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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Police officer charged with child porn possession

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

BREAKING NEWS: Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik announced today that a Paterson police officer was arrested at his home this morning on charges of possessing child pornography.

Bail information wasn’t available for Police Officer James R. Berthold, 39, a single, five-year veteran of the force who lives in the city. Detectives arrested him at 11 this morning, Berdnik said.

“Possession and distribution of child pornography is a serious offense, I commend the efforts of law enforcement in making this arrest,” the sheriff said. “The fact that this suspect is a sworn police officer makes this matter even more alarming and disturbing.”

According to Sheriff Berdnik, a three-month investigation began late last year when the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office received several complaints from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about a dozen images transmitted via America Online.

The Sussex County prosecutor forward the information to Berdnik, who assigned the probe to his Internet Crime Task Force. Detectives immediately contacted the Paterson Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division.

The images were traced back to Berthold’s computer, the sheriff said.

“Additional charges may be forthcoming based upon the results of the forensic analysis being conducted by our  investigators,” Berdnik said.

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