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Press Release

Hudson County, New Jersey, Man Convicted Of Production And Distribution Of Child Pornography

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

TRENTON, N.J. – A Hudson County, New Jersey, man was convicted today for posing as a teenage boy, and at times a teenage girl, to solicit underage females online to produce images of themselves engaged in sexually explicit conduct, possessing, and distributing those images to others, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Erik Vanderbeck, 49, of Bayonne, New Jersey, was convicted of two counts of production of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The jury deliberated approximately one hour following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Vanderbeck allegedly met various minor females in Internet chat rooms while pretending to be a teenage boy, and at times, a teenage girl. Over the course of their correspondence, Vanderbeck would ask them to send him nude images of themselves. Once Vanderbeck received nude images, he would threaten to post the victim’s nude images online unless she sent more. In some cases, Vanderbeck would send nude images that he had received from certain of his victims to other minors to induce them to self-produce child pornography. When one of the victims threatened to report Vanderbeck to the authorities, he replied, “The cops will never catch me.”

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Vanderbeck’s home in Bayonne on July 22, 2014. They recovered computer equipment belonging to Vanderbeck containing images appearing to be of child pornography. Several of his victims said they produced images of child sexual abuse out of fear and in response to his threats. 

Each count of production of child pornography carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison; the distribution count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison; and the possession count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison. All of the counts also are punishable by a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 14, 2016..

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge James Ball in Newark, and the Bayonne Police Department, under the direction of Chief Drew Niekrasz, with the investigation leading to the today’s guilty verdict. He also thanked the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for its role in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danielle Alfonzo Walsman and Danielle Corcione of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Joshua Markowitz Esq., Lawrenceville

Updated September 2, 2016

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 16-107