Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 14, 2013

Princeton fugitive nabbed by Florida Highway Patrol

PRINCETON — A former Princeton Senior High School counselor who went on the lam prior to being sentenced on federal child pornography and trafficking charges was arrested in Florida.

Sgt. M.D. Clemons, with the West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit, said Brett David Bowyer, 33, of Princeton was initially stopped for a traffic violation in Brevard County by Florida Highway Patrol Wednesday evening.

“The trooper happened to have a portable fingerprint scanner and ran him right there on the side of the road,” Clemons said. “He came back wanted.”

Bowyer pleaded guilty in October of 2011 to child pornography and trafficking charges. According to previous reports, Bowyer admitted that on Sept. 17, 2010, he knowingly possessed more than 600 images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

 Bowyer also admitted that he knew the images and videos constituted child pornography, and he acknowledged using Limewire, a peer-to-peer file sharing program, to download, receive and share child pornography.

Also, between June 8, 2010, and Aug. 11, 2010, Bowyer posted material involving the sexual exploitation of minors on a website for public viewing, according to a previous statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Bowyer faced up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the charges, however he failed to appear for a sentencing hearing in May 2012.

The television show “America’s Most Wanted” featured Bowyer on Sept. 14, 2012, and he was also included on the show’s website.

Clemons said Bowyer is currently facing state charges in Florida. After a disposition is reached in those cases, he will be extradited back to West Virginia by U.S. Marshals, she said.

Melvin Smith, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office, said it is likely that Bowyer will face additional federal charges for failing to appear for sentencing as required, although that has yet to be determined.

The West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crime Task Force conducted the investigation.

— Contact Perry at sperry@bdtonline.com

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