Collaborative operation targeting offenders sexually exploiting children online was launched in response to ongoing heightened level of cyber threats to children during COVID 19 pandemic

Attorney General warns parents and offers tips to keep children safe

TRENTON – July 14, 2021 – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced arrests of 31 individuals who are charged with sexually exploiting children online. The 31 men were arrested in “Operation 24/7,” a collaborative operation launched to address the continued spike in reports of potential threats to children from online predators during the COVID pandemic.

Two men are charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault children, and two other men are charged with manufacturing or attempting to manufacture child sexual abuse materials by extorting or soliciting sexually explicit images of children they encountered via gaming or social media apps. The remaining 27 defendants are charged with possession and/or distribution of child sexual abuse materials, including, in many cases, child rape videos.

The number of cyber tips to the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force about potential threats to children online—including tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)—remains high during the ongoing COVID emergency, with 3,324 tips received in the first six months of 2021. That is 39 percent higher than the total of 2,393 tips for the entire year in 2019, and on pace to exceed the total of 6,130 for all of 2020, which included 10 months of the COVID pandemic. Many cases in the operation stemmed from NCMEC tips, while others stemmed from law enforcement referrals or proactive online investigations.


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Operation 24/7 was conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, ICAC Task Force, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, and Gloucester Township Police Department.

The men arrested in the three-month operation range in age from 18 to 65. They are variously charged with crimes including attempted human trafficking, attempted sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, sharing obscene material with a minor, attempted theft by extortion, and manufacturing, distribution,  and possession of child sexual abuse material.

The arrests, made between April 1 and June 30, 2021, include the following cases:

Ryan Olson. Olson, 20, of Williamstown, N.J., was charged by the Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police for allegedly soliciting underage girls to send him sexually explicit images of themselves. Olson allegedly asked underage victims to play a “game” on social media in which he offered prizes and money in exchange for sexually explicit material, with more explicit photos and videos of the victims earning more points. One 15-year-old victim allegedly sent Olson a sexually explicit video of herself. He allegedly responded by sending her a sexually explicit photo of himself. The investigation began with a referral related to a victim in the United Kingdom.

Ndachi Ndungu. Ndungu, 25, of Jersey City, N.J., allegedly attempted to extort a 12-year-old girl he encountered on the gaming app Discord to send him sexually explicit photos of herself. Further investigation by the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice revealed that Ndungu allegedly chatted with numerous other potential victims between the ages of 7 and 15 on Discord. Ndungu allegedly used the same method with victims. He allegedly would obtain an image of the child and then threaten to share it on social media or threaten to report the victim to Discord. He allegedly would threaten the children until they agreed to send more explicit photos.

Robert Reinhart. Reinhart, 52, of Telford, Pa., was arrested by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly offering to pay $300 to have sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. During the investigation, Reinhart allegedly communicated via text messages with undercover detectives posing as the adult sister of the girl. The girl did not actually exist. Reinhart was arrested on April 1 after he traveled to West Deptford, N.J., allegedly to meet the 14-year-old girl.

Samuel Santiago. Santiago, 54, of Carteret, N.J., is charged with molesting an underage girl and possession of child sexual abuse material. Santiago allegedly assaulted the victim by touching her genitals both over and under her clothing. After Santiago was arrested, investigators discovered that he allegedly had numerous videos of child sexual abuse material on his cell phone.

“Through these collaborative operations with the ICAC Task Force, we are working tirelessly to arrest child predators and those who exploit children by possessing and distributing child sexual abuse materials,” said Attorney General Grewal. “With young people continuing to spend more time on their electronic devices due to the COVID pandemic, we must remain vigilant. We urge parents and guardians to warn children about the threats that exist on social media and popular gaming sites, and to watch for signs that a child has been subjected to online abuse.”

In past cases, the ICAC Task Force has arrested child predators who used the following chat apps: Kik, Skout, Grindr, Whisper, Omegle, Tinder, Chat Avenue, Chat Roulette, Wishbone, Live.ly, Musical.ly, Paltalk, Yubo, Hot or Not, Down, and Tumblr. Arrests also have been made involving the gaming apps Fortnite, Minecraft, and Discord. Attorney General Grewal urged parents to familiarize themselves with these and other apps and warn their children about sharing information with strangers.

