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Child Exploitation
06/17/2013

5 arrested in New Jersey on child pornography charges

NEWARK, N.J. – Five individuals who possessed or distributed child pornography were charged and arrested during a month-long investigation in five Ocean County communities. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Toms River Township, Jackson Township, Berkley Township, Lacey Township and South Toms River police departments.

Christopher Pontrelli, 27, of Toms River, N.J., was arrested May 15 and charged with two counts of second degree distribution of child pornography and two counts of fourth degree possession of child pornography.

John Rupert Woods, 25, of Jackson, N.J., was arrested May 21 and charged with one count of fourth degree possession of child pornography and one count of second degree distribution of child pornography.

Nicholas Hernandez Jr., 25, of Manitou Park, N.J., was arrested May 23 and charged with one count of second degree distribution of child pornography and one count of fourth degree possession of child pornography.

On June 11, a juvenile was also charged with one count of fourth degree possession of child pornography.

Additionally, Jesus Hernandez-Juarez, of Mexico, was arrested June 13 and charged with one count of possession of fraudulent government identification.

According to court documents, all of the arrests were made subsequent to the execution of search warrants at various locations.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.