Jose F. Holguin, 61, of Woodbridge, was sentenced today to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge James F. Mulvihill in Middlesex County. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 20 to second-degree distribution of child pornography and fourth-degree possession of child pornography. Holguin will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. Deputy Attorney General Naju Lathia prosecuted Holguin and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
In pleading guilty, Holguin admitted that he knowingly used file sharing software to make multiple files containing child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a designated “shared folder” on his computer. He was arrested on Feb. 20, 2013, by the New Jersey State Police. Holguin became a target of Operation Ever Vigilant after a detective in the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) monitoring a file-sharing network popular with sex offenders downloaded several videos of child pornography from a shared folder on his computer. The computer address from which the videos were downloaded was traced to Holguin’s residence in the Fords section of Woodbridge. When members of the State Police DTIU and State Police TEAMS Central Unit executed a search warrant at Holguin’s residence, a forensic preview of a computer and external hard drive used by Holguin revealed numerous files of child pornography.
“Holguin and his kind occupy the darkest recesses of the Internet, where producers of child pornography are motivated to record and display their horrific crimes against innocent children and where users of these vile materials re-victimize the victims,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “We will continue to conduct these law enforcement sweeps to lock up those who harm and exploit children.”
“Anyone who shares child pornography online becomes a participant in the sexual exploitation of children and deserves stern punishment,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Each time we send another one of these offenders to prison, we reinforce that deterrent message.”
“Sharing these vile and repugnant pictures and videos only fuels the demand for distribution,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Our message is clear: We are going after the producers, distributors, and users alike, and we are going to hold them accountable for their horrendous crimes.”
Operation Ever Vigilant was a three-month investigation conducted by the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, the Division of Criminal Justice, other members of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and federal agents from the U.S. Postal Service. It resulted in arrests of 24 men and one juvenile male in February 2013.
During the investigation, detectives linked all of the defendants to alleged use of the Internet to download and distribute images of child pornography. Peer to Peer, or P2P, file sharing networks play a major role in the distribution of child pornography. There is a large library of images and videos known to law enforcement, and these electronic files can be traced in various ways on the Internet. Detectives traced transferred files to their origin and destination locations, downloading child pornography that the defendants allegedly offered from their computers on the P2P network.
The file-sharing networks used by offenders to distribute child pornography operate in the same manner as websites used for privately sharing music or movies. Those in possession of the illegal images can make them available on computers that they control for others to download. Because many of these videos and photos of child pornography keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman and Director Honig urged anyone who has information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet or who suspects improper contact by unknown 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.