ATLANTIC CITY — City police say "concerned citizens" have helped them make four arrests since last week for attempts to lure minors.
In a release, the Atlantic City Police Department said Sambatrimiaina Raminoson, 26, of Atlantic City, Clifford Horn, 54, of Chalfont, Pennsylvania, Jose Machuca, 51, of Hyattsville, Maryland, and Eugene Pulley, 49, of Philadelphia are all charged with luring or enticing a child by various means.
BreakingAC.com reported that the concerned citizens mentioned by police are from groups that "hunt child predators online and expose them on YouTube," in a manner similar to the long-running Dateline NBC segment "To Catch A Predator."
Police said the members of these groups pose as underage children on social media sites and apps, then confront the people who contact those "children" and inform law enforcement, sharing screenshots of conversations containing detailed information.
Each of the four men arrested has been released pending a future court appearance. Anyone with further information is asked to call the ACPD Criminal Investigations Section at 609-347-5766, or text tip411 (847411) and begin the text with "ACPD."
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts
Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.
In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law
went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.
The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.
Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
NJ arrests 31 accused child predators in "Operation 24/7"
A roundup of 31 men have been accused of sexually exploiting children online, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on July 14 while detailing "Operation 24/7."
The suspects “possessed and or distributed videos and images of child sexual abuse, including in many cases videos of young children being raped by adults,” Grewal said.
Chat apps and gaming platforms remain favorite hunting grounds for child predators and even as the pandemic winds down, many children have continued to spend more time online.
State Police received 39% more tips in just the first 6 months of 2021 than they received in the entire year in 2019. The following are suspects charged in "Operation 24/7."
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