For Immediate Release
LaPorte Man Charged
With Production of Child Pornography and Making and Possession Of Destructive Devices
SOUTH BEND – Eric R. Weiler, 45, of LaPorte, Indiana, was charged in a six Count Indictment before a South Bend District Grand Jury, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.
Weiler was charged with 2 counts of production of child pornography, 1 count of receipt of child pornography, 1 count of possession of child pornography, 1 count of making a destructive device in violation of the National Firearms Act, and 1 count of possession of unregistered destructive devices.
U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “Crimes committed against children are particularly heinous. Children are among the most innocent victims. This case exemplifies how local and federal law enforcement agencies and state and federal prosecutor’s offices work together to investigate and prosecute cases involving children. Additionally, this investigation was conducted very quickly, within two days of learning of Mr. Weiler’s conduct, he was taken into custody by the LaPorte City Police. That is very quick work by both the LaPorte Police and LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office. Explosives, like those allegedly manufactured and possessed by Mr. Weiler, are extremely dangerous and meant to do considerable harm. My Office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who violate the nation’s destructive device and firearms laws.”
Prosecuting Attorney Espar said, “The case is a shining example of the collaborative approach contemplated by the Internet Crimes Against Children Program, for the investigation and prosecution of crimes of violence against children, bringing local and federal law enforcement together in a collective effort to identify and apprehend violent criminals whose crimes neither respect the dignity of the individual or jurisdictional lines.”
According to documents in this case, on August 23, 2017, a person who lived near Weiler discovered that someone had run wires into the gas tank of that person’s car. On September18, 2017, investigators learned that Weiler allegedly had been accessing a vacant house next to the house of the person whose car had been wired to explode. On the same date in September, investigators gained access to the vacant house and discovered writings on the walls inside documenting the writer’s attempts to acquire a girl under the age of twelve, ideally a newborn baby, for sexual contact. On September 20, 2017, two incendiary devices were located inside Weiler’s house, one of which is commonly referred to as an improvised explosive device (IED), and the other of which is commonly referred to as a CO2 “cricket” bomb. On September 21, 2017, multiple electronic devices and electronic storage devices were located inside Weiler’s house, some of which contained over 24,000 images and over 80 videos of child pornography. The videos included videos of Weiler allegedly engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of twelve. Weiler’s electronic devices also contained videos of Weiler allegedly explaining the explosive device that he put in the gas tank of the car.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office, LaPorte Police Department, Michigan City Police Department and the Porter County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Molly E. Donnelly and John M. Maciejczyk.
The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty in court.
If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.