A five month sting operation focused on online consumers of child pornography in Monmouth County has resulted in 14 arrests.
Operation Trading Post targeted people seeking out and trafficking child pornographic materials. The sweep was carried out by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit and Monmouth County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force between June and October.
Gregory Cantrell, the associate director for workplace safety at Princeton University who is on unpaid leave from the school as a result of the charges, was arrested on Nov. 5. Cantrell, 61, a resident of Freehold, was arrested after law enforcement officers investigated a tip that was forwarded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He allegedly uploaded child pornography to Bing Image. He is charged with one count of third degree endangering the welfare of a child for possession of child pornography.
Other people who were arrested include a former member of the environmental commission in Atlantic Highlands, a vice president of operations for ING Financial Markets, a mechanic for United Airlines, and a laborer at Love Inc., a religious non-profit company. One person who was arrested for uploading and sharing child pornography is a juvenile and another is 18.
“Operation Trading Post caught individuals who shamelessly viewed and shared depraved images of children being sexually abused,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni. said. “Our successful operation demonstrates the value of our partnerships with the local law enforcement agencies that help our task force continue to have a vigilant and watchful eye for this extremely damaging criminal activity.”
The defendants were all released on the conditions that they have no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 and do not use the internet. One defendant who allegedly chatted with and made plans to meet a 14-year-old boy remains incarcerated pending trial.
If convicted of the second degree endangering, attempted sexual assault or luring charges, a defendant will face a maximum sentence of 10 years in New Jersey state prison, Megan’s Law registration, and parole supervision for life. If convicted of the third degree endangering charge, a defendant will face a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and parole supervision for life.