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Press Release

Canonsburg Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography on His Cell Phone

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

PITTSBURGH, PA-A former resident of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Robert Fichter, 54, pleaded guilty to one count before Chief United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that investigative efforts during a Homeland Security Investigation revealed that Fichter utilized an Android cellular phone running BitTorrent software to access, view and download child pornography. The court was further informed that law enforcement officials executed a federal search warrant at Fichter’s residence on May 24, 2018, wherein they seized Fichter’s cellular phone. During a forensic review of the cell phone, agents uncovered images and videos of child pornography, some of which involved children under the age of 12, as well as violent sexual conduct.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for May 21, 2020 at 9:30 AM The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Fichter remains incarcerated pending sentencing.

The Department of Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from members of the North Strabane and Canonsburg police departments, conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of Fichter.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated January 18, 2020

Project Safe Childhood