“Through major cooperative efforts like Operation 24/7, we are sending a message to sex offenders that if you threaten or exploit children, we will identify and arrest you,” said Director Lyndsay Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “In addition to pursuing tips from NCMEC, we routinely conduct proactive investigations on social media platforms and peer-to-peer file-sharing networks to identify online predators and offenders distributing child sexual abuse materials. There can be no higher priority than protecting our children.”

“Operation 24/7 is a testament to the success of the cyber tips received through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As law enforcement, we would like nothing more than to be there for every innocent child, so every single tip can potentially save a young victim from a predator,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will never relent in our efforts to root out and arrest anyone involved in the depraved network of criminals who seek children to sexually assault, as well as those who share child pornography online. Parents can join the fight by talking to their children about the dangers of online predators and closely monitoring their online activity.”

“This diverse and robust team of investigators and prosecutors from local, state, and federal law enforcement, as part of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, work 24/7 and identify emerging technologies that predators use to target our children,” said Jason J. Molina, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark. “Bottom line: through our constant efforts, we will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who seek to exploit the most vulnerable members of society.”

“I commend all our law enforcement partners for their diligent efforts to prosecute those who pursue sexual gratification while destroying the lives of the children who have been victimized,” said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina. “This operation demonstrates the determination throughout New Jersey to patrol cyberspace as thoroughly as the streets of our municipalities and punish those who participate in this evil activity.”

“Multi-jurisdictional task forces like this one are critical when combating child exploitation on such a wide scale, as was done here,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “These insidious offenses are too easily masked or hidden in the recesses of the internet and apps on our children’s phones. By pooling our resources together and working collaboratively, we are best able to protect the most vulnerable—our children.”

“Children should be safe, particularly in the sanctity of their homes. Sadly, since the start of the pandemic, predators have used the internet to invade our homes and put our children at risk. This joint operation is designed to confront what we know is an ongoing threat. It was successful in large measure because law enforcement worked together. Collaboration is always important but especially so when predators literally have a worldwide web to stalk and prey on children. We hope this is just one of many initiatives we will work on together,’’ said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II.

“The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office eagerly participated in this joint law enforcement effort focusing on individuals who felt our attention to their bad acts targeting vulnerable children was diverted. To the contrary, we remain committed and vigilant, and never allow geography or jurisdictional boundaries to slow our collective efforts. We’ll continue to use every investigative tool available to identify, apprehend and convict those who prey on our children,” said Acting Gloucester County Prosecutor Christine Hoffman.

“The individuals arrested in our county all had professions that interact with the public: a medical assistant, a train operator, and restaurant workers. It is unsettling and a testament to the diligent work of our detectives and ICAC Task Force Officers who are unrelenting in their efforts to hold these individuals accountable for their exploitation of our most vulnerable victims. These law enforcement officers deserve our praise and support for their tireless efforts,” said Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

“The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office is proud to be involved and benefit from multi-jurisdictional task forces such as “Operation 24/7,” said Warren County Prosecutor James L. Pfeiffer. “There is no greater responsibility than the protection of our children from sexual predators, especially those who use the internet to enter our homes to victimize our children. The hard work and dedication of all law enforcement involved made this operation a success, resulting in three arrests in Warren County, which will make our county safer for all children.”

The 31 defendants arrested in “Operation 24/7” were charged as follows:

  1. Ryan Olson, 20, of Williamstown, N.J. Student and employee of online retailer. Arrested June 29. Manufacturing Child Sexual Abuse Material (1st degree), Sharing Obscene Material with Minor (3rd degree), Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  2. Ndachi Ndungu, 25, of Jersey City, N.J. Temporary Employee. Arrested May 28. Attempted Manufacturing Child Pornography (2nd degree), Attempted Theft by Extortion (2nd degree).
     
  3. Robert Reinhart, 52, of Telford, Pa. Construction Employee. Arrested April 1. Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault (2nd degree), Attempted Human Trafficking (2nd degree).
     
