High-ranking Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputy charged with producing child pornography

CREATED May 4, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - A high-ranking Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy was arrested and charged with producing child pornography, the United States Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced Friday.

Phillip H. Wentzel, 41, faces a federal charge of production of child pornography.  If convicted, he faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

"The criminal  complaint alleges that in approximately April 2011, Wentzel  knowingly produced child pornography," U.S. Attorney James Santelle said in a news release.  "According to the complaint, Wentzel was involved in a peer-to-peer file sharing program known to be utilized by individuals who trade child pornography."

"It is further alleged that Wentzel made videos of child pornography involving prepubescent girls who appear to be sleeping and or drugged when the child pornography images were taken."

Wentzel was arrested Wednesday at the Sheriff's Department and made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday afternoon.

He was ordered detained until his preliminary hearing next Wednesday.