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Press Release

Utica Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

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

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Shawn Bunnell, 35, of Utica, New York, pled guilty today to ten counts of transportation of child pornography via the internet and one count of possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, Kevin M. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Oneida County Sheriff Robert M. Maciol.

As part of his guilty plea, Bunnell admitted that from on or about May 30, 2017 through on or about August 15, 2017, he transported a number of image files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct through computer servers maintained by Google, Inc. and Dropbox, Inc. Further, the defendant also admitted to possessing on his a cellular telephone several video files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

As a further part of his federal guilty plea, Bunnell also admitted that on March 27, 2003, he was previously convicted in Oneida County Court of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, in violation of New York Penal Law, Section 130.65(3), relating to the sexual abuse of a child under the age of 11, and was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, 3 years post-release supervision, and was required to register as a sex offender.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 10, 2019, in United States District Court in Syracuse. If the Court accepts the binding plea agreement executed by the parties, Bunnell, who remains detained, will be sentenced to serve fifty years in prison to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. He will also be required to once again register as a sex offender.

Bunnell’s case was investigated by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Oneida County Child Advocacy Center, Whitesboro Police Department, Utica Police Department, New York State Police, and Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa M. Fletcher, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Geoffrey J.L. Brown and Sahar L. Amandolare.

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 September 4, 2018

Project Safe Childhood