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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Camden County Man Admits Sending Obscene Images to Minors

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey, man today admitted sending obscene material to minors over the internet, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Zackary McFerren, 28, of Winslow Township, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to an information charging him with two counts of transferring obscene matter to minors, as well to violating the terms of his supervised release by contacting those minors.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

McFerren admitted that he previously pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and transferring obscene material to a minor and was sentenced Oct. 17, 2016, to 33 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, which started May 3, 2019.

McFerren acknowledged that the terms of his supervised release included not committing another federal crime; required him to submit to computer monitoring by the U.S. Probation Office and restricted his contact with minors.

McFerren admitted that starting on July 15, 2019, he used a mobile phone to communicate with an individual he believed to be a 13-year old girl living in New York. Unbeknownst to McFerren, he was actually communicating with an undercover FBI employee.  McFerren admitted that he had expressed an interest in having sex with the 13-year old girl and sent her obscene images of himself. McFerren acknowledged that his communicating with the person he believed to be a minor and sending the obscene photos was a violation of the terms of his supervised release.

McFerren also admitted to conduct from August 2015. McFerren admitted to using the “Kik” messaging application to communicate with other Kik users over the Internet. While using the Kik application, McFerren used the screen name “Emily” and begin communicating with an underage girl in the Eaton Rapids, Michigan, area. He exchanged obscene images with the girl. 

The charges to which McFerren pleaded guilty each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison per count and a fine of $250,000. McFerren faces up to an additional four years for violating the term of supervised release from his previous conviction. Sentencing is scheduled for April 22, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents and task force officers of the FBI, Newark Division’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, Child Exploitation Task Force, which is made up of FBI special agents and detectives from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, the New Jersey State Police, and the N.J. Department of Human Services Police, under the direction of FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked FBI special agents and task force officers in the FBI Buffalo Division and officers and detective with the Eaton Rapids, Michigan, Police Department for their work on this investigation.

The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
20-027
Updated January 16, 2020