TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Cape May County man was sentenced to prison today for using a file sharing network to distribute images and videos of child pornography over the Internet from his home computer.
Aaron N. Debarardnis, 26, of Lower Township, was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel in Camden County. Debarardnis pleaded guilty on Nov. 18, 2013 to second-degree distribution of child pornography. Deputy Attorney General Kenneth R. Sharpe prosecuted the case and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.
“While there are those who offensively contend that viewing and sharing child pornography online is a victimless crime, the reality is that it causes perpetual, grievous harm to some of our youngest and most vulnerable crime victims,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “We will continue to make these cases a top priority.”
“We are using cutting-edge technology to detect these offenders on the Internet,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to partner with our state and federal partners to take these predators off the streets and put them in prison.”
“Debarardnis demonstrated a callous disregard for the young victims in the thousands of images and videos he distributed on the Internet,” said Andrew McLees, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Newark. “He will now pay the price for his actions, as HSI continues to track down and bring child predators to justice.”
Debarardnis was arrested on July 26, 2012, by members of ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiated the investigation. On two occasions, once in August 2011 and again in September 2011, HSI agents who were monitoring Internet activity downloaded computer files of child pornography that they traced to a computer in Debarardnis’ mobile home. Debarardnis used peer-to-peer file sharing software to make over 1,000 files of child pornography available for any other user to download from a designated “shared folder” on his computer. In October 2011, agents from HSI approached Debarardnis at his residence and seized two computers with his consent. An examination of the computers revealed hundreds of videos and thousands of still images of child pornography.
If you have information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet or suspect improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the Internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children, please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 1-888-648-6007.