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Press Release

Hudson County Man Admits Possessing Child Pornography and Committing Naturalization Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Hudson County, New Jersey, man today admitted possessing images of child sexual abuse and committing naturalization fraud, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Ramy Mercado, 29, of Jersey City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of naturalization fraud.

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

From June 2022 to October 2022, Mercado used his cell phone to transmit more than 20 video files depicting the sexual abuse of minors, including infants or toddlers. Mercado also used his cell phone to communicate his desire for sexual encounters with young children. 

During this time, Mercado applied for and obtained U.S. citizenship and stated under penalty of perjury that since his citizenship interview, he had not committed any crime or offense for which he had not been arrested. In fact, Mercado had illegally possessed child pornography.  Mercado became a naturalized U.S. citizen on June 22, 2023.

The count of possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. The count of naturalization fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Specht of the Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit in Newark.


Updated January 10, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 24-010