TRENTON, N.J. — A Monmouth County man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to using a computer in his home to distribute images of child sexual abuse. The guilty plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark field office.
Nathan Brochstein, 40, of Wayside, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in Trenton federal court to one count of distribution of child pornography.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Brochstein admitted making images and videos depicting child sexual abuse available to others on the Internet via peer-to-peer file sharing software. He also admitted possessing more than 600 images of child sexual abuse on his computer and external hard drive, which were seized from his residence in November 2012. Brochstein acknowledged that among the images and videos of child pornography he possessed and distributed were images and videos that portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence and included images of a prepubescent minor.
The count to which Brochstein pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by a mandatory minimum of five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2014.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cari Fais prosecuted the case for the government on behalf of U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman's General Crimes Unit in Newark.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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-THE-LOST.
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.