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Press Release

Florida Man Faces 15-30 Years for Production, Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material After Exploiting Child He Met on Instagram

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine

BANGOR, Maine:  A Florida man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor today to one count of sexually exploiting a child and two counts of distributing child pornography.

According to court records, in August 2020, Wesley Deal, 42, began communicating with an 11-year-old child on Instagram. He sent multiple messages requesting sexually explicit images, and the victim responded by sending multiple sexually explicit photos and videos to Deal. Deal threatened to post the images on the internet if the victim did not provide him with additional images. He sent the victim screenshots of the images that child had previously sent to prove that he had the ability to carry out his threats.

Deal faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison for the sexual exploitation count and a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years for each of the distribution of child pornography counts. He also faces a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release on each count. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Homeland Security Investigations, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, the Bangor Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Florida investigated the case.

To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt or production of child pornography: Child sexual abuse material – "child pornography" – captures the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. These images document victims’ exploitation and abuse, and they suffer re-victimization every time the images are viewed. File a report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at or 1-800-843-5678. If you are in Maine and you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or abused, you can get help by calling the free, private 24-hour statewide sexual assault helpline at 1-800-871-7741.

Project Safe Childhood: 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 Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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, visit

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Andrew McCormack, Assistant United States Attorney (207-945-0373)

Updated April 7, 2023

Project Safe Childhood