The Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office has charged a Casper man with possessing and distributing child pornography, according to court records.

Clarence Winfrey, 56, was initially charged in Natrona County District Court with the same counts.

But Thursday, District Court Judge Daniel Forgey granted Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hambrick's request to dismiss the state counts so federal prosecutors can take over.

If convicted in federal court, Winfrey faces up to 20 years imprisonment for the possession count, between five and 20 years imprisonment for the distribution count, and five years to lifetime probation.

The government regards child pornography as a crime of violence because it involves sometimes brutal assaults on children who cannot give consent to sexual activity.

The case started in November when a U.S. Department of Homeland Security undercover agent in New Mexico was on a public online chat forum in a chat room about "childslavesex" and "pedomoms." The agent then was contacted by a "Mr. Frey," who was later identified as Winfrey, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Winfrey asked whether the undercover agent had children or underage relatives, if they performed sexual acts, and if so, what. During subsequent conversations, Winfrey said he planned to train his girlfriend, and her the prepubescent daughter and son, to be sex slaves. Winfrey also told the agent that he was a retired Navy veteran.

Winfrey also asked if the agent was familiar with a popular series of child pornography, and later sent the agent a video with an underage female and an adult male.

Meanwhile, the agent and Winfrey began communicating through Yahoo, with Winfrey using the name "nwinspirit."

The calls continued intermittently, and it took time to gather evidence. Meanwhile, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents located Winfrey's vehicle, his residence in the 1200 block of North Center Street, and his Internet Protocol address.

After obtaining a search warrant, the undercover agent began a computer chat with Winfrey on the  morning of May 5. At the same time, DCI agents executed the search warrant at Winfrey's address. They brought him outside to clear the residence and search for evidence.

After acknowledging his Miranda rights, Winfrey admitted to being "Mr. Frey" in the online chat room and "nwinspirit" on Yahoo, but quit talking when the subject of the child pornography video he sent the Homeland Security undercover agent.

Investigators found 130 images of child pornography on a hard drive, an image on a cell phone.

The federal government will seek to detain Winfrey, according to court records.