An Elizabeth man is in custody after being charged with using a social media account to send and receive digital files depicting explicit images of minors , acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo announced Monday.
Officials say Mr. OoHenrique Rodrigues, 50, is charged with second and third-degree counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
An investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Cyber Crime Task Force, initially led by Detective Craig Famoso and later by Detective Jeremy Horowitz, was initiated earlier this year following receipt of tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), received via the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin, who is prosecuting the case.
The investigation ultimately showed that Rodrigues allegedly shared images depicting child pornography using his personal Facebook account, sending and receiving files to and from an unknown number of users, including two people suspected to be juvenile females living overseas.
On the morning of Friday, December 20, members of the Cyber Crime Task Force, with assistance of members of the Opioid Task Force, executed a search warrant at Rodrigues’s apartment on the 600 block of Adams Avenue in Elizabeth and seized numerous pieces of electronic equipment, for which forensic examinations remain pending.
Rodrigues was lodged in the Union County Jail pending a first appearance scheduled to take place on Friday, January 3, 2020.
Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.