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Child Exploitation

Upstate New York man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

ALBANY, N.Y. – An upstate New York man pleaded guilty Sept.13 to possession of child pornography. The plea follows a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and local law enforcement.

In entering his plea, James Tabolt Jr., 39, of Tupper Lake, N.Y., admitted that between June 2010 and February 2011 he possessed more than 1,300 images of child pornography on a home computer. Under a plea agreement, he faces a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment up to a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. He will also be required to register under the sex offender registration and notification act.

In December 2010, a New York State Police investigator assigned to the New York Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) detected images of child pornography being made available from an Internet protocol address in the Tupper Lake area. Investigators were able to determine the images came from a computer in the defendant's residence. Following the execution of a search warrant by members of the state police, Tupper Lake Police Department, and the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, the defendant's computer was seized.

A forensic examination was conducted following the issuance of a federal search warrant which resulted in the recovery of more than 1,300 images of child pornography. Sentencing is scheduled for January 14, 2013, in Albany.

Tabolt's arrest was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the New York State Police, Tupper Lake Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff's Department, Clinton County Sheriff's Department, HSI and the New York ICAC.

Assistance was also provided by the Utica Police Department's Digital Forensics Laboratory.

HSI's ongoing efforts to target suspects involved in child exploitation offenses are part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.