#childpredator | 16 child predators, including a cop and a minister, used apps such as Kik and Skout to lure N.J. teens, AG says

They exchanged explicit messages on chat and dating apps with profiles depicting teenage boys and girls, authorities claim. Some of them even showed up at an apartment in Bergen County expecting a sexual encounter.

A Ridgewood police officer. A teacher from the Bronx. A minister, a barber, a bank manager.

Thankfully, there were no children inside. Instead, they found dozens of law enforcement officials running a five-day sting operation that arrested 16 men accused of attempting to sexually abuse minors.

Local, state and federal authorities announced the results of the investigation, dubbed “Operation Home Alone,” at a press conference in Hackensack Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement announced charges against 16 men accused of attempting to lure minors over social media apps.

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said they were trying to alert parents to the dangers children can face if they have unsupervised access to messaging apps.

“Parents need to know that the profiles of underage girls and boys we posted on social media to catch these offenders could easily have been profiles of their own children, who might also be targeted by predators on chat apps and popular gaming sites,” Grewal said.

The investigation, which ran from April 11 through April 15, led to a range of charges including luring, attempted sexual assault – and, in some cases, possession of child pornography.

Authorities said the men allegedly used messaging apps like Kik and dating apps such as Skout, Grindr, MeetMe and Adam4Adam to connect with the detectives posing as minors. Despite identifying themselves as 14- and 15-year-olds, police claim, the men still engaged in conversations about sex and arranged to meet up.

Veronica Allende, the director of the state Division of Criminal Justice, said those arrested were from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

One man, Jason Keizer, 33, of Garfield, had already been convicted on child pornography charges and was awaiting sentencing at the time of his arrest. Two others are accused of sending explicit photos of themselves to the undercover detectives posing as teens.

One defendant traveled more than 110 miles to meet up with his alleged “victim,” Allende said.

Most of the men were arrested at the home in Bergen County, the location of which authorities declined to disclose. One man, Ridgewood police officer Peter Tuchol Jr., was arrested at the Paramus office of the Bergen County prosecutor. One was picked up by police at a shopping mall and two more arrested at home, prosecutors said.

Police seized phones and other electronic devices from the men and found the messages and, in a few cases, large amounts of child pornography.

The investigation was part of the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force, which conducted a similar sting last September, “Operation Open House,” leading to the arrest of 24 men.

Col. Patrick Callahan, the acting head of the New Jersey State Police, said such operations are meant to root out predators and also send a warning to anyone considering using social media to groom and abuse children.

“I hope in the back of their mind they think they’re talking to a New Jersey state trooper or a detective from a prosecutor’s office,” Callahan said.

Those charged include:

  • Tuchol, 28, of Waldwick, the Ridgewood police officer who has been suspended pending the outcome of his case. He faces additional charges for possessing steroids and drug paraphernalia, authorities say.
  • Kevin Roth, 26, Nanuet, New York, a teacher at the High School of Computers and Technology in the Bronx. Grewal said authorities notified the school district of the accusations.
  • Dariush Ghamarnezhad, 37, a dental hygienist from Pomona, New York.
  • Joel Guichardo, 38, a barbershop owner from Passaic.
  • Larry Noel Jr., 43, of Stanhope, a warehouse worker.
  • Shaheen Lariff, 49, of New City, New York, a bank branch office manager.
  • Rajan Lama, 33, Woodside, New York, a driver for a ride-sharing company.
  • Luis Gonzalez Palacio, 36, of Weehawkin, who works in finance for “a major internet service provider,” according to authorities. He is also accused of possessing more than 13,000 suspected files of child pornography on his phone at the time of his arrest.
  • Roger Arroyo, 37, a traveling minister from Philadelphia.
  • Yosef Kriger, 31, of New City, New York, a pharmaceuticals delivery driver.
  • Michael Mancini, 36, a supermarket employee and DJ from Hawthorne.
  • Teodoro Alvarez Ortega, 28, a restaurant server from Suffern,.
  • Jacob Smith, 26, a food delivery driver from New Rochelle, New York.
  • Jose Martinez, 47, a food delivery driver from Fairview.
  • Jason Keizer, 33, of Garfield, who is unemployed and awaiting sentencing on a separate child pornography conviction.
  • Hareshkum Tailor, 55, Garfield, a driver for a ride-sharing company.

Two of the men were ordered detained until trial. The rest were released under pre-trial supervision and are prohibited from using the internet or having contact with children.

It was not immediately clear whether any had retained attorneys and none could be reached for comment. Allende said the men would be “closely monitored to prevent them from engaging in other predatory conduct.”

