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Press Release

Syracuse Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Christopher Martinelli, age 40, of Syracuse, pled guilty today to distributing, receiving and transporting child pornography, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II.

As part of his guilty plea, Martinelli admitted to knowingly exchanging sexually explicit photographs with a 14-year-old girl over the Internet, as well as trading child pornography online while on supervised release from a prior felony conviction under the Uniform Code of Military Justice relative to child pornography crimes.

Chief Judge Glenn T. Suddaby will sentence Martinelli on February 28, 2019.  If the Chief Judge accepts the recommendation of the parties, Martinelli, who is detained pending sentencing, will receive a sentence of 20 years in prison for his conviction on the child pornography offenses, a consecutive 5-year term of imprisonment for his violation of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life.  Martinelli will also be required to register as a sex offender. A defendant’s sentence is based on the particular statutes the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case was investigated by the United States Office of Probation, New York State Police  Major Crimes, and the FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, a federal task force that investigates cases involving the sexual exploitation of children.  The task force consists of FBI Agents and New York State Police Investigators from Troop D, Bureau of Criminal Investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carina H. Schoenberger.

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). 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated October 25, 2018

Project Safe Childhood