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Rochester photographer pleads guilty to Possession Of Child Porngraphy

STAFF REPORTS

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Richard Wolfe, 60, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that in March 2016, a Canadian law enforcement agency executed a search warrant involving a mobile chatting application. Between April 2, 2016, and April 7, 2016, a user with the account name “rickyraz15” used the application to share 331 images of child pornography. The account was traced to the defendant in Rochester.

On October 31, 2017, HSI Buffalo executed a search warrant at Wolfe’s residence on Legran Road in Rochester. Special Agents seized a laptop, two digital cameras, a camcorder, a thumb drive, two SD cards, a cell phone, multiple CD’s, an external hard drive, and miscellaneous documents. During a search of the garage, agents discovered a desktop computer that appeared to have been destroyed by a sledge hammer.

A lockbox was discovered in the closet of an upstairs bedroom. HSI gained entry to the lockbox and found approximately 80 CD’S and an external hard drive. A forensic preview of the external hard drive found several images and videos of child pornography. Some of the images depicted prepubescent minors engaged in sexual situations.

On October 31, 2017, HSI Buffalo executed a second federal search warrant for the defendant’s cell phone, which revealed that the phone had been reset to factory settings.

A forensic examination of the items seized from the defendant is currently pending, but to date, over 2030 images and videos containing child pornography have been recovered.

Wolfe, a full-time truck driver, also works as a part-time professional photographer who has taken pictures of minors.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 14, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Geraci.