RICHMOND, Va. – Zebulon Resolve Wendt, 34, of Chesterfield County, pleaded guilty today to producing child pornography of a local juvenile whom he had babysat and sexually abused and exploited on numerous occasions.
According to court documents, Canadian law enforcement detected Wendt after he uploaded several images of a juvenile female engaged in sexually explicit conduct from his Chesterfield residence to an Internet website. Federal agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), subsequently executed a search warrant at Wendt’s residence where they recovered several computers, external hard drives, and other computer equipment. A subsequent forensic examination of the seized items revealed thousands of images and videos of a juvenile female engaged in sexually explicit conduct that Wendt himself had taken with a digital camera and saved onto his computer equipment. Evidence showed that he then distributed these images and videos to other individuals over the Internet.
Wendt was charged by superseding indictment on July 7, 2015. Wendt faces mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison when sentenced on January 14, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne. Upon release from prison, Wendt will be required to register as a sex offender in any U.S. jurisdiction in which he lives, works, or attends school. 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; Mark Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; and Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Roderick C. Young. Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stacey E. Rohrs and Samuel E. Fishel of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office are 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. 3:15cr095.