New Jersey Man Arrested for Receiving Child Pornography and Concealing Objects to Impede FBI Investigation
NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was charged today with allegedly receiving files depicting child sexual abuse and concealing objects to impede the FBI’s investigation, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Charles F. Browne, 52, of South River, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of receiving child pornography and one count of concealing an object to impede a federal investigation. He is scheduled to appear today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In September 2017, Dropbox Inc. noticed that child pornography had been uploaded to a Dropbox account with the screen name “Charles Browne” and an email address containing the term “cbrowne.” The FBI obtained the files that were uploaded to the Dropbox account, which included prepubescent child sexual abuse and a resume for Browne.
On April 8, 2019, law enforcement approached Browne, as he left his then-residence in Tom’s River, New Jersey, to interview him about an ongoing investigation. Subsequent to the interview, he disposed of items in the Kettle Creek, a coastal waterway.
On April 12, 2019, the Ocean County Sherriff’s Office deployed a drone at the end of the Pier and located an object of interest. FBI divers were deployed and recovered an iPad and iPhone, both of which had been previously registered with Browne’s Apple iCloud account.
Further review of the recovered devices indicated they had been at Brown’s residence and near a body of water north of Bay Terrace Road. One had been at the location where his care was pulled over. The recovered iPad contained videos depicting prepubescent child sexual abuse and emails to and from accounts linked to Browne.
The count of receipt of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and fine of $250,000. The count of concealing objects to impede a federal investigation count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the FBI Newark Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. He also thanked the FBI New York Underwater Search & Evidence Response Team, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney, the FBI Laboratory Division, under the direction of Assistant Director G. Clayton Grigg, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Shaun Golden, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, the Toms River Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mitchell Little, and the South River Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Tinitigan, for their assistance in this investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Cybercrime Unit in Newark, New Jersey.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.