THE BRONX - A Bronx teacher has been arrested on child pornography charges.
Jon Cruz, a social studies teacher at the Bronx High School of Science, was arrested at his home Friday.
According to court documents, Cruz admitted to investigators that he sent hundreds of dollars in gift cards to a number of victims he knew were minors in exchange for sexually explicit pictures. They say he masked his identity with that of a former Bronx science student who was a member of the debate team.
Federal investigators say they were tipped off when a number of parents in New Mexico alerted authorities that their sons were having inappropriate interactions with someone using the messaging app Kik. Once investigators tracked Cruz down using IP address information, they identified a victim who lives in New York.
A letter to parents from the school's principal says the 32-year-old has been reassigned to “a place where he will not be in contact with students.”
The Department of the Education released a statement, saying, "This teacher has been removed from the classroom, and will not be in contact with any students."
Cruz’s bail has been set at $1 million.
The FBI turned to social media Saturday as part of its search to identify more potential victims. It is asking anyone who thinks they may have been victimized by Cruz to call 212-384-2166, or email FBI-BHS@ic.fbi.gov.