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An Absecon man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly receiving and distributing images of child sexual abuse, and more than 1,000 images and videos were confiscated from his phone, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Investigators say Carlos Santiago Gomez, 27, ran an online instant messaging group between April 2016 and March 2018 through which participants traded images and videos of child sexual abuse, according to a criminal complaint. Some of the images were of prepubescent children, Carpenito said.

While administering the group, Santiago made rules that included posting child porn of girls only, no toddlers, videos only and staying active in the group, according to the complaint.

He also allegedly advised the members of the group on how to hide their activities online.

On March 27, police searched Santiago Gomez’s home and seized several computers and electronic devices, including his cell phone, according to Carpenito. Police have not finished analyzing the devices but have already found more than 1,000 images and videos of child sexual abuse, according to Carpenito.

Santiago Gomez is charged with one count of receiving child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison for each count. The total sentence could be as many as 20 years in prison, and fines could reach as much as $250,000.

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Contact: 609-272-7260 JDeRosier@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressDeRosier

I joined The Press in January 2016 after graduating from Penn State in December 2015. I was the sports editor for The Daily Collegian on campus which covered all 31 varsity sports and several club sports.

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