A federal grand jury indicted three men from Nebo for sexual exploitation of a child. The indictment was unsealed today when the last of the three men was arraigned in the Central District of Illinois federal court.
33 year old Anthony M. Westemeyer, 55 year old Michael J. Wallace, and 37 year old Bobby J. Warner all of Nebo were indicted for an incident that occurred in May where they allegedly caused a minor victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct, which was recorded and stored on a computer.
If convicted, the men face a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment, followed by a life term of supervised release. Each charge also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.
Wallace was arrested in Nebo on September 10th, and Warner was arrested in Pittsfield on September 13th. United States Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins ordered that both men be detained pending trial at a related hearing on September 16th. The U.S. Marshals Service lodged a detainer for Westemeyer, who is presently in the custody of the Pike County Sheriff. Judge Schanzle-Haskins also ordered that Westermeyer be detained pending trial at today’s hearing.
Agencies participating in the investigation include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; the Illinois Attorney General’s Office; the Pike County Sheriff’s Office; and the Pike County State’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Seberger and Tanner K. Jacobs are representing the government in the prosecution.
Anyone with information connected with this investigation is urged to call the Department of Homeland Security Investigations at (217) 547-2100.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.