TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a former employee of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development pleaded guilty today to a child pornography charge related to his arrest for using a state computer to download images of child pornography. He had over 100 files of child pornography stored on optical disks and a thumb drive found in his cubicle at work.
Kevin Smith, 66, of Westmont, N.J., who formerly was an executive assistant in the Division of Income Security, pleaded guilty today to a charge of third-degree possession of 100 or more files of child pornography before Superior Court Judge Francisco Dominguez in Camden County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Smith be sentenced to four years in state prison. He will be permanently barred from public employment and the state will request that the judge order that Smith be required to register under Megan’s Law. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.
Deputy Attorney General Brian Faulk took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Smith was charged as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) and the Division of Criminal Justice.
“Anyone who views and downloads child pornography online participates in the cruel exploitation of children, but Smith’s case is especially egregious because he engaged in this conduct at his state workplace using taxpayer-funded computer equipment,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will continue to protect children by committing the resources necessary to apprehend and aggressively prosecute these offenders.”
“Our message to these offenders is that they cannot hide their abhorrent conduct, whether they view child pornography in the privacy of their homes or surreptitiously while at work in a business or, in this case, a public office building,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will uncover their crimes and bring them to justice.”
“Kevin Smith had more than one hundred images of innocent children being sexually exploited,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “The law enforcement community is placing these offenders on notice that we are actively working together to uncover their repulsive deeds and bring them to justice.”
Smith was suspended from his position, and subsequently retired, after supervisors at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development received information that he was viewing inappropriate materials on his work computer. After confirming suspicious files on his state-issued computer, they alerted detectives from the New Jersey State Police DTIU. Smith’s computer was secured and thumb drives and optical disks were seized from the computer and desk in Smith’s cubicle. A forensic examination of Smith’s state computer revealed that Smith had conducted searches for child pornography on the computer. Detectives obtained search warrants for the thumb drives and optical disks and reviewed them at the State Police Forensic Technology Complex in Hamilton. A total of more than 100 files of child pornography were discovered on one of the thumb drives and several of the optical disks.
Detectives of the State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit investigated the case with Deputy Attorney General Layli Khelafa of the Division of Criminal Justice Computer & Financial Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Julia Glass.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone who has information about the online distribution of child pornography– or who suspects improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children online or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 1-888-648-6007.