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Press Release

Cayuga County Man Charged with Receipt of Child Pornography and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Richard J. Potter, Jr., age 55, of Springport, New York, was arrested today on charges of receipt of child pornography and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Potter appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks.  A registered sex offender based on a 2003 state felony conviction related to the sexual abuse of a minor, Potter was ordered detained pending the resolution of his case.

The criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Potter used a computer to receive images and videos of child pornography from the Internet, and stored thousands of digital copies of those images and videos on cellular telephones. In addition, Potter is alleged to be in possession of a 12-gauge shotgun following a previous felony conviction.

If convicted of receipt of child pornography, Potter faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years and a maximum term of 40 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. The charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Computer Crimes Unit (CCU), and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle.

This case is prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, 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 identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated August 25, 2020

Project Safe Childhood