TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Union County man was sentenced to state prison today for distributing child pornography over the Internet. He was investigated and prosecuted by the New Jersey State Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
Craig D. Dotson, 24, of Roselle, was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega in Union County. Dotson pleaded guilty on Aug. 14 to second-degree distribution of child pornography. In pleading guilty, Dotson admitted that he knowingly used Internet file sharing software to make multiple files containing child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a designated “shared folder” on his computer. Deputy Attorney General Anand R. Shah prosecuted Dotson and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Computer Analysis & Technology Unit.
The New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigation Unit (DTIU) and the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) were investigating individuals who were using peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software to share child pornography on the Internet in late 2011 when they identified Dotson’s residence in Roselle as the location of a computer user who was sharing child pornography. The State Police and New Jersey ICAC routinely coordinate their efforts with federal authorities, and they learned that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also had identified a target sharing child pornography from that location. On Jan. 19, 2012, the State Police and HSI executed a search warrant at Dotson’s residence, arresting Dotson and seizing two desktop computers from his bedroom. A forensic examination of the computers revealed that Dotson had more than 100 files of child pornography, including images and videos, over half of which he had shared with others using P2P software.
The ICAC Task Force in New Jersey works with out-of-state partners to share information on distributors and users of child pornography. A major partner is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, D.C. They maintain a national, toll-free tip line for the public to report crimes against children: 1-800-THE-LOST, or 1-800-843-5678. The tip line brings hundreds of leads to the New Jersey ICAC Task Force on sexual crimes against children.