Casper Man Who Works At Trails Center Charged With Receiving Child Pornography
An interpreter at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center heard two charges of receipt of child pornography -- charges related to an ongoing investigation -- during his initial appearance in federal court on Monday.
Shawn Lee Wade appeared in U.S. District Court in Casper, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin conducted the hearing by teleconference from the federal court building in Cheyenne.
Wade answered nearly all of Rankin's questions with curt "yes" and "no" answers.
Conviction of each of the identical counts -- receiving child pornography by computer, internet and/or cell phone -- is punishable by five years to 20 years of imprisonment, five years to lifetime supervised probation upon release from custody, and financial penalties including paying up to $5,000 to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, Rankin said.
Wade remains in custody. The government has filed a motion to have him held in custody until his trial because he is a flight risk, a possible danger to the community, assurance he will appear in court, and the probability that he committed the crime of child exploitation.
The detention hearing and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Cheyenne.
Wade told Rankin he has stocks and other assets that could be liquidated to pay for his own attorney. He did not have one at his initial appearance.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Sprecher said she wants to move the case forward, and asked Rankin if he could appoint a public defender and ask Wade to reimburse the government.
Rankin agreed, saying "time is of the essence."
Rankin, Sprecher and Wade reviewed the criminal complaint filed Friday.
In outlining the charges, Rankin said Wade allegedly received child pornography in September 2015 and December 2017.
But the criminal complaint detailing the case is unavailable to the public so far.
Wyoming U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen filed, and Rankin approved, a motion to seal the complaint on Friday. "The investigation in this matter is ongoing and making the Complaint public could compromise investigative efforts to identify known and potential targets as well as other responsible for child pornography offenses."
Wade told the court that he has worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for four years. The BLM operates the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, 1501 N. Poplar St. Wade recently led a discussion at the NHTIC about Shoshone Chief Washakie.
The government regards child pornography as a crime of violence because it involves sometimes brutal assaults on very young children who cannot give consent to sexual activity.