ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Lawrence Higgins, 62, of Seneca Falls, N.Y., pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and being a felon in possession of a firearm before the U.S. District Court Judge Charles J. Siragusa. As a result of a prior Seneca County conviction for sex abuse in the first degree, possession of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, a maximum penalty of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000. Being a felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that the United States Postal Inspection Service received information that the defendant ordered DVD's depicting child pornography. From November 2008 to March 2011, Higgins made 11 purchases. The DVDs were delivered to an address located on State Street in Seneca Falls, N.Y. where a search warrant was executed on November 14, 2012. Higgins admitted to ordering the DVDs and possessing thousands of images of child pornography and hundreds of hours of videos of child pornography on his computers and digital storage media. The defendant also possessed a rifle and ammunition.
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 United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge, Kevin Niland, Boston Division.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 25, 2013, before Judge Siragusa.