crimes against children

31 People Arrested in Statewide ‘Operation 24/7' Sex Offender Sting: NJ AG

What to Know

  • Thirty-one individuals were arrested and charged for sexually exploiting children online following a New Jersey sting that saw to target the spike of online predators during the pandemic, the state's Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Wednesday.
  • The men arrested in the three-month operation, which took place from April 1 to June 30, range in age from 18 to 65.
  • Those arrested have been charged with various crimes including attempted human trafficking, attempted sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, sharing obscene material with a minor, attempted theft by extortion, and manufacturing, distribution, and possession of child sexual abuse material, in many cases, child rape videos, according to the attorney general's office.

Thirty-one individuals were arrested and charged for sexually exploiting children online following a New Jersey sting that saw to target the spike of online predators during the pandemic, the state's Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Wednesday.

The men were arrested as part of “Operation 24/7," a collaborative operation that saw the help of the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, ICAC Task Force, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, and Gloucester Township Police Department.

Among those arrested are two men who were charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault children, and two others charged with manufacturing or attempting to manufacture child pornography by extorting or soliciting sexually explicit images of children they encountered through gaming or social media apps.

The men arrested in the three-month operation, which took place from April 1 to June 30, range in age from 18 to 65, and have been charged with various crimes including attempted human trafficking, attempted sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, sharing obscene material with a minor, attempted theft by extortion, and manufacturing, distribution, and possession of child sexual abuse material, in many cases, child rape videos, according to the attorney general's office.

The number of cyber tips to the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force —including tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)—remains high during the ongoing pandemic, according to the attorney general. The state reports that 3,324 tips were received in the first six months of 2021, or 39% higher than the total of 2,393 tips for the entire year in 2019. State officials say this figure is on pace to exceed the 6,130 total for all of 2020, which included 10 months of the COVID pandemic.

Copyright NBC New York
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