SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Chester Hammond, age 44, of Manlius, New York, was arrested yesterday and charged with distributing child pornography, announced Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon, Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett.
According to the criminal complaint, Hammond, a registered sex offender who was convicted in 1996 of attempted sexual abuse in the first degree distributed an image of child pornography over the internet. A subsequent search of Hammond’s cellular telephone revealed that he also possessed over 400 images of child pornography.
The charge against Hammond carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison, a post-release term of supervision of between five years and life, and a fine of up to $250,000. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
Hammond made his initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter and was detained pending further proceedings.
The charge in the complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force, comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), with assistance from the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey J. L. Brown 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.