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Man on parole for sex conviction admits child porn charge

Justin Wheeler, 27, of West Seneca, already on parole for an attempted rape conviction, admitted possessing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

Wheeler 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.

On Oct. 31, 2017, New York State Parole searched Wheeler's bedroom, according to Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Murray. Wheeler was on parole for a 2013 attempted rape conviction, stemming from his sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl.

During the search, parole officers seized a cellphone. 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.

Wheeler will be sentenced Oct. 1.

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