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Press Release

Cortland Man Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Distributing, Receiving and Possessing Child Pornography

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - Jon Burns, age 58, of Cortland, New York, was sentenced today to serve 9 years in federal prison for distributing, receiving, and possessing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Buffalo, New York Field Office, and New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli.

As part of his guilty plea, Burns admitted that he actively traded child pornography images and videos using a social media messaging application located on his electronic devices and that on January 4, 2022, he distributed a video file depicting sexual conduct with a child who was between 8 and 10 years old.  Burns further admitted that on February 24, 2022, he received a video file depicting sexual conduct with a child who was approximately 6 years old.  Finally, Burns admitted that on March 8, 2022, he knowingly possessed over 2000 image files and over 750 video files depicting child pornography on his cellular telephone, iPad, and two tablet computers.

Chief United States District Judge Brenda K. Sannes also imposed a 15-year term of supervised release, which will start after Burns is released from prison, and ordered him to pay $15,000 in restitution and a $600 special assessment.  Burns will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Burns’ case was investigated by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Investigators of the New York State Police, Computer Crimes Unit (NYSP-CCU).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J.L. Brown as part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and is designed to marshal 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

Updated December 16, 2022

Project Safe Childhood