Morris County man was arrested in “Operation Safety Net”
TRENTON (CNBNewsnet)– Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that an IT professional from Morris County who possessed over 138,000 videos and images of suspected child pornography on his computer equipment pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography on the internet. He was arrested last year in “Operation Safety Net,” a multi-agency child pornography sweep led by the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
William G. Camargo, 48, of Long Hill Township, N.J., pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree distribution of child pornography before Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Critchley Jr. in Morris County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Camargo be sentenced to six years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. In pleading guilty, Camargo admitted that he knowingly distributed files depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child on the internet. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 17.
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh is prosecuting Camargo and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
“Each time we arrest an offender like Camargo who has amassed a collection of tens of thousands of files of child pornography, it starkly reveals the extent of the market for these loathsome materials and the vast number of children who are cruelly abused and exploited,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will continue to devote the resources necessary to apprehend these offenders and send them to prison.”
“We will continue to patrol the internet and conduct multi-agency investigations to arrest and prosecute offenders like Camargo who distribute child pornography,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We are determined to seek justice for the children who are victimized to create these repugnant materials and who are re-victimized perpetually on the internet.”
“It is a sad fact that each year countless children around the world fall prey to sexual predators, their innocence forever stolen and exploited through these disturbing digital collections,” said Brian Michael, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Newark. “The expert investigative skills that HSI brings to the forefront, in collaboration with our partner agencies, helped close the loop on this individual, and took a dangerous predator off the street and brought him to much deserved justice.”
Camargo was among 79 child predators and child pornography offenders arrested in “Operation Safety Net,” a nine-month, multi-agency child protection operation that concluded in November 2017. The operation was conducted by the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (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 (HSI), all 21 County Prosecutors’ Offices, and many other state, county and local law enforcement agencies. Ten alleged “hands-on” offenders were arrested in Operation Safety Net, including eight New Jersey men and two men in California and Indiana who allegedly tried to have children transported interstate so they could have sex with them.
Camargo was arrested on Sept. 12, 2017, when detectives and special agents from the Division of Criminal Justice and HSI conducting Operation Safety Net executed a search warrant at his residence. A detective of the Division of Criminal Justice previously had downloaded nearly 50 files of child pornography from a shared folder at an IP address traced to Camargo. During the search, detectives seized computer equipment belonging to Camargo, which a preview revealed contained numerous files of child pornography. A later forensic examination of Camargo’s devices revealed over 138,000 files of suspected child pornography. The devices contain over 1.3 million additional graphic and video files. Those files have not yet been examined so it is not known how many constitute child pornography.
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.
Robert S. Schwartz, Esq., Hanlon Dunn Robertson Schwartz, Morristown, N.J.