|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today announced that a Voorhees, N.J., man was sentenced to state prison today for distributing child pornography online from a massive stash of hardcore photos and videos found in his laptop, including images of children being raped.
Daniel Allen Jr., 24, of Voorhees, was sentenced to seven years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel in Camden County. Allen pleaded guilty on Aug. 27 to second-degree solicitation of the manufacture of child pornography, second-degree distribution of child pornography, and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He must register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life. Deputy Attorney General Kenneth R. Sharpe, Deputy Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, prosecuted Allen.
Allen posted more than one thousand photos he took of two young girls on a foreign website and asked site users to Photoshop the girls into child pornography. After his arrest in August 2012, the Division of Criminal Justice and federal agents for ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) continued a joint investigation into users of the foreign website who communicated with Allen. The investigation led directly to the arrests of six more men across the U.S., including one in New Jersey, who traded child pornography with Allen and, in one case, manufactured child pornography using Allen’s photos. The investigation also provided additional leads and evidence in nine cases across North America in which men were independently arrested for child pornography or sexual assaults against children.
“This case starkly illustrates the nexus between viewing child pornography and other types of predatory behavior against children,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “Our investigation revealed that Allen traded child pornography online with men who were charged in other jurisdictions with sexually assaulting children or soliciting children for sex. We are working hard to lock up these predators and keep our children safe.”
“In collaboration with ICE Homeland Security Investigations and other partners, we are pursuing leads online to track down pedophiles in New Jersey and assist law enforcement in other states and countries,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “If these predators think the Internet is a no man’s land where they can hide, they better think again. We are determined to catch them.”
“Today’s sentencing of Mr. Allen serves as a stern warning from HSI to anyone who is involved in this perverse behavior – HSI hereby puts child predators on notice: there is no refuge for child sexual predators who believe they can engage in these illegal activities with impunity online,” said Andrew McLees, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Newark. “They cannot escape justice and there will be serious consequences for their actions.”
HSI initiated the investigation and enlisted the Division of Criminal Justice after identifying Allen in New Jersey. Deputy Attorney General Sharpe and Sgt. Thomas Turley handled the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice. Acting Attorney General Hoffman thanked the New Jersey State Police, the Voorhees Police Department and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance.
Allen was arrested at his home in Voorhees on Aug. 11, 2012 by the Division of Criminal Justice, HSI, the New Jersey State Police and the Voorhees Police Department. Special agents from HSI were monitoring the foreign-based website when they noticed that a user was posting hundreds of photos of the same two pre-teenage girls on the site and urging pedophiles who frequent the site to “comment dirty” and digitally combine the photos with child pornography. The girls were clothed in the posted photos, but the user’s desire to see them incorporated into child pornography raised serious concerns about their safety. HSI immediately moved to trace the communications and identify Allen and his victims. When law enforcement arrested Allen, they also took steps to protect the two victims.
The agencies executed a search warrant at Allen’s home, seizing his laptop computer and a USB flash drive. A forensic examination of his computer equipment revealed that he possessed approximately 15,000 still images of child pornography and approximately 200 videos of child pornography. Some of the videos and images depicted prepubescent children being tortured and raped. Allen’s email account revealed that he had been exchanging child pornography with others on the foreign website and had received child pornography that had been digitally combined with his images of the pre-teen girls.
The Division of Criminal Justice and HSI continued their broader investigation by targeting offenders who communicated with Allen through the website. Pedophiles continued to send emails to his email account containing child pornography and discussions of their desire to molest children. Leads generated by this investigation resulted in arrests of the following six persons:
- Todd Gregory Nichols, 43, of Williamstown, N.J., was arrested in January 2013 by the Division of Criminal Justice and HSI. He allegedly sent images of child pornography to Allen’s e-mail account. He faces state charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. Nichols allegedly communicated to Allen that he photographs young girls in his neighborhood.
- James Goelz, 76, of Wheatland, Wyoming, was arrested in October 2012 by the Oregon Department of Justice. He pleaded guilty to trading child pornography with Allen Jr. and to traveling to Oregon for the purpose of engaging in sex with a minor.
- Gary Mitchell Luxenberg, 69, of Garland, Texas, a registered sex offender, was arrested on Oct. 2, 2012 by Garland Police and HSI. Luxenberg was visiting the foreign-based website at the time of his arrest. Child pornography was found on his computer. He pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges.
- Christopher James Vesper, 33, of Bracey, Virginia, was arrested in April 2013 by HSI and the Virginia State Police. He allegedly traded child pornography with Allen.
- John Scarano, 42, of Royerstown, Pennsylvania, was arrested on Nov. 28, 2012 by the Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney’s Office and HSI-Philadelphia. He is charged with manufacturing child pornography with the images of the two pre-teenage girls provided by Allen, as well as possession and distribution of child pornography.
- Tyler Andrew Smith, 23, of Ponce Inlet, Florida, was arrested in May 2013 by the Daytona Beach, Fla., Police Department and HSI. Smith allegedly traded child pornography with Allen.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman urged those with information about sexual predators to alert law enforcement using New Jersey’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline 1-888-648-6007.