Parkersburg man sentenced for child pornography

From staff reports

CHARLESTON — A Parkersburg man was sentenced Aug. 1 to more than eight years in federal prison on charges of child pornography and witness tampering.

Daniel Roy Mace, 37, was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for child pornography and witness tampering charges, United States Attorney Mike Stuart said.

Mace was convicted by a federal jury on 15 felony charges, which included 12 counts of receipt of child pornography between June 24 and Aug. 3, 2016; one count of distribution of child pornography; one count of possession of child pornography depicting prepubescent minors; and one count of witness tampering.

He will also be placed on supervised release for a term of 15 years following his release from prison and will be required to register as a sex offender.

On Aug. 1, 2016, officers with the West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began a proactive investigation into local distributors of child pornography, Stuart said. After identifying a potential target in the Parkersburg area, a detective downloaded eight videos of child pornography from a user in Parkersburg over a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, Stuart said.

On Aug. 4, 2016, a search warrant was executed at the residence from which the child pornography was being shared. Law enforcement discovered Mace’s laptop in his bedroom, actively downloading child pornography from the same file-sharing services where law enforcement had downloaded the eight videos of child pornography, Stuart said.

Upon examining Mace’s computer, law enforcement discovered over 80 videos of child pornography depicting prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Among the videos were all eight videos of child pornography that law enforcement had downloaded, Stuart said.

After he was arrested on a federal indictment charging him with numerous child pornography offenses, Mace attempted to persuade a witness to provide a false alibi for him during testimony before a federal grand jury in January, Stuart said. The jail calls between Mace and the witness were recorded.

State Police, the Parkersburg Police Department and the FBI Violent Crime Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. handed down the sentence. Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer Rada Herrald and Alex Hamner handled the prosecution.

The case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s 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 those who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims.