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Child pornography in chat room, on thumb drive, say Burlington investigators

Investigations of child pornography activity in Burlington County, dating back to January, bring about the arrest of a Marlton man on child-endangerment and drug charges.

Michael Froehlich (Burlington Co. Dept. of Corrections)
Michael Froehlich (Burlington Co. Dept. of Corrections)

Michael W. Froelich, 29, was apprehended April 21 following a warrant search of his house, according to County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Evesham Township Police Chief Christopher Crew. He faces two second-degree and two third-degree counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and a fourth-degree charge of possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana.

Second-degree charges carry possible prison terms of five to 10 years on conviction. Third-degree offenses can mean three to five year sentences.

Detectives in the county High Tech Crimes Unit, acting on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at the onset of 2017, traced an image of a naked, pre-pubescent boy in an online chat room to Froelich, authorities said.

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Investigators said they seized a thumb drive containing numerous salacious images of children, along with other electronic devices that are being analyzed.

Froelich underwent arrest without incident and was remanded to the Burlington County Jail to await a detention hearing, authorities said.

Detective Sergeant Dave Kohler of the Burlington County High Tech Crime Unit led the investigation. The unit is affiliated with the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Cyber Terrorism Task Force.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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