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Press Release

Monroe Resident Sentenced To 18 Years In Prison For Transporting Child Pornography

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. sentenced Gerald Lynn Weir, Jr., 45, of Monroe, N.C., to 216 months in prison on transportation of child pornography charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Weir was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making today’s announcement by Nick Annan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas and Sheriff Eddie Cathey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

According to filed documents and statements made in court, on or about November 29 2013, law enforcement became aware that an individual, later identified as Weir, was using an e-mail address to send and receive child pornography.  In December 2013, law enforcement executed a federal search warrant for Weir’s email account.  A review of Weir’s email account revealed at least 66 emails related to child exploitation, including 42 videos and 136 images of children being sexually abused.  Weir pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography in October 2015.

Weir has been in federal custody since June 2015, and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.  Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The investigation was handled by HSI assisted by the Union County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Cortney S. Randall of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children.  By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated March 16, 2016