Berlin Man Charged With Producing Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted David Edward Weatherholtz, age 55, of Berlin, Maryland, on charges of producing and possessing child pornography, and attempting to entice minors to engage in sex. The indictment was returned on March 24, 2015 and unsealed today upon his arrest.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Worcester County Sheriff Reggie T. Mason, Sr. and Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby.
According to the six count indictment, from 2008 to 2012, Weatherholtz coerced a minor to engage in sex to produce images of child pornography. On December 16, 2014, Weatherholtz is alleged to have possessed a computer hard drive and a laptop containing child pornography.
The indictment further alleges that from December 3 to 16, 2014, Weatherholtz used electronic mail and text messaging to attempt to coerce minors to engage in sex.
Weatherholtz faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release for each of three counts of producing child pornography; life in prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, for attempted enticement; and 10 years in prison on each of two counts for possession of child pornography. An initial appearance was held this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Weatherholtz was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for April 3, 2015 at 11:30 a.m.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the HSI Baltimore, Maryland State Police, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Worcester County State’s Office’s Office and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ayn B. Ducao, who is prosecuting the case.