CAMDEN - When about a dozen men were sent to a South Jersey prison for separate child-pornography crimes, life behind bars didn’t stop them from viewing images of sexually assaulted children, authorities say.
The men allegedly used contraband cellphones at Federal Correctional Institute Fort Dix to access child pornography on the “Dark Web,” a federal investigator says in a newly filed criminal complaint.
The inmates stored images and videos of child sex abuse on Internet-based cloud accounts and on small digital cards that can be inserted in a smart phone.
One inmate even made a hiding place in a Bible, cutting out “a tiny square of space” to hold a “micro SD card” loaded with child pornography, FBI Special Agent Kevin Matthews said in an affidavit filed Friday in federal court, Camden.
The affidavit also notes an upsurge in illegal phones at the Fort Dix prison, which holds about 4,400 men in low- and minimum-security settings.
“In recent years, the seizures of contraband cellphones at FCI Fort Dix have increased dramatically,” Matthews notes.
His affidavit says 1,522 phones were confiscated in 2016, up from 652 a year earlier and 217 in 2014.
Statistics for last year's seizures were not immediately available from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
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