ELIZABETH, NJ – An Elizabeth man today admitted he used his home computer to distribute sexually explicit videos and images of children, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Thomas J. Leonard, 35, of Elizabeth, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Trenton federal court, charging him with one count of distributing child pornography.

According to statements made in court and documents filed in the case, Leonard used a file-sharing program to obtain and distribute images and videos of children engaged in sexual acts over the internet.

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The count to which Leonard plead guilty carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years, a maximum of 20 years and a fine of up $250.000. Sentencing is scheduled for January of 2018.

Special agents from the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, were credited with the successful investigation that led to the guilty plea, according to Fitzpatrick. Also credited were the New Jersey State Police, Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the N. J. Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory for their assistance in the case.

Anyone with information regarding possible victims of this activity can contact the FBI in Newark:
973-792-3000.

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