05/23/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/23/2019 18:40
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Justin Wheeler, 27, of West Seneca, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor by a person having a prior conviction for aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, or abusive sexual conduct involving a minor. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Murray, who is handling the case, stated that on October 31, 2017, New York State Parole conducted a search of the defendant's bedroom pursuant to Wheeler's New York State court ordered search conditions. The defendant was on parole for a 2013 conviction for attempted rape in the first degree, a conviction which stemmed from his sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl. During the search, parole officers seized a Samsung cellular telephone from the defendant's bedroom. A search warrant was executed on the phone, which was found to contain 90 images and 269 videos of child pornography. Some of the images and videos included prepubescent minors and depictions of violence.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 1, 2019, before Judge Vilardo.
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