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.