Northport Man Sentenced for Possessing Child Pornography
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Wesley A. Roberts, 64, formerly of Northport, Nebraska, was sentenced today in Lincoln, Nebraska, to 2 years in prison by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard, for possession of child pornography. After release from prison, Roberts will also serve a term of 5 years on supervised release and be required to register as a sex offender.
Roberts came to the attention of the Nebraska State Patrol based on an investigation initially conducted by the Durango Police Department in Colorado. On December 18, 2013, an officer of the Durango Police Department received a cell phone from a concerned citizen who had stated she had been receiving harassing text messages on her phone. She indicated that the text messages contained possible child pornography and the police department took the phone with the citizen's permission. The phone was reviewed by law enforcement officers of the Durango Police Department and it was determined that text messages had been sent with attachments containing child pornography.
Based on this information, an undercover operation was devised by the Durango Police Department in order to see if the individual sending the text messages and child pornography would continue to send them to an undercover officer, which he did.
In January of 2014, Roberts was contacted by investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol. During an interview with investigators, Roberts stated that when he received pictures of child pornography, he would send those images to other individuals to look at. Roberts allowed an investigator to look at his phone and two different text messages that contained images of child pornography were located.
In all, investigators found 66 images of child pornography on the phone.
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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case was investigated by the Nebraska State Patrol.