Mays Landing, NJ man the latest of 24 men to plead guilty to luring teens for sex in Ocean County
A Mays Landing man is the latest of 24 men to plead guilty to trying to lure an underage girl, or boy, for sexual relations.
In 2018, the State Attorney General's Office oversaw a multi-agency investigation, known as "Operation Open House", where 24 men, including from Toms River, Lacey, Lakewood, and Bayville, were found using social media platforms to lure underage boys and girls for intercourse.
"Operation Open House" also included the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice, and New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The men were eventually talking to undercover law enforcement agents and detectives while thinking they were talking to underage boys and girls.
So, when they set up a meet at a house in Toms River, they were arrested and brought to jail instead.
Since that time, multiple trials have been taking place with men heading to prison for several years.
Richard Hoffman, 26, of Mays Landing is among them.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Hoffman has pleaded guilty to Luring in connection with a series of events that occurred in Toms River between September 4, 2018, and September 5, 2018.
For Hoffman, the state is looking at a sentence of 5-years in prison, and then he'll have to register as a Megan’s Law Offender, and will be subject to Parole Supervision for Life.
Hoffman, like the others, was using social media applications including Whisper and Kik for their luring, and in Hoffman's case, he was "chatting" with a 14-year old girl and arranged to meet her at a residence in Toms River for sex.
He was actually "chatting" though with an undercover detective from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
Hoffman was arrested on September 5, 2018, after arriving at the prearranged location in Toms River, and was then brought to the Ocean County Jail, and then released because of New Jersey's Bail Reform Law.
Prosecutor Billhimer also announced that Ocean County Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman handled this case on behalf of the State.
Here are some of the other men who have appeared in court and been sentenced.
Brian Degnan of Toms River tried luring a 15-year old boy for sex.
Volvi Lowinger of Lakewood tried luring a 15-year old girl for sex.
Dylan Daffron of Lacey tried to lure a 15-year old boy for sex.