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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 24, 2017

Irondequoit Woman Sentenced For Production And Distribution Of Child Pornography

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a Megan McDonald, 36, of Irondequoit, NY, who was convicted of production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. 
 
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who handled the case, stated that in March 2015, law enforcement officers interviewed Jason Cortese who advised that he had received images of child pornography from McDonald. A forensic review of images from Cortese’s iPhone recovered sexually explicit images of two prepubescent minors.

Cortese has been convicted of enticement of a minor and was sentenced to 135 months in prison. Cortese used the internet and a smart phone to persuade a 12-year-old minor to engage in sexually explicit activity.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Adam S. Cohen. The task force includes the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.

On February 23, 2017, a controlled delivery of 18 kilograms of “sham” cocaine was made by Wilkie to Nowak at a local hotel. During their meeting, Wilkie and Nowak discussed, among other things, Nowak’s ongoing relationship with the Mexican cocaine source of supply. At one point during the conversation, Wilkie opened the duffel bag to expose the 18 “sham” kilograms of cocaine. Following the conversation, Nowak took possession of the duffel bag containing the 18 “sham” kilograms of cocaine and exited the hotel room. As he exited the motel, Nowak was arrested by DEA agents.

Following that arrest, arrangements were made for Nowak to deliver the cocaine to defendant Rodriguez at an automotive shop on Kenmore Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda.  Once again, drug related conversation preceded the transfer of the 18 “sham” kilograms of cocaine from Nowak to Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was arrested in possession of the duffle bag. 

The defendants were arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and are being detained pending a hearing on February 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division, The Drug Enforcement Administration, Fairview Heights, IL Resident Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Tucson District Office, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly. Additional assistance was provided by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the Buffalo Police Department, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the Niagara Falls Police Department, New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department, the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority Police Department, the Hamburg Police Department, the Lackawanna Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine unit, and the Cheektowaga Police Department.

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.

Updated February 27, 2017