TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Union County man was sentenced to prison today for using file-sharing software to share child pornography from his computer devices. He was arrested in 2014 in Operation Predator Alert, a multi-agency child pornography sweep.
Arnold Kay, 78, of Linden, N.J., was sentenced to four years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Lisa Walsh in Union County. He pleaded guilty on March 19 to second-degree distribution of child pornography (storing or maintaining child pornography using a file-sharing program). Kay must register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Layli Khelafa handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Kay was one of 28 defendants charged in Operation Predator Alert, a joint operation by the Division of Criminal Justice and ICE Homeland Security Investigations that targeted New Jersey offenders who used a file-sharing network to distribute child pornography.
“By sharing child pornography online, this defendant participated in a criminal network that promotes and perpetuates the brutal sexual exploitation of children,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our multi-agency efforts to patrol the internet and put these offenders in prison are all about protecting children and ensuring justice for those who have been victimized.”
“We will continue to work with our partners at all levels of law enforcement to disrupt the online market for these vile materials and send those who distribute them to prison,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We are sending a message that these are serious crimes with serious consequences.”
“The distribution of child pornography is a worldwide problem that impacts us right here in New Jersey. When a child predator records their sexual abuse and uploads that image or video to the internet, it lives on forever, re-victimizing that innocent child every time it is shared by individuals such as the defendant,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael of Homeland Security Investigations in Newark. “HSI will continue to aggressively target such predators, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.”
During Operation Predator Alert, detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice and special agents of ICE Homeland Security Investigations monitored an online file-sharing network that is popular with offenders who download and distribute child pornography. Using advanced technology, investigators searched for digital “fingerprints” of known child pornography and search terms used by such offenders. Through these and other methods, they identified New Jersey residents who were downloading child pornography and making it available to others in “shared folders” on their computers.
Detectives monitoring the file-sharing network identified an IP address that was sharing videos of child pornography and traced the IP address to Kay. On June 27, 2014, detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice and special agents of HSI, assisted by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and Linden Police Department, executed a search warrant at Kay’s residence in Linden. Investigators seized multiple computers and electronic devices which were found to contain child pornography. A full forensic examination conducted at the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory revealed more than 280 videos and images of child pornography, including 12 that were located in a shared folder where other users on the file-sharing network could download them.
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.
Attorney General Grewal commended the attorneys, detectives and special agents of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and ICE Homeland Security Investigations who tried and investigated this case, as well as the many other law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Predator Alert. Former Deputy Attorney General Anthony Torntore presented the Kay indictment to the state grand jury and took the guilty plea, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Julia S. Glass.
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 please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.
Defense Attorney: Eric V. Kleiner, Esq., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
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