An Ocean County man was sentenced to five years in prison after admitting to trying to lure a teenage boy to his home for sex.
But the 15-year-old boy was really an undercover police officer who was part of “Operation Open House,” a multi-agency operation that targeted those using social media to lure underage teens for sex.
Dylan Daffron, 29, of Lacey Township, was one of 24 men arrested in the sting last year.
He sent sexually explicit images of himself to the person he thought was a teenage boy, according to the charges. He was arrested when he went to a home in Toms River expecting to find the boy, and found dozens of officers instead.
Daffron pleaded guilty in July to second-degree luring/enticing a child. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
“To understand the importance of these law enforcement efforts, one need only contemplate what would happen if a defendant like Daffron encountered a vulnerable victim on social media instead of an undercover officer,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Veronica Allende said.“We are sending a message to online predators that if we catch them trying to lure a child, we will send them to prison.”
In 13 months, the Ocean County-based “Open House,” along with “Operation Home Alone” in Bergen County resulted in 40 arrests.
“Through multi-agency operations like Open House and Home Alone, as well as our day-to-day monitoring of social media, we’re working diligently to arrest sexual predators and protect children,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said. “I urge parents to talk to their children about the dangers of social media and the fact that predators use the internet to manipulate children into situations where they can be harmed.”
In addition to investigating cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, members of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, and the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force routinely conduct undercover chat investigations on social media platforms leading to arrests of hands-on offenders and defendants attempting to lure children.
They also conduct proactive investigations to apprehend offenders by monitoring peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and identifying the IP addresses of individuals sharing child pornography.
Anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – are asked to call the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.