21 Men Arrested in Undercover Sting Operation Targeting Child Predators
By Davis Law Firm | June 1, 2022
“Operation Risky Business” is an undercover operation that includes various New Jersey officials and targets sexual crime predators. The operation is a joint effort between the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Division of Criminal Justice, the New Jersey State Police, and the U.S. Homeland Security. So far, the task force has arrested 21 men.
The undercover operation targets sexual predators who use social media to lure underage girls and boys. Law enforcement poses as underage children to identify offenders. Once they collect sufficient evidence, the officers most often detain the defendants in their homes or at meet-up locations that the offender planned with the supposed underage child.
The officers are specially trained and only communicate with offenders who initiate contact with them. Most do so through comments or messages on photos or videos. In each scenario, the officer clearly identified themselves as an underage child.
Thus far, the program has also identified four previously convicted offenders who are already registered with Megan’s Law. This means that the court may be less willing to work with them because they already have prior offenses. They may be required to serve more time in jail or receive higher charges.
Almost half of the arrests occurred within a four-day period in mid-April. The offenders have been from all over the U.S., including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
The Success of the Program
The success of the program is contributed to the joint efforts of multiple agencies. The agencies plan to continue collaborating and identifying sex offenders in an attempt to make social media and the internet safer for all kids. The agencies also encourage parents to discuss safe social media and internet use with their children. They believe that with more awareness and continuation of the undercover operations, they can make a lasting effect in keeping children safe.
The defendants are being prosecuted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Division of Criminal Justice. Specific details will determine the charges that each offender receives. Of the 21 men, charges vary between second and third-degree charges. Some include added charges like attempted luring, attempted sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child.
New Jersey Sexual Assault Charges
Sexual assault charges that involve a minor may be charged as a first-degree offense in New Jersey. Many details contribute to the charges an offender can expect, including the specifics of the charge and the age of the child. The court may also consider if the offender has any previous charges.
Convicted offenders may be met with jail time, expensive fines, a permanent criminal record, and required parole supervision. Many offenders may also be required to register with Megan’s Law. Megan’s Law requires convicted offenders to register their location with the state. The convicted offender must update this information any time they move, and the information is public.
Sexual assault charges in New Jersey are not something to take lightly. It’s important to reach out to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to consider your defense options.
Contact an Experienced Trenton Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Sexual Assault Charges in East Windsor
Were you arrested or charged with sexual assault in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at The Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with sex crimes in Princeton, East Windsor, Trenton, Hamilton, and throughout New Jersey. Call 609-587-9100 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.