Sacramento, California - On August 29, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against William Dan Powell, 67, of Redding, charging him with possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Powell possessed pornographic material depicting prepubescent children. Powell was scheduled to be arraigned last Thursday in Sacramento.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mira Chernick is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Powell faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.