John Mulligan III Was Among 27 Defendants Arrested In 'Operation Watchdog'

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A southern New Jersey man admitted this week that he made numerous child pornography images and videos available online.

John Mulligan III, 42, faces three years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 22. The Ocean City man pleaded guilty Friday to possessing and distributing child porn as part of a plea deal with the state Attorney General’s Office.

Mulligan was among 27 defendants arrested last year as a result of “Operation Watchdog,” a multiagency investigation led by the state police and the state’s Division of Criminal Justice.

Mulligan admitted that during a four-month period last year, he knowingly used file-sharing software to make multiple files of child porn available for other people to download.

The Operation Watchdog defendants, who ranged in age from 17 to 66, were all charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.

“While we call this material ‘child pornography‘ what we should really call it is what it is, it’s videos and pictures of children being raped and tortured,” then New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said last year. “I have no idea what possible pleasure you could derive from watching this stuff.”

Another defendant, Bernard Cahill, 53, of Folsom, was also charged with sexual assault and manufacturing child pornography after authorities said he took photographs of a young child while he was sexually assaulting her.

William Brooks, 66, of Pennsauken, was downloading images when detectives executed a search warrant, state police said.

Others charged included two high school students, Morristown’s public works chief, a 20-year-old Union woman, and a convicted sex offender.

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