Prosecutor: Area Man Indicted on Lewdness, Child Porn & Drug Charges

A West Long Branch man has been indicted on charges stemming from incidents wherein he was accused of being in possession of cocaine, having child sexual abuse files stored on a drive connected with his email address, and videotaping himself while masturbating in a local park, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced on Friday.  

Michael K. Russo, 51, is charged with third-degree endangering the welfare of a child via possession of child sexual abuse material, third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine), and fourth-degree lewdness.

Convictions on charges of this nature are punishable by up to five years in state prison, as well as the defendant being registered under Megan’s Law and assigned parole supervision for life.

The case background …

Russo was among more than a dozen people arrested since April as the result of a series of investigations led by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit and the Monmouth County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which includes members of several local police departments as well as state police.

In this case, the investigation, initiated by a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), revealed that Russo had uploaded several dozen digital files constituting child sexual abuse material to his Google Drive over the span of about nine months in 2019.

Additional evidence recovered during the course of the investigation served as the basis for the two additional charges. Russo allegedly exposed himself while at a public park in Asbury Park on or around July 25, 2019 while in possession of cocaine.

Anyone with information about Russo’s activities is being asked to contact MCPO Detective Michael Arduini at 1-800-533-7443.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management