***The following was released today by the US Attorney's office in Boise regarding a case investigated by the Boise Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit:
Former Declo Man Sentenced for Possessing Sexually Explicit Images of Minors
BOISE – David Jay Wheeler, 70, formerly of Declo, Idaho, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Boise to 96 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for possession of sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Wheeler to pay $2,219.47 in restitution on behalf of a child victim and forfeit property used to commit the offense.
According to court documents, Wheeler is a former “hands-on” child molester whose sexual attraction to prepubescent females dates back decades. By his own admission, Wheeler used his computer to access online child pornography twice a week over the last ten years. Wheeler used sophisticated means to avoid detection, but investigators were able to locate him by using GPS technology, according to court documents.
A search warrant executed at Wheeler's home in Declo resulted in the seizure of a computer and computer storage media that contained sexually explicit images and videos of minors as young as four years of age. According to court records, Wheeler was sitting at his computer and was in the process of downloading child pornography videos at the time the investigators executed the search warrant.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reviewed the child pornography seized from Wheeler and reported that the material had been produced depicting child sexual abuse victims from Idaho, Washington, Montana, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Nevada, Hawaii, California, Illinois, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Austria, and Brazil.
The case was investigated by officers from the Boise Police Department, assisted by agents and investigators from the Idaho Attorney General's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Idaho State Police, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), all members of the ICAC Task Force.
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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.” For more information about registered sex offenders in Idaho, visit www.isp.idaho.gov/sor_id/.
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