Auburn man’s local case dismissed after pleading guilty to federal child porn charges

October 20, 2016

AUBURN — More than two years after being arrested for distributing child pornography and trying to meet a boy for sex, an Auburn man has had his case dismissed in local criminal court. However, he’s still heading to prison.

Michael Mahannah, 33, of 167 State St., was arrested in May 2014 after he messaged what he thought was a 12-year-old boy for oral sex. But, according to Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann, it turned out the level two sex offender had actually been messaging an undercover state trooper.

At that time, Mahannah was charged with two felonies in Cayuga County: first-degree attempted criminal sex act and first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor. But before the case could proceed at the local level, a federal grand jury indicted Mahannah, charging him in October 2014 with attempted coercion and enticement of someone he thought was a minor and the possession and distribution of child pornography in U.S. District Court.

Mahannah — who was convicted of having sexual contact with a 6-year-old boy in 2009 — eventually pleaded guilty to part of the indictment, admitting to 18 counts of receiving, possessing and distributing child porn in April 2016. Then, after a two-day trial in June, federal judge David Hurd threw out the remaining charges, stating that text messages showed the state trooper tried to persuade Mahannah into asking for sex.

Worried that Mahanna’s guilty plea in the U.S. District Court would constitute double jeopardy, Judge Thomas Leone granted the district attorney’s request Thursday to drop all charges against Mahanna in Cayuga County.

Meanwhile, Mahanna will likely be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in federal prison next month.

Also in court:

• An Onondaga County man will likely spend the next six months in boot camp for selling heroin in the town of Sterling.

Eric Adams, of 113 Dunning Dr. in Camillus, pleaded guilty in July to one count of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.

On Thursday, Leone sentenced the 50-year-old to three years in prison plus two years post-release supervision. However, the judge also ordered shock camp incarceration, in which non-violent felony offenders often serve six months of their sentence while receiving substance abuse treatment.

When asked if he had anything to say to the court, Adams explained that his addiction to drugs began with a prescription from his physician.

“The 10 years I was abusing drugs, a doctor prescribed them to me,” he said. “I just want to point that out.”

Adams was also ordered to pay roughly $750 in restitution.

• A Genoa man pleaded guilty to attempted burglary Thursday in exchange for 1 1/2 to 3 years in prison.

Corbin Peck, 32, of 1278 Bartnick Rd., admitted to a reduced charge of third-degree attempted burglary for illegally entering a house on Creek Road in April with the intent to steal.

A second felony offender, Peck could faced a maximum of two to four years in prison. However, Leone agreed to grant the defendant the minimum sentence of 1 1/2 to 3 years in prison.

Peck will also be expected to pay some form of restitution in the case. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 22.