Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 10, 2014

2 indicted on federal child pornography charges

PRINCETON — Two Mercer County men who were already detained on home confinement awaiting trial on state child pornography charges have been indicted on federal charges stemming from the same alleged crimes.

Charles Edward Lawrence, 50, of Princeton, and Joshua Dwayne Poff, 19, of Bluefield, were each named in separate one-count indictments returned on Tuesday by a federal grand jury meeting in Beckley.

The indictment naming Lawrence alleges that on Oct. 10, 2013, the defendant knowingly possessed materials “that is, computer graphic image files, containing images and videos of child pornography ... that involved prepubescent minors and which had been shipped and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce by any means, including by computer,” according to the indictment.

Mercer County and state law enforcement officers with the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children, along with the deputies of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, investigated the case against Lawrence, according to a press release after the arrests were made.

The indictment naming Poff alleges that on Jan. 10, the defendant, “did knowingly possess material, that is, computer graphic image files, containing images and videos of child pornography ... that involved prepubescent minors and which had been shipped and transported in and effecting interstate and foreign commerce by any means including computer.”

The task force along with state and county officers also investigated the case against Poff. Detective Cpl. Steven A. Sommers of the WV ICAC task force and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department served as lead investigator in both the Lawrence and the Poff investigations.

Both men were served with summonses on the federal indictments. Sommers said that both are currently on home confinement on the state charges. Both of the indictments include forfeiture counts related to computer equipment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa G. Johnston represented the government in each of the two cases.

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