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27 NJ Residents Busted For Child Porn [VIDEO]

More than two dozen people in 26 towns across New Jersey are arrested as part of a major three-month child pornography investigation dubbed “Operation Watchdog.”

Attorney General Jeff Chiesa
Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media

Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says the three-month, multi-agency effort resulted in 27 men and one woman being charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.

The suspects range in age from 17 to 66 and reside in counties across the state, from Atlantic City to Union Township.

They include the head of the Morristown Public Works Department and a man whose home was connected to a daycare facility.

“Through aggressive, technology-driven investigations such as Operation Watchdog, we must banish the misguided notion that online viewing and sharing of child pornography is a victimless crime,” said Attorney General Chiesa.

He said the vulnerable children who are degraded to create these vile materials are re-victimized every time another person views the images.

“While we call this material child porn, what we should really call it is what it is…videos and pictures of children being raped and tortured,” said Chiesa.

The first arrest was Cesar Salgado-Maya, 23, of Audubon, who was arrested on March 1st, before the other targets of the operation when he was found to be living in a residence connected to a child daycare center.

Another man, Bernard Cahill, 53, of Folsom, allegedly took photos while sexually assaulting a juvenile. Those pictures were discovered during the search warrant. Cahill was additionally charged with sexual assault and manufacturing child pornography.

“Those who thought they could hide their child porn crimes in the secrecy of their homes have been exposed by the relentless work of law enforcement working together. We will continue to stand together-as the name Operation Watchdog implies-as guardians to protect children from those who would make them sexual victims,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

Detectives were able to link all arrested subjects by their use of the Internet to download or distribute images of child pornography. Pictures were traced in a number of ways, including their digital fingerprint, as they are passed through cyberspace. Detectives then follow the file transfers to their origin and destination locations.

“Peer to Peer filing sharing also plays a big role in the distribution of child porn. We also have undercover detectives online who monitor searches of these sites to develop suspects, whom we sometimes pass on to other states and even other countries…it’s that widespread” said Chiesa.

One subject, William Brooks, 66, of Pennsauken, had his computer actively running a file sharing program with multiple child porn images when the warrant on his home was served. With a previous conviction in another state on his record, Brooks was lodged in Camden County Jail in default of $300,000 cash bail. Three subjects, whose names are not being released at this time, are still being sought.

“Let the word go out that those who share child pornography over the Internet are also sharing the evidence of their crimes with computer experts from law enforcement, who are patrolling the Internet to stop this tragic victimization of children,” said Division of Criminal Justice Director Stephen Taylor. “The Division of Criminal Justice will continue to work hand-in-hand with the State Police and our other law enforcement partners to arrest such offenders.”

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Video by Stacy Proebstle

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