10/27/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/28/2021 07:36
TRENTON, N.J. - An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was arrested today on charges that he distributed, received, and possessed images and videos of child sexual abuse downloaded from the internet, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Jared Faircloth, 24, of Cream Ridge, New Jersey, is charged in a criminal complaint with one count of receiving and distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. Faircloth appeared this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert in Trenton federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From September 2020 to July 2021, Faircloth received and distributed material containing images of child sexual abuse via the BitTorrent Network, a publicly available online peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing network of linked computers. Users must download P2P software, which is widely available for free on the internet. The software allows the user to place files into a designated "shared" folder on his or her hard drive, from which other BitTorrent users can then download those files directly to the "shared" folders of their own computers. Users can then search, select, and directly download, those files.
Law enforcement used investigative software to access the BitTorrent Network and downloaded video files containing images of child sexual abuse from a device or devices assigned to IP addresses linked to Faircloth. On July 22, 2021, law enforcement searched Faircloth's residence and found a device belonging to Faircloth that contained more than 2,800 images and videos depicting child sexual abuse, as well as BitTorrent software. Of those approximately 2,800 files, law enforcement identified at least 30 files that law enforcement had previously downloaded from IP addresses linked to Faircloth.
The charge of knowingly receiving and distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a statutory maximum fine equal to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greatest. The charge of knowingly possessing child pornography carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, and a statutory maximum fine equal to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greatest.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Mount Laurel, New Jersey, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, with the investigation leading to the arrest. She also thanked the Department of the Air Force, Office of Special Investigations, for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Super Pitts of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Benjamin West Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton