NEWARK, N.J. – Lenin Eugenio Basantes, 30, of Elizabeth, was charged today, November 6,  with distributing images of child sexual abuse online, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Basantes is charged by complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography. He had his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court and was detained without bail.

According to the complaint: On June 19, 2013, Basantes distributed 18 video files and approximately 70 image files of child sexual abuse via a peer-to-peer file sharing network on the Internet, to which others had access in shared directories. During an undercover operation, a special agent of the FBI communicated with Basantes via the peer-to-peer network. Basantes provided this agent with a password to a file containing the images and video files. The undercover agent was able to access and download these images.

On Nov. 4, 2015, FBI agents interviewed Basantes, who admitted that that he shared pornographic images of children with other people via the peer-to-peer network. The charge of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.