Union County man was arrested in “Operation Safety Net”
TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Union County man who possessed over 200,000 videos and images of suspected child pornography on his computer equipment pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography on the internet. He was arrested in “Operation Safety Net,” a multi-agency child protection operation led by the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
MD Farid Uddin, 44, of Elizabeth, N.J., pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree distribution of child pornography (knowingly storing or maintaining child pornography in a file-sharing program) before Superior Court Judge Candido Rodriguez Jr. in Union County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Uddin 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 and will be subject to parole supervision for life. Uddin also forfeited numerous boxes of counterfeit perfume with an estimated value in excess of $1 million that detectives seized from his garage when they executed a search warrant at the time of his arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22.
Deputy Attorney General Alyssa Bloom is prosecuting Uddin and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
“Super possessors of child pornography like Uddin who distribute these materials on the internet generate increased demand for this filth and directly drive the sexual abuse of young children,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will continue our collaborative efforts to protect children by vigorously investigating and prosecuting these criminals.”
“We want those who distribute child pornography to know that we are monitoring the internet and social media to gather evidence of their crimes,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We work diligently each day with our law enforcement partners to arrest these offenders and send them to prison.”
“The State Police and our partners will continue to relentlessly scour the internet to locate and arrest deviants who, by sharing these images repeatedly, continue to victimize innocent children long after the actual assaults,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police.
Uddin 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. 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, all 21 County Prosecutors’ Offices, and many other state, county and local law enforcement agencies. Ten alleged child predators 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.
Uddin was arrested on Nov. 2, 2017, when detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice executed a search warrant at his residence. Detectives previously downloaded multiple files of child pornography from a shared folder at an IP address traced to Uddin. During the search, detectives seized a laptop computer and an external hard drive. A forensic exam of Uddin’s computer devices revealed over 200,000 files of suspected child pornography. In Uddin’s garage, detectives seized piles of open boxes containing bottles of counterfeit perfume, labels, and packaging for various designer perfume products.
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.
Todd Palumbo, Esq., Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo LLC, Cranford, N.J.