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Press Release

Former Carbon County Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving And Distributing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 32-year-old former Lehighton resident pleaded guilty today to receiving and distributing child pornography before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the defendant, Stephen Puza, III, admitted to using a computer to download and share numerous images of child pornography during July 2011 through September 2013.  Puza was living in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at the time of his arrest.

     Puza was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 10, 2013, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police, and Lehighton Borough Police.

     Puza faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. Puza remains in custody pending his sentencing.

     This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

Updated April 9, 2015