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12 men face federal child porn charges
News Staff Reporter
A dozen men, including eight from Western New York, are facing federal child pornography charges here under a national initiative targeting those who sexually exploit children, the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Those charged face a variety of offenses including possessing, transporting or distributing child pornography. The crimes range from possessing images of child pornography downloaded from the Internet to the production of child pornography during sexually abusive acts, authorities said.

"These are monsters that prey upon our innocent children," said Laurie J. Bennett, special agent in charge of the Buffalo Field Office of the FBI.

U.S. Attorney Terrance P. Flynn said Internet child pornography is a continuing act of child abuse committed by those who not only produce the images but also possess and exchange them. "[The children] are being abused time and time and time again because the picture is not destroyed," he said.

Bennett said the Buffalo office was one of the first 13 offices nationwide to institute the Innocent Images National Initiative to target those involved in the online sexual exploitation of children. Since 2002, more than 400 arrests have been made, she said.

The dozen federal cases announced in the roundup Thursday included the following individuals: Richard Bozmoff, 39, of Warren, Ohio; Bruce Bremer, 49, of Buffalo; Vincent A. Carney, 44, of North Tonawanda; Allen F. Dise, 47, of Albion; Richard Harrold, no age listed, of North Carolina; Richard Lamphere, 34, of California; Edward Keef, 37, of the Town of Tonawanda; Nathan Littlefield, 32, of Massachusetts; Thomas Powers, 47, of Lockport; Hans Sterzelbach, 64, of Grand Island; William J. Swiat, 21, of Cheektowaga; and Lloyd Thomas, 58, of Akron.

Most face sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Others face up to 10 or 30 years, depending on their crimes.

Dise, a former Buffalo News employee in the editorial graphics department, initially came to the attention of law enforcement authorities in February when he provided a co-worker with what he thought was a blank compact disk. The disk was found, however, to contain sexually explicit images of young girls. The FBI reported Dise had more that 100 images believed to be child pornography. His case was referred to federal authorities for prosecution. Dise faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.

His attorney, Mark J. Mahoney, said he was "very disappointed" that authorities are pursuing Dise's case federally, rather than by a state prosecution. He said Dise faces a much longer potential prison term because the case is being pursued federally.

"If he was a producer of child pornography, I could understand this decision," Mahoney said. "But [prosecutors] know there is no indication that he did anything but look at pictures that were free for him to obtain over the Internet."

Bozmoff, a 17-year Army veteran who ran a private consulting business, pleaded guilty Thursday to transporting child pornography and faces five to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.

Bozmoff sent several videos of prepubescent children engaged in sexual conduct to undercover FBI agents and admitted to possessing more than 300 images on his computer, including some of minors under age 12 and others depicting sexual acts "readily capable of inflicting pain upon the children," authorities reported.

Both Flynn and Bennett encouraged parents, teachers and the public to learn more about the sexual exploitation of children in order to protect children from predators, and urged them to contact the FBI with any information at 856-7800. The FBI will hold a free Cyber Safety community forum at 7 p.m. Thursday in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.
Staff reporter Dan Herbeck cxontributed to this story.