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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Luzerne County Man Charged With Receiving And Distributing Child Pornography

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a Pittston man was indicted on April 28, 2015, by a federal grand jury for receiving and distributing child pornography.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury alleges that Steven Wolfe, age 25, used a computer and other electronic devices to download and distribute images of child pornography during November 2013 through February 4, 2015. Wolfe is currently in Luzerne County Prison and will be appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick on Friday, May 8, 2015.

The charge stems from an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, and Pittston Police.

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.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit  www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Updated May 11, 2015