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Bergen County Men Arrested in NJ Child Pornography Sweep

NJ law enforcement recently conducted a major investigation that netted 40 men accused of possessing child pornography throughout the state, including Bergen County and Passaic County.

The investigation was called “Operation Statewide” and targeted suspects believed to have used the Internet to download illicit sexual images of juveniles. New Jersey State Police spent months investigating the suspects. Detectives were able to trace the online activity of the suspects through digital fingerprints of the illegal child pornography. Once investigators had access to the digital fingerprints of the images, they were able to locate the suspects’ at physical addresses where they had allegedly used their computers.

While conducting searches at the suspects’ residences, police officers seized a number of computers. According to authorities, some of the seized computers contained more than 1,000 images of juvenile pornography. One of the computers reportedly had as many as 76,000 illegal images of child pornography.

The 40 suspects who were arrested come from all 21 counties in the State of New Jersey. All of the suspects have been charged with possession of child pornography. Most of the suspects have also been accused of distributing child pornography because they allegedly uploaded the illegal images to the Internet.

After the arrests were announced, NJ State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes said that the suspects who viewed and, in some cases, shared child pornography had promoted activity that can lead to child molestation and sexual assault.

If any of the suspects are convicted on the child pornography possession charges, they would be subject to severe criminal penalties. That’s because possession of child pornography is classified as a third degree felony and can result in a sentence of 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison.

The suspects who were charged with distribution of child pornography face even harsher penalties. Since child pornography distribution is classified as a second degree felony, it carries a potential penalty of 5-10 years in NJ State Prison.

For additional information, see the NorthJersey.com article, “Four Bergen, Passaic Men among 40 Charged in Child Porn Probe.”

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