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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 11, 2021

Merrimac Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Attempted Sex with a Minor

Acting United States Attorney Richard G. Frohling of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on June 11, 2021, Zachary C. Wood (age: 45) of Merrimac, Wisconsin, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison by Senior District Judge William C. Griesbach.

According to court documents, in September 2020, Wood utilized a popular online messaging application to distribute digital videos of explicit child pornography depicting infants and toddlers being abused. Wood also expressed a desire to engage in the sexual assault of children, and he made arrangements to travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to meet with a 14-year-old child.

On October 12, 2020, Wood travelled from his home in Merrimac to Oshkosh at which point he was promptly arrested. Unbeknownst to Wood, he distributed child pornography and communicated his desire to sexually assault children with a member of law enforcement. 

Wood’s indictment and subsequent conviction were part of Operation Kick Boxer, a collaborative effort involving the Milwaukee Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office. (https://go.usa.gov/xfPHh).   

In handing down the sentence, Judge Griesbach noted the serious nature of the charge, the need to protect the public, and the need to deter Wood and others from abusing or attempting to abuse children in the future.  Following his release from prison, Wood will spend five years on supervised release.  He will also have to register as a sexual offender.

This case was investigated by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Green Bay and Milwaukee offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

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 U.S. Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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.

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For further information contact:

Public Information Officer

Kenneth.Gales@usdoj.gov

(414) 297-1700

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Updated June 11, 2021