BAYONNE -- A Bayonne man was among 27 people charged in a state-wide child pornography sting conducted by the State Attorney General’s office.
John Thomas Kondes, 56, former auxiliary police officer in Jersey City, was charged with possessing or viewing materials in which underage children engaged in or simulated sex, said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa in a release issued on Tuesday.
The arrests were associated with a large scale child porn investigation dubbed Operation Watchdog. The three-month, multi-agency effort resulted in 26 men and one woman being charged with Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography.
“Through aggressive, technology-driven investigations such as Operation Watchdog, we must banish the misguided notion that online viewing and sharing of child pornography is a victimless crime,” said Attorney General Chiesa.
Detectives were able to link all arrested subjects by their alleged use of the Internet to download or distribute images of child pornography. There is a large library of images and videos known to law enforcement. These pictures are able to be traced in a number of ways, including their digital fingerprint, as they are passed through cyberspace, the AG’s office said.
Detectives then follow the file transfers to their origin and destination locations. Peer to Peer, or P2P, file sharing networks play a significant role in the distribution of child porn. Detectives, often with intricate undercover identities in the cyber-world, also monitor searches of these sites to develop suspects.
“Those who thought they could hide their child porn crimes in the secrecy of their homes have been exposed by the relentless work of law enforcement working together. We will continue to stand together—as the name Operation Watchdog implies—as guardians to protect children from those who would make them sexual victims,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
The Operation Watchdog investigation was coordinated by the Digital Technology Investigations Unit of New Jersey State Police, with seamless integration of more than 100 troopers, agents, detectives and officers from 21 law enforcement agencies. Between Monday, April 9th and Friday, April 13, they executed search warrants in 26 different towns across the state.