Oakdale Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
FRESNO, CA—Timothy Brian Werlhof, 24, of Oakdale, pleaded guilty today to possession of material involving the sexual exploitation of prepubescent minors, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Werlhof knowingly possessed pictures of children under the age of 12 involved in sexually explicit conduct. He possessed over 600 images, some of which were of vulnerable victims and sadomasochistic conduct. In addition to possessing the images, Werlhof made them available to others over the Internet.
The investigation in this case began when a MicroSD card was found in a parking lot in Oakdale and dropped off at the Oakdale Police Department. The card was found to contain child pornography. The police departments of Oakdale and Ceres determined that Werlhof was the owner by matching “selfies” contained on the card with a photograph of Werlhof on file with the Oakdale Police Department.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oakdale Police Department, and the Ceres Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. S. Richards is prosecuting the case.
Werlhof has been in custody since May 22, 2014. He is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on January 5, 2015. Werlhof faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.