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 to Receipt of Child Pornography, announced United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser.
The case against Petty Officer 2nd Class DON EDWARD PANNELL, II developed because of an undercover child exploitation investigation conducted by special agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”). At the time of this investigation, PANNELL was a Petty Officer 2nd Class in the U.S. Navy assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic Detachment, New Orleans. On April 2, 2018, HSI special agents along with special agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation seized electronic evidence from PANNELL’s Harvey apartment and took PANNELL into custody. According to documents filed in federal court, HSI computer forensic examiners located over 1,000 images and 125 videos depicting the sexual victimization of children on the defendant’s homebuilt tower computer. The images and videos depicted pre-pubescent girls, including toddlers, engaged in sexual acts with adults.
PANNELL faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment up to twenty (20) years, followed by up to a life term of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine. In addition, PANNELL will be required to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.
U.S. District Judge Greg G. Guidry will sentence PANNELL on December 17, 2019.
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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and Supervisor of Financial Crimes Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.
* * *