S.P. Sullivan may be reached at ssullivan@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Child predators arrested in N.J.

Child predators used chat apps to lure minors for sex, N.J. authorities say. The Attorney General is discussing the arrest of 16 alleged child predators today.

Posted by NJ.com on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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One was picked up by police at a shopping mall and two more arrested at home, prosecutors said."},{"_id":"E2AJJ2V7O5HSHESD37WTH2XYVE","type":"interstitial_link","additional_properties":{"_id":"TH6BS5CDTNFIBDNYDFDBEWWCWU","comments":[]},"url":"https://www.nj.com/news/2018/09/predators_use_these_19_apps_to_lure_minors_this_is.html","content":"Predators use these 19 apps to lure minors, cops say"},{"_id":"AVIMBOS4DVA5XG6UBUDNMLRCWU","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556113348759},"content":"Police seized phones and other electronic devices from the men and found the messages and, in a few cases, large amounts of child pornography."},{"_id":"6UNPJ5AUXJBJTJDNRLVSFJMONA","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556113348763},"content":"The investigation was part of the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force, which conducted a similar sting last September, “Operation Open House,” leading to the arrest of 24 men."},{"_id":"B2Y3GQQ7P5HPRCZTP4Z62HP3VI","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556122745833},"content":"Col. Patrick Callahan, the acting head of the New Jersey State Police, said such operations are meant to root out predators and also send a warning to anyone considering using social media to groom and abuse children."},{"_id":"4MMUCFKYCFDMTEOBI7226THUTM","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556122745834},"content":"“I hope in the back of their mind they think they’re talking to a New Jersey state trooper or a detective from a prosecutor’s office,” Callahan said."},{"_id":"QBZWJRDUURAQHIWKF54GYU2RNY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556124091947},"content":"Those charged include: "},{"_id":"RBWNKWD6PBGWBFIVX4Q5PDIEBI","type":"list","list_type":"unordered","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"items":[{"type":"text","content":"Tuchol, 28, of Waldwick, the Ridgewood police officer who has been suspended pending the outcome of his case. 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He is also accused of possessing more than 13,000 suspected files of child pornography on his phone at the time of his arrest.","_id":"4DUBL2CSFRHMPASREGJ7IA2S4E","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Roger Arroyo, 37, a traveling minister from Philadelphia.","_id":"JOJK36UNYVEB7FSB7J3SRBMVSY","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Yosef Kriger, 31, of New City, New York, a pharmaceuticals delivery driver.","_id":"YQUM4Z4VEFCAHBQH3E25VD7QFQ","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Michael Mancini, 36, a supermarket employee and DJ from Hawthorne.","_id":"ZLW7XONJVBDK7FNJRLQ5ZC6Q7Q","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Teodoro Alvarez Ortega, 28, a restaurant server from Suffern,.","_id":"ZGHAZUHWLZDITGSTVVBYSOQDQM","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Jacob Smith, 26, a food delivery driver from New Rochelle, New York.","_id":"3426KAP2IFDQVOJ3ZHTEYFCHXU","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Jose Martinez, 47, a food delivery driver from Fairview.","_id":"Q64R3J7WC5GIJLAI4VHXPCBWVE","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Jason Keizer, 33, of Garfield, who is unemployed and awaiting sentencing on a separate child pornography conviction.","_id":"4IUMR4TDLZA4JH22BFJYOFJOI4","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}},{"type":"text","content":"Hareshkum Tailor, 55, Garfield, a driver for a ride-sharing company.","_id":"XUJI4DFV2RHOJH4WAHAUNRQ2F4","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]}}]},{"_id":"5D5TCRZRIJHX3C3RWSBMQHS5VQ","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556124091949},"content":"Two of the men were ordered detained until trial. The rest were released under pre-trial supervision and are prohibited from using the internet or having contact with children."},{"_id":"MGLY2G3UQRAGXIBZCJ664JBV5M","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556124091950},"content":"It was not immediately clear whether any had retained attorneys and none could be reached for comment. Allende said the men would be “closely monitored to prevent them from engaging in other predatory conduct.”"},{"_id":"MIFF5IUCOBCP7EUKKOLR7LVYKI","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556113348764},"content":"S.P. Sullivan may be reached at ssullivan@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter."},{"_id":"YX5DQCTNK5CCFAYOSWH2ZENV7I","type":"text","additional_properties":{"comments":[],"inline_comments":[],"_id":1556113348765},"content":"Have a tip? 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Don't Edit

