Joseph G. McCann, Jr., 55, was charged after detectives from the High Tech Crimes (HTC) Unit of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant Wednesday evening at his Pine Hill home. There detectives discovered numerous images of child pornography located on a hard drive and seized several electronic devices. A forensic analysis conducted Thursday on one of the hard drives revealed images stored and made available to others on a shared peer-to-peer network.
McCann, who was involved in the Pine Hill Youth Athletic Association for more than 13 years, was charged with one count each of distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.
McCann surrendered to members of the Zone 4 Tactical Team around 2:10 p.m. Friday at his home. The Camden County Sheriff’s Office, Pine Hill Police Department and other local law enforcement partners assisted with his apprehension. He is in the proccess of being remanded to the Camden County Jail with bail set at $100,000.
The investigation began after detectives monitoring a peer-to-peer file-sharing program noticed images of child pornography were being downloaded from an IP address associated with McCann’s home.
So far this year, the HTC Unit has charged 19 suspects for crimes related to the possession and/or distribution of child pornography thanks to increased investigative efforts. These defendants come from all walks of life and were residing in towns across the county, including Barrington, Bellmawr, Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester City, Laurel Springs, Runnemede and Stratford.
Earlier this year, the HTC Unit began responding to tips, including those funneled through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), identifying suspicious internet activity related to images of suspected child pornography. The HTC Unit previously operated in the capacity of primarily rendering assistance to outside agencies with their child pornography investigations, including the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and New Jersey State Police. The unit’s functional transition from a largely supportive role to that of a primary investigative agency in this area is a first for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
Through the use of state-of-the-art technology, the HTC Unit is able to discover the digital “fingerprints” associated with the production, distribution and possession of child pornography. Detectives are tasked with following up tips from the public and NCMEC as well as monitoring file-sharing networks known to contain child pornography in an effort to catch offenders downloading or sharing the files.
All persons charged with criminal offenses are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.