Former deputy facing child porn charges waives preliminary hearing
MILWAUKEE — 41-year-old Philip Wentzel, a former sergeant in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department caught in an FBI sting related to child pornography, waived his preliminary hearing in federal court and is now bound over for trial.
Wentzel resigned his position with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department Monday, May 7th.
A criminal complaint against Philip Wentzel charges him with production of child pornography.
The criminal complaint alleges in April 2011, Wentzel knowingly produced child pornography.
The complaint states Wentzel was involved in a peer-to-peer file sharing program used by people in the child porn trade.
The complaint alleges Wentzel’s profile page stated he was looking for original images of child pornography involving girls. It further alleges Wentzel made videos of child pornography involving prepubescent girls who appear to be sleeping and or drugged when the child pornography images were taken.
The complaint also indicates Wentzel had paid another suspect in the multi-state federal investigation so Wentzel “could watch (the other suspect) perform live sex acts on the minor females via the Internet.”
During his initial appearance in federal court, prosecutors say Wentzel admitted to doing this for two years, saying that he knew what he was doing was wrong, but could not control himself.
Wentzel also allegedly said there were at least six or seven victims at his cabin – a reference to the Campbellsport area campsite Wentzel rented.
Wentzel was arrested on May 2nd at the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department. He was initially suspended with pay. But on May 7th, he resigned his position.
The case against Wentzel is anticipated to go to a grand jury, but not until late May.
Officials urge anyone who may have information related to this case or knowledge of other victims to contact the FBI at 414-276-4684.
If convicted, Wentzel could face up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.