"},{"_id":"IGFHU2PM6VBFZPI27EE5T7TTJQ","type":"text","content":"By Paige Gross | for NJ.com "},{"_id":"HX5WPMMAHFHOZDIAAPILHMELTI","type":"text","content":"Last week, New Jersey's Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the arrests of 24 men who were charged with attempting to lure minors into sex through digital communication, but were really chatting with undercover detectives."},{"_id":"ZLMZHTZWTBG4JBK3VF4KBR6CTM","type":"text","content":"The real suspects, though, are the apps they were using to target kids."},{"_id":"NVDNEYDOHZD3BCO42PJFWJFYQM","type":"text","content":"Most were using a social media app, a messaging website, or even the chat feature of a video game to reach out to the detectives who were posing as teens."},{"_id":"BCXBZABDSRCBNEXK42LUC4XC24","type":"text","content":""Anything that gives strangers access to children potentially through the guise of a game has the potential to be dangerous to a child if it is misused," Grewal said on The Today Show Tuesday."},{"_id":"T5ZYTLJ47NHHJMI5MMSB55DSRQ","type":"text","content":"Some of the apps and games have an age requirement, but parents should be wary that their kids that can get around them. Grewal suggested that if parents are able to, they should disable the chat function on games."},{"_id":"FP25VU5QONBYJGQ2VL2Q77ZAOA","type":"text","content":"Here’s more information on the 19 apps that authorities say predators have used in attempted lurings, and they encourage parents to familiarize themselves with them:"},{"_id":"G7UMGWDS5NBJLM2H2PTWHC3IPM","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide1"},"content":"

