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Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.

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Man cleared of child porn charges

A Mechanicsville man accused of possessing child pornography was cleared of all charges today.

Five charges against 19-year-old William Peele III were either dropped or dismissed in Louisa County Circuit Court on Wednesday. 

Peele's arrest in March came as a result of a monthlong undercover operation.

The Louisa County Sheriff's Office, in conjunction with the Albemarle County Police Department and the Charlottesville Police Department, worked together on a program called Operation Guardian Online, which targets online predators in Virginia.

The sting led to the arrests of eight men. So far, two of the men have been acquitted and three convicted.

Charles Hopkins, 72, of Bumpass had a charge of using a communication system to solicit a child dismissed in August.

Christopher Allen Anderson, 23, of Charlottesville, pleaded guilty last month to using a communication system to solicit a child under 15 for sex. He faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 31.

Joseph McDaniel, 27, of Goochland, was found guilty of one count of using a communication system to solicit a child between 15 and 18 for sex. He will be sentenced on Dec. 19.

Shakir Aundre Moore, 24, of Richmond, pleaded guilty in June to using a communication system to solicit a child under 15 for sex. Moore was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with all but five years suspended.

Adam Toghill, 32, of Richmond, is charged with one count of using a communication system to solicit child under 15 for sex. His trial is Nov. 21.

Richard Wilz, 76, of Louisa,  will have a jury trial on Feb. 15 on 19 counts of possession of child pornography.

Thomas Jefferson Dudley, 55, of Charlottesville, is charged with two counts of using a communication system to solicit a child under 15 for sex. He is scheduled to have a mental evaluation hearing on Nov. 22.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/louisa/2011/11/09/man-cleared-of-child-porn-charges/

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