TRENTON –A Lakewood, Ocean County, man who had over 36,000 videos and images of child pornography on his computer devices pleaded guilty Tuesday to distributing child pornography, said Attorney General Gurbir S Grewal.
Anthony White, 31, was one of 40 men arrested in 2016 in “Operation Statewide,” a child pornography sweep by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes the New Jersey State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and numerous state, county and local law enforcement agencies, Grewal said.
White pleaded guilty Tuesday to distributing child pornography and attempting to manufacture child pornography before Superior Court Judge Linda Baxter in Ocean County, said Grewal in a statement.
Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that White 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, Grewal said.
White is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8, Grewal said.
Deputy Attorney General Rachael Weeks prosecuted White and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
In pleading guilty, White admitted that he knowingly used file-sharing software to make 25 or more files of child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a “shared folder” on his computer, Grewal said.
White further admitted in connection with the attempted manufacturing charge that he tried to reproduce images of child pornography that he previously downloaded, Grewal said.
While monitoring a peer-to-peer file-sharing network popular with sex offenders, a New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit detective downloaded 38 videos and images of child pornography from a shared folder at a computer IP address later traced to White, Grewal said.
White was arrested on July 20, 2016, when members of the State Police Digital Technology Investigation Unit and State Police TEAMS Unit executed a search warrant at his home and seized computer devices, including a desktop computer, Grewal said.
“Each time we arrest an offender like White with thousands upon thousands of files of child pornography, it highlights the alarming scope of this problem and the number of children who are cruelly victimized and re-victimized in the creation and distribution of these abhorrent materials,” Grewal said.
As long as offenders perpetuate the sexual exploitation of children by viewing and sharing these materials online, the state will continue to patrol the internet with its law enforcement partners to arrest them, said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice.
“We must continue to deliver the message that these are serious crimes that carry serious penalties,” said Honing in a statement.
White amassed one of the largest collections of child pornography ever seized by New Jersey law enforcement, said Colonel Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
“I am very proud of the investigative efforts of the State Police Digital Technology Unit and our law enforcement partners,” said Callahan in a statement.
Operation Statewide was a 2016 multi-agency child pornography sweep coordinated by the New Jersey State Police, as lead agency for the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The operation resulted in arrests of 40 men, including defendants in every county of New Jersey.