TOMS RIVER-Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced the arrest of Eric Underwald, 27, of Barnegat, NJ, for the Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography. The arrest is the result of a cooperative investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Department of Homeland Security / Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (DHS/ICE), and Barnegat Police Department into Mr. Underwald sharing and possessing child pornography files.
The investigation was the result of a cooperative, proactive online investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s High Tech Crime Unit and the Bergen County Prosecutors Office over the last 4 months. The High Tech Crime Unit and the above partnering agencies in the investigation, executed search warrants at Underwald’s present residence at 31Windward Drive and a prior residence at 78 Deer Run Drive in Barnegat. Patrol officers from Barnegat Police Department assisted with the service of the search warrant to assure the safety of the entry team.
The search for evidence pertaining to Distribution of Child Pornography on the internet resulted in the recovery of child pornography still pictures andmovie files, Underwald’s computer, and multiple electronic storage devices. A forensic preview of the computer evidence at the above addresses by the Ocean County High Tech Crime Unit found Underwald to be possessing and sharing Child Pornography photos andmovies with other persons on the internet. The investigation showed that both searched locations were the source of several hundred images of child pornography on the internet.
As the investigation team members advised Underwald of his arrest he attempted to flee and exit the building through a second floor window. The quick actions of Barnegat officers prevented Underwald from injuring himself and accessing a number of knives and swords he had hidden in his bedroom. After a brief resisting effort, Underwald was taken into custody and transported to Barnegat Police Department.
Summons for 4th Degree Resisting Arrest and 4th Degree Hindering were signed by the Barnegat Police Department.
Underwald was charged with 2 counts of 2nd Degree Distribution of Child Pornography and 1 count of 4th Degree Possession of Child Pornography. Charges were signed by Detective Dan Roske and approved by Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman. Bail was set at $75,000 no 10% by Judge Miller.
After making several suicidal statements during arrest and processing, Underwald was transported by Barnegat PD to Southern Ocean Medical Center for evaluation. The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that
defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.