TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a man who was arrested last year in the multi-agency child protection initiative “Operation Safety Net” was sentenced to state prison today for distributing child pornography on the internet.
Zachary S. Brawer, 32, of Lincoln Park, N.J., was sentenced to five years in prison, including 20 months of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Critchley Jr. in Morris County. Brawer pleaded guilty on Aug. 6 to second-degree distribution of child pornography. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
A special agent of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who was monitoring a peer-to-peer network as part of “Operation Safety Net” downloaded numerous files of child pornography from a shared folder at an IP address that was subsequently traced to Brawer. HSI-Newark, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Lincoln Park Police Department executed a search warrant at Brawer’s residence and arrested him on July 18, 2017. They seized his laptop computer, which contained over 100 files of child pornography, including more than 20 hours of video files.
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh prosecuted Brawer and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
“We will continue our collaborative and proactive efforts to arrest child pornography offenders, as long as children continue to be sexually abused to create these vile materials and offenders continue to re-victimize those children by distributing their images on the internet,” said Attorney General Grewal. “These crimes inflict terrible harm on the most vulnerable members of our society.”
“By seeking lengthy prison sentences – including mandatory minimum terms without parole – we send a message that we will prosecute these offenders aggressively using New Jersey’s tough child pornography laws,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Protecting innocent children from this type of sexual exploitation is a critical mission of our Division and its partners.”
“Predators like this who distribute child pornography need to know that interagency cooperation ensures that such heinous activities are being monitored 24 x 7,” said Brian Michael, Special Agent in Charge for HSI, Newark. “The expert investigative skills that HSI brings to the forefront helped close the loop on this individual, bringing him to much deserved justice.”
Brawer was among 79 child predators and child pornography offenders arrested in “Operation Safety Net,” a nine-month, multi-agency child protection operation conducted in 2017 by the New Jersey Regional ICAC Task Force, which is led by the New Jersey State Police and includes the 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 “hands-on” offenders were arrested, including eight New Jersey men, as well as men in California and Indiana who allegedly tried to have children transported interstate from New Jersey for them to sexually assault.
The cases are being prosecuted for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau under the supervision of Bureau Chief Julia S. Glass. Attorney General Grewal commended all of the members of law enforcement who investigated for the Division of Criminal Justice, HSI-Newark, the U.S Postal Inspection Service, Lincoln Park Police Department and New Jersey ICAC Task Force.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected 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.
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