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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Chesapeake Fire Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Online Coercion and Enticement of Minors

NORFOLK, Va. – Thomas W. Almberg, 50, of Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty today to charges of coercing and enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Almberg, a lieutenant in the Chesapeake Fire Department, frequented several social media sites looking for teenage girls to chat with. In January, he met a 15-year-old boy pretending to be a 16-year-old girl on the interactive video game Clash of Clans, and the two began chatting and text messaging. Over the next two months, the two exchanged over 8,000 text messages and the conversations quickly grew to be sexually graphic. In April, Almberg met a 16-year-old girl on a different mobile chat application and their conversations quickly became sexual in nature, including the exchange of sexually explicit photographs. In May 2016, Almberg traveled to this victim’s workplace in North Carolina and propositioned her for sex. She declined, he left, and was taken into custody shortly thereafter.

Almberg was charged by criminal information on October 12, and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on January 24, 2017. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Col. K.L. Wright, Chesapeake Chief of Police; and Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.  Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Kathleen Dougherty is prosecuting the case.

 

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16cr136.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 18, 2016