Statewide sting nets 79 arrests of accused child predators

Posted: Updated:

A statewide sting operation resulted in the arrests of nearly 80 accused child predators, New Jersey’s attorney general announced Friday.

State Attorney General Christopher Porrino made the announcement during a press conference in Hamilton Township. He said 79 accused child predators and child pornography offenders were arrested during a nine-month operation called Operation Safety Net.

Ten of the 79 arrested are charged with “hands on” offenses for attempted human trafficking of children from New Jersey, sexual assault and sending lewd photos to children.

The attorney general said most of the 79 people arrested are facing child pornography charges for collecting and distributing thousands of files.

"These are wicked, vile materials produced by torturing kids. There's no mistake in these videos that these are kids,” Porrino said.

Those arrested range in age from 14 to 75 and include a Trenton police officer, a swimming coach and a piano teacher.

New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children led the investigation. Porrino said the task force used its new electronics sniffing dog named Mega as well as a new mobile cyber forensics lab during the course of the operation.

The attorney general said the scope of the investigation is unprecedented. He also noted that starting next February, a new law goes into effect enhancing the penalties for child pornography crimes.

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