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Former Brockport Kindergarten teacher pleads guilty to child porn charge

STAFF REPORTS


BUFFALO -- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Roland Yockel, II, 31, of Hilton, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to receipt of child pornography. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that in July 2017, the defendant was identified by Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Special Agents in Phoenix involved in an ongoing child pornography probe with investigators from New Zealand. That investigation identified individuals who utilized the Internet based application “Chatstep.com” to receive and distribute child pornography.

On May 22, 2017, and July 24, 2017, a New Zealand investigator, acting in an undercover capacity, observed multiple individuals accessing Chatstep chat rooms, including an individual with the user name “Ryancba,” who posted links to image files depicting suspected child pornography. The IP address traced back to the defendant, Roland Yockel, a former kindergarten teacher in the Brockport Central School District. The sexually explicit images, posted by the defendant, included pre-pubescent children.

On November 21, 2017, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s North Avenue residence. Agents recovered DVD’s containing numerous videos and images of child pornography. A forensic examination of the digital media recovered approximately 5,500 images and 247 videos containing child pornography. Yockel resided in the basement of the North Avenue residence with his parents and siblings.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Richard Allen.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 14, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Wolford.