By Logan Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – A 30-year-old Boulder man who left his unlocked cellphone on a public bus was sentenced Friday in Denver federal court to 15 1/2 years in prison for possession of child pornography. Wesley David Gilreath will have 10 years of supervised release following his prison term.

Gilreath’s Apple iPhone contained approximately 12,000 photos and 200 videos of “violent” child pornography, according to federal prosecutors.

Wesley Gilreath following his 2019 arrest. (credit: Boulder County Jail)

As described in case documents, Regional Transportation District employees found a cellphone while they were cleaning buses at RTD’s Boulder terminal on May 31, 2019. In an attempt to discover the phone’s owner, the employees found the device was unlocked and immediately encountered images of child pornography. One of the employees was a former employee of Child Protective Services.

The phone was turned in to Boulder Police Department detectives and eventually the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Gilreath was arrested less than a month later.

The FBI found thousands of additional photos and videos on a thumb drive and second phone inside Gilreath’s south Boulder apartment.

Agents also found a full-size Nazi flag, two black and white flags bearing symbols associated with white supremacy, and several books — titles among them including “National Anarchism,” “American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing,” and “In Bad Company: America’s Terrorist Underground.”

Also found in the apartment were hand-written notes bearing names and addresses of 15 mosques, synagogues, and other religious centers within 35 miles of his residence. Prosecutors provided evidence that Gilreath had posted online “hunting guides” targeting members of those religious groups.

Gilreath had also attempted to purchase a firearm prior to losing his phone but was declined after a background check.

“While one image of child pornography is horrific,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, “tens of thousands of images and videos in the possession of one person is almost incomprehensible in its depravity and wickedness. While we can never return the lost innocence that this defendant has stolen, this sentence ensures that he can no longer contribute to the market for these images.

“Mr. Gilreath was also a credible threat to various religious communities in Colorado. They can now rest assured that that threat has been stopped for at least a very long time.”

 

Logan Smith

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