Tonawanda Man Arrested; Charged with Production and Possession of Child Pornography
Buffalo, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jason M. Smith, 34, of Tonawanda, NY, has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with production of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Allen, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that, according to the complaint, on April 11, 2014, the Lancaster Police Department executed a search warrant at Smith’s residence on Byron Avenue in Tonawanda. During the search, officers seized an external hard drive. Subsequent examination by the Western New York Regional Forensic Laboratory determined the hard drive contained child pornography. Further investigation determined that the defendant was producing some of the child pornography at his residence. Some of the images depicted Smith engaged in sexual contact with what appears to be a minor, under the age of 10.
Smith was in court today before U.S Magistrate Judge Jerimiah J. McCarthy for a detention hearing. The defendant is being held.
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 criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lancaster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gerald J. Gill, Jr., and the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack.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.