BUFFALO, N.Y. (release)-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Erik Kopczynski, 32, of North Tonawanda, New York, who was convicted of production of child pornography, was sentenced to 15 years in priosn and 10 years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Assistant U.S. Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who handled the case, stated that the defendant had a three year old child he was babysitting 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. In an attempt to destroy physical evidence, Kopczynski was observed FBI Special Agents discarding 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 visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-In-Charge Richard W. Kollmar and Deputies from the Niagara County Sheriff's Department under the Sheriff James Votour.