Elmira man pleads guilty to child porn charge

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WETM) – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Brian Thomas, 60 of Elmira, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to possessing child pornography. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a lifetime period of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that on March 29, 2020, the defendant distributed, to an undercover FBI Task Force Officer, child pornography depicting the sexual abuse of several prepubescent children. Using IP information, the FBI was able to locate Thomas and execute a search warrant at his residence. Digital storage devices, including a computer and thumb drive, were seized.  A forensic examination determined that Thomas received and possessed child pornography on both devices. 

The defendant is a registered sex offender following previous New York State convictions for child sexual abuse and child exploitation crimes. When interviewed by the FBI, Thomas admitted that during the 1980’s and 1990’s, he sexually abused approximately nine children between the ages of 4 and 10. 

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Corning Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, with assistance from the Elmira Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Kane.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 11, 2021, before Judge Geraci. 

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