Middlesex County, NJ

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Middlesex County is located in central New Jersey, and has a population of roughly 863,000, making it the state’s third-most populous county. Its government seat is the city of New Brunswick, which contains Rutgers University. Other noteworthy communities within the county include East Brunswick, Edison, and Perth Amboy.  Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented in the cities and surrounding areas of the county for decades, and have generated complaints to police and additional crimes such as child endangerment and drug offenses. For example, in 2003, two former New Brunswick police officers convicted of running a brothel were ordered to surrender to begin serving prison terms. Both men were 16-year veterans of the force, were sentenced to four and three years in prison, respectively, for their October 2000 convictions on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and promoting prostitution. In November 2013, a state grand jury indicted an Edison Township man on first-degree charges of human trafficking, kidnapping and racketeering for allegedly enslaving women in a prostitution ring through violence and threats of violence, according to the Attorney General’s Office.  The alleged pimp (trafficker) was also indicted with another person on charges of racketeering conspiracy, receiving stolen property and promoting prostitution.  In February, 2020, a New Jersey man who allegedly lured women to engage in prostitution by use of force, violence and threats in and around Middlesex County appeared in federal court and was charged with coercion and enticement. From 2015 to 2019 the defendant coerced women to travel from various out of state locations, including Canada and New York, to New Jersey to engage in prostitution. He lured them with promises of large payments, and when they asked for the money, the man became aggressive, often assaulting and raping them, and never paid them. In February, 2022, a 62-year old woman was arrested on charges relating to a human trafficking and prostitution ring. An investigation into a human trafficking, prostitution, and money laundering organization operating throughout Bergen County, in northern New Jersey (including Middlesex County), and in New York.

Multiple cases of targeted violence against individuals engaged in local prostitution and sex trafficking (including prostituted persons, sex buyers, pimps, and traffickers) have also been documented. For example, in 2018, a 29-year-old New Brunswick man who served as an enforcer for a network of brothels across the state was convicted of multiple counts of murder and racketeering. A jury in U.S. District Court convicted the man on two counts murder in aiding racketeering, using a firearm for a violent crime, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to harbor aliens. According to documents filed in the case and the evidence at trial, the man served as an enforcer for a prostitution enterprise that helped illegal aliens enter the country and employed them at brothels throughout Cumberland, Essex, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties. The enterprise used threats and acts of violence – including burglary, assaults, and murder – to expand its territory, thwart rival brothels, exact revenge, punish enterprise members and associates who had been disloyal, and silence people they believed were cooperating with law enforcement. The targeted murders of prostituted women have also been documented in the county, including in Perth Amboy and New Brunswick.  In 1995, a prostituted woman was bludgeoned to death in a Perth Amboy alley by a sex buyer “during a dispute over money,” and in 2004, a prostituted woman died after being stabbed 42 times by a “client” in a dispute over a fee of less than $20.

To combat the consumer-level demand for commercial sex that drives all prostitution and sex trafficking markets, and thus attracting all related crimes, the NBPD has has conducted reverse stings since at least 1992. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has supported local law enforcement application of demand reduction tactics throughout the county.  For example, to combat the consumer-level demand for commercial sex that drives all prostitution and sex trafficking markets, and thus attracting all related crimes, the New Brunswick Police Department has has conducted reverse stings since at least 1992. The Perth Amboy Police Department has conducted reverse stings targeting buyers of prostituted women since at least 1993, using undercover female officers as decoy prostituted women “working” along major city streets. In 2011, due to complaints about prostitution received from the community, the Edison Police Department executed their first reverse sting operation, resulting in six arrests.  In the three months leading up to that reverse sting, 20 arrests had been made on charges of prostitution and promoting prostitution, but when this didn’t seem to impact the problem, police decided to switch their focus to the demand side of the commercial sex market and arrest sex buyers.  In February, 2018, a New Jersey rabbi and two New York City residents faced charges in connection with the alleged human trafficking of a Pennsylvania teenager. Middlesex County prosecutors said two individuals from the Bronx, coerced a 17-year-old Lancaster girl into having sex with roughly 30 men between January 1 and February 2 at an East Brunswick hotel. They were arrested and faced numerous charges, including criminal restraint and promoting prostitution. The rabbi, a 35-year-old man from East Brunswick, was allegedly among those who had sexually abused the girl in an East Brunswick hotel and then offered to buy additional time with her, gave her his number and later asked her to come to New York to meet him, federal prosecutors said. He was initially charged by Middlesex County prosecutors with engaging in “prostitution with a child” and child endangerment. He later  pleaded guilty to interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise.

