TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a man who possessed over 6,000 videos and images of child pornography on his computers was sentenced to prison today for distributing child pornography. He was arrested in “Operation Safety Net,” a multi-agency child protection operation led by the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
Kevin M. Groeger, 64, of Carteret, N.J., was sentenced today to five years in prison, including 2 ½ years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Benjamin S. Bucca Jr. in Middlesex County. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 12, 2018 to second-degree distribution of child pornography. Groeger must register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Layli Khelafa prosecuted Groeger and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
“By collecting and sharing thousands of videos and images of children being sexually assaulted, Groeger further victimized those children and contributed to the demand for these abhorrent materials,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We are committed to protecting children by aggressively investigating and prosecuting these offenders.”
“We monitor the internet and social media on a daily basis with our law enforcement partners to apprehend child pornography offenders and online predators,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force works tirelessly to protect children and seek justice for the victims who are cruelly exploited in child pornography.”
“Offenders like Groeger go to great lengths to avoid detection, employing various methods to cloak their identities, for the sole purpose of sharing horrific images and videos of children being sexually abused,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “As a result of the great work by troopers, the ICAC Task Force, and our partners who prosecuted this case, Groeger will remain under law enforcement supervision for the rest of his life upon completing his prison sentence.”
Groeger was among 79 child predators and child pornography offenders arrested in “Operation Safety Net,” a multi-agency child protection operation that concluded in November 2017. The operation was conducted by the New Jersey Regional ICAC Task Force, which is led by the New Jersey State Police and includes the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, all 21 County Prosecutors’ Offices, and many other state, county and local law enforcement agencies. Ten alleged child predators were arrested in the operation, including eight New Jersey men and two men in California and Indiana who allegedly tried to have children transported interstate for sex.
Groeger was arrested on June 1, when detectives and troopers from the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) and TEAMS Central Unit, assisted by the Carteret Police Department, executed a search warrant at his residence. A detective of the State Police DTIU previously had downloaded 12 files of child pornography from a shared folder at an IP address traced to Groeger. During the search, detectives seized computers and related storage devices belonging to Groeger. A forensic examination of Groeger’s devices conducted at the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory revealed over 6,000 files of child pornography in a shared folder which could be accessed by other users of a file-sharing network.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone who has information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or who suspects improper contact by persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.
Defense Attorney: Jef Henninger, Esq.