27 Oct 2012

NZ investigator's work leads to arrest in US

3:15 pm on 27 October 2012

The work of an Internal Affairs investigator in New Zealand has led to a man in the United States being charged with producing and distributing child pornography.

Jonathan Scott Lee, 37, appeared in a federal court in Washington state on Thursday, and if convicted faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.

The inquiry began last October when an undercover investigator in the censorship compliance unit of the Department of Internal Affairs engaged Mr Lee in conversation and was subsequently sent objectionable photos.

The investigator compiled a portfolio on Mr Lee and alerted the US authorities.

Departmental spokesperson Trevor Henry says the unit works as part of an international team organised by Interpol to fight the sexual exploitation of children.