Buffalo, NY-(ENEWSPF)- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Erik Kopczynski, 32, of North Tonawanda, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to production of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum penalty of 30 years, a fine of $250,000 and supervised release of not less than five years and up to life.
Assistant U.S. Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who is handling the case, stated that the defendant knowingly had a three year old child engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions. The visual depictions were produced using materials shipped and transported in foreign and interstate commerce. Kopczynski was observed in September 2010 by FBI Agents attempting to discard evidence of the crime, including computer equipment, compact disks, and hard drives into several garbage receptacles at Niawanda State Park.
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 visitwww.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-In-Charge James H. Robertson.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 16 at 1 p.m. in Buffalo, N.Y., in front of Judge Arcara.