West Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography
Charleston, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Thomas Owen Haynes II, 46, of Bluefield, West Virginia, pled guilty to one count of Distribution and Receipt of Child Pornography and one count of Possession of Child Pornography. The Receipt and Distribution count is punishable by a minimum five years imprisonment and a maximum of twenty years imprisonment. The Possession count is punishable by up to twenty years imprisonment.
Facts at Haynes’ guilty plea indicated that the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) sent a lead to the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). HSI used the ICAC lead to obtain a search warrant for Haynes’ home where they obtained evidence that Haynes’ had been using his cell phone to view, receive and distribute child pornography images and videos. Haynes’ plea was accepted by United States District Court Judge David C. Norton, who will sentence Haynes at a later date.
The conviction is the result of an investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Williams is prosecuting the case.
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 Attorney’s 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.