BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Michael Fratini, 38, of Dunkirk, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to attempted receipt of child pornography, which carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron J. Mango and Franz M. Wright, who are handling the case, stated that Fratini used his cellular telephone to solicit nude photos and videos of the pre-pubescent daughters of a female acquaintance, whom he met in October 2021 through a dating application. After meeting in person, the female acquaintance did not hear from Fratini again for several months. In March 2022, they spoke over the telephone and Fratini told her that he had a mother/daughter fantasy. He then sent a follow-up text message asking for videos and/or pictures of her daughters to fulfill his fantasies. After receiving the text message, the female acquaintance filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office. At the direction of the Sheriff’s Office, she continued text message conversations with Fratini. On March 18, 2022, investigators surveilled Fratini leaving his workplace at the time, the U.S. Postal Service on Grant Street in Buffalo, and travel to an Amherst hotel where he was expecting to meet the female acquaintance. After arriving at the hotel, Fratini was taken into custody.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John Garcia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.