Arrested In New York Child Pornography Bust
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[May 22, 2014]
By Victoria Cavaliere
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two police officers,
a Little League coach, and a mother were among 71 people arrested across
the New York City-area in the largest-ever roundup of people who share
child pornography online, federal and local law enforcement said
The 70 men and one woman came from all five boroughs of New York
City and the surrounding suburbs, including New Jersey and Long
Island, and range in age from their 20s to 50s, authorities said.
The investigation was led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, whose agents
identified an online network sharing child pornography, said Special
Agent James Hayes.
"Many of the defendants are in fact educated and successful in their
professional and private lives," Hayes told reporters. "We can no
longer assume that the only people who would stoop to prey on
children are unemployed drifters."
Among those charged was a paramedic, two nurses, an airline pilot,
an au pair, a person previously convicted of child sexual abuse, a
New York City police officer and a mother accused of producing
pornography involving her own child.
Several of the individuals have young children at home, Hayes said.
Those arrested face a battery of state and federal charges,
including distributing, producing and possessing child pornography.
Authorities became aware of the file-sharing ring after the January
arrest of Brian Fanelli, a former police chief in Mount Pleasant, 24
miles north of New York City and the March arrest of a Brooklyn
rabbi, Samuel Waldman, on child pornography charges.
Both men's computers were linked to a peer-to-peer network that
allowed users to share caches of child pornography while easily
importing materials from other computers linked on the network,
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Both men have pleaded not guilty.
With the help of the New York City Police Department, investigators
"surreptitiously" connected to the peer-to-peer network, which at
times had up to 3,000 people searching for child pornography, Hayes
During the execution of nearly 90 search warrants, agents seized 600
desktop and laptop computers, tablets, phones, thumb drives and hard
drives containing tens of thousands of images and videos.
Hayes said the investigation was just beginning. "We hope this sends
the message to predators that we are going to find them," he said.
Those arrested in the sweep face between seven and 25 years in
prison if convicted.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Scott Malone,
Bernadette Baum and Lisa Shumaker)
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