chili man pleads guilty to child pornography charges
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Michael V. Covello, 42, of Chili, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer, to distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. Because of a prior sexual abuse conviction, distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years. Possession of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years. The charges also include a fine of up to $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, who is handling the case, stated that in May and June of 2012, law enforcement officers discovered that the defendant was distributing images and videos of child pornography online. A search warrant was executed at the defendant's residence where officers recovered digital media, including a laptop, desktop computer and an iTouch, all of which contained child pornography. The images included prepubescent minors as depictions 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 plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Interim Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 17th, at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Larimer.