New Jersey State Police arrested a 47-year-old police sergeant for second-degree luring, WPVI reported Tuesday.
Howell Township Sgt. Richard Conte was caught in a sting operation targeting alleged child predators, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced in a news conference.
"Conte claimed during his chats that he was a 19-year-old male, believing that he was chatting with a 15-year-old girl," Grewal said. "He allegedly said that he had had sex with underage girls, and wanted to meet the girl to 'get naked.'"
"He had condoms in his pocket when he was arrested," Grewal added.
"It is disturbing that some of the alleged child predators from this operation held positions of public service and authority, but behind closed doors they went through great lengths to avoid detection online, frequenting social media sites with the sole purpose of targeting unsuspecting children," explained Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police.
The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is led by the New Jersey State Police, and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office were part of the task force which netted 24 arrests.