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NJ Fire Chief Accused Of Distributing Child Pornography From Fire Station Computer

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) – According to Attorney General John Hoffman, the chief of the Audubon Park Volunteer Fire Company was arrested Wednesday night on charges that he used a computer at the fire station to share child pornography using a peer-to-peer file sharing network.

Officials say John Terruso, 44, was arrested at the fire station on charges of second-degree distribution of child pornography and third-degree possession of child pornography.

Authorities say the charges stem from an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark, assisted by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office and the Haddon Township Police Department.

Investigators executed a search warrant at the fire station at the time of Terruso's arrest. Officials say it is alleged he knowingly used internet file-sharing software to make multiple files of child pornography available for any other user to download from "shared folders" that he controlled on a computer at the fire station.

"We charge that Terruso sordidly abused the trust placed in him as fire chief by viewing and sharing child pornography at the fire station," said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. "In doing so, he allegedly linked himself to the depraved network of offenders who, by sharing child pornography, perpetually re-victimize the children involved and directly motivate those who sexually exploit and torture children to create these vile materials."

Officials say the investigation started when a special agent of HSI was monitoring a file-sharing network popular with offenders who seek child pornography. The agent was using advanced technology to search for digital "fingerprints" of known child pornography, as well as search terms associated with child pornography.

He ultimately traced to a computer at the fire station.

Authorities say Terruso was lodged in the Camden County Jail with bail set at $150,000, no 10 percent.

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