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Press Release

Former Chief Of Mount Pleasant Police Department Sentenced In White Plains Federal Court For Possession Of Child Pornography

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

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that BRIAN FANELLI, the former Chief of the Mount Pleasant, New York, Police Department, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for possession of child pornography.  Fanelli pled guilty in July 2015 to one count of possession of child pornography before United States District Judge Kenneth M. Karas, who also imposed today’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated:  “Brian Fanelli, a former police chief who swore to protect and serve, instead helped fuel a market that victimizes and exploits some of the most vulnerable in our community.  As today’s sentencing demonstrates, we will be vigilant in investigating and prosecuting those who sexually exploit children.”

According to materials submitted in connection with today’s sentencing:

From at least as early as October 2013, through January 2014, FANELLI used a Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Program (“P2P Network”) to download more than 120 files containing images and videos believed to be child pornography, many of which contained depictions of graphic sexual abuse of young, pre-pubescent victims.  During the course of FANELLI’s criminal conduct, in addition to serving as police chief, FANELLI taught classes to children about sexual abuse awareness.  Certain of the files downloaded by FANELLI were made available to other P2P Network users through FANELLI’s computer’s shared folder on the P2P Network program.  On three occasions, agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), acting in an undercover capacity, used the P2P Network to download from FANELLI’s computer files containing images and videos believed to contain child pornography. 

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In addition to a prison term, Judge Karas sentenced FANELLI, 56, of Mahopac, New York, to five years of supervised release.  He was ordered to forfeit his computer and hard drives, which were used to commit the offense, to the United States, and to pay a $100 special assessment fee.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Department of Homeland Security.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE.  Investigators staff this hotline around the clock. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or

The prosecution is being overseen by the Office’s White Plains Division and the Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Anden F. Chow and Andrew D. Goldstein are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated January 6, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-005