For Immediate Release
February 11, 2009 Ralph J. Marra, Acting U.S. Attorney
District of New Jersey - Contact: Greg Reinert, (856) 757-5233
Former N.Y.P.D. Dispatcher Admits to Traveling to New Jersey
for Purpose of Having Sex with a Minor and Distributing Child Pornography
CAMDEN –A former New York Police Department dispatcher pleaded guilty today to a two-count Information that charges him with traveling to the Deptford Mall in Gloucester County for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with an individual whom he believed was a 14-year-old female and distribution of child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr., announced. Ira Shimshi, 56, of New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas, who scheduled sentencing for May 22. Shimshi, who has been held in federal custody since his arrest on Aug. 15, 2008, will remain detained pending sentencing. At his plea hearing, Shimshi admitted that from September 2007 until Aug. 15, 2008, he communicated via email and telephone with an individual he knew as "Angie" and believed was a 14-year-old girl. Shimshi stated that he later learned that the individual was actually an undercover law enforcement officer. Shimshi admitted that during the communications he discussed his wish to engage in illicit sexual conduct with "Angie." During the course of their communications, Shimshi arranged to meet "Angie" at the Deptford Mall on Aug. 15, 2008, he admitted. In anticipation of the meeting, Shimshi admitted that he reserved a hotel room in the area of the Deptford Mall.
On the day of the scheduled meeting, Shimshi drove a rental vehicle from New York to the Deptford Mall and then proceeded to an area inside the mall where he and "Angie" had arranged to meet. Shimshi admitted that he brought condoms, personal lubricant and a digital camcorder from New York. Furthermore, on Feb. 6, 2008, Shimshi sent two separate videos containing child pornography via email from his computer to "Angie" in New Jersey, he admitted. The charge contained in Count One, distribution of child pornography, carries a statutory mandatory minimum prison sentence of 5 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000. Count Two, which charges traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a person whom he believed was a minor, carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
In determining an actual sentence, Judge Irenas will consult the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, if any, and other factors. While the judge is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence, he is bound by the statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for the charge of distributing child pornography in Count One. Parole has been abolished in the federal system. Defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all that time. Marra credited Special Agents of the FBI's South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline M. Carle of the Criminal Division in Camden. Defense Attorney: Christopher J. O'Malley, Esq. Assistant Federal Public Defender