Hornell Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 08, 2011|
ROCHESTER, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Taber Wells, 24, of Hornell, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa, to receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years. Wells also pleaded no contest to a charge of distributing child pornography which is punishable by a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years. Each charge is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, who handled the case, stated that the defendant downloaded and possessed images of child pornography between September 2009 and June 2010. The child pornography included in excess of 600 images and videos, some of which depicted prepubescent children under the age of 12.
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 special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard W. Kollmar; officers from the Hornell Police Department, under the direction of Chief Theodore Murray; and the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit, under the direction of Captain Frank Pace.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 23, at 3:15 p.m. EST, in Rochester, N.Y., before Judge Siragusa.