Sex offender expected to remain behind bars

A convicted North Okanagan sex offender will likely never be released from a U.S. penitentiary.

Sentencing is set for June 6 in Abilene, Tex. for Harvey James Pelland, 76, after a U.S. federal jury convicted Pelland in March of seven counts of a superseding indictment in Lubbock, Tex. in January 2011.

The jury found Pelland guilty of two counts of possessing child pornography and five counts of receiving a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice release, each count of child pornography possession carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

Each count of receipt of a depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct carries a statutory sentence of not less than five years, and not more than 20 years.

Pelland has been in custody since his arrest on April 6, 2009 on a state charge of failure to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty to the charge in July ‘09.

The U.S. government presented evidence in last month’s trial that in March and April ‘09, while Pelland was living in the town of Big Spring, near Lubbock, he possessed images of child pornography and received child porn images from the Internet.

Pelland was convicted in Vernon Provincial Court in 2007 of possessing child pornography after setting up a video camera in a Lumby area home he shared with a woman and her young daughter in order to film the girl.

Following his conviction for the Lumby incident, upon his release from prison, Pelland was to be placed on three years probation with strict conditions, which included not being allowed to attend a public park, playground or community centre where children under 17 will or can reasonably be expected to be at.

He was not allowed to go near day care centres and was not to have a computer or any device that gives him access to the Internet.

Pelland skipped the North Okanagan and went down to the Lower Mainland, where he was arrested in White Rock coming out of a park.

In November, 2007, he reported to a probation office in Vernon for the final time.

Canada Customs alerted Vernon RCMP on Nov. 20, 2007 that Pelland – who holds dual citizenship – had crossed the border into the United States.