N.J. cop arrested in Internet sex sting
By Sam Wood
INQUIRER STAFF WRITE
A South Jersey police officer was arrested yesterday and charged with propositioning an undercover agent he thought was a 13-year-old girl on the Internet, authorities said.
Edward Berzins, 37, of the Gloucester Township police department, was taken into custody at his home in Blackwood.A Pic of the ScumbagEdward Berzins, 37, a Gloucester Township police officer, sent pictures of his genitals to a law enforcement agent posing as an 8th grader, officials said. Berzins was taken into custody Monday at his Blackwood home.
Berzins made his initial chat-room contact in April with an agent from the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office who was posing as an eighth grader, officials said.
During a series of instant message chats, Berzins used the screen name kickinbaknchillin and said he was a 21-year-old man from Philadelphia, according to court papers.
He sent several pictures of his genitals to the fictional girl's e-mail account, and later transmitted a live video of himself as he masturbated, officials said.
The undercover agent made a record of it all with a program that captures computer images.
The agent then filed a court order with Yahoo! Inc., which provided kickinbaknchillin's Internet account, which led to Berzins' identity.
Berzins is charged with one count each of unlawful contact with a minor, criminal attempted obscene and sexual performances, and criminal use of a computer, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Berzins waived extradition and was transported to Harrisburg for preliminary arraignment in Dauphin County Night Court. He was lodged in the Dauphin County Prison after failing to post $50,000 bail.
Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 856-779-3838 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At least it wasn't a dog, a old man in NOLA, or a DUI in Georgia.