BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Thomas A. Gillespie, 44, of East Brady, PA, pleaded guilty to production of child pornography, before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott S. Allen, Jr. and Russell T. Ippolito, Jr., who are handling the case, stated that between July 2014 and August 7, 2014, the defendant began communicating with a minor under the age of 12 in Cheektowaga, NY, via instant messaging on Vine.com. The communications were sexually graphic in nature, and involved the defendant coercing the minor victim into sharing sexually explicit images of herself. A search warrant was executed at the defendant’s apartment in East Brady where federal agents recovered Gillespie’s computer. A forensic examination recovered images of the minor victim, including one nude image of the victim.
The plea is the result of an investigation by detectives from the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Kevin P. Lyons, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 12, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Wolford.