Two Men Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Child Pornography Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 19, 2010|
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that United States District Judge Garland E. Burrell sentenced two men to 20-year prison terms today as follows:
David Wehde—Docket #: No. Cr.S-07-491-GEB
David Wehde, 24, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty on August 18, 2010, to using a minor to produce images of child pornography and for receiving visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct via the Internet. Today he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and a life term of supervised release upon his release from custody. He will also have to register as a sex offender and adhere to numerous other conditions of release.
Wehde came to the attention of law enforcement when a minor female from the Natomas area reported Wehde had contacted her via an Internet site called “espinthebottle.com,” and that they had sexual relations. At the time the girl was 13 years old, and Wehde was 21 years old. During the examination of Wehde's computer, a forensic analyst found images and videos of child pornography along with Internet chats between Wehde, the 13-year-old girl, and a second 13-year-old girl from El Dorado County. In the chats between Wehde and the El Dorado County girl, the two discussed sex acts they had engaged in. The forensic analyst also found sexually explicit and provocative images Wehde had taken of this girl using his cell phone camera and evidence that he had sent one of the sexually provocative images to another person he communicated with via the Internet.
This case was the product of an extensive investigation by officers and detectives from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Laurel D. White prosecuted the case.
Russell Johnson—Docket #: 2:07-cr-491-GEB
Russell Johnson, 46, of Tracy, pleaded guilty on July 16, 2010 to possessing child pornography. On October 13, 2009, FBI, local, and state law enforcement officers conducted searches in the residences of registered sex offenders in a number of counties, including San Joaquin. Agents contacted Johnson and seized electronic media, including a laptop computer, central processing unit towers, external drives, and other computer components. In addition, law enforcement seized a thumb drive and three compact discs that had been tossed out of the window of the motel room where Johnson was staying when law enforcement knocked and announced themselves at the door. A subsequent forensic analysis of the computer revealed approximately 1,960 image files and 28 video of child pornography.
Johnson has two prior state convictions for lewd acts upon a child under 14.
This case is the product of a joint investigation involving multiple agencies in support of the FBI's Innocent Images National Initiative. Assistant United States Attorneys Ellen Endrizzi and Michelle Prince prosecuted the case.
Both cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC mobilizes federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.