NEW YORK – A Bronx teacher was arrested Wednesday for possessing and distributing child pornography. This arrest comes as a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
Joshua Conde, 26, is a teacher at a children's daycare and after-school facility in the Bronx.
"Nothing is more painful than crimes that target children," said NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. "This case is particularly disturbing because the suspect arrested for possessing and distributing child pornography is a teacher at a children's daycare facility. I commend the NYPD detectives, federal investigators and the U.S. Attorney's office for this arrest."
"Joshua Conde's close proximity to children makes his alleged possession and distribution of child pornography all the more disturbing," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Southern District of New York. "As we have said repeatedly, we have zero tolerance for the exploitation of children, and we will prosecute and punish those who engage in this conduct."
According to court documents, Conde possessed child pornography that had been downloaded from the Internet and saved onto his computer. He also distributed child pornography over the Internet using file-sharing software. During a search of Conde's residence, a computer containing images and videos of minor children engaging in sexually explicit conduct was seized.
Conde is charged with three counts of transporting or distributing child pornography, each of which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Conde is also charged with one count of possessing child pornography, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.