North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges of Production and Possession of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON—David Wendell Pilcher, 50, of Granite Falls, N.C., pled guilty today to production and possession of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr., Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Pilcher entered the plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Gladys Kessler is to sentence him on July 8, 2015. Pilcher faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
According to the government’s evidence, on or about Feb. 18, 2014, Pilcher contacted an undercover officer with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, who had posted an ad on a social network site. Pilcher engaged in text message conversations with the undercover officer, whom Pilcher believed was the father of an under-aged girl. Pilcher and the undercover officer arranged to meet at a hotel room for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the child.
During the course of their conversation on Feb. 18, 2014, Pilcher sent the undercover officer two pornographic images of an under-aged child that Pilcher had produced using a cellular telephone. Based on a search of electronic items seized from Pilcher subsequent to his arrest, law enforcement recovered approximately 50 videos and 300 still images of child pornography.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s 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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In announcing the guilty plea, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen, Assistant Director in Charge McCabe, and Chief Lanier praised the work of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord, who is prosecuting the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Randall of the Western District of North Carolina, who assisted in the investigation.