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QUEENSBURY — The homeless sex offender who was arrested earlier this fall for allegedly soliciting sex from a boy he met on the Warren County Bikeway has been indicted on 13 charges.

Edward L. Wheeler, 59, had been living in a tent in woods next to the bike path near Bay Road in Queensbury when he was arrested by State Police in October.

State Police said Wheeler, a Level 3 sex offender and three-time felon, befriended a group of children he had met on the bike path and began communicating with one of them via cellphone.

Court records allege he solicited a sex act from the child on Sept. 28 and Oct. 2, which led to his arrest on two charges on Oct. 4. Police said they identified two children he allegedly approached for sex.

Further investigation by State Police led to the discovery of additional correspondence between Wheeler and the boy, and an analysis of Wheeler’s cellphone led to the determination he had obtained child pornography, records show. The illegal porn did not involve the children he met along the bike path.

Wheeler faces five felony charges of possessing a sexual performance by a child, three felony counts of criminal solicitation, one charge of attempted luring of a child, two counts of attempted disseminating indecent material to a minor and two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

Wheeler pleaded not guilty to the indictment Wednesday in Warren County Court, and Judge John Hall returned him to Warren County Jail without bail, pending further court action.

His lawyer, Warren County Public Defender Marcy Flores, said she had no comment on the case as of Thursday.

Wheeler is a Level 3 sex offender because of a 1990 conviction for sexual abuse of a boy under the age of 11 in Warren County.

In that case, he was accused of molesting three boys, and he served 12 years in state prison, records show.

Wheeler also has convictions for burglary, grand larceny and bail jumping and has been arrested at least once for failing to register as a sex offender when changing his address.

He faces potential sentencing of up to life in prison as a persistent felon if convicted of a felony in the new case. He faces up to 7 years in prison on each of the weightiest charges.

Police are still investigating Wheeler’s contact with children along the bike path. Anyone with information in the case was asked to call State Police at 518-745-1035.

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reporter

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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