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Biglerville man pleads guilty to child pornography and related charges in federal court

HARRISBURG — A Biglerville man pleaded guilty to charges of sexual exploitation of children, production of child pornography, possession of child pornography and online coercion and enticement of minors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Mason David Powell, 28, entered the guilty plea before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Christoper C. Connor on Tuesday. He admitted to enticing minor boys to engage in graphic sexual text messages with him, and eventually coerced the victims into producing pornographic images of themselves and sending them to him online, according to U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler.

Powell was arrested on Oct. 17, 2015, after being investigated by the Adams County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division. His cell phone was seized by law enforcement officers at the time of his arrest. A forensic examination of his cell phone revealed that Powell had downloaded and saved child pornography images on the phone. Further investigation identified multiple addition minor victims in the Biglerville community that Powell had either coerced online, produced images of child pornography images of or sexually assaulted.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation of Powell. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredity A. Taylor prosecuted the case.

Powell will be sentenced at a later date. The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, while the charge of online coercion and enticement of minors carries a 10-year mandatory minimum. The maximum penalty under the law is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment and a fine. The judge is also required to consider a number of factors in imposing a sentence, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense, the history and characteristics of the defendant, and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendants educational, vocational and medical needs.