Thousands of hours of child porn seized in New York's largest sting

The sting seized of nearly 600 computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices. (5/22/14)

NEW YORK - More information is emerging on New York's largest-ever child pornography sting.

The sting operation resulted in the seizure of nearly 600 desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices containing massive amounts of child pornography.

Seventy-one people were arrested, including a police officer, a rabbi, a nurse and other respected members of the community. Federal investigators say these people from the five boroughs, the Hudson Valley and New Jersey were all using the Internet to collect and trade child pornography.

READ MORE: Westchester Crime Stories

Agents went online posing as pedophiles to find sharing networks where child porn collectors exchange files directly with each other. They had to use disturbing search terms to gain access. "Real child rape, mom-daughter family sex, 3-year-old gets it every way imaginable and P-T-H-C, an acronym for pre-teen hard core," says Special Agent in Charge James Hayes.

Federal officials say Operation Caireen started with the investigation of former Mount Pleasant Police Chief Brian Fanelli  back in January.

Investigators say another man that was arrested in the bust, 43-year-old Jonathan Silber, was a well-respected father of two who coached Little League baseball and was a den leader in the Boy Scouts. They allege that in his spare time, Silber collected and watched child pornography. Officials say that when Silber was taken into custody on May 9, they found 30 images of child porn and three videos on his laptop.

News 12 received a statement from the Hudson Valley Council of the Boy Scouts regarding Silber, saying in part, "Upon learning of these allegations we took immediate action to revoke the individual's registration as an adult volunteer leader and he is precluded from any further participation in the scouting program."

John Asmodeo, 30, of Carmel, is accused of secretly taping children. Christian Cote, of Kent, was charged with possession of child porn.

The offenders are now facing anywhere from seven to 25 years in prison. Prosecutors say many of them will be facing additional charges, and they expect more arrests to be made.

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