David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Stanberry man who produced child pornography and possessed more than a thousand images of child pornography pleaded guilty in federal court.
Thirty-four year old Jeffrey Dale Wiederholt of Stanberry pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to one count of attempting to produce child pornography, one count of transporting child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography.
In August 2010, federal agents learned that Wiederholt was actively trading child pornography with a number of individuals. Wiederholt was caught trading child pornography with another person who was the target of an investigation conducted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigation.
Upon a review of Wiederholt’s e-mail account and personal cell phone, as well as his postings on the Russian image-hosting web site that caters to traders of child pornography, it was apparent that he had produced images of child pornography. Multiple e-mails, message board postings, and Wiederholt’s own confession confirmed that Wiederholt used a minor to produce child pornography on December 29, 2010.
Wiederholt saved an image of the minor, who was less than 12 years old, on his personal cell phone, and he communicated to multiple individuals, as well as in his confession, that he was sexually abusing this minor. Wiederholt subsequently distributed this image and others via email and on an image-hosting service.
A forensic examination of Wiederholt’s lap-top computer demonstrated that he was in possession of at least 1,238 images and 33 video files of child pornography. Wiederholt’s e-mail account demonstrated that he had distributed and received dozens of emails containing numerous images and videos of child pornography. Some of these images depicted acts of a sadistic and masochistic nature.
Under federal statutes, Wiederholt is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole for attempting to produce child pornography and a mandatory sentence of five years in federal prison without parole on each of the other two counts, up to a maximum sentence of 70 years in federal prison without parole.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
Wiederholt must forfeit to the government a lap-top computer, a Blackberry cell phone and a digital camera, all of which were used to commit the offenses.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Justice – Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.