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Press Release

Charlotte Man Is Sentenced To 42 Years In Prison For Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Phillip Christopher Weise, 36, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 42 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for sexual exploitation of minors, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Weise was also ordered to register as a sex offender upon completion of his prison term.

Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, in December 2020, law enforcement received a cybertip that an individual, later identified as Weise, was using social media and messaging platforms to upload child pornography. In March 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Weise’s residence and seized multiple electronic devices including Weise’s cell phone. A review of the devices revealed that Weise, posing as a minor, met minors on social media platforms such as Kik, Snapchat, Discord, and JusTalk. Weise befriended the minors and sent them child pornography. Weise also persuaded the minors to send him sexually explicit images and videos, and he sometimes directed them to involve their younger siblings and animals in the videos. On occasion, Weise extorted minors to continue to send him sexually explicit videos by threatening to post their sexually explicit videos online if the minors did not comply with his request for additional videos. Court records show that Weise targeted minors between the ages of four and 12, and he shared the sexually explicit videos with other offenders.  Law enforcement officials identified more than six of Weise’s victims.

When sentencing Weise to the statutory maximum term of 42 years, U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney noted that Weise’s crimes will have a life-long effect on his victims.

On March 9, 2023, Weise pleaded guilty to production of child pornography, extortion, and transfer of obscene matter to minors. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

U.S. Attorney King commended the FBI and CMPD for their work in the investigation. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimlani Ford of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte and Trial Attorney Gwendelynn Bills of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted 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 U.S. 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


Updated June 26, 2024

Project Safe Childhood