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Press Release

Essex County Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Kirkland Smith, age 55, of Witherbee, New York, pled guilty today to six counts of possessing child pornography. 


The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II; and James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Buffalo Field Office.


As part of his guilty plea, Smith admitted to possessing hundreds of videos and images of child pornography on a memory card seized from his car and on five hard drives seized from his home.  Smith, who was previously convicted of second-degree child molestation in Rhode Island, also admitted that the child pornography involved prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12.  


On each count, Smith faces at least 10 years and up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life when he is sentenced on April 10, 2017 by Senior U.S. District Judge Norman A. Mordue.  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.


This case was investigated by the New York State Police and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyrus P.W. Rieck.


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 Attorneys’ Offices, 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 December 9, 2016

Project Safe Childhood