27 Arrested In New Jersey Child Porn Crackdown - The New York Criminal Law Blog

The New York Criminal Law Blog

27 Arrested In New Jersey Child Porn Crackdown

Investigators from “Operation Watchdog” just laid down the hammer on twenty-seven individuals suspected of distributing and possessing child porn, reports NJ.com. The three-month investigation monitored file-sharing networks and used files with digital fingerprints to track files across the suspects’ computers.

Among those arrested were the 50-year-old Director of Public Works for Morristown, Charles E. Jones and an unidentified 17-year-old minor. The full list, along with photos of the suspects, has been released to the press.

Bernard Cahill, 53, allegedly photographed himself sexually assaulting a juvenile. The photos were seized during the arrest. He was charged with manufacturing child pornography and sexual assault, in addition to the possession and distribution charges faced by the others.

Another suspect, 23-year-old Cesar Salgado-Maya, was arrested back on March 1 after investigators discovered that he was living in a residence attached to a day care center. Most of the remaining suspects were arrested only recently. Three of them are still on the loose.

The investigation was launched in January, after Attorney General Jeffrey Chisea took office. Cracking down on child pornography was one of the primary goals of his administration.

Federal law prohibits the production, possession, transmission, reception, or distribution of child pornography using any means of interstate commerce, which includes postal mail and of course, the Internet.

These suspects were allegedly using file sharing to transmit files to each other.

The most popular forms of peer-to-peer file sharing, including Bit Torrent, transmit files byte by byte while downloading them. Essentially, the file is broken down into thousands of tiny chunks. While you are downloading some chunks, other chunks are available to be copied to others. That means file-sharing users who are attempting to download the files are quite possibly guilty of distributing them as well.

Sentences for child porn offenses range from five years all the way to a full life sentence.

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