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La Porte man indicted on child pornography charges, making a destructive device

LA PORTE, Ind. -- A La Porte County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to production of child pornography and making a destructive device, according to the US Attorney's Office.

Eric R. Weiler, 45, has been 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.

In August 2017, someone who lived near Weiler contacted police after discovering wires running to the gas tank of their vehicle.

In September 2017, investigators learned Weiler had been going into a vacant house next to the person whose car was allegedly wired to explode, reports said.

Investigators went into the vacant house and found writings on the wall documents a person's attempts to acquire a girl under the age of 12, ideally a newborn, for sexual contact, according to the US Attorney's Office.

Two days later, on September 20, 2017, two incendiary devices were found inside Weiler's house, reports said.

One was an improvised explosive device, or IED, and the other was a CO2 or "cricket" bomb, reports said.

The following day, multiple electronic devices and electronic storage devices were found in Weiler's house. Police said they contained over 24,000 images and over 80 videos of child pornography.

In addition, there were videos of Weiler engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 12, according to the US Attorney's Office.

Weiler’s electronic devices also allegedly contained videos of Weiler explaining the explosive device that he put in the gas tank of the car.

 “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 La Porte City Police.  That is very quick work by both the La Porte Police and La Porte 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," said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II in a press release.

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.”

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