YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A former Passaic man who federal authorities said has a fascination for kidnapping, raping and eating children, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison today for luring a boy to Pennsylvania for sex and downloading child pornography.
When they arrested him in July 2012, federal agents said 58-year-old Robert Alan Mucha of Newton, in Sussex County, was part of an international child porn ring, several of whose members “shared his sexual fascination with child cannibalism.”
Those people included Michael D. Arnett, who was arrested that same year and charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas with producing child pornography.
“On multiple occasions, Mucha and Arnett discussed their mutual interest in kidnapping, raping, and eating children,” U.S. Attorney Paul S. Fishman said at the time.
ICE agents in Boston cracked the case after finding victims who appeared in seized images of child pornography. In one instance, they identified a water bottle in one of the photographs as coming from a swim and scuba center in Kansas City — leading them to Arnett.
Following the publicity of Arnett’s arrest, other victims came forward — including one who told investigators that Arnett’s best friend held a gun to his head and forced him into oral sex when he was a boy.
Federal agents found Arnett’s online correspondence with several other men, including Mucha, they said. Other men arrested and charged came from Largo, Fla., Worster, Mass., Anderson, Calif. and Grant, N.M., records show.
Authorities have netted a worldwide network of nearly 50 offenders and alleged offenders, stemming from what became known as Operation Holitna. More than 150 children have been rescued as a result, the government said.
Mucha, who worked as a volunteer emergency medical technician and previously taught band and Bugle Corps to teenagers in Belleville and Lakewood, admitted convincing a 15-year-old boy to travel from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to spend the day with him and then sleep over at his apartment in Stroudsberg, Pa. in October 2010.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge William H. Walls sentenced Mucha to serve a lifetime of supervised release – during which his access to computers, the Internet and children will be restricted – and ordered him to pay $10,000 in restitution. Mucha is also required to register as a sex offender.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the HSI Boston office.
The sentencing is part of Operation Holitna, an ongoing HSI-led investigation that originated in Boston, he explained.
Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Bruck of Fishman’s Criminal Division in Newark.
NOTE: Federal authorities encourage the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through a toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or online tip form ( cybertipline.com ). Both are staffed by investigators around the clock.
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