An Evansville man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for the production and distribution of sexually explicit material involving minors.
According to court documents, in February 2018, an individual contacted the Evansville Police Department to report that she had been contacted by an unknown female stating she had received inappropriate messages from the individual’s social media accounts. The individual further discovered that someone was using her name and photographs to set up social media accounts to contact and communicate with underage girls to receive nude photographs. That person was named Wesley Trafford, who she did not know or give permission to do so.
After further investigation, agents executed a search warrant at the residence of Wesley E. Trafford, 35, Evansville. Evidence was collected and sent to the Indiana State Police for examination. The forensic examination of the evidence found that Trafford took images from social media accounts belonging to other people to create fake accounts. He would then use the fake accounts to obtain nude images of minor victims and distribute those nude images of minors to others. Trafford had previously been convicted of child exploitation in September 2014 in Vanderburgh County and was a registered sex offender at the time he committed these federal offenses.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. The Indiana State Police and the Evansville Police Department also provided invaluable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young. As part of the sentence, Judge Young also imposed five years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Shellenbarger who prosecuted this case.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.justice.gov/psc