NUTLEY, N.J. - A former Verizon technician is facing criminal charges after authorities say he hacked into the land lines of more than 950 customers in order to make calls to sexually explicit 900 numbers.

Joseph R. Vaccarelli, 45, is charged with theft by deception and theft of services after allegedly using customer accounts to make about 5,000 calls that lasted a combined 45,000 minutes. Charges for the phone calls, which took place over a 40-week time period, totaled more than $220,000.

Vaccarelli was a 10-year employee of Verizon, but terminated his employment last month in the midst of the investigation.

A Verizon spokesman said the company believes this to be an isolated incident, that "should not reflect on the overwhelming majority of our workforce, who bring pride and respect to their jobs every day."