In just about a year-and-a-half's time starting in 2020, there have been 550 CyberTips that have come in that have led to 77 arrests in Monmouth County for child porn related offenses, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

There are 16 people from that 77 whose charges have been announced by the MCPO and two of them have since been sentenced.

Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
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The credit can go to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Computer Crimes Unit and the Monmouth County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who ran investigations into these tips, charges, and crimes and is made up of the MCPO Aberdeen, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Eatontown, Fair Haven, Highlands, Holmdel, Howell, Keyport, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Wall and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations; the Task Force also receives investigative support from the police departments in Colts Neck, Highlands, Hazlet, Howell, Union Beach, Neptune, Keansburg, Red Bank, West Long Branch, and Ocean Township Police Departments, along with the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory.

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Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that most of the investigations stemmed from CyberTips "forwarded to our office by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which revealed that these defendants used social media platforms to possess child sexual abuse material."

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office announced these two men were sentenced for their child porn related offenses.

John V. Catalano, 36, of Nottingham Way in Freehold, was sentenced to five years in a New Jersey State Prison for second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child – Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials which will include two and a half years mandatory parole ineligibility and mandatory Megan’s Law registration.

(Photo Courtesy: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
(Photo Courtesy: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
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Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that "Catalano pleaded guilty to the second-degree charge on February 9, 2022.

Catalano was indicted on September 9, 2019 and charged with one count of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child for distributing over 25 images of child sexual abuse materials and one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child for possession of child sexual abuse materials."

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Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that this case was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan. Catalano is represented by Herbert I. Ellis, Esq., of Freehold.

Barton Cross-Tierney 2nd, 32, of Ocean Township, has been sentenced to three years for third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child and three years for third-degree Exhibiting Obscenity to a Minor and the sentences will run concurrently.

(Photo Courtesy: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
(Photo Courtesy: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)
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Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that when Cross-Tierney concludes his sentence, he faces mandatory Megan’s Law registration and Parole Supervision for Life and that, "Cross-Tierney pleaded guilty to the two charges on February 9, 2022."

The inappropriate and illegal behavior Barton Cross was disclosed by his victim who reported it to the FBI tip-line in December of 2018 where she said she engaged in an inappropriate online relationship with an adult man from Ocean Township who was using the name Barton Cross and he had committed sexual acts while on a video chat with her, according to the MCPO.

Barton Cross -- who turned out to be Barton C. Cross-Tierney of Franklin Parkway in Ocean Township -- was using 'Discord' to communicate with minors as investigators learned and had multiple victims where he engaged in sexual acts on a video chat.

Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that this case was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan and that Cross-Tierney is represented by Michael L. Kuhns, Esq. of Lawrence Township.

Here are the other 14 people who've been arrested recently for their child porn related crimes in Monmouth County, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

(Photo of Monmouth County Correctional Institution by Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
(Photo of Monmouth County Correctional Institution by Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
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  • "Earl Grant, 40, of Neptune, was arrested on January 21, 2022 and is charged with one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Grant is represented by Guillermo Arango, Esq. of New Brunswick.
  • Michael Hernandez, 21, of Colts Neck, was arrested on February 24, 2022, and is charged with one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Hernandez is represented by Mark Bernstein, Esq. of Cherry Hill.
Stephen Galiatsatos, 38, Neptune Township, who was employed as a ride share driver, was arrested on March 10, 2022, and is charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Galiatsatos is represented by Anthony Aldorasi, Esq. of Freehold. 
(Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
(Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
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  • Jeffery Hitt, 74, of Middletown, who is retired, was arrested on March 21, 2022, and is charged with one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials) and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Hitt is represented by Tara Breslow, Esq. of Freehold.
  • Michael Mezzina, 61, of Holmdel Township, was arrested on March 29, 2022, after the Holmdel Township Police Department received a report from an electronics store employee that child sexual abuse materials were found on a laptop computer that Mezzina dropped off for repair. Mezzina was charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Mezzina is represented by Abraham Basch, Esq. of Eatontown.
William Grimmer, 58, of Ocean Township, was arrested on April 21, 2022 and charged with third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Grimmer is represented by Albert Rescinio, Esq. of Ocean Township. 
Prison cells at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
Prison cells at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
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  • Yang Chen, 27, of Aberdeen Township, was arrested on April 14, 2022 and is charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Chen is represented by Carlos Diaz – Cobo, Esq. of Freehold.
  • Ryan Cutaneo, 22, of Howell, was arrested on April 28, 2022, and is charged with one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Cutaneo is represented by Thomas Huth, Esq of Red Bank.
Calvin Martinez, 31, of Ocean Township, was arrested on May 12, 2022 and is charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Martinez is represented by Peter O’Mara, Esq. 
Basketball court at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
Basketball court at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
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  • Santiago Reyes-Carrada, 30, of Keyport, was arrested on May 5, 2022 and is charged with one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Reyes-Carrada is represented by Mark Casazza, Esq. of Hazlet.
  • Brian Flynn, 31, of Hazlet, a sales representative, was arrested on May 24, 2022; following an investigation which revealed that he used Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing software to create child pornography files available to others online. Flynn is charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, second-degree (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials) and one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Flynn is represented by Mitch Ansell, Esq. of Ocean Township.
Kenneth Ayala, 21, of Hazlet Township, was arrested on May 25, 2022 and is charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Ayala is represented by William Wackowski, Esq. of Ocean Township. 
Prison cell at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
Prison cell at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
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  • Osama Hassaballa, 37, of Ocean Township, a taxi driver, was arrested on June 9, 2022, and is charged with one count of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Hassaballa is represented by Lisa Maglone, Esq. of Freehold.
Brian Picardi, 60, of Keansburg, who was arrested on June 16, 2022 and is charged with one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Child Sexual Abuse Materials). Picardi is represented by Lisa Maglone, Esq. of Freehold." 
Court room at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
Court room at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media New Jersey)
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If convicted on second-degree charges, Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that the accused could face up to 10 years in state prison with convictions on third-degree charges punishable up to five years.

Regardless of the term, each of the 14 would have to register under Megan’s Law and be under Parole Supervision for life.

Acting Prosecutor Linskey said that "Galiatsatos, Chen and Ayala’s cases are assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos, and the remaining cases are assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Competello."

NJ arrests 31 accused child predators in Operation 24/7

A roundup of 31 men have been accused of sexually exploiting children online, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on July 14 while detailing "Operation 24/7."

The suspects “possessed and or distributed videos and images of child sexual abuse, including in many cases videos of young children being raped by adults,” Grewal said.

Chat apps and gaming platforms remain favorite hunting grounds for child predators and even as the pandemic winds down, many children have continued to spend more time online.

State Police received 39% more tips in just the first 6 months of 2021 than they received in the entire year in 2019. The following are suspects charged in "Operation 24/7."

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