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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 23, 2014

Mercer County Man Pleads Guilty To Possessing Child Pornography

Bluefield, W.Va. – A 50-year old Mercer County man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty today to possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.  Charles Edward Lawrence of Princeton, West Virginia, entered a guilty plea before Senior United States District Court Judge David A. Faber in Bluefield.

Following an undercover operation, law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant on Lawrence’s home on October 10, 2013.  Authorities seized videos from the home that depicted prepubescent minors having sex or performing sexual acts.  Lawrence maintained the child pornography on a USB flash drive.  Lawrence is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. in Bluefield.

The West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston is in charge of the prosecution.

This case is being brought as part of U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s ongoing initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Updated January 7, 2015