• September 19, 2020

21 arrested Across NJ for distributing child porno online

State police have arrested 21 people for allegedly sexually exploiting children on the internet, underscoring the rising threat to children who spend increasing amounts of time in front of a monitor throughout the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Wednesday.

Dubbed “Operation Screen Capture,” the sweep conducted from March 18 to July 31 and netted three suspects currently charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to assault children sexually, police said. Eighteen others are charged with endangering children’s welfare throughout the possession or supply of child sexual abuse substances, including videos of rape.

“We are sending a clear message to child predators and people who share child sexual abuse stuff on the internet: You might think you can hide behind the anonymity of the net. But we’ll find you, and we’ll detain you,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said through a digital news conference.

Grewal also said the sting highlights the menace online predators pose to homebound children starved for contact with the outside world.

Tips to the nation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force have risen markedly during the pandemic, police said. This past year, they received 1,200 cyber hints between March 1 and July 31. This year, they have received about 3,600 during the exact same time frame. Authorities attribute that to more people staying home and sharing more information online.

But not all those tips are predator-related; authorities estimate there was a roughly 50% increase in an online criminal activity.

Nonetheless, it might worsen when kids return to their virtual classrooms this fall, Grewal said.

“They will be spending much more time online, in many cases with no in-person teacher supervision or peer contact,” he explained. “This may make them more vulnerable. …We urge parents to be cautious about their children’s internet activities and warn kids that the strangers they meet on popular social networking sites, programs and gaming platforms might be out to hurt them.”

The analysis was led by the state’s Division of Criminal Justice, the New Jersey State Police, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, along with prosecutor’s offices in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Ocean and Sussex counties.

1. Aaron Craiger, 34, of Oklahoma. Gas station attendant. Arrested March 18. Two Counts of Attempted Aggravated Sexual Assault (2nd level), Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level), Two Counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (3rd level), Two Counts of Attempted Distribution of Marijuana (4th level), Possession of Marijuana (Disorderly Persons Offense).

2. Jason Berry, 40, of Keansburg, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested June 18. Manufacturing Child Pornography (1st level), Sexual Assault (2nd level), Child Abuse (2nd level), Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level), Theft by Extortion (2nd level), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

3. Alize Tejada, 21, of Newark, N.J. Babysitter. Arrested July 15. Aggravated Sexual Assault (1st level), Manufacturing Child Pornography (1st level).

4. Michael Gilpin, 42, of Union Beach, N.J. Pipefitter. Arrested July 26. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

5. Raymond Radziewicz, 53, of Bloomfield, N.J. Former teaching assistant at the child care center who had been terminated as a result of this arrest. Arrested July 7. Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

6. Brett Warfield, 21, of Carney’s Point, N.J. Personal security guard. Arrested July 15. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

7. Loic Atse, 18, of Aberdeen, N.J. College student. Arrested July 23. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

8. Donovan Falconer, 25, of Plainsboro, N.J. An employee of an advertising firm. Arrested June 25. Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level ), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

9. Michael Ascough, 39, Pompton, N.J. Retail employee. Arrested July 5. Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

10. Joseph Benestante, 65, of Bergenfield, N.J. Retired. Arrested July 21. Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level).

11. Shawn Daily, 45, of Browns Mills, N.J. Laborer. Arrested June 12. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

12. Roy Dantz, 71, of Mount Laurel, N.J. Retired. Arrested June 18. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

13. Christopher Crispino, 45, of Bellmawr, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested July 31. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

14. Dwayne McCormick, 25, of Orange, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested July 8. Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

15. Juvenile Male, 15, of Gloucester County, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested July 22. Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd level ), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

16. Julian Ceballos, 31, of Hamilton (Mercer County), N.J. Restaurant employee. Arrested June 26. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

17. Timothy McMahon, 46, of Piscataway, N.J. Electrician. Arrested May 21. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

18. Edward Kross, 66, of Carteret, N.J. Part-time firefighting instructor. Arrested May 28. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

19. Henry Ziolkowski, 66, of Toms River, N.J. Surgery tech. Arrested July 10. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

20. Kevin Carrierri, 34, of Toms River, N.J. Chef. Arrested July 10. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

21. Matthew Marzullo, 20, of Hopatcong, N.J. Restaurant food server. Arrested July 1. Possession of Child Pornography (3rd level).

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