SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Richard J. Potter, Jr., age 57, of Springport, New York, pled guilty today to charges of receipt and possession of child pornography, and to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In pleading guilty before United States District Judge David N. Hurd in Utica, Potter admitted that from June 2018 to in or about January 2019, he used the Internet to search for and receive child pornography. Potter also admitted that on January 23, 2019, he possessed a total of 33,066 images and 206 videos of child pornography on 35 separate electronic devices, and 451 images of child pornography in a cloud storage account that he maintained and controlled.
Potter, who was previously convicted in 2003 of a crime related to the sexual abuse of a minor, faces at least 15 years and up to 40 years in prison for the child pornography crimes, as well as a term of supervised release of between 5 years and life. Upon his release from prison, Potter will be required to register as a sex offender in any state where he lives, is employed, or is a student.
Potter also pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, admitting that on January 23, 2019, he possessed a 12-gauge shotgun. For this offense, Potter faces up to 10 years in prison.
A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant violated, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
This case was investigated by the FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force. This task force is comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrian S. LaRochelle as a part of Project Safe Childhood.
Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.
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