FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – An employee at a New Jersey country club is scheduled to make his initial court appearance today after he was arrested by FBI agents and charged with distributing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
John C. Zerega, 54, of New City, N.Y., is charged by Complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography. He was arrested Tuesday and is scheduled to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
According to the Complaint:
As early as Oct. 19, 2011, Zerega downloaded and distributed videos and images of child pornography on the Internet via peer-to-peer file sharing software – through which others had access to the material on a shared drive. The images downloaded by federal investigators from Zerega’s shared directories included pictures of prepubescent children engaging in sexual activity and being sexually abused. Law enforcement officers, who executed a search warrant Tuesday at Zerega’s home, seized his laptop computer, which contained images depicting child pornography.
The charge of distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, and a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI Newark Division’s Cyber Crime Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, for the investigation leading to the arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: TBA