Fourteen men from all different walks of life have been taken into custody as part of a crackdown on distributing child pornography in the Garden State.

Child Porn Suspects (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

“The arrests were made throughout the past month in what we have deemed Operation Predator Alert,” said acting State Attorney General John Hoffman.

He says the operation “specifically targeted a file sharing network that is popular with those who download and share these aberrant materials on the internet using file-sharing software. These offenders come from all walks of life and all ages, but they have one common link, and that is their depraved interest in viewing children being raped and being tortured.”

The arrests, which were made from Sept. 30 to Oct. 24, mark the first major child pornography sweep conducted by the Attorney General’s Office in which defendants are charged under New Jersey’s strict new child pornography law.

Local and State officials worked with authorities on the federal level during the investigation.

“Child predators rob children of their youth and innocence. One child victimized by a pedophile is one too many,” said Andrew McLees, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Newark. “This joint effort with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Justice is a clear indication of HSI’s resolve to seek out those who sexually exploit innocent children.”

Acting state Attorney General John Hoffman (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)