Fmr. NJ Boy Scout leader faces child porn charge
CAMDEN, N.J. -September 24, 2012 (WPVI) -- Federal authorities have charged a former Boy Scout leader in New Jersey with receiving and distributing child pornography.
The investigation leading to the arrest of 47-year-old Gerrett Conover of Woolwich Township began in April in Boston. Federal prosecutors say evidence showed Conover engaged in sexually explicit chats and traded child pornography with a Massachusetts man.
Conover was arrested on September 16th as he entered the US from Canada. He allegedly had a computer with him that held more than 50 pictures of child pornography.
"We were able to get a search warrant of his residence in New Jersey. We seized numerous items, including other computers which also contained child pornography," Homeland Security agent Michael Cavallaro said.
In chat room conversations recorded by federal agents, he allegedly stated that he had a long term relationship with an underage boy during the time he was a scout leader in Radnor.
The boy was between 10 and 17 years of age, investigators said.
Action News has confirmed that from 1999 to 2001 he was the head scoutmaster of Troop 284 in Radnor, which, we are told by local scouting authorities, operates out of the Wayne Presbyterian Church.
Top local Boy Scout officials say there are no records of complaints by any former scouts or parents about inappropriate behavior by Conover during his time as scoutmaster.
"Mr. Conover was a scoutmaster of Troop 284 in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Our records go back to 1999 through 2001, it shows he was the scoutmaster then and from 2002 to 2008, he was registered as an assistant scoutmaster, although we understand he was not active with the troop during those years," Thomas Harrington, CEO of Cradle of Liberty Council, said.
If convicted, Conover faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
Conover is scheduled to make an initial court appearance in Camden on Friday.
Anyone with any information regarding Conover or this investigation is asked to call the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security InvestigationsTipline at 1-866-DHS2-ICE.
child porn, children, camden, new jersey, local/state
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