FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A former Somerset County, N.J., vehicle maintenance department mechanic was sentenced today to 97 months in prison for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
James Artfitch, 54, of Manville, pleaded guilty in July 2010 before U.S. District Judge Stanley Chesler to one count of an Indictment charging him with possession of child pornography. Judge Chesler also imposed today’s sentence.
According to documents filed and statements made in court:
Artfitch sent images of child pornography and other obscene material, including images of himself naked, via email to an undercover agent posing as a 15 year-old girl. During these email exchanges, Artfitch engaged in communications encouraging his correspondent to send images of herself to him. In March 2008, defendant Artfitch was confronted by law enforcement regarding this conduct and surrendered his computer. Analysis of the contents of this computer identified more than 600 images of child pornography, including images of a pre-pubescent child being sexually penetrated with a plastic object. This child pornography included images of victims who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Between March 2008 and his arrest in April 2009, Artfitch obtained a new computer and resumed collecting child pornography.
Following his arrest in April 2009, Artfitch was indicted for distribution and possession of child pornography. After pleading guilty, Artfitch attempted to withdraw his guilty plea. During an evidentiary hearing, the Court found that Artfitch lied under oath while attempting to exonerate himself and declined to allow Artfitch to withdraw his guilty plea.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Artfitch to five years of supervised release. Artfitch is also required to register as a sex offender.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Cook of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Howard Brownstein Esq., Union City, N.J.