Registered Ponchatoula sex offender charged for possession of child sexual abuse material

Published 7:12 am Friday, April 1, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that JACOB WIEBELT (“WIEBELT”), age 39, of Ponchatoula, Louisiana,  was charged on March 28, 2022 in a one-count bill of information for Possession of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Children in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2252(a)(4)(B) and (B)(2). If convicted, WIEBELT faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten (10) years and a maximum sentence of up to twenty (20) years imprisonment, and/or a fine of up to $250,000.00, or the greater of twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to any person of the offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 3571. In addition, WIEBELT faces a term of supervised release of no less than five (5) years and up to life after his release from prison. According to documents filed in federal court, WIEBELT was previously convicted in 2011 for Receipt of Child Pornography and sentenced to five (5) years in federal prison. WIEBELT was on supervised release when he committed this new offense.

Additionally, according to documents filed in federal court, the case against WIEBELT developed as a result of a lead to the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation (“LBI”) that a user uploaded child sexual abuse material (“CSAM”) to the Discord messenger service. Specifically, the lead reflected that the user uploaded sexually explicit videos of children who were prepubescent in age.

U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit.