DARKE COUNTY — A former resident of Arcanum, Ohio, faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography.
Zane Wetzel, 31, of Easton, Maine — a 2004 graduate of Miami Valley Career Technology Center and Arcanum High School — appeared in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016.
According to court records, on about May 14, 2015, Wetzel possessed image and video files depicting child pornography. Some of these files, which he had purposely sought out and downloaded from the internet, depicted the sexual exploitation of prepubescent children under the age of 12.
Chris Ruge, the Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the case for the government, told The Daily Advocate there was no plea agreement struck between the defense and the prosecution.
Wetzel was represented in court by attorney Walter McKee of Augusta, Maine.
As a result of his guilty plea to the Class C felony, Wetzel faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and between five years and a lifetime of supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.
Wetzel was the subject of news reports in 2010 after suffering severe burns in an industrial accident.
The Bangor (Maine) Daily News reported that on Oct. 12, 2010, Wetzel, an apprentice lineman for Maine Public Service Co. in Presque Isle, suffered a flash burn to 50 percent of his body (chest, back, arm and neck) while working at the MPS substation on the Parkhurst Siding Road.
“Wetzel was standing on a scissor lift with several other co-workers when a charge of electricity arced and touched the corner of the lift. The electricity traveled to the ground and bounced back, burning him. Safety equipment prevented Wetzel from being electrocuted and no one else was injured,” the report said.
Wetzel will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. He is currently in the custody of United States Federal Marshals.