At Any Time 3000 People Are Searching for Child Porn in New York City


NEW YORK — Two police officers, a rabbi, a registered nurse, a nanny and a Boy Scout den leader are among 70 men and one woman arrested on charges of trading child pornography in what federal officials say is one of the largest-ever roundups in the New York City area.   The woman is charged with producing and distributing child pornography involving her own child and a man who used hidden cameras to secretly film his naked stepdaughter.   Another defendant used the Internet to direct women to record sex acts with young children. Court papers allege he “indicated the last video he had downloaded and viewed depicted a mother sexually abusing her 3- or 4-year-old child.”

The arrests were part of a five-week federal investigation that resulted in the seizure of nearly 600 desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices containing a total of 175 terabytes of storage, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Some of those possessed libraries with thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children.  The suspects involved stretched from all over New York state to parts of New Jersey.

Among those arrested were: Brian Fanelli, a former police chief, Samuel Waldman, a rabbi, Yong Wu, a police officer, Jonathan Silber, a Boy Scout leader and Little League baseball coach, and Aaron Young, a paramedic.

These defendants came from all walks of life, Many of these defendants are well educated and successful.   The expansion of the “Dark Web,” where pedophiles hide using websites that encrypt their computers’ identifying information, has fueled an explosion of child pornography.

Child pornographers have a compulsion to trade images and videos like baseball cards. The more graphic the image, the more they trade it. That leads investigators to convoluted cases where one defendant leads to another who leads to others.  This case started with the arrests of a police chief and a rabbi who had been using peer-to-peer file sharing programs to share images, Hayes said.  “Our investigation revealed that any point and time there are as many as 3,000 users searching for pornographic images of children on a variety of peer to peer networks,” Hayes said.

In January, investigators arrested Fanelli, the former police chief of suburban Mount Pleasant, N.Y. He pleaded not guilty this week to federal charges of knowingly receiving and distributing child pornography.   Court papers allege that Fanelli, 54, told investigators he taught sexual abuse awareness classes to elementary and middle school students. He said he began looking at child porn as research for the classes and that it grew into a “personal interest.” Court documents say two of his computers had 126 graphic video and photo files of children as young as 7 engaging in sex acts with other children and adults.   Investigators say they caught Fanelli by using software available only to law enforcement that identifies IP addresses of computers that have downloaded files known to be child pornography. Agents used the software to match Fanelli to a computer that shared sexually explicit images of children.

Two months later, HSI agents arrested Waldman, 52, a Brooklyn rabbi and Judaic studies instructor at a girls’ seminary. The rabbi had access to young children, home-schooling his children and others. Court documents showed investigators found at least three graphic videos on Waldman’s computer.

Arrests followed in April and May, several of which were of defendants with high-profile positions in the community, federal officials said.  The arrests included Kenneth Gardner, a registered nurse at Westchester County Medical Center and Eduardo Salcedo Urzola, a nanny.   Lori Bauer, of Huntington County, New Jersey, was arrested for making lewd videos of her young son, Hayes said.  Those arrested are between 20 and 60 years old and traded photos of children as young as 2.

Read more:  Police chief, rabbi among 71 nabbed in child porn bust

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