CAMDEN, N.J. – A Gloucester County, New Jersey, man pleaded guilty today to producing and distributing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Andrew Nicholas, 24, of Williamstown, New Jersey, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with one count of sexually exploiting children and one count of distributing child pornography.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Feb. 26, 2019, an undercover officer entered a public Kik Messenger group and began communicating with Nicholas, who sent the officer images of child sexual abuse involving a prepubescent minor. Nicholas admitted to producing those images of child sexual abuse and sending them to the officer through Kik Messenger.
The count of sexually exploiting children carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 50 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The distribution of child pornography count carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum possible penalty of 40 years in prison and fine of $250,000 per count. Sentencing is scheduled for March 9, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll, and the Washington, D.C., FBI Field Office, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. This case was initiated by the FBI, Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force and worked in partnership with the FBI, Philadelphia Field Office, and local assisting agencies.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha Nye of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.