ROCHESTER, NY — Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Buffalo, a Rochester man was arrested Wednesday and charged by criminal complaint in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York with receipt and possession of child pornography.
Richard Wolfe, 60, of Rochester, NY, is a full-time truck driver who also works as a part-time professional photographer and has taken pictures of minors. According to the complaint, in March 2016, a Canadian law enforcement agency executed a search warrant involving a mobile chatting application. Between April 2, 2016, and April 7, 2016, a user with the account name “rickyraz15” used the application to share 331 images of child pornography. The account was traced to the defendant in Rochester.
On October 31, 2017, HSI Buffalo executed a search warrant at Wolfe’s residence on Legran Road in Rochester. Special Agents seized a laptop, two digital cameras, a camcorder, a thumb drive, two SD cards, a cell phone, multiple CDs, an external hard drive, and miscellaneous documents. During a search of the garage, agents discovered a desktop computer that appeared to have been destroyed by a sledge hammer. A lockbox was discovered in the closet of an upstairs bedroom. HSI gained entry to the lockbox and found approximately 80 CDs and an external hard drive. A forensic preview of the external hard drive found several images and videos of child pornography. Some of the images depicted prepubescent minors engaged in sexual situations.
On October 31, 2017, HSI Buffalo executed a second federal search warrant for the defendant’s cell phone, which revealed that the phone had been reset to factory settings. A forensic examination of the items seized from the defendant is currently pending, but to date, over 2030 images and videos containing child pornography have been recovered.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Members of the public who have specific information related to this case are urged to contact the HSI Buffalo Office at 716-464-5931.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.