Paterson NJ police recently arrested six minors who have been charged with child pornography distribution.
The suspects include four boys and two girls. The youngest suspect is 13 years of age, while the oldest suspect is 16 years of age. All six suspects reside in Passaic County, New Jersey.
According to law enforcement, the juvenile suspects were using social media accounts on the Internet to acquire nude photos of teenagers.
Three underage girls reportedly noticed nude pictures of themselves online and contacted the police. Once Passaic County authorities became aware of the suspects social media accounts in December 2015, they opened an investigation. A number of agencies worked together on the investigation, including the Paterson Police Department, the North Haledon Police Department, the Passaic County Sheriff s Department, and the Passaic County Prosecutor s Office.
Detectives reportedly noticed that several of the accounts contained the code word purge. The suspects allegedly had more than 4,300 followers on the accounts and posted several hundred naked photographs of juveniles.
The six suspects now face numerous criminal charges, including distribution of child pornography, maintaining child pornography, cyber harassment, and invasion of privacy. It is likely that the suspects will be charged with juvenile crimes, as opposed to being charged as adults.
After being placed under arrest and processed, the suspects were released to the custody of their parents.
Meanwhile, law enforcement officials have warned minors to be careful about sending illicit photographs to other people. These nude images can potentially be circulated over the Internet and have long-term consequences.
For more information about this case, view the NJ.com article, “4 Boys, 2 Girls Charged in Internet Child Porn Bust.”