Wirt man sentenced to 12 years in federal prison

CHARLESTON — A Wirt County man was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison Tuesday for child pornography and a firearms offense, United States Attorney Mike Stuart said.

Dusten Shawn Cottrell, 40, of Palestine previously pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and being a prohibited person in possession of firearms.

Cottrell admitted that on Dec. 7 he possessed images and videos of prepubescent minors engaged in sex acts, officials said. The investigation revealed that Cottrell was using a cell phone application, Kik, to access, download and distribute child pornography, Stuart said.

Cottrell further admitted to possessing more than 600 images and videos of minors engaged in sex acts and that some of those images involved sadistic conduct.

Cottrell also admitted that on Dec. 7 he was in possession of at least two firearms. Cottrell was not permitted to possess these firearms based upon a 1999 conviction in Jackson County for first degree sexual abuse of a minor, Stuart said.

He also was prohibited from possessing the firearms based upon his admitted weekly use of methamphetamine, Stuart said.

Upon his release from prison, Cottrell will be required to serve a term of supervised release of 20 years and to register as a sex offender, Stuart said.

Stuart commended the investigation by the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Parkersburg Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

First Assistant United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston and Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald handled the prosecution. United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver imposed the sentence.

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