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Post date: February 29 2000

New York State Task Force Targets Internet Pornography

Attorney General Spitzer, State Police Superintendent James McMahon, and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York Denise O'Donnell today announced that an Erie County man has been sentenced following a joint investigation by state and federal law enforcement officials in New York and New Hampshire targeting distribution of child pornography.

Thomas E. Hudson, 40, of 81 Shepard Street in Buffalo, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara to 47 months in federal prison and three years of supervised released for transmitting child pornography across state lines. He was also sentenced to a one year concurrent term by Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio for promoting a sexual performance by a child.

The case was investigated by New York's U.S. Department of Justice-funded task force on internet crimes against children. The State's Task Force members are the New York State Attorney General, the State Police, and the Department of Criminal Justice Services. Similar Task Forces operate in 18 other states.

"Combating child pornography should be a cooperative venture among law enforcement agencies and prosecutors throughout the state and nation," Spitzer said. "The successful conclusion of this case demonstrates the great potential of this approach. We will be working with the State Police, Federal and local authorities and other authorities to bring additional cases and combat the insidious problem of child pornography."

"Because these crimes often cross multiple jurisdictions, it is imperative that law enforcement work together to eliminate those who exploit our youngsters for sexual gratificaltion," said State Police Superintendent James W. McMahon. "We will continue to work cooperatively with Attorney General Spitzer to successfully identify and arrest offenders who choose to involve our nation's youth is such detestable criminal activity.

"The growth of computer access brings with it the potenital to bring Federal charges for computer related crimes," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Campana. "We plan to continue working with the Attorney General in an effort to bring Federal and State prosecutions against those who traffic in child pornography."

Hudson's activities were originally reported to New York by New Hampshire authorities who were monitoring a specific Internet site. Following an initial online correspondence, Hudson transmitted numerous illegal images over the Internet and mailed five computer disks containing thousands of pornographic images of children to an undercover investigator in New Hampshire.

The New York Attorney General's Office and State Police then secured a search warrant for Hudson's residence. Based on the evidence seized during the search, the defendant was arrested and charged. He later pleaded guilty to the two felony charges.

After sentencing, Hudson was sent to a federal detention facility in Batavia pending transfer to a federal prison.

These two cases were handled by the Assistant Attorney General Paul McCarthy, and investigators Mike McCartney and Jim Domres of the Attorney General's Office, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Campana, Investigator Joseph Thorton of the New York State Police, and Postal Inspector Dave McGuiness.