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South River Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Possessing Explicit Images of Minors

South River


By: Richard L. Smith 

A federal judge sentenced a Middlesex County man who was convicted of several counts involving explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

According to federal officials, Charles F. Browne, 55, of South River, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted at trial on June 27, 2022, of receiving explicit child images of minors, soliciting explicit photos of minors, possessing prepubescent explicit pictures of minors and concealing objects to impede the FBI’s investigation.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

In September 2017, a cloud-based file service noticed that apparent explicit images of minors had been uploaded to and maintained in an account with the screen name “Charles Browne” and an email address containing the term “cbrowne.”

The FBI obtained the files uploaded to the online account, including explicit images of minors and two copies of Browne’s resume.

On April 8, 2019, law enforcement officers stopped Browne’s vehicle as he left his residence. 

Brown was given a Miranda warning and interviewed by law enforcement officers about the FBI’s ongoing minor exploitation investigation. 

Browne initially denied having an iPad and then, in response to the agent’s question at the conclusion of the interview asking where his iPad was, responded that it was at home, which was approximately one mile away. 

Law enforcement officers told Browne that an online file account contained two explicit images of minors created by an Apple iPhone Model 5C camera. 

Browne denied knowledge of the explicit images of minors. 

At the conclusion of the interview, Browne was dropped off at his vehicle, which was locked.

At trial, Browne confessed that he broke into his vehicle after the FBI interview, removed an iPad and his iPhone, and then walked to a local private beach club. 

A neighbor observed Browne as he walked to the end of the dock and threw his iPad and iPhone into the bay.

After Browne returned to his residence without his electronic devices, the FBI conducted a canvass of the area and located the neighbor who had observed Browne throwing his iPad into the bay. 

The FBI sent in a dive team, which recovered Browne’s iPad and iPhone – an Apple Model 5C – from the bay.

The devices were repaired, and a review of the data recovered from the devices revealed explicit videos and images of minors. 

Web history from the iPad reflected that Browne had sought out explicit images of minors on the iPad the day before law enforcement officers interviewed Browne. 

Evidence from Browne’s iPad and iPhone reflected that Browne sent emails to others seeking explicit images of minors.