West Milford Township Man Charged with Distributing Sexually Explicit Images of Children
NEWARK, NJ—A Passaic County, New Jersey, man was arrested at his home today by special agents of the FBI and officers of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office on a charge that he distributed sexually explicit images of children from his computer, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Thomas Bachalis, 30, of West Milford Township, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of distributing images of child pornography over the Internet. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
On Aug. 15, 2013, Bachalis allegedly distributed images depicting child sexual abuse on the Internet via peer-to-peer file sharing software. In September 2013, officers of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Bachalis’ residence and seized digital evidence that contained images depicting child sexual abuse—including material involving prepubescent minors.
The distribution count carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney A. Howard of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.