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Press Release

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Transportation and Possession of Child Pornography

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Philip Koester, age 37, of Austin, Texas, formerly of Endicott, New York, pled guilty yesterday to transportation and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

As part of his guilty plea, Koester admitted that in January of 2016, he possessed thousands of images and videos of child pornography on a heavily encrypted homebuilt desktop computer that was seized by law enforcement during a search of Koester’s apartment. In addition to the child pornography Koester possessed, Koester’s homebuilt desktop computer also contained log files showing that, in March of 2011, Koester had uploaded videos of child pornography to a censorship-resistant, secure, and anonymous online peer-to-peer network called Freenet. As part of his guilty plea, Koester admitted to uploading the files to Freenet and then making the files available for other Freenet users to download.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2023, before United States District Judge David N. Hurd.  Koester faces a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of between five years and life to begin after imprisonment. Koester will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. 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 FBI Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adrian LaRochelle, Michael Gadarian, and Geoffrey Brown as a part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s 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 May 5, 2023

Project Safe Childhood