More than a dozen Gloucester County residents, including a teacher, have been arrested as part of a statewide crackdown on the possession and distribution of computer pornography involving children.

State Attorney General Anne Milgram and county Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton yesterday announced the arrests of seven adults and six juveniles in Gloucester following a nearly three-month investigation. More are expected as the probe continues.

"Child pornography is not a victimless crime," Milgram said. "Children are sexually abused and exploited in the production of this material. If we stop the proliferation of child pornography on the Internet, we remove the incentive for those who produce and supply it."

All of the suspects accessed child porn on their home computers, said Bernie Weisenfeld, spokesman for the prosecutor.

Among those arrested was James J. Atkinson 3d, a music teacher and the chairman of the Fine Arts Department at West Deptford High School. Atkinson, 49, of Pitman, has been suspended pending the outcome of the case. He is charged with possession of child porn. He could not be reached for comment. Efforts to reach the superintendent were unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, Milgram announced similar charges against former state Assemblyman Neil Cohen of Union County.

David Wald, spokesman for Milgram, said Gloucester, Burlington and Camden Counties are part of a 12-county task force that is working with the state police to control Internet crimes against children.

"These child-pornography cases send a clear warning to other child predators that we are committed to bringing them to justice if they exploit children," said Dalton. "Some of these predators mistakenly believe that using the Internet is anonymous and shields them from scrutiny. However, law enforcement can find and track child pornography."

Authorities did not explain yesterday how they tracked the pornography to the home computers of those who were arrested.

The adults who were arrested were charged with endangering the welfare of a child by either possessing and/or distributing pornography. The juveniles were charged with delinquency.

Possession carries up to four months in prison while distributing can bring up to 10 years.

Arrested and charged with distribution were Larry Jordan, 53, of Washington Township; William E. Wanderer, 61, of Franklinville; and Luis Castellon-Chavez, 28, and Walter Shorter, 48, both of Clayton.

Charged with possession was Scott McCord Jr., 19, of Monroe Township and Joshua J. Elwell, 23, of Swedesboro.

The names of the juveniles were not released.

The state police Digital Technological Investigation Unit, the county Cyber Crimes Unit, the Monroe Township police and other law-enforcement agencies participated in the probe.

Over the last two years, the state Division of Criminal Justice has prosecuted more than 100 persons for possessing, reproducing or distributing child pornography.

Anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the Internet is asked to call the division tip line at 1-800-396-2310 or report it at

» READ MORE: www.njdcj.org

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Contact staff writer Jan Hefler

at 856-779-3224 or jhefler@phillynews.com.