Westerly man arrested on federal child porn charges

Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV
Madeleine Wright | WPRI-TV

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — A Westerly man was taken into federal custody Friday as part of a child pornography investigation, the office of U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha confirms.

Jay Gaccione, 39, went before a judge Friday on charges of production and possession of child porn.

Members of the Department of Homeland Security and Rhode Island State Police spent the day conducting an investigation at Gaccione’s home on Pierce Street.

According to Neronha’s office, investigators seized electronic and digital storage devices.

“It’s horrific. It’s disgusting,” said neighbor Jessica Friello, who initially had no idea what was going on.

“When I woke up, I saw all the unmarked cop cars and I assumed it was another drug bust because of the heroin problem in the area,” she added.

Friello said the arrest is unsettling since she lives with her 2-year-old boy across the street.

“It definitely makes me want to leave the neighborhood,” she said. “I was only here temporarily to begin with, but I’m certainly considering leaving sooner now.”