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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Two Men Charged In Separate Complaints With Child Pornography Offenses

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

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Joseph Kurowski, 23, of Buffalo, NY, was arrested and charged by complaint with production, receipt and possession of child pornography. In addition, Jose Cisneros, 30, of Buffalo, NY, was also arrested and charged by criminal complaint with production and receipt of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentenced of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 30 years and a $250,000.   

“These two cases, along with today’s conviction of Anthony Thompson, depict the dark side of modern communication devices and applications” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.  “The cases also serve as a warning to all of the many ways predators seek to manipulate children through technology into engaging in sexually explicit conduct. By education and dialogue, such conduct – which criminals would otherwise seek to keep in the shadows – can be exposed and prevented.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling both cases, stated that according to the complaint against Kurowski, in August 2015, the Blasdell Police Department received a report involving a 13 year old female (victim 1) who engaged in sexually explicit conversations with numerous individuals, including the defendant, using the Kik application and through text messages. Between September 21 and 23, 2015, an undercover law enforcement officer used victim 1’s Kik account and engaged Kurowski in a chat sessions during which the two discussed meeting in person. 

On October 21, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized a laptop computer and cellular telephone. During an analysis of the items, officers recovered conversations with a 15 year old female (victim 2) that took place over the Whisperer application and Snapchat. During one of those conversations, Kurowski told victim 2 that he had a lawyer and that “some girls mom told the police I was coercing her to meet for sex. Didn’t meet.”

Officers also recovered Kik conversations between the defendant and a 16 year old female (victim 3). Victim 3 told officers she met Kurowski on Whisperer before moving the conversations to Kik. She said she “vaguely” recalled sending the defendant pictures and videos. She also said that Kurowski threatened to hurt her if she did not participate in the sexting and send him sexual videos.

Officers also found explicit conversations between the defendant and a 17 year old female (victim 4). 

According to the complaint against Cisneros, also in August 2015, the Blasdell Police Department alerted the FBI about a 13 year old female (victim 1) engaging in sexually explicit conversations using the Kik application and text messages with an individual later identified as Cisneros. During their communications, the defendant and victim 1 exchanged graphic photos.     

The complaint further states that during an interview with the FBI, the mother of Cisneros’s two children told agents that she found a phone belonging to the defendant which contained a sexual text conversation. The woman confronted Cisneros which resulted in an argument that led to police responding to the residence.   

Cisneros and Kurowski both made initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer and are being detained pending detention hearings schedule for April 8, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. respectively. 

The complaints are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen and the Blasdell Police Department, under the direction of Lieutenant Joseph Gramaglia. The task force includes the Buffalo Police Department, Cheektowaga Police Department, and Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.

Updated April 8, 2016