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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

West Seneca Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography Charge

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 S. Heleniak, 71, of West Seneca, NY, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that between August 30, 2013 and September 1, 2013, the defendant knowingly possessed images of child pornography that were stored on his AOL email account after obtaining them over the internet. Some of the images depicted prepubescent minors. Heleniak was previously convicted of possession of child pornography in 2005 in the Western District of New York and sentenced to 30 months in prison. 

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Adam S. Cohen, Special Agent in Charge, and the Cheektowaga Police Department under the direction of Chief David Zack. The task force includes the Buffalo Police Department, the Cheektowaga Police Department, and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 19, 2016 before Judge Vilardo.

Updated May 20, 2016