Press Release, Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., Western District of New York
BUFFALO – Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Christopher Ridder, 45, of Albion was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession of child pornography.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie O. Lamarque and Aaron J. Mango, who are handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on September 3, 2016, two Medina residents found a Samsung Centura smart phone in the trash in front of the former residence of the defendant on South Main St.
The following day, one of the individuals who found the phone charged it, began searching through it, and opened the Facebook application which automatically connected to Facebook account of the Ridder.
The phone also had pictures on it of individuals that the person knew as well as 75 images of young boys in various states of dress (bathing suits, underwear, etc.). Some pictures contained naked images of different boys. The individuals who found the phone turned the phone into the Village of Medina Police Department.
Further review of the phone and its contents by law enforcement officers uncovered a Facebook Messenger conversation that took place between Ridder and another individual. Officers also discovered another Facebook Messenger conversation between the defendant and second individual.
On October 18, 2016, an undercover officer logged into a Facebook account and contacted the defendant through Messenger. During the conversation, the defendant advised that he lived in Albion and stated, when describing himself to the officer, wrote, “im very down to earth… very open minded…biggest fantasy is to be with a bf laying on a blanket nude in the woods.”
The officer replied, “sounds like boy scout retreat.” The defendant wrote back, “I been a boy scout… and yes… had a friend in it tht we messed around in our tent.. .I was 13 he was 12.” The officerE replied, “that’s wild, you ever still think about that now.” Ridder then wrote, “Ya… I wish I can have tht chance again with a bf.” As the conversation continued, the defendant told the officer, “Im a ped just like you. I know exactly how u get or feel…These laws… I hate them.”
The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer. Ridder is being held pending a detention hearing on Feb. 1, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen and the Medina Police Department, under the direction of Chief Chad Kenward.
Anyone with information about any minors that Ridder has had contact with can call the FBI at 716-843-1680.
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.