David Gfeller, age 35, formerly of Fayette Street in the Village of Palmyra was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after admitting in January to making child pornography and distributing it to several countries across Europe.
Gfeller was arrested in March 2019 after a 3-year investigation into the origin of child pornography. According to the complaint, on February 12, 2019, Special Agents with Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo received information from an international law enforcement network. A series of pornographic photos allegedly involving a young boy were first discovered by Belgian police in December of 2017, according to court documents.
Authorities in various other countries, including Germany, Italy, Portugal, and France, depicting a prepubescent minor in child pornography, led back to the possibility that the origin was in Western New York.
Using metadata from the content online, the origin of the photographs was traced back, and a victim was later located. A search warrant was executed on Gfeller’s home on March 1, 2019, and he was subsequently arrested for producing child pornography.
With assistance from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, HSI Agents used data associated with the images to locate the residence in which the images were produced.
Court documents shortly after his arrest state that, after being read his Miranda rights, Gfeller told investigators he had been making child pornography of the child for three years.
“It was definitely an international effort,” said Rick Resnick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the time of Gfeller’s arrest. “Thankfully, we had this international database that images like this could be submitted, then reports can be generated and these kind of leads can be submitted to areas where they think these images are taken, so we can locate victims and stop them from being victimized.”
Gfeller, who was married with two young children at the time of his arrest, could have faced up to 30 years in prison.