TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced today that two men, one from Union County and one from Monmouth County, were sentenced to state prison for distribution of online child pornography.
Burt Harvey-Martinez, 35, of Elizabeth and William Morgan, 61, of Manalapan were sentenced Friday. Both men were arrested during different investigations targeting individuals engaged in an online, peer-to-peer file sharing network popular with offenders.
Morgan was arrested in “Operation Safeguard,” a child pornography sweep conducted last year by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and the New Jersey State Police. Harvey-Martinez was also arrested last year during a similar investigation.
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Harvey-Martinez was arrested in July, 2016, after detectives discovered and downloaded files containing child pornography from an IP address that was traced to him. A search warrant was executed for his residence in Elizabeth where police seized his laptop and after forensic examination, discovered over 1,459 suspected child pornography files. The Elizabeth Police Department assisted in the operation.
“These men joined the depraved network of criminals who directly drive the sexual exploitation and torture of children by distributing child pornography,” said Porrino. “We’re making it a top priority to lock up these offenders who wantonly victimize children.”
During Operation Safeguard, special agents of ICE, HSI, Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police monitored several online file-sharing networks. Using high tech advanced software, detectives were able to find digital “fingerprints” that identified files as child pornography. These and other methods enabled them to identify New Jersey residents that were downloading and making child pornography files available to others to share.
According to Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice Through sweeps like Operation Safeguard, send home the message that the crime of distributing child pornography will be met with stern punishment.
“We have the technology and the will to find these offenders wherever they hide and put them behind bars,” Said Honig.
Both Harvey-Martinez and Morgan previously plead guilty to a charge of second-degree distribution of child pornography. That charge deals with offenders who use a file sharing network to store or maintain child pornography.
Under Megan’s Law both men must register as sex offenders and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
“Sharing videos and images of children being raped, tortured and abused is just as despicable as the very acts,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to safeguard children by exposing these animals who hide behind the veil of a computer screen.”
Porrino and Honig urge anyone who has information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet or who suspects improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.