Rochester Man Sentenced For Distributing Child Pornography
ROCHESTER, N.Y.– U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Joseph Hicks, 45, of Rochester, N.Y., who was convicted of distribution of child pornography, was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. Hicks will also have to register as a sexual offender.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Gestring, who handled the prosecution, stated that Hicks was identified by federal agents conducting an undercover child pornography investigation. They executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Rochester residence and seized his computer which contained almost 15,000 images and over 400 movies depicting child pornography. Some of the child pornography images included violence against children, some as young as infants. Law enforcement officers also recovered hundreds of chats between Hicks and other online users from around the world during which he offered to trade child pornography with them. The defendant also gave these other users advice on how to conceal their online activities and how to evade detection by law enforcement.
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 sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge James C. Spero.