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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Man To Serve 15 Years For Child Pornography

Possessed Over 400 Child Pornography Video Files

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - Richard J. Watkins, Jr., 50, of Phoenix, NY was sentenced to serve 15 years imprisonment to be followed by 15 years supervised release in connection with his knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography obtained from the Internet, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. Watkins was also ordered to register as a sex offender and pay $5,000 in restitution to one of the victims portrayed in the images he downloaded from the Internet.

Watkins’ sentence was the result of an investigation by the New York State Police that included a search of his Phoenix, NY residence where he possessed more than 400 video files depicting the sexual exploitation of children as young as 4, 5, and 8 years old.

Watkins’ federal arrest is the result of a cooperative effort between the New York State Police, the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Secret Service and the United States Attorney’s Office as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood joins federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Fletcher.

Updated July 23, 2015