A New City man has been arresed by the FBI on charges of distributing child pornography, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman.
John C. Zerega, 54, of New City, was due in court in Newark, NJ, this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor. A federal complaint accuses him with one count of distribution of child pornography.
Fishman said that as early as Oct. 19 Zerega, who works at a golf course in Bergen County, NJ, 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.
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.