TRENTON – A Middlesex County man pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography over the Internet, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced. He was investigated and prosecuted by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice.
Roberto Arreola-Ramirez, 32, of New Brunswick, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree distribution of child pornography and fourth-degree possession of child pornography before Superior Court Judge Bradley J. Ferencz in Middlesex County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that he be sentenced to five years in state prison. He will be required to register as a Megan’s Law offender. Sentencing for Arreola-Ramirez is scheduled for March 3.
In pleading guilty, Arreola-Ramirez admitted that he knowingly used Internet file-sharing software to make files containing child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a designated “shared folder” on his computer. Deputy Attorney General Marie G. McGovern took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
“By sharing child pornography on these peer-to-peer networks, offenders perpetually re-victimize children who have been raped and abused,” said Hoffman. “The victims face the agonizing reality that they forever will be sexually exploited on the Internet by perverts who obtain gratification from their suffering and loss of innocence. We will aggressively pursue justice for these victims by sending those who share these repulsive materials to prison.”
“We want the offenders who use these file-sharing networks to know that they are not just sharing child pornography with each other, they are sharing it with law enforcement, and their next download may be the one that sends them to prison,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice.
In September 2012, the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigation Unit and other members of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) from cooperating agencies were investigating individuals who were using file-sharing software to share child pornography on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network on the Internet, when they identified a computer that was being used to share child pornography. Detectives downloaded two files of child pornography from a shared folder on the computer. State Police detectives subsequently traced the computer to Arreola-Ramirez’s apartment in New Brunswick, where they arrested him on Oct. 17, 2012. A forensic preview of Arreola-Ramirez’s computer revealed hundreds of filed containing images and videos of child pornography.
The ICAC Task Force in New Jersey works with out-of-state partners to share information on distributors and users of child pornography. A major partner is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C. They maintain a national, toll-free tip line for the public to report crimes against children: 1-800-THE-LOST, or 1-800-843-5678. The tip line brings hundreds of leads to the New Jersey ICAC Task Force on sexual crimes against children.
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