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Jackson Zoning Board Member Arrested for Child Porn Grabbed Gun During Failed Escape from Police

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JACKSON-Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Jackson Township Police Chief Matthew D. Kunz announced the arrest of Anthony Marano, 29, of Jackson.  Marano is charged with 3rd degree Aggravated Assault, 3rd degree Possession of Child Pornography and 2nd degree Distribution of Child Pornography.  The Ocean County Prosecutor’s High Tech Crime Unit (HTCU), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Jackson Township Police Department teamed up in this latest proactive operation to stop child exploitation.

Related Story: Former Jackson zoning board member wishes death upon New Jersey legislator in an amti-Semitic online tirade. 

The arrest is the result of proactive cyber monitoring by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit indicating someone within Ocean County had downloaded images of prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts.  OCPO HTCU first initiated an investigation of the defendant in December of 2016, but were unable to substantiate the alleged activity due to covert cyber measures taken by Marano.  Undeterred, HTCU Detectives would continue the investigation and uncovered additional information from the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force regarding Marano’s alleged criminal activity.

Yesterday morning, the OCPO HTCU investigation led to the execution of an approved search warrant by the partnering agencies at 32 Eucalyptus Court in Jackson.  After HTCU Detectives announced their presence with a search warrant several times, they observed Marano move from the living room of the residence into the bedroom instead of responding to the door.  They then forced entry and were met by the defendant exiting the bedroom with a handgun in his hand.  The Detectives, showing great use of force restraint, ordered Marano multiple times to drop the weapon before he finally complied.  After Marano was secured, they found the semi-automatic firearm was loaded with a round in the chamber.

A search of the residence was conducted and numerous images of child pornography were located.  As a result of the evidence located, OCPO Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Hillary Bryce approved the above charges.  Marano is lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a first appearance hearing.  The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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