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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 2, 2021

Cheektowaga Man Arrested On Charges Of Production And Possession Of Child Pornography

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Kenneth Ritchie, 30, of Cheektowaga, NY, was charged by criminal complaint with production and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 50 years, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on July 16, 2021, an individual contacted the Cheektowaga Police Department and reported observing child pornography on a cell phone belonging to the defendant. The individual stated that he met Ritchie on the Grinder chat application and then met him in person at the defendant’s residence in Cheektowaga. While at the residence, the individual stated that Ritchie showed him images and videos containing what he believed to be child pornography. The individual told the defendant that he was disgusted by what he observed and told him he was reporting him to the police.

The individual took Ritchie’s cell phone, went to Cheektowaga Police Headquarters, and showed investigators two of the photos that the defendant had shown him. One of the photos was a sexually explicit photo of a boy under five years old (Victim). The second photo was a sexually explicit photo of Ritchie holding the same little boy. During the execution of a search warrant on the defendant’s cell phone, investigators recovered additional sexually explicit images of the Victim. The search also recovered additional videos and images containing child pornography on the cell phone, several of which appeared to be obtained through the Telegram application.

The defendant appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy for a detention hearing today and was ordered held. 

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Assistant Chief Brian Gould, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 2, 2021