Officials: Officer, rabbi, Boy Scout leader among 71 arrested in child porn raid

A suspect is taken into custody during the child pornography sweep. (5/22/14)

MANHATTAN - Officials say 71 people, including four from Nassau County, have been arrested in a massive child pornography raid on Long Island and in New York City.

The raid was orchestrated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security investigators, who say much of the child porn originated in Russia and Eastern Europe. Federal officials say hundreds of people in the tri-state area were sharing and distributing it online.

As News 12 has reported, child pornographers are known to use peer-to-peer sharing software. Federal investigators say they caught the 71 suspects by going undercover and joining online groups. They say the child victims are as young as 2 years old.

MORE: Long Island Crime Stories

James T. Hayes, of ICE, says he hopes the sting sends the message that predators will be identified.

“They are going to be found. They need to look themselves in the mirror and do what they need to do to stop this activity,” said Hayes.

The suspects face seven to 25 years in prison, if convicted. Federal officials say they expect more arrests from this investigation.

Authorities launched the five-week investigation after the arrest of former Mount Pleasant Police Chief Brian Fanelli.

Fanelli pleaded not guilty this week to federal child pornography charges.

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