Curt Scholz, 48, of Cedar Grove, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz to the federal charge of one count of possession of child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Faith S. Hochberg imposed the sentence in Newark federal court.
"The court's sentence clearly reflects the seriousness of this crime," said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. "Anyone who mistakenly thinks that they can get away with this despicable crime must know that HSI agents are determined to bring these predators to justice."
According to court documents, Scholz acknowledged that among the more than 150 images of child pornography he possessed were images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct with other minors and adults – including material portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hochberg sentenced Scholz to five years of federal supervised release. In sentencing Scholz, the court noted that he faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison due to prior state convictions for relevant offenses.
The New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory assisted in the investigation.
This investigation was 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-DHS-2ICE 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.