Tag Archives: child pornography

23 Queens individuals arrested in NYC-area child porn bust


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of ICE


Twenty-three Queens residents, including an NYPD cop, registered nurse and paramedic, were arrested as part of a large-scale operation targeting the online distribution of child pornography.

The largest-ever enforcement operation in New York directed at predators who possess, produce or distribute sexually explicit images of children, resulted in the arrests of 71 individuals in the five boroughs, other areas of the state and New Jersey, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other officials announced Wednesday.

During Operation Caireen, which began April 4 and ran until May 15, HSI special agents, NYPD detectives and other law enforcement partners infiltrated peer-to-peer file sharing networks to identify users in the New York City metropolitan area who tried to acquire or distribute known or suspected images and videos of children engaging in sexually explicit activities, according to HSI.

Among the Queens residents arrested was an NYPD officer from Ozone Park, Yong Wu, who has been charged with possession of child pornography, officials said. He was arrested on April 28 following the execution of a search warrant on his home.

An Astoria registered nurse, Kenneth Gardner, who works at Westchester County Medical Center, has been charged with promoting a sex performance of a child under age 17, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child, according to HSI.

Aaron Young, a paramedic, was arrested at his Queens home on April 28 and charged with possession of child pornography, officials said.

“It must be remembered that the images involved in these cases are of real children being sexually abused and that each time an image is viewed, traded, printed or downloaded, the child in that image is being victimized again,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

Others facing charges include an au pair, and a man who served as both a den master with the Boy Scouts of America and a little league baseball coach.

 

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Queens cop arrested on child pornography charges


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated Wednesday, April 30, 9:55 a.m.

A Queens cop was slapped with child pornography charges after videos of underage girls engaging in sexual acts were allegedly found on his computer.

Yong Wu, 38, was busted through an investigation of people who were sharing files of child pornography over peer-to-peer networks, court records said.

An IP address being used by Wu allegedly downloaded two video files that each showed a girl about 11 to 13 years in age engaging in lewd acts. In one, the girl was having sex with an adult male, according to a criminal complaint. He was allegedly found to sharing at least 60 files of interest to investigators.

A warrant was executed Monday morning at the Wu”s south Queens home, where a desktop computer was recovered on which five videos of young girls were allegedly found.

The videos included the girls, between the ages of 8 and 12,  engaging in various  sex acts with adult men, court documents said.

Wu, who works as an NYPD officer in Brooklyn, was arraigned Monday on seven counts each of promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by child, according to officials.

 

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East Elmhurst man busted after child porn found on computer during Best Buy repair


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

ManLaptopComputerH1005_L_300_B_G

One East Elmhurst man has been slapped with charges of possessing child pornography after bringing his laptop to Best Buy for repair.

On April 1, a technician at the electronics store located in Long Island City began working on a laptop that was dropped off by 61-year-old Michael Murray on March 26 to get repaired, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

After turning on and rebooting the computer the technician found the screen saver to contain a slide show of multiple young girls posing provocatively or engaging in sexual acts with adult men, Brown said. Once the worker altered his supervisor about the images, 15 photographs of young girls were found and the police was called.

“This defendant is alleged to have had some very disturbing photographs of children being sexually abused on his computer,” Brown said. “These photographs depict real children who will no doubt be emotionally and physically scarred for the rest of their lives.”

The district attorney added that detectives went to Murray’s East Elmhurst home Wednesday morning, where he allegedly admitted to knowing what was on his screen saver. Murray also allegedly admitted he had been sharing child pornography files with other people on the Internet for about five years.

Murray has been charged with 15 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child. If convicted, Murray could face up to four years in prison.

 

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Kids made cards for inmate


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

The Department of Education (DOE) is determined to dismiss a teacher who had her fifth grade students send Christmas cards to a felon caught possessing child pornography.

According to a report issued by Richard Condon, the city’s special commissioner of investigation, Melissa Dean, a 31-year-old educator at P.S. 143 in Corona, had her students send handmade holiday cards to John Coccarelli, her friend and alleged boyfriend.

Coccarelli, who is currently serving a one-to-three-year sentence for carrying a loaded firearm and violating an Order of Protection, was charged in 2008 with one count of “possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child” – a floppy disk with roughly 30 sexually explicit photos of underage children – according to the Nassau district attorney’s office. In addition, approximately 20 sexually explicit images of underage children were found on Coccarelli’s laptop. He was ultimately not convicted in relation to the charge.

Dean did not ask permission from students’ parents or the school, and officials claim the teacher encouraged the children to write personal information on the cards, including their names and addresses. The teacher also printed the name of each student on the back of their card.

“You are sending the names and addresses of children to a penitentiary to go to a prisoner, but that doesn’t mean they won’t end up going to other people,” said Condon. “It unnecessarily endangers these children.”

The report also claims the teacher included cards from her and her daughter with the bunch, signing hers “Wifey.”

Despite Dean’s efforts to reach her “hubby,” the cards were intercepted by a correctional officer in charge of security at Groveland, who then called P.S. 134’s principal.

When questioned by the principal, Dean admitted to being friends with Coccarelli and believed her gesture was “a nice thing to do.”

Based on documentation from Groveland, Dean has called Coccarelli 327 times and visited him on 11 different occasions during his sentence thus far – with their latest meeting occurring November 19.

The Courier was unable to reach Dean for comment.

According to a spokesperson for the DOE, Dean has been reassigned out of classroom, and the department is seeking her termination.

A spokesperson for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) declined to comment, citing that the investigation was ongoing.

Upon conducting interviews with Dean’s students, officials learned the teacher told the fifth graders their cards would be sent to patients in hospitals, lonely people without families or the homeless.

“We recommend that she be terminated,” Condon said. “We found that she did not get any of the parents’ permission to send these cards, she misled the children about who these cards were going to and put the children’s names on the cards. She did not have the right to do that.”

The incident has outraged many parents across the borough, who are now calling for Dean’s discharge. “The teacher should be fired immediately,” said Jose Membreno, whose granddaughter attends an elementary school in Corona. “When it comes to a child, it’s inappropriate. A child will listen to an adult, and the teacher knows why he was behind bars. This shows me that the teacher herself might have a problem.”

Additional reporting by David Beltran