Don't Edit

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"},{"_id":"WAQQWEPVEBHVVPPPCNQGL63LRM","type":"text","content":"kik: An app founded in 2009 intended to enable chats between Blackberry, Android and iPhone users. Now, the app is focused on helping teens stay connected, and has added features like chatting with a bot, using gifs and emojis or scrolling through news."},{"_id":"RXB5KCAETNGEHNBKUBOZJYRCB4","type":"text","content":"Users must be 13 to use the app, the company website says. "If Kik obtains knowledge that a user is under the age of 13, it's our policy to permanently deactivate their account and delete their personal information.""},{"_id":"7WD4N3TO5JF7TKWJ4OF7MQ5J6A","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide4"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"YS5SCL44KBCYNOLI3HUSUVHIZM","type":"text","content":"Skout: An app created to help people "make new connections and friends." The app says users must be 13 or older, and a message to kids: "If you're younger than 13, go outside and play.""},{"_id":"ENNILTM4BVADHAN3INHDKKB3RM","type":"text","content":"The app's website also has a safety tips section, telling users that if they are going to meet someone in person, to do so in public, first tell a friend and to be sober."},{"_id":"CSLTUNN7FFHHZGS2Z7EXAYU4JQ","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide5"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"6NM4X5KTBJDFJKBYL7A3COGLCM","type":"text","content":"Whisper: An app that allows users to post and share photos, videos and messages anonymously. It touts itself as an online community where people share "real thoughts, trade advice and get the inside scoop.""},{"_id":"Q6SOKMCTD5EN7ALHXDQPMS5RBA","type":"text","content":"The app says you must be 17 to download."},{"_id":"ETBHJD55RRHH7EJLSJGKF2LDYA","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide7"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"TJGP2DOOLRAOJHXBU3DN6AFOAI","type":"text","content":"Grindr: A social networking app aimed at gay and bisexual men, designed to meet other men in their area."},{"_id":"ZIV4QRT2EBHMRKHCN3UHOEJDEI","type":"text","content":"The app launched in 2009, and allows users to swipe through profiles and chat with others who are nearby. The app requires users to be 18 or older, but a user can enter any age they want when they sign up."},{"_id":"B4NH45OH7ZAGFFICKOXHUQZN3I","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide8"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"7WYI4IMH3BALHJU2A44UVKNCV4","type":"text","content":"tinder: A social networking and dating app that allows users to swipe through profiles and chat once two users have "matched" with each other. Tinder is 18+, but users are able to enter a birth date that's older or younger than they actually are. A person's age listed on Facebook sets their age on Tinder, as well, if the apps are synced."},{"_id":"GO2AL724SRA3NMQ6Z4HZOORZFQ","type":"text","content":"Until June 2016, though, a user only had to be 13 to sign up. The company changed its requirement after being heavily criticized by parents, parentinfo.com reported."},{"_id":"NUZUGX2HIZHE5MDBJL5ZQJKH5E","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide9"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"UDJQ3C3F5ZD47BDRBKCQ7W7QVI","type":"text","content":"Musical.ly: The app was released four years ago and lets users create videos up to a minute in length and add a soundtrack. Users must be 13 or older to use, and can interact with each other through an "ask a question" feature and a "duets" feature. They can also send private messages."},{"_id":"DMJQKMV63VCWVPUZM5MW7KLXNA","type":"text","content":"In August 2018, the app was absorbed by another app, TikTok."},{"_id":"ACU5GQCUCBHYRMNPUPDNJL3K34","type":"text","content":"Live.ly: An add-on app to Musical.ly that also lets people stream live video."},{"_id":"K3IFHLDT35HFHGSWR62TG4DVNQ","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide10"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"JYLALZIQRRHMNA7Q7MKAE4WU4M","type":"text","content":"Chat Avenue: Like it's name says, the chat room website created in 2000 hosts various themed rooms like, Gay Chat, Teen Chat, Singles Chat and more. A user can create an account or start chatting as a guest with just a username."},{"_id":"SAOGVSV7XNE3DENAOBBDH6NIUA","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide12"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"VI5VLJYJSJHQ3IFJERVMORVJ4I","type":"text","content":"Wishbone: A survey app asking for users to choose between two various things. Users can make their own set of questions asking their friends to vote, and brands can get insight into a consumer's mind about products. There is also a private chat feature."},{"_id":"T6CSPWZD3BGLPEU2T3GXURYWDI","type":"text","content":"The app requires users to be at least 12 years old, and on the Apple store, it lists “Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity” and “Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes” as reasons for the rating."},{"_id":"IF745FKRXJDZBGCN73PV2GE4SY","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide13"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"M3KNQ7EN7VGTLOXWSS6J3FVV7A","type":"text","content":"Chatroulette: Launched by a Russian teenager in 2009, the site randomly pairs users for webcam chatting."},{"_id":"5VJP7HYDZRHJLFT7H5CIAENX5A","type":"text","content":"It came under criticism very soon after launching, with experts telling Fox News in 2010 that the site was a "predators paradise." Online news sites have since reported that Chatroulette has put in several changes to filter out nudity and pornography, and in 2011 was banning 50,000 users daily."},{"_id":"BOK5FYSQSJHDZIPBQB4NLHG7AA","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide14"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"X62T6M25FZCHBNGU3QEPO4B4FU","type":"text","content":"Omegle: A website that's motto is "talk to strangers!" It allows users to anonymously video or text chat with other people."},{"_id":"VAAR3HMLN5GDVD47PPCRY3EGDA","type":"text","content":"The website says users must be at least 13 with parent’s permission, but there is a section that’s 18+."},{"_id":"ZJNOGDK6SRCCBD5YDKYONHAHKE","type":"text","content":"“Predators have been known to use Omegle, so please be careful,” it’s homepage says."},{"_id":"JCCD6WKDDVD4LEGFPIEVIQFKSI","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide16"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"HHPCHUPU3RGU7HMQD3GMXQ37FI","type":"text","content":"Paltalk: An app and website that was first developed 20 years ago and allows people to video group chat, enter chat rooms and create their own chat rooms. The platform requires users to be at least 13 years old with parent's permission."},{"_id":"XCJNTJKRKVES7DMOSVIUN3A2CQ","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide17"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"DPNFEBJL5RAHZOQPBJ26CGIYR4","type":"text","content":"Yubo: An app used to chat and videochat with people all over the world. It requires its users to be at least 13 years old, and people under 18 are only allowed to chat with other minors."},{"_id":"ECE3AFCMMVBKNPHBT4TUU5VLZQ","type":"text","content":"The apps' website provides a safety guide, warning kids about bullying and possible inappropriate contact from strangers."},{"_id":"YW2TT5ZEONEGXIAIDJSCMRFOUI","type":"text","content":"It warns against giving away personal information and reaffirms that strangers could be viewing their live stream at any time."},{"_id":"HZEIHZSNLJGX5JPG3ICPZQRVYQ","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide18"},"content":"

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"},{"_id":"Q4FZD7BOXZCVBOZADLYKQNVACM","type":"text","content":"Hot or Not: A website and app launched in 2000 that lets users upload photos and rate the attractiveness of others. Later, the site developed "Meet Me" which intends users to chat with strangers and encourages them to meet in real life if they feel a connection."},{"_id":"IVYA4K5UWZEZXOY6RL5TJWJXRI","type":"text","content":"Hot or Not says its users must be 18 or older to make an account, but people signing up can enter a birth date that is not real."},{"_id":"EISKNPGULVGFTIYPBXQIW3BQ4M","type":"raw_html","additional_properties":{"class":["endOfSlide"],"data-slide":"slide20"},"content":"

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