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Justice News

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

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Syracuse Man Sentenced to 30 Years on Child Pornography Charges


SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced that RONALD J. RICHARDS, 59, of Syracuse, New York was sentenced today in United States District Court following his earlier plea of guilty to a six-count Information charging him with receipt, distribution, and possession of child pornography.

United States District Judge David N. Hurd sentenced RICHARDS to a total of 30 years imprisonment, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release. The sentence consists of concurrent 20 year terms on two counts of distribution of child pornography to run consecutively to concurrent 10 year terms on four counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. RICHARDS will also be required to register as a sex offender.

RICHARDS’ arrest came about as a result of an investigation by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. Agents discovered that RICHARDS had been using his email account to trade child pornography over the Internet with other individuals, including two men, one in Indiana and one in Utah, who had disclosed to RICHARDS that they produced the images they sent to him. Agents later discovered that RICHARDS had also engaged in sexually explicit chats with two minor female children, one 15, and one 13 years old, solicited illicit images from them, and later distributed the images to others. In all, agents recovered from RICHARDS’ computers and thumb drives more than 3,700 images and 48 video files depicting the abuse of children, some as young as one and three years old.

RICHARDS was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Fletcher, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the Northern District of New York. 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.

Updated February 23, 2015