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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Buffalo Man Sentenced For Production Of Child Pornography And Cyberstalking

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Sherrod Ogletree, 20, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and production of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 30 years and a $250,000 fine. 

“This is yet another case highlighting the dangers facing our children on the internet,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “While we will continue to prosecute those who would prey upon our most vulnerable citizens, education and parental involvement are the best defense against on-line predators. In particular, parents and adults should know how to all computer and technology-related activities of their children.”   

"The sexual exploitation of a child is among the most deplorable crimes our HSI special agents investigate, which is why we are committed to bringing traffickers to justice and getting survivors the help they need," said James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Buffalo. "This investigation and today’s guilty plea are the result of the great partnership HSI has with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the Buffalo Police Department, who both share our resolve to ending trafficking in our region.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross, who is handling the case, stated that on August 5, 2015, the defendant began communicating with a 15-year-old female via Facebook. During the communications, Ogletree directed and coerced the minor to send him nude pictures, including pictures of her genitalia, over the internet. 

In addition, between August 5, 2016 and August 20, 2016, the defendant was in contact with another 15 year old female, again using Facebook. Ogletree engaged in conversations with the victim and concealed his true identity from her by using a fake identity and using an account in the name of “Mrss Guwop.” During these conversations, the defendant sought to entice the victim to work as a prostitute. When the child told Ogletree that she did not want to work as a prostitute, the defendant harassed and threatened the victim.  One of the threats stated that if the child refused to do as Ogletree commanded, he would post screenshots of the prior conversations where the defendant and victim discussed prostitution. Ogletree also threatened to “tag” all of her family and friends so that they would see the conversations. This cyberstalking caused the victim to suffer substantial emotional distress.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda and the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard.    

Sentencing is scheduled for September 16, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Updated June 1, 2016