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ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Lawrence E. Cook, 49, of Elmira, N.Y., pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that in September 2010, the New York State Police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and recovered images of child pornography on a computer owned by Cook. The images were obtained using peer-to-peer file-sharing software.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Christopher M. Piehota, Special Agent in Charge, and the New York State Police’s Computer Crimes Unit, under the direction of Captain Frank Pace.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 20, 2012 at 3 p.m. before Judge Larimer.
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