Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Child porn, pot land man in prison

by Rob Ireland

July 18, 2013

ELKHORN — Walworth County Judge John Race sent a former Whitewater man to prison July 10 for three years after police found more than 200 grams of pot, a loaded pistol and child pornography in his apartment.

David J. Patwell, 25, now of Cross Plains, pleaded guilty Oct. 19 to felony charges of possession of child pornography and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

After Patwell serves his prison sentence, he will spend three years on extended supervision.

Deputy District Attorney Joshua Grube asked Race to send Patwell to prison, but Grube wasn’t specific about the length of sentence.

The presentence investigation report (PSI) and Patwell’s attorney, John Birdsall, recommended a probation sentence. A PSI is a report by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections that recommends a sentence.

After the hearing, Grube explained why he believes that prison was appropriate.

“There were certainly a lot of concerning images, and there are real people behind these images who are profoundly affected by people viewing and sharing these images,” Grube said. “He was also an admitted drug dealer that had a loaded pistol in his desk drawer when they found him.”

The Walworth County Drug unit raided Patwell’s apartment on June 10, 2010, after a confidential informant purchased $1,000 worth of pot from him.

“The amount of marijuana and the admission to dealing for at least a year, and the presence of at least one loaded firearm may have resulted in a prison term on its own,” Grube said. “Really by far the more serious charges were the child pornography.”

During the raid, police also confiscated Patwell’s computers and hard drives and found child pornography, “child erotica” and hundreds of images of bestiality.

Patwell first appeared in front of Race for a sentencing hearing in January, but Race ended the hearing after 45 minutes and continued it. This was done because it was almost 5 p.m. During the July 10 hearing, Birdsall made an argument for probation before Race sent his client to prison.

During the first court appearance, Grube said that Patwell wasn’t just simply viewing the child pornography, but he was saving the images into folders and “archiving it.”

Law enforcement also examined the search terms Patwell used on search engines. The search terms sought information on performing bestiality.

The loaded pistol in Patwell’s desk drawer wasn’t the only firearm police located in the apartment. Assault rifles and a pistol-grip shotgun were also confiscated.