Cop, firefighter among 24 charged in child luring sting

TRENTON, N.J.  — New Jersey authorities say a police officer and a firefighter were among 24 men who tried to lure teenagers for sexual activity.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says the men charged in the statewide sting used social media and chat apps to communicate with people they thought were teenage boys and girls. But they were actually talking with undercover officers.

Those charged in “Operation Open House” were arrested this month at a Toms River home where they expected to meet the children, who they thought were home alone. Among them was a police officer who claimed he was a 19-year-old boy and believed he was chatting with a 15-year-old girl.

All 24 defendants were charged with luring. Many also face additional charges, including attempted sexual assault on a child.