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Netcong fire department captain charged with distribution, possession of child sexual abuse materials

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – A Netcong Borough volunteer Fire Department captain has been charged in connection with distribution and possession of child sex abuse material, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.

James T. Hess, 49, of Landing section of  Mount Arlington Borough, who also works for the New Jersey Fireman’s Home, has been charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child (distribution of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child (possession of child sexual abuse materials), Carroll said.

The investigation began with a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) referencing the upload of video files, allegedly depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of minors, Carroll said.

The video files were allegedly uploaded to Kik, an internet-based chat application, by Hess, who is also alleged to have viewed CSAM on Kik. It is alleged Hess uploaded CSAM while at the Netcong Volunteer Fire Department, where he is a captain, Carroll said.

It is further alleged that Hess possessed additional images of CSAM on an electronic device, Carroll said.

Hess was arrested on Dec. 21, 2022 and following his arrest, he was released pursuant to the Criminal Justice Reform Act with pretrial release conditions that include monitoring and limited internet usage, Carroll said.

Anyone who has any information related to this investigation, is encouraged to contact the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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