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JUVENILE CORRECTIONS OFFICER ARRESTED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was arrested and charged today for allegedly distributing images and videos of child sexual abuse, Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced.

Michael A. Ruggiero, 35, of Forked River, New Jersey, a corrections officer at a juvenile detention facility, was arrested at work this morning by agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), on a complaint charging him with one count of distribution of child pornography. Ruggiero is expected to appear later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From April 16, 2016, to April 19, 2016, Ruggiero used a mobile chat application to distribute and share over the internet images and videos of children engaged in sexual acts. Anyone with information regarding possible victims of this activity is urged to contact HSI in Newark: (973)-776-5500.

The charge of distributing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents HSI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael; inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel Brubaker, Philadelphia Division; and members of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, with the investigation leading to today’s charge.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica Allende of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division.  The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.