TRENTON – A Cape May County man pleaded guilty today to using a file sharing network to distribute images and videos of child pornography over the Internet from his home computer, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced.
Aaron N. Debarardnis, 26, of Lower Township, pleaded guilty to second-degree distribution of child pornography before Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel in Camden County. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to three years in prison. Deputy Attorney General Kenneth R. Sharpe took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10.
“We are delivering a wake-up call to those who think they can hide in their homes and perpetuate terrible crimes against children with impunity,” said Hoffman. “We are out there on the Internet, and we are going to find you, arrest you and put you behind bars.”
“Everyone who shares child pornography online shares responsibility for motivating those who sexually abuse children to create these repulsive materials,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We are devoting additional resources to detecting and prosecuting these crimes.”
Debarardnis was arrested on July 26, 2012, by members of ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiated the investigation. On two occasions, once in August 2011 and again in September 2011, HSI agents who were monitoring Internet activity downloaded computer files of child pornography that they traced to a computer in Debarardnis’ mobile home. Debarardnis used peer-to-peer file sharing software to make over 1,000 files of child pornography available for any other user to download from a designated “shared folder” on his computer. In October 2011, agents from HSI approached Debarardnis at his residence and seized two computers with his consent. An examination of the computers revealed hundreds of videos and thousands of still images of child pornography.
The New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force operates a tipline at 1-888-648-6007.
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