  4. Samuel Santiago, 54, of Carteret, N.J. Retired Hudson County corrections officer. Arrested June 30. Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree), Criminal Sexual Contact (4th degree).
     
  5. Peter Eskow, 45, of Perth Amboy, N.J. Technology manager. Arrested June 24. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree, over 1,000 items). Eskow allegedly possessed more than 80,000 files of child sexual abuse material on an external hard drive.
     
  6. George Oakes, 57, of Belvidere, N.J. Construction employee. Arrested April 14. Manufacturing Child Sexual Abuse Material (1st degree—allegedly took photos with cell phone of child sexual abuse material on his computer), Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  7. Johnathan Valencia, 36, of Wayne, N.J. Restaurant manager. Arrested May 4. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  8. Justin Holtz, 20, of Southampton, N.J. Farm worker. Arrested June 4. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  9. Jonathan Dunston, 53, of Pemberton, N.J. Truck stop employee. Arrested June 4. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  10. Eugene Kim, 20, of Evesham, N.J. Student. Arrested April 16. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  11. Joshua Gamboa, 20, of Bellmawr, N.J. Unemployed/U.S. Army Reserve. Arrested April 20. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  12. Matthew Porch, 19, of Cherry Hill, N.J. Student and HVAC technician. Arrested April 23. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  13. Sean McMichael, 38, of Cherry Hill, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested May 21. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  14. Fabian Cervantes, 18, of West Orange, N.J. Student and restaurant employee. Arrested May 19. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  15. Joshua Hunt, 28, of Paulsboro, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested April 30. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  16. Brian Lusardi, 48, of Glendora, N.J. Skating rink employee. Arrested April 15. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  17. Ryan Becker, 32, of South Amboy, N.J. Warehouse worker. Arrested June 30. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree), Tampering with Evidence (4th degree).
     
  18. Derrick J. Anannab, 39, of Holmdel, N.J. Medical assistant. Arrested June 17. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  19. Luis Torres-Mendieta, 31, of Neptune City, N.J. Restaurant employee. Arrested May 27. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  20. Carl Aliwalas, 29, of Neptune Township, N.J. Restaurant employee. Arrested May 14. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  21. John Coluzzi, 22, of Manalapan, N.J. Train operator for New York City Transit. Arrested May 5. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  22. Adam Cohen, 45, of Oxford, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested on June 30. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  23. Garrett Flynn, 22, of Washington Borough (Warren County), N.J. Retail Associate. Arrested June 23. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree, over 1,000 items).
     
  24. Keith Rodenbach, 55, of Mays Landing, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested May 26. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  25. Phong Nguyen, 44, of Pennsauken, N.J. Nail technician. Arrested April 14. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  26. Gordon Strater, 55, of Blackwood, N.J. U.S. Postal Service carrier. Arrested May 12. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  27. Hau Tran, 47, of Pennsauken, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested May 21. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  28. James Camille, 65, of Cherry Hill, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested June 30. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  29. Eugenio Dalessandro, 52, of Woolwich, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested May 11. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  30. Edward Robles, 34, of Sewell, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested May 3. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
     
  31. Franco Grasparil, 21, of Sayreville, N.J. Student. Arrested April 28. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).

First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000.  Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.  Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.   The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.   Attorney General Grewal thanked the attorneys, detectives, and staff in the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau who worked on this operation, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter, Deputy Bureau Chief Lilianne Daniel, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart.   He thanked ICAC Task Force Commander Lt. Stephen Urbanski of the New Jersey State Police ICAC Unit and the detectives of the ICAC Unit, as well as the New Jersey State Police TEAMS, K-9, Polygraph, and Crime Scene Investigations Units.   Attorney General Grewal thanked U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Newark and Cherry Hill, under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina and Assistant SAC Richard Reinhold.   Attorney General Grewal thanked all of the prosecutors, detectives, investigators, and staff of the following county prosecutors’ offices, which participated as members of the ICAC Task Force:

  • Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Warren County Prosecutor’s Office

He also thanked the Gloucester Township Police Department for its assistance in Operation 24/7.


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