A Niskayuna resident could spend as much as 20 years behind bars after pleading guilty Wednesday to one count of receiving child pornography.
Ronald Lovett, 66, of Beech Drive, admitted in U.S. District Court to possessing on his laptop computer more than 10,000 still images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Lovett had shared the materials from June 2009 through February 2012 by using an online file-sharing service, according to papers filed in court.
Undercover investigators from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations monitored activity on the file sharing site to identify users who were sharing child pornography. They identified a computer at Lovett’s residence that was making files available on two separate occasions — June 29, 2011, and Jan. 19, 2012.
On Feb. 10, 2012, investigators showed up at Lovett’s house with a search warrant to seize the computer, thumb drives and external hard drives. They told him not to touch any computers in the residence.
Lovett told authorities that he needed to take his daily medication and asked if he could go into the kitchen. At that point, he turned on the kitchen sink faucet and inserted the drain stopper.
Investigators asked if they could speak to Lovett in private. They were going to talk in the living room/dining room area. However, first he told investigators that he needed a moment to comfort his wife.
“During Lovett’s embrace of his wife, investigators observed Lovett whispering into his wife’s ear. Once the embrace ended Lovett then went with the investigators into the living room/dining room. Just moments after Lovett went into the living room/dining room area, Lovett’s wife grabbed the Apple MacBook laptop computer ... and placed it into the kitchen sink which contained the pool of water,” according to court documents.
Investigators immediately removed the computer to let it dry and were also able to retrieve two thumb drives and two external hard drives.
The indictment alleges that Lovett possessed child pornography during the period from around May 2007 through February 2012.
Lovett initially faced a slew of charges including four counts of possession of child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count each of receipt of child pornography and tampering with evidence. However, as part of the plea agreement that was reduced to the single count.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 18. The minimum Lovett will face is five years in prison. He will be on post-release supervision for at least five years after his release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Belliss is prosecuting the case.