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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Registered Sex Offenders Sentenced for Possession of Child Pornography

GREENSBORO – A North Carolina man was sentenced today to 240 months in prison followed by a twenty-year term of supervised release, for possession of child pornography after a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to his arrest.

According to court documents, Kevin Richard Heidel, 38, who was a registered sex offender, was identified by investigators from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) after a NCMEC tip revealed that an Instagram user in Davidson County was suspected of uploading images of suspected child pornography to the platform in 2019. In December 2019, DCSO investigators executed a search warrant at Heidel’s residence where they located a cell phone that contained child pornography. Further investigation revealed child pornography on another phone belonging to Heidel that was located in the front yard of one of Heidel’s neighbors.

Heidel is the third registered sex offender to be sentenced this month. On September 22, 2022, Christopher Lea Kahele, 40, of Moore County, was sentenced to 240 months imprisonment followed by 25 years of supervised release, for possession of child pornography. That same day, a Randolph County man, Luis Armando Diaz-Otero, 33, was sentenced to 150 months imprisonment followed by 20 years of supervised release after a tip from NCMEC regarding a Google account led to his arrest and conviction for possession of child pornography.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI), the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Probation and Parole (NCDPS), and Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) assisted with the Heidel investigation. The Moore County Sheriff’s Office, the NCDPS, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted with the Kahele investigation. The Randolph County Sheriff', the NCSBI, and HSI assisted in the Diaz-Otero investigation. All three cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kennedy Gates.

The cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The initiative is led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and focuses on coordinating federal, state, and local resources to better identify and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Updated September 29, 2022