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Press Release

Kanawha County Man Sentenced to 151 Months in Federal Prison for Distributing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County man was sentenced today to 151 months in federal prison for distributing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Christopher Chad Winnell, 36, of Marmet, will serve a term of 25 years on federal supervised release following his release from prison and will also be required to register as a sex offender. Winnell previously entered a guilty plea to two counts of distribution of child pornography.  Stuart praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations, the West Virginia State Police, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

“These crimes are horrific,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Winnell’s exploitation of children, including infants, is deplorable.  We can all rest easier knowing that this guy has been removed from our community and will be spending a good number of years behind bars.”

Winnell admitted that on December 20, 2014, he engaged in an email conversation from his residence discussing the exchange of child pornography. Winnell further admitted that the email discussion resulted in the exchange of child pornography images involving infants. Winnell also admitted that on November 7, 2015, he used a messaging service to share an image of child pornography involving an infant with multiple individuals. The investigation determined that the image was received by at least one individual in Canada. The investigation further revealed that Winnell possessed hundreds of images and videos of child pornography stored in an online account.

Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald was in charge of the prosecution. The sentencing hearing was held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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Updated April 24, 2018

Project Safe Childhood