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Arrests in Ocean County Child Porn Investigation

Editor’s Note: Charges originally lodged against Anthony Racanelli, 24, of Toms River, in relation to this investigation were dismissed by Ocean County prosecutors. His record was expunged. 

Men from Toms River, Brick Township, Manchester and Lakewood – one a Peruvian national – variously face child porn, weapons and drug possession counts in the aftermath of an intensive probe by local and Ocean County investigators.

(Clockwise Top) Dennis Hubert, Michael Garon and Antonio Hidrogo (Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)
(Clockwise Top) Dennis Hubert, Michael Garon and Antonio Hidrogo (Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

Antonio Hidrogo, 39, of Lakewood; Dennis R. Hubert, 32, of Brick;  and Michael Garon, 25, of Manchester, were arrested between March 21 and April 10, according to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, in a sweep dubbed “Cyber Child Pornography Drag Net.”

Members of the county’s High Tech Crime Unit, SWAT team and K-9 squad got support from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Hidrogo was cuffed March 21 after a warrant search of a dwelling on East Spruce Street in Lakewood that followed a 12-month investigation, authorities said.

They contend that Hidrogo downloaded movie files of preteens being sexually assaulted, using unsecured wireless access points in the vicinity. Detectives found digital evidence in a subsequent search of a storage unit, authorities said.

Hidrogo was charged with one count of possession. He is a Peruvian citizen who carries a legal United States green card, but must surrender his passport under terms meted out in Ocean County Superior Court. His bail was set at $100,000 with no 10-percent option.

An April 2 search of a home on North Lake Drive in Brick Township resulted in Hubert’s arrest. Investigators said that a forensic review of computers at the site yielded hundreds of movie files portraying preteens having sex.

Hubert is charged with one count of possession and one count of distribution, along with a marijuana possession charge. His bail was set at $75,000 with no 10-percent option, and an order to refrain from unsupervised contact with children.

The search of the Gladstone Street dwelling occupied by Garon resulted in the seizure of computers, plus two AR-15 Bush Master rifles and high-capacity magazines, ammo, steroids, syringes, an unauthorized bottle of Oxycodone, and a tear gas canister, plus a replica grenade that required inspection by the New Jersey State Police Arson-Bomb Unit, authorities said.

Garon is charged with one count each of child porn possession and distribution, one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), unlawful possession of a weapon with a high-capacity magazine, and a second weapons count related to the tear gas canister.

As with Hubert, Garon was ordered to pay $75,000 bail with no 10-percent option and restricted from unsupervised access to children.

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