#ChildMolester | 19 Alleged Child Predators Arrested In Big Statewide NJ Bust

NEW JERSEY – Nineteen child predators were arrested in a large statewide bust, prosecutors announced on Thursday. The arrests were part of “Operation Open Door” that involved authorities from all 21 New Jersey counties.

“Operation Open Door” was a multi-agency undercover operation that sought individuals using social media applications to lure underage girls and boys for sexual activity, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced.

These “underage children” were actually undercover law enforcement officers who are specially trained members of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, according to authorities.

The defendants arrested in this operation initiated contact based on profiles posted by the undercover law enforcement officers on social media platforms. Once chatting began, the undercover officers clearly identified themselves as underage girls or boys, authorities said.

Despite that information, the defendants engaged the “children” in conversations about sex and made arrangements to meet the “children” for sex, authorities said.

Most defendants were arrested when they arrived at one of two residences in Somerset County, where they expected to find their victims home alone, authorities said. All 21 prosecutors in New Jersey were involved.

The arrests in “Operation Open Door” were made over a six-day period from Oct. 23 through Oct. 28. One defendant travelled to one of the undercover houses from Pennsylvania, authorities said.

Two of the defendants lived out-of-state and were in New Jersey for work when they decided to travel to meet with a “child’ for sex, authorities said.

The following 19 men were arrested in “Operation Open Door.” They believed that they were communicating with a minor described in the parentheses. The defendants are charged as indicated and were lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending detention hearings.

  • Brayan Alvarado, 25 of Middlesex. (14) Alvarado is a volunteer fireman and driver for an electric company. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Jihaad Brown, 23 of Franklin Park. (14) Brown is retail salesman. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Michael Brown, 28 of Edison. (14) Brown is a mail tester. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault, and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Julio Cubia-Aviles, 27 of West Orange. (14) Cubia-Aviles is a carpenter. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault, and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Brian Davis, 28 of Somerset. (14) Davis is a security guard. Charges are 2nd degree Attempted Promotion of Prostitution of a Child, 2nd degree Luring, and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Asif Iqbal, 53 of Mount Holly. (14) Iqbal is a business owner. Charges are 2nd degree Attempted Promotion of Prostitution of a Child, 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault, and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Juan Lopez, 42 of Passaic. (14) Lopez is a day laborer. Charges are 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Rafael Martinez-Lezama, 37 of New Brunswick. (13) Martinez-Lezama is a cook at a bagel shop. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Jose Martinez-Mejia, 32 of West New York. (14) Martinez-Mejia is a day laborer. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault, 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and 3rd degree Attempt to Promote Obscene Material to a Child.
  • Duraikandan Murugan, 40 of Jasper, Ind. (14) Murugan is unemployed. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault, and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Nimeshbha Patel, 48 of Piscataway. (14) Patel is a retail worker. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Niraj Patel, 46 of Somerset. (14) Patel is a printer. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Michael Schumacher, 55 of Somerset. (12) Schumacher is a self-employed home theater installer. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Zulfiqer Sekender, 47 of Piscataway. (14) Sekender is a software engineer. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Naveen Thangaraj, 36 of Edison (14) Thangaraj is a system engineer. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault.
  • Alexander Ulikowski, 20 of Branchburg, N.J. (14) Ulikowski is an assistant manager for a hockey store. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Conrado Vasquez-Vasquez, 38 of New BrunswickJ. (14) Vasquez-Vasquez works at a dry cleaners. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
  • Randal Wise, 42 of Crawford, Ind. (14) Wise is an engineer for a sports television network. Charges are 2nd degree Luring, 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault, 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child and 3rd degree Attempt to Promote Obscene Material to a Child.
  • Adam Zeigler, 34 of Carlisle, Pa. (14) Zeigler works for an amusement park. Charges are 2nd degree Luring and 3rd degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

The defendants are variously charged with first-degree promoting prostitution of a child under the age of 18, second-degree luring and second-degree attempted sexual assault of a minor, authorities said.

They were also charged with third-degree attempted endangering the welfare by debauching the morals of a child, and third-degree attempt to promote obscene material to a child, authorities said.

The undercover residences were staffed with dozens of law enforcement officers from around the State, forensic examiners, and attorneys from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. Electronic devices were seized from the defendants and examinations of those devices are ongoing, authorities said.

The investigative review of the forensic examinations is a lengthy process and will enable investigators to determine if the devices contain evidence of any prior encounters by the defendants with underage victims, which might constitute additional cases of luring, sexual assault or child endangerment, authorities said.


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