Sixteen people — including an elementary school teacher and a school bus driver — have been arrested as part of a statewide crackdown on child pornography.

State officials say some of the 16 arrested — whose own ages range from 17 to 72 —downloaded and distributed hundreds of files each, including videos of young children being raped. And an announcement of their arrests Wednesday details more alleged crimes: The teacher, for instance, is accused of hiding a tablet computer in bathroom stalls at a local theater to record videos of others using the toilet.

“These defendants come from all walks of life, but they allegedly share a depraved desire to see children being raped and sexually exploited,” acting Attorney General Robert Lougy said.

The teacher — Thomas Guzzi Jr., who taught fifth grade at the John H. Winslow Elementary School in Vineland — served as the school's drama club adviser and the   stage manager at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, according to the Office of the Attorney General.

It said officials found more than 100 files of child pornography on Guzzi's personal computer.

All 16 people were charged with second-degree distribution of child pornography, which carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison, and third-degree possession of child pornography, which carries a sentence of three to five years in prison.

Guzzi was also charged with third-degree invasion of privacy — a video found on his computer allegedly revealed him installing the tablet, Lougy's office said.

“By viewing and distributing child pornography, particularly the child rape videos targeted in this operation, these offenders directly motivate and put themselves in league with the predators who torture children to create these repulsive materials," Lougy said.

Agents found 27 child pornography files in a shared folder on Sparta school bus driver Eugene Triston's computer, the OAG said. The 55-year-old allegedly viewed pornography on breaks between bus runs — including runs for elementary school children.

The arrests — made between Feb. 10 and March 31 — come as part of the multi-agency "Operation Safeguard," a joint operation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and ICE Homeland Security Investigations.

Other alleged offenses highlighted by the OAG:

  • It said a 17-year-old high school student from Hudson County had 122 files of suspected child pornography in a shared folder on his computer. The teen is accused of selling child pornography to people he met online in exchange for Amazon gift cards.
  • Shaun Dooley, a senior IT officer for an insurance company in Jersey City, is accused of having 220 files of suspected child pornography stored on his personal computer.
  • Andres Tejada-Diaz, aa factory worker from Kearny, is accused of having 168 files of suspected child pornography in a shared folder on his computer. Investigators also found a locked suitcase filled with sex toys and underwear for little girls when they executed a search warrant at his home, the OAG said.

Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig said by circulating videos of child pornography, "these offenders perpetually re-victimize the innocent children who are sexually assaulted to produce them."

Anyone convicted of distributing 25 or more computer files of child pornography – which includes simply having that number of files in a shared folder on their computers – would face a mandatory minimum  state prison sentence of five years without possibility of parole, the OAG said. Anyone convicted of having 100 or more files of child pornography on his or her computer would face a presumptive sentence of three to five years in state prison.

According to the OAG, agents of HSI and detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police monitored several online file-sharing networks and traced the files back to the 16 defendant's computers. Several state, county and local law enforcement agencies took part as well, it said

Some of the videos showed pre-pubescent boys and girls being raped or being coerced into performing sexual acts on themselves or others, it said.

Those charged were:

  • Thomas Guzzi Jr., 36, of Pitman. Teacher at John H. Winslow Elementary School in Vineland. Arrested Feb. 19. Bail, $50,000. Charged with possession of 100 or more files of child pornography.
  • Eugene Triston, 55, of Stanhope. Bus driver in Sparta School District. Arrested Feb. 10. Bail, $50,000. Charged with distribution of 25 or more files of child pornography.
  • Male Juvenile, 17, of Kearny. Arrested March 15. Released with ankle monitor. Charged with selling child pornography, possession of 100 or more files of child pornography, and distribution of 25 or more files of child pornography.
  • Shaun Dooley, 46, of Summit. Senior IT officer for insurance company. Arrested March 9. Bail, $75,000. Charged with possession of 100 or more files of child pornography.
  • Andres Tejada-Diaz, 42, of Kearny. Arrested March 3. Bail, $100,000. Charged with possession of 100 or more files of child pornography and distribution of 25 or more files.
  • John Wilms, 46, of Mount Holly. Driver for parcel delivery service. Arrested Feb. 25. Bail, $100,000. Charged with distributing 25 or more files of child pornography for files allegedly found in a shared folder on his computer, including many videos involving infants.
  • Robert Kunert, 22, of Hamilton, Mercer County. Supermarket employee. Arrested March 31. Bail, $52,000. He allegedly possessed approximately 298 files of child pornography in a shared folder on his computer. Charged with possession of 100 or more files of child pornography and distribution of 25 or more files of child pornography.
  • Matthew Dieterman, 32, of Piscataway. Public employee who works for Somerset County in county garage. Arrested March 4. Bail, $50,000. Charged with possession of 100 or more files of child pornography and distribution of 25 or more files of child pornography.
  • Oziel Hernandez Sandoval, 27, of Piscataway. Employment unknown. Arrested March 29. Bail, $75,000. A forensic preview revealed approximately 225 files of child pornography in a shared folder on his computer. Charged with possession of 100 or more files of child pornography and distribution of 25 or more files of child pornography.
  • Bernard Rapp, 72, of Southampton. Retired. Arrested Feb. 24. Bail, $75,000. Charged with possession of 100 or more files of child pornography.
  • Germin Simon, 34, of South Plainfield. Self-employed computer repair technician under name “The Computer Man.” Arrested March 17. Bail, $100,000.
  • William Morgan, 59, of Manalapan. Unemployed. Arrested March 24. Bail, $150,000.
  • Christian Martinez-Gonzalez, 34, of East Windsor. Factory worker. Arrested March 7. Bail, $50,000.
  • Brandon Weiss, 42, of Burlington Township. Line worker for label printing company. Arrested Feb. 23. Bail, $100,000.
  • Armando Gonzalez-Longorio, 70, of Elizabeth. Works for employment agency. Arrested Feb. 18. Bail, $100,000.
  • Dimas Zuniga, 44, of Roselle. Employment unknown. Arrested March 22. Bail, $50,000.

A child pornography law signed by Governor Christie in 2013 changed the definition of “child” to any person under 18 years of age – up from 16 in the old law – and increased the punishment for virtually all offenses.

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