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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 14, 2022, Richard Hoffman, 26, of Mays Landing, pled guilty before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to Luring in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6, in connection with a series of events that that occurred in Toms River between September 4, 2018 and September 5, 2018.  At the time of Hoffman’s sentencing on April 29, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of five years New Jersey State Prison.  Hoffman will also be required to register as a Megan’s Law Offender and will be subject to Parole Supervision for Life.

Hoffman was arrested on September 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.  Hoffman, who believed he was chatting with a fourteen year-old female, arranged to meet the female at a residence in Toms River for purposes of engaging in sexual activity.  In reality, Hoffman was chatting with an undercover detective from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.  On September 5, 2018, Hoffman arrived at the prearranged location in Toms River, and was taken into custody.  He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, United States Homeland Security Investigations, United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, New Jersey State Parole Board, Bayonne Police Department, Gloucester Township Police Department, Hazlet Township Police Department, Keyport Police Department, Monroe Township Police Department, Red Bank Police Department, Spring Lake Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, and Voorhees Township Police Department, for their collective and collaborative assistance in connection with the Operation Open House investigation, leading to Hoffman’s apprehension, guilty plea, and soon his state prison sentence.