Ocean City, 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

Ocean City is on New Jersey’s coastal Jersey Shore, within Cape May County, and has a population of about 11,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented problems in the city for decades, and commercial sex transactions have involved many other types of crime, child sexual abuse, child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, also frequently called “child pornography in state laws), and drug offenses. The Ocean City PD has participated in large scale sex trafficking and prostitution operations.  In 2014, the FBI teamed up with more than 50 law enforcement agencies in four states to recover 25 child sex trafficking victims — some as young as 13, many of them runaways from New York and New Jersey — in an offensive against Super Bowl related child-sex trafficking. More than 45 pimps and their associates were arrested, some of whom traveled to New Jersey from other states specifically for the purpose of prostituting women and children at the Super Bowl. Several of the recoveries and many of the arrests were made by agents and officers posing as male sex buyers, responding to ads on CraigsList, BackPage and elsewhere. Victim specialists from the FBI gave food, clothing, shelter and health referrals to 70 women and children determined to be sex-trafficking victims. In May, 2016, an investigation into human trafficking and prostitution at multiple hotels in Ocean City resulted in the seizure of heroin, cocaine, suboxone, marijuana, hash oil, two additional prescription stimulants and drug paraphernalia. In May, 2017, Ocean City police arrested seven people in connection with a human trafficking operation in the resort town. Police said that with assistance from the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigation, detectives on May 19 and 20 made the seven arrests and seized multiple electronic devices, more than $650 in cash and impounded one vehicle. Charges included prostitution; outstanding arrest warrant for failure to appear in court; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of crack cocaine, and pandering.

Among the responses to such crimes generated by the commercial sex trade have been efforts to combat consumer-level demand that provided the revenue motivating all sex trafficking.  In August, 2021, the Atlantic City office of Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant for a man’s residence on Asbury Ave., Ocean City. The Mercury reported the man, who was a swim coach, served about two years in jail after he was sentenced in 2009 to 1 1/2 to 3 years in county jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to charges of unlawful contact with a minor for purposes of prostitution and corruption of a minor.  Those charges were in connection with incidents from 2008 with a 15-year-old girl. At the time, the newspaper reported, Dolan had just finished his first year as a head coach of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School’s girls swim team. After being arrested, he was fired from the job. The Mercury article reported thatthe man was facing additional charges that he failed to report his address to authorities as required under Megan’s Law, Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act. In addition, he was awaiting trial on charges of possessing “child pornography” based on an arrest in December 2019.

Key Partners

  • Ocean City Police Department
  • Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Sea Isle City Police Department
  • Homeland Security Investigations


Key Sources

Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, Related CSAM:

State New Jersey
Type City
Population 11065
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