FREEHOLD – A Passaic County man has been criminally charged with offenses involving child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Friday.

Joseph S. Velazquez, 25, of Passaic, is charged with second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials) and third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials).

An investigation into this matter was initiated in February 2024 by a Prosecutor’s Office Detective acting in an undercover capacity on a chat group of the social media network Kik. While monitoring the chat group, the Detective was contacted by another user, going by the alias “blazeitupp1” and later identified as Velazquez, who electronically sent files containing CSAM and also repeatedly expressed interest in having a sexual encounter with a fictitious child.

Last week, members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, and Passaic County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Velazquez’s home in Passaic, and located the CSAM leading to the charges against him. Velazquez was arrested without incident and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a detention hearing, tentatively scheduled for Monday, June 24, in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Competello of the MCPO High Tech Bureau. Velazquez is being represented by Monika Mastellone, Esq., with an office in Freehold.

Anyone with additional information about Velazquez’s activities is being urged to contact MCPO Detective Anthony Lacher at 800-533-7443.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.