Key Partners

  • Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • East Brunswick Police Department
  • Edison Township Police Department
  • New Brunswick Police Department
  • Perth Amboy Police Department
  • Rutgers University Police Department
  • New Jersey State Police
  • New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
  • Homeland Security Investigations

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Sex Buyer Arrests:

Background on Local Prostitution, Sex Trafficking:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Man Gets 4 Years for Fatal Stabbing of Prostitute who Tried to Rob Him”, Newark Star-Ledger, August 17 1989.
  • “N. Brunswick Man Cleared in Beating of Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, December 20 1991.
  • “New Brunswick Man Gets Prison for Robbery of Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, August 9 1993.
  • “2 Sought for Information in Woman’s Killing”, Newark Star-Ledger, August 19 1993.
  • “Arrest Made in Death of Keyport Woman”, Newark Star-Ledger, July 22 1995.
  • “Perth Amboy Man Charged in Slaying”, Newark Star-Ledger, July 23 1995.
  • “Man Denies Killing Suspected Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, July 25 1995.
  • “Cyclist Indicted for Murder”, Newark Star-Ledger, September 13 1995.
  • “Cop Shoots Woman”, Trenton Times, September 11 1996.
  • “Officer Kills Woman”, New York Times, September 11 1996.
  • “Shooting in New Brunswick Sparks Protest; Crowd Insists on Fair Probe”, Newark Star-Ledger, September 12 1996.
  • “State to Monitor Review of Shooting by Cop; Prosecutor Will Sit in on Proceeding in Suspected Prostitute’s Killing”, Newark Star-Ledger, October 4 1996.
  • “Grand Jury Clears Cop in Death of Woman”, Newark Star-Ledger, November 14 1996.
  • “Lawsuit in Police Shooting”, New York Times, March 11 1997.
  • “New Brunswick, Police Named in Wrongful Death Suit”, Newark Star-Ledger, March 11 1997.
  • “Embattled Cop Quits the Force Prior to Hearing; New Brunswick Officer Had Been Involved in Shooting Death of a Suspected Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, March 25 1997.
  • “Discontent Simmers on Police Insensitivity”, Newark Star-Ledger, October 19 1997.
  • “Hung Jury in Prostitute Murder”, Newark Star-Ledger, December 20 1997.
  • “Jury Hears Two Versions of Beating Death”, Newark Star-Ledger, January 23 1998.
  • “Man Guilty of Murder”, Newark Star-Ledger, January 24 1998.
  • “Killer Gets Life as He Asks for Forgiveness”, Newark Star-Ledger, March 17 1998.
  • “Metro News Briefs; New Jersey; Family of Slain Woman Protests Officer’s Pension”, New York Times, May 10 1999.
  • “Sentiment Won’t Ease Mother’s Pain for Daughter; Outreach Program part of Agreement”, Newark Star-Ledger, November 2 2000.
  • “Woman Pleads Guilty to Strangling in Hotel”, Newark Star-Ledger, January 23 2001.
  • “Charges Not Considered in Officer’s Pension; New Brunswick Cop Got Lifetime Disability Despite Fatal Shooting”, Newark Star-Ledger, November 15 2002.
  • “A New Witness, A New Trial for Man Accused of Killing Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, March 7 2004.
  • “Man’s Third Trial Begins Slaying by Hammer; Carpenter Is Accused of Killing Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, March 18 2004.
  • “Carpenter Convicted of Killing Prostitute; Third Trial Ends with Guilty Verdict in 1995 New Brunswick Murder”, Newark Star-Ledger, April 8 2004.
  • “Pair Guilty in Stickup of New Brunswick Brothel; New Yorkers Held Customer at Gunpoint and Tied Him Up after He Arrived”, Newark Star-Ledger, May 19 2006.
  • “Jury Finds Man Guilty of Killing Prostitute; Manslaughter Verdict against Immigrant in P. Amboy Case”, Newark Star-Ledger, May 9 2006.
  • “Man Found Guilty of Killing Prostitute in Perth Amboy”, Newark Star-Ledger, May 9 2006.
  • “Manslaughter Verdict in Killing of Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, May 9 2006.
  • “Law & Order; Man Gets 20 Years for Fatal Stabbing”, Newark Star-Ledger, July 28 2006.
  • “Pair Guilty in Stickup of New Brunswick Brothel; New Yorkers Held Customer at Gunpoint and Tied Him Up after He Arrived”, Newark Star-Ledger, May 19 2006.
  • “Somerset Man Indicted in Armed Robbery of Prostitute”, Newark Star-Ledger, October 28 2009.
  • “N.J. Supreme Court Rejects Perth Amboy Man’s Request to Have Slaying Conviction Overturned”, Newark Star-Ledger, July 19 2010.
  • “Court Rejects Killer’s Bid to Overturn Conviction; Convict Says Threats by Cops Prompted Confession in Slaying of Prostitute in Perth Amboy”, Newark Star-Ledger, July 20 2010.
  • “Perth Amboy Man Not Entitled to New Trial for Killing Prostitute, Court Rules”, Newark Star-Ledger, March 3 2014.
  • “News; New Brunswick; Convicted Killer’s Appeal for New Trial Denied Again”, Newark Star-Ledger, March 4 2014.
  • “Appeals Court Rejects New Brunswick Man’s Efforts to Win New Trial for 1995 Murder”, Newark Star-Ledger, July 11 2014.
  • https://www.tapinto.net/new-brunswick-prostitution-enforcer-convicted (2018)
State New Jersey
Type County
Population 863162
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