SQUIRE, W. Va. - Stacey Wright-Farmer of Squire, W.Va., was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum statutory term of 20 years in prison for involving a minor under her care in child pornography. The 33-year-old woman was the focus of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Farmer previously pleaded guilty in June 2010, admitting that from February through May 2009, she produced images of a minor in her care engaging in sexually explicit conduct at her home in McDowell County. Farmer was also sentenced to life on supervised released and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $982.53 to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
"No crime touches us more deeply in the law enforcement community than the abuse of an innocent child by those he or she trusts the most," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "While we cannot give back the innocence to the child who was exploited, we can make sure that the child is now safe and that justice is served."
In addition to producing images of child pornography, Farmer knowingly stored numerous images on a personal computer depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. She also distributed explicit photos to Charles Neyhart, 34, of Chugiak, Alaska, using her computer. In November 2010, Neyhart was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the child pornography ring and for child pornography production.
Also, in November 2010, Richard Schweich, 40, of San Jose, Calif., was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his participation in the conspiracy and for producing child pornography. Each defendant was sentenced to lifetime supervised release following their respective prison terms.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.