Wednesday, September 29, 2021

New Jersey Department of Children and Family Services Caseworker Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

 NEWARK, N.J. – A caseworker employed by the New Jersey Department of Children and Family Services, Division of Child Protection and Permanency, was charged today with possessing images of child sexual abuse, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Trent Collier, 55, of Kearny, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of possession of child pornography. He made his initial appearance by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre and was released on $50,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Sept. 28, 2021, Collier arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport aboard a flight from the Dominican Republic. Law enforcement officials searched his luggage and located a tablet device and a cellular phone. A forensic search of both devices identified at least two images of child sexual abuse depicting prepubescent children. Based on an analysis of the phone, Collier sent these images via WhatsApp message.

The maximum penalty if convicted is 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the gross pecuniary loss to someone else, whichever is greatest.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Calle of the Criminal Division in Newark.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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