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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Elmira Man Charged With Multiple Child Pornography Charges

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Brian Thomas, 59 of Elmira, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with receipt, possession, and distribution of child pornography. Due to Thomas’ previous criminal history involving child sexual exploitation crimes, the charges carry an enhanced minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, an enhanced maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on March 29, 2020, the defendant distributed to an undercover FBI Task Force Officer child pornography depicting the sexual abuse of several prepubescent children online. After using IP information to trace the child pornography, investigators located Thomas and executed a search warrant at his residence. They seized digital storage devices, including a computer and thumb drive. A preliminary forensic examination found evidence that Thomas received and possessed child pornography on both devices. 

The defendant is currently a registered sex offender, following prior New York State convictions for child sexual abuse, child pornography, and child exploitation crimes. 

Thomas was most recently released from state prison in 2014, following a three year prison term. 

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson, and is being held pending a detention hearing scheduled for July 23, 2020. 

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Corning Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Elmira Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Kane.

Anyone with information regarding this defendant is asked to contact the Corning FBI Office at 1-607-962-9761.  

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 July 16, 2020