By: Najla Alexander
Authorities in Mercer County announced that an investigation into online child exploitation has resulted in the arrest of a Hamilton Township man.
Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported that Nicholas Occhipinti, 31, of Hamilton, is charged with one count of second-degree distribution of explicit images of minors, one count of third-degree possession of explicit images of minors, one count of second-degree possession with the intent to distribute explicit images of minors, and three narcotics offenses including a first-degree possession with the intent to distribute charge.
According to officials, the prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Occhipinti pending trial.
Detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit recently received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual in Mercer County was distributing explicit images of minors, officials stated.
Officials said an investigation was initiated, and Occhipinti was identified as a subject.
On Friday, October 6, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations Newark, and the Hamilton Police Division executed search warrants at Occhipinti’s Hamilton residence, where detectives seized multiple items of evidentiary value, officials say.
Authorities say detectives also discovered a small amount of methamphetamine, assorted pills, and more than 2,000 doses of LSD in the home.
Occhipinti was taken into custody without incident, officials said.