A joint investigation conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Seneca Falls Police Department and Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division resulted in the execution of a search warrant on November 14, 2012 at 123 State Street in Seneca Falls, NY. Upon the completion of this joint law enforcement effort the following individual was arrested by the U.S. Postal Inspectors.
Lawrence Higgins, 61, of Seneca Falls, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with the knowing receipt and possession of child pornography. Due to Higgins’s prior convictions, the charge of receipt carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 30 years and a fine of $250,000; the charge of possession carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 20 years and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Lee, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the United States Postal Inspection Service received information that the defendant ordered DVD’s depicting child pornography from an “International Company.” Between November 2008 and March 2011, Higgins made 11 purchases. The DVD’s were delivered to an address located on State Street in Seneca Falls.
During the interview that was conducted by all law enforcement officer involved, Higgins admitted to ordering the DVD’s and to possessing thousands of images of child pornography and hundreds of hours of videos of child pornography on his computers and digital storage media.
Higgins also admitted that he was a convicted sex offender and while living in Seneca Falls for several years, he did not inform the New York State Sex Offender Registry of his Seneca Falls address. According to the complaint, Higgins was convicted in Seneca County of four counts of sexual abuse in the first degree in 1993 stemming from contact he had with an individual less than 11 years old.
During the search Higgins was found to be in possession of an AK-47 rifle and ammunition. Higgins is restricted from possessing a firearm due to his prior felony conviction. The rifle was turned over to the Seneca Falls Police Department by the U.S. Postal Inspectors for further investigation and possible charges.
Higgins made an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and is being held without bail pending a detention hearing on November 19,2012 at 3:00 p.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.