Ponchatoula man sentenced for Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material

Published 11:21 am Thursday, August 11, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that JACOB WIEBELT (“WIEBELT”), age 39, of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, was sentenced 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).

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. On November 1, 2021, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) special agents along with the  LBI executed a federal search warrant at WIEBELT’s home in Ponchatoula. Agents advised WIEBELT of his Miranda rights and, after waiving his rights, he confessed to possessing, sharing, and uploading CSAM. WIEBELT admitted he created a Discord account and stated that other Discord users would share CSAM on the website and he would save the CSAM to his cellular telephone. WIEBELT would then upload the saved CSAM from his phone to other Discord users.

United States District Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced WIEBELT to one hundred twenty-one (121) months imprisonment, followed by ten (10) years of supervised release, continued sex offender registration, and pay a $100.00 special assessment fee.

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.