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Chief of staff to Lawrence mayor charged with possession of child pornography

State Police on Monday arrested the chief of staff to Lawrence’s mayor for alleged possession of child pornography, officials said.

In a statement, State Police said Tuesday that detectives from the cybercrime unit arrested Jhovanny Martes-Rosario, 48, at his home on two counts of possession of child pornography after troopers searched his electronic devices under a search warrant.

“Troopers located dozens of images of child pornography on the suspect’s iPad,” State Police said.

His lawyer didn’t immediately return voice and email messages seeking comment. Calls to numbers listed for Martes-Rosario, who lives in Lawrence, weren’t immediately returned.

Martes-Rosario was fired after his arrest, the mayor’s office said in a statement.


“Mayor Brian A. DePeña made the decision to immediately dismiss Mr. Jhovanny Martes, Chief Staff of the office of Mayor DePeña, after receiving official information of his arrest due to causes that remain under investigation at this time,” the office said. “Mayor Brian A. DePeña’s office will provide more details on this once they reach his office.”

Martes-Rosario was booked at the State Police barracks in Andover, where he posted $1,050 bail, authorities said.

He was arraigned Tuesday in Lawrence District Court, where he pleaded not guilty.

Judge Holly Broadbent released him on the bail he had posted, with conditions that he stay off the Internet, keep away from children except his own son, and surrender his passport, according to Essex District Attorney Paul F. Tucker’s office.

The cybercrime unit began investigating in December after receiving information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that child pornography was allegedly being uploaded from an IP address associated with Martes-Rosario’s home, officials said.

Martes-Rosario’s next court hearing is slated for March 27, officials said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.