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27 Arrested In Major Child Porn Bust In New Jersey

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By Robin Rieger

HAMILTON, N.J. (CBS) – A major child pornography bust in New Jersey has resulted in the arrests of 27 suspects.

The arrests were announced Tuesday by the New Jersey State Police following a three month investigation and five-day sweep dubbed “Operation Watchdog.”

Between April 9th and April 13th, law enforcement officials executed search warrants in 26 different towns across New Jersey.

Law enforcement officials say 26 men, including a 17-year-old from Moorestown, and one woman were apprehended.

(To see pictures of those arrested, click here.)

Authorities say all 27 suspects have been charged with Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography, while some are facing additional charges.

“People think that because they view these images in the privacy of their homes that we’re not watching. We are. These images as they’re sent and as they’re received contain a digital fingerprint,” New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said.

The first arrest was Cesar Salgado-Maya, 23, of Audubon, who was arrested on March 1, before the other targets of the operation. Authorities say he was found to be living in a residence connected to a child daycare center. Investigators say that they have no evidence any children at the daycare center were victimized.

Authorities say one suspect, William Brooks, 66, of Pennsauken, had his computer actively running a file sharing program with multiple child porn images when the warrant on his home was served. With a previous conviction in another state on his record, Brooks was lodged in Camden County Jail in default of $300,000 cash bail.

Another suspect, Bernard Cahill, 53, of Folsom, allegedly took photos while sexually assaulting a juvenile. Those pictures were discovered during the search warrant. Cahill was additionally charged with Sexual Assault and Manufacturing Child Pornography.

“While we call this material child pornography, what we should really call it is what it is. It’s videos and pictures of children being raped and tortured,” Chiesa said.

Three suspects, whose names are not being released at this time, are still being sought.