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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Humboldt County Juvenile Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Keith Monroe Wallace pleaded guilty today to possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Tatum King.

Until he was arrested, Wallace, 53, of Eureka, Calif., was employed by the Humboldt County Juvenile Probation Office as a Supervising Juvenile Corrections Officer in the Northern California Regional Facility in Eureka.  In connection with his guilty plea, Wallace admitted he knowingly possessed 600 or more visual depictions of prepubescent minors or minors who had not attained 12 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  The images included depictions of sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

According to court documents, federal law enforcement agents with HSI were led to Wallace as a result of an investigation into the sexual exploitation of children in the Northern District of California.  On February 26, 2015, a federal search warrant was executed at Wallace’s residence in Eureka, California.  HSI agents and Humboldt County District Attorney Investigators seized various computers and digital media storage devices pursuant to the search warrant.  A forensic review of the computers and digital media storage devices seized from Wallace’s residence revealed the existence of videos and images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  Wallace was taken into federal custody at the time of the execution of the search warrant.

Wallace was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 10, 2015, with one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2).  Under the plea agreement, Wallace pleaded guilty to that count.

Wallace is currently being held in custody.  His sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 9, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge, in San Francisco.  The maximum statutory penalty for one count of possession of child pornography in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2), is 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and restitution to the victims.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Claudia A. Quiroz is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Marina Ponomarchuk.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the HSI Child Exploitation Investigations Group, as well as investigators from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.

If members of the public have any information relevant to this investigation or regarding online child sexual exploitation crimes they are encouraged to call the ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 (1-866-DHS-2ICE).

Updated June 24, 2015