Mt. Morris Man Pleads Guilty in Child Pornography Case
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Patrick Welch, 58, of Mt. Morris, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. Due to a prior conviction, the charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 40 years and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that on May 13, 2013, the Livingston County Sheriff's Office received a lead from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office concerning a potential child exploitation case. A Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigator had received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that two individuals appeared to be chatting about and trading child pornography on a certain internet site. Both individuals purported to be teenaged boys.
One of the individuals chatting used the screen name "David D." A search warrant was executed on the provided email account and images of child pornography were found. The internet protocol address for "David D" was registered to Welch's address on Scipio Road in Mt. Morris. After a search warrant was executed at the defendant's residence, a forensic review of one of Welch's computers was conducted and images of child pornography were found.
In 2003, the defendant was convicted in Livingston County of sexual conduct against a child and, following his conviction, he was required to register as a sex offender.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, the Livingston County Sheriff's Department, under the direction of Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, under the direction of John L. Scott.