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U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Zachary Rogers, 34, of Amherst, NY, pleaded guilty, before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo, to possession of child pornography. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A search warrant was executed by the FBI at the defendant’s Amherst apartment on January 25, 2018. The FBI seized two computer hard drives, which contained more than 21,000 images of child pornography. Some of the images depicted prepubescent minors, as well as sexual violence. Rogers used a peer to peer networking application to receive and distribute child pornography.
Within days of the execution of the search warrant, the defendant fled to Southeast Asia, according to a note he left behind. The government received notice in October 2019 that Rogers was arrested in the country of Montenegro. Following extradition proceedings, the defendant was returned to the Western District of New York in June 2020.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia. Additional assistance was provided by law enforcement authorities in Montenegro. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs was responsible for securing the extradition.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 19, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.