South Jersey Man Admits Trying To Meet Teen Girl Who Was Actually Undercover Detective

A 26-year-old man from South Jersey has admitted to sexually-explicit conversations with a 14-year-old girl who turned out to be an undercover detective, authorities said.

Richard Hoffman
Richard Hoffman Photo Credit: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

Richard Hoffman, of Mays Landing, pleaded guilty to luring on Monday, Feb. 14, before in connection with a series of events that occurred in Toms River between Sept. 4, 2018 and Sept. 5, 2018, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.

Hoffman’s sentencing is set for April 29.

Hoffman was arrested on Sept. 5, 2018, as part of Operation Open House — a multi-agency undercover operation led by the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice, New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. 

This operation targeted men who were using the social media applications, Whisper and Kik, to attempt to lure underage females and males for sexual activity, Billhimer said.

Hoffman, who believed he was chatting with a 14-year-old female, arranged to meet the girl at a residence in Toms River for purposes of engaging in sexual activity, the prosecutor said. In reality, Hoffman was chatting with an undercover detective from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. On Sept. 5, 2018, Hoffman allegedly arrived at the prearranged location in Toms River, and was taken into custody, Billhimer said.

He was transported to the Ocean County Jail and later released due to New Jersey Bail Reform.

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