New Jersey News

Ocean County Man Busted for Child Porn

TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was arrested today on charges that he received and possessed images and videos of child sexual abuse downloaded from the internet, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Joseph J. Punderson, 31, of Island Heights, New Jersey, is charged in a criminal complaint with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Punderson appeared this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni and detained without bail.

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According to documents filed in this case:

In investigating leads provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and others, law enforcement uncovered evidence that e-mail and social media accounts associated with Punderson were used and were linked to accounts that were used in the commission of suspected child pornography offenses between May 2019 and November 2019.

The charge of knowingly receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a statutory maximum fine equal to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of knowingly possessing child pornography carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, and a statutory maximum fine equal to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greater.

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U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Atlantic City, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina in Newark, the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, and the Island Heights Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Paul Rutledge, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander E. Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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