Lubbock, Texas: A married couple has been sentenced to a combined 50 years in federal prison for production of child pornography involving a 13-year-old relative.
In a statement released through Project Safe Childhood 27-year-old Edward Lee Wheeler of Russell Springs, Kentucky was sentenced on Thursday, January 13 to 30 years in federal prison after he had pleaded guilty in September 20201.
His wife, 35-year-old Jessica Roxanna Wheeler of Lubbock, Texas pleaded guilty in October 2020 to a charge of receipt and distribution of child pornography. She was sentenced in November 2021 to 20 years in federal prison.
The couple admitted to sexually abusing the girl in their plea documents.
The child is living out of state and receiving counseling.
According to information released by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas, the couple disclosed that Edward provided the child with "over-the-counter supplements- which he called "enhancers"- that he claimed were activated through sexual activity."
He allegedly told the child he required images to track the effectiveness of the "enhancers." Jessica took those images and sent them to her husband.
Additionally, the couple concocted a story about an "agency" in Europe that would pay $42 billion for an infant to "conduct medical testing on."
During the sentencing, prosecutors stated that both Edward and Jessica Wheeler knew that the "enhancers" were fake and that the "agency" did not exist, but created the lies as an "escape from reality."
The investigation into the Wheelers began in June 2020 after a family member discovered images between the two discussing sexual acts with the child.