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EHC man accused of leading child porn network released pending trial

An Egg Harbor City man charged with being the leader of a child pornography network was released pending trial Wednesday.
Joseph McCormick, 49, allegedly had images even his attorney deemed “disturbing” on electronic equipment that was seized by members of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.
McCormick allegedly ran a type of chat room where child pornography images could be viewed and shared, Assistant Prosecutor David Ruffenach told the judge during a detention hearing.
“This case involves images of children being traded on the internet,” he said.
McCormick shook his head as Ruffenach laid out the charges.
He told the judge that he has been employed with Laborers Local 172 for 17½ years and that if he wasn’t allowed out for work, he could lose his pension.
Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor released McCormick with conditions that include no internet access, unless it’s for work.
He also must check in monthly by phone, cannot have access to any social media and cannot possess any form of pornography.
The public safety assessment gave McCormick the lowest score possible and recommended that he be released, since he has no criminal record. 
Taylor agreed with Ruffenach that it would be difficult if not impossible to make sure McCormick had no internet access but allowed his release due to his low score.
McCormick’s attorney said his client was well-educated by the FBI on how these investigations work and that, any restricted activity would only strengthen the case against him.
He is charged with distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence.
The investigation was a partnership between the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office High Technology Crimes Unit.

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