Home Pittsburgh Press Releases 2009 McDowell County Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography

McDowell County Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography

U.S. Attorney’s Office August 05, 2009
  • Southern District of West Virginia (304) 345-2200

BECKLEY, WV—Gary Randall Gilbert, 52, of McDowell County, WV, pleaded guilty yesterday before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston to possession of child pornography.

The conviction stems from an investigation conducted by the West Virginia State Police, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Gilbert had been previously convicted in North Carolina of the crime of Indecent Liberties with a Minor for which he received a suspended sentence and was placed on five years probation. As a condition of his probation, Gilbert was prohibited from possessing a computer, accessing the internet or possessing any sexually explicit material. The investigation revealed that Gilbert searched for and downloaded images and videos of child pornography from the Internet using a computer located at his house in Warriormine, West Virginia.

After receiving information that Gilbert was in possession of child pornography, his probation officer conducted a surprise visit and found Gilbert’s computer and several CDs and DVDs which the probation officer confirmed contained child pornography. Gilbert downloaded many of the images and videos over the internet using a peer-to-peer file sharing program called Limewire. A forensic analysis of Gilbert’s computer revealed hundreds of images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including sexual intercourse. Many of the images and videos depict known children who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

As a result of his prior conviction and his guilty plea, Gilbert faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervision by the Court upon his release from prison. Gilbert is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7, 2009. Assistant United States Attorney Karen B. Schommer is handling the prosecution.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about cases and related activities please visit www.usdoj.gov/usao/wvs and www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Hard Time for Gun Crime

HUNTINGTON, WV—Allen Meador, II, 37, of Huntington, WV, pleaded guilty Monday before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In March 2008, officers executing a Federal search warrant found firearms, drugs, cash, and other items used in drug trafficking. According to court documents, authorities seized the following items from Meador’s residence: a loaded Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver; a loaded Rohm .22 caliber revolver; a loaded Regent .22 caliber revolver with an obliterated serial number; approximately $4,800 in cash; approximately 2,651.83 grams of marijuana; approximately 224.44 grams of cocaine; 186 Hydrocodone pills; two sets of scales; and two drug ledgers. Meador admitted he possessed the drugs with intent to distribute them. Meador further admitted he possessed the firearms to protect his drugs and money. The Huntington Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, West Virginia State Police and Cabell County Sheriff's Department jointly conducted the investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston.