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Press Release

Etna Man Distributed Child Pornography To Undercover FBI Agent

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

PITTSBURGH – An Etna resident pleaded guilty on July 3, 2014, in federal court to charges of distribution of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

David L. Roethlein, 26, pleaded guilty to one count before Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Roethlein, on June 1, 2012, distributed over a peer-to-peer network to an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Haven, Connecticut, working in an undercover capacity, videos and photographs in computer graphics files which depicted the sexual exploitation of prepubescent minor females.

Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for Oct. 17, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years nor more than twenty years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court detained Roethlein.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Roethlein.

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 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 July 14, 2015