BUFFALO, N.Y.-- ( release) U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Christopher Marandola, 45, of Lancaster New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, to possessing child pornography. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who handled the case, stated that Lancaster Police conducted a search of the defendant's residence and seized computers and other electronics. A analysis of the computers revealed various movie and image files containing child pornography.
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 plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Detectives from the Lancaster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gerald Gill and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James H. Robertson.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 21, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. in Buffalo, New York, before Judge Arcara.