Morristown’s superintendent was among 28 people charged in a three-month state police child porn investigation dubbed “Operation Watchdog,” authorities said Tuesday.
Charles E. Jones, 50, was arrested on April 9 and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, police said. He was processed and released, police said.
The 27 men and one woman used Internet file-sharing programs to download or distribute child porn, police said. Among the images and videos were those with a digital fingerprints that were tracked as they moved across file sharing networks, police said.
In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said, "according to State Law Enforcement Officials Charles E. Jones was arrested and charged with Child Pornography related offenses as a result of a three month investigation by the New Jersey State Police–Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Any further inquiries or requests for additional information regarding the criminal investigation should be directed to the New Jersey State Police.
"Without jeopardizing the pending criminal investigation and the prosecution, let me be clear that I am deeply disturbed about these serious charges," the mayor wrote. "Mr. Jones, who has been an employee with the Town of Morristown since July 2001, is currently the Town’s Superintendent of Public Works. At this time, Mr. Jones is on a leave of absence. We take any allegation of misconduct very seriously and will conduct a thorough administrative review of the facts when they are made available. This is a personnel matter, which will be handled in accordance with Town policy and applicable labor laws."
Others charged with possession and distribution of child pornography from North Jersey are:
- Joshua Kane, 31, of Wayne
- Andrew Rodriguez, 27, of Park Ridge
- Jose A. Velasquez, 20, of Clifton
- Joseph Marella, 42, of Passaic
- Scott Hersh, 43, of Mount Arlington
- David Ingoglia, 36, of Byram
- Jeremy Gardner, 18, of Livingston
“Through aggressive, technology-driven investigations such as Operation Watchdog, we must banish the misguided notion that online viewing and sharing of child pornography is a victimless crime,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “The vulnerable children who are tortured and degraded to create these vile materials are re-victimized every time another person views the images."
One of the arrested men, Cesar Salgado-Maya, 23, of Audubon, lived in a residence connected to a day care, police said. Another, Bernard Cahill, 53, of Folsom, took pictures of himself sexually assaulting a juvenile, police said. The images were discovered on his computer, police said.
Cahill was charged with sexual assault and manufacturing child pornography.
“Those who thought they could hide their child porn crimes in the secrecy of their homes have been exposed by the relentless work of law enforcement working together," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, the state police superintendent.
More than 100 law enforcement personnel from 21 agencies took part in the investigation, executing search warrants in 26 towns last week.
During one of the raids, police found a 66-year-old Pennsauken man, William Brooks, downloading child porn as authorities stormed in, police said.
Three people, whose names were not released, are still being sought, police said.
“Let the word go out that those who share child pornography over the Internet are also sharing the evidence of their crimes with computer experts from law enforcement, who are patrolling the Internet to stop this tragic victimization of children,” said Stephen J. Taylor, director of the state Division of Criminal Justice.
The photos and images have been turned over to the FBI, police said.
The following individual was arrested on April 11, 2012 and charged with:
Sexual assault, manufacturing child pornography, and distribution and possession of child pornography:
The following individuals were charged with distribution and possession of child pornography
Arrested on 03/01/12:
Arrested on 04/09/12:
Charles E Jones
Arrested on 04/10/12:
William J. Brooks
Lucas Francis Walsh
Arrested on 04/11/12:
John Thomas Kondes
Arrested on 04/12/12:
Hamilton (Atlantic Co.)
Jose A. Velasquez
Jasmyn E. Oliver
Robert J. Rowe 2nd
Arrested on 04/13/12: