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Long Island high school teacher arrested on child porn charges

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. — A Long Island high school physics teacher was arrested Monday after he was found in possession of hundreds of child pornography images.

Joseph Zanco, 43, a teacher at Massapequa High School, is charged with transportation and possession of child pornography.

Zanco, who is married with a 6-year-old child, is accused of uploading more than 400 images of child pornography to his Google account at his home computer back in April.

Almost immediately after the upload was completed, the files were flagged by Google, suspended Zanco’s account and notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, authorities said.

During a search of Zanco’s Massapequa home, authorities found his laptop and evidence that it had been used to upload the images to his Google account, along with a cell phone containing more images and videos of child pornography.

“As alleged, Zanco possessed and transported hundreds of images of child pornography, crimes that contribute to the victimization of minor children, while he was employed in a position of trust as a teacher,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “The protection of innocent children is a priority for this Office and our law enforcement partners. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that those who contribute to the victimization of children will be brought to justice.”

Zanco was released on $300,000 bond at his arraignment in Central Islip and ordered held on home detention, electronic monitoring, and prohibited from using the internet.

“This case is particularly troubling because the defendant allegedly committed these crimes while employed as a teacher,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez. “HSI actively works with our law enforcement partners in the shared fight against those who are engaged in the spread of this content, especially those who have been entrusted with the education of our youth.”

If convicted, Zanco faces up to 20 years in jail.