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12 Arrested In New Jersey Child Predator Sting

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A child predator sting in New Jersey resulted in a dozen arrests.

Prosecutors say the 12 defendants used social media and chat apps to arrange for sex with underage girls and boys, but instead, they communicated with undercover officers.

"Operation Spotlight" was conducted by the Somerset County prosecutor's office working with the FBI.

RELATED STORY: Experts Urging Parents To Be Especially Vigilant Due To Increasing Number Of Online Predators During Pandemic

Investigators say they are constantly looking at online threats, especially during the pandemic.

"In particular because of, you know, the isolation of our children during this pandemic, sitting at home, you know, on their iPhones, on their iPads," said Craig Carpenito, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. "We're gonna continue, this is just the beginning, so if you're out there doing this stuff, we're going to find you, we're going to catch you and we're going to put you in jail."

The defendants face several charges, including promoting prostitution of a child and attempted sexual assault of a minor.


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