Pa. deputy distributed child porn from Wildwood, N.J. vacation home: Prosecutors

Thursday, February 22, 2024
Pa. deputy distributed child porn from Wildwood, N.J. vacation home: Prosecutors
Pa. deputy distributed child porn from Wildwood, N.J. vacation home: Prosecutors

WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A sheriff's deputy from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was arrested in New Jersey on child pornography charges.

James Christopher Buckley, 57, of Gilbertsville, is facing two counts of endangering the welfare of a child by possession and distribution of child pornography.

The Cape May County Prosecutor's Office said the investigation stemmed from a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tip that revealed an unidentified person, subsequently identified as Buckley, allegedly possessed and distributed various images of child sexual abuse material via his iCloud account back in 2020.

This occurred at Buckley's vacation residence located in Wildwood, New Jersey, the prosecutor's office said.

An affidavit stated that Buckley confessed to viewing and storing the images during the COVID pandemic, and says he was viewing it as his younger self.

Buckley was arrested on Tuesday and is being held at the Cape May County Correctional Facility pending a court hearing.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department said Buckley has been suspended as a result of these charges.

"The conduct outlined in these charges is antithetical to the values and principles of our agency and an affront to the public's trust. We remain steadfast in our commitment to serving and protecting the residents of Montgomery County," Sheriff Sean Kilkenny said in a statement.

"As an agency committed to upholding the law and maintaining the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability, we take these allegations extremely seriously," the statement continued.

Action News spoke with residents who live near Buckley in Gilbertsville. Many said they were shocked to learn something like this could happen so close to home.

"I didn't think something like that would happen in this neighborhood. I mean it's been a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. All the neighbors I know of are friendly, to hear something like that, it's mind-blowing," said one neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous.

"That's extremely concerning because you think those people are supposed to be protecting the people, especially the children in the area," the neighbor added.

Some parents told Action News they will be on high alert after learning what happened to Buckley.

"We have a 2-year-old. We have one on the way. Obviously it's extremely scary to find that someone in the neighborhood or close to the area would be involved in something like that," another resident said.

"I have three kids. I don't know what to think about that. Now it's like I should be overly protective when the kids are outside," another local parent noted.

To report a tip about child pornography, visit the Cyber Tipline page.