NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today the unsealed Indictment of STEVE C. MERGEY, age 51, of Houma, Louisiana, who was charged on Friday, March 19, 2021, in a two-count federal indictment for Production and Distribution of Child Pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2251(a) and (e) and 2252(a)(2) and (b)(1) respectively. If convicted, MERGEY faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years and a maximum sentence of thirty (30) years imprisonment, and/or a fine of $250,000.00, or the greater of twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to any person of the offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 3571. In addition, MERGEY faces a term of supervised release of no less than five (5) years and up to life after his release from prison.
U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Houma RAC and Pittsburg Office; Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office; Houma Police Department; Louisiana State Police, Criminal Investigative Division; and Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, NY with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit.