Pittsford Man Sentenced for Child Pornography
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Michael Mercadel, 21, of Pittsford, N.Y., who was convicted of possessing child pornography, was sentenced to 10 years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Larimer. The defendant had been subject to a recommended sentencing guideline range of 97 to 120 months in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, who handled the case, stated that the defendant downloaded and distributed child pornography, via a peer-to-peer file sharing network. Mercadel came to the attention of law enforcement during an undercover FBI investigation during which agents downloaded images of child pornography from the defendant. A search warrant was then executed at the defendant’s home in Pittsford. Agents recovered items of digital media which contained images of children, many of whom were under the age of 12, engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and many of which depicted acts of violence.
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 conviction was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian P. Boetig.