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Press Release

Sex Offender Arrested For False Statements Regarding Computer Access

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Richard Petix, 30, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with material false statement. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Wei Xiang, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, Petix lied to federal probation officers and law enforcement agents about his ownership and use of a laptop computer and a smartphone. Petix is on a term of supervised release following a 2009 federal conviction for knowingly transporting child pornography in interstate commerce.  As special conditions of his supervision, Petix must notify his probation officer of any computers he uses and, as triggered by impermissible or suspicious activity, consent to examinations of such computers. On December 3, 2015, probation officers saw Petix at a business establishment in Buffalo, accessing a laptop computer and possessing a smartphone and multiple thumb drives.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott and is being held pending a preliminary hearing on December 16, 2015, at 10:00 a.m.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and the United States Probation Office, under the direction of Anthony SanGiacomo.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation

Updated December 9, 2015