Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on April 1, 2022, Richard Knight, 40, of New Egypt, was sentenced by the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C., to five years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) with a two-year period of parole ineligibility as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Distribution of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i). Judge Collins also sentenced Knight to five years NJSP as a result of his guilty plea to Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(ii). The sentences will run concurrently. Knight will also be subject to the terms of Megan’s Law, along with Parole Supervision for Life. Knight pled guilty to both charges before Judge Collins on November 16, 2021.
This investigation, which began in December 2020, was the result of numerous referrals from the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Task Force detected that a user of the program Google Meets was uploading images of child pornography to the internet. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit identified a residence in New Egypt as the source of the uploaded images of child pornography. On June 9, 2021, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, United States Homeland Security Investigations, and Plumsted Township Police Department, executed a court-authorized search warrant on Knight’s residence in New Egypt. As a result, Detectives seized two cell phones from the residence. Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit revealed that Knight’s cell phone contained more than 1,000 images but less than 100,000 images of child pornography. The investigation also revealed that Knight distributed child pornography using Google Meets and other social media platforms.
Knight was subsequently arrested at his place of employment in Browns Mills on June 9, 2021; he has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Shanon Chant-Berry and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Angelo who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Plumsted Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and United States Homeland Security Investigations, for their collective and collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Knight’s arrest, guilty pleas, and now his state prison sentence.