Ocean County, NJ
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Ocean County is a county located along the Jersey Shore in the south-central portion of New Jersey, along the Atlantic Ocean. Its county seat is Toms River. Ocean County has a population of approximately 602,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented throughout the communities and unincorporated areas of the county, and generate numerous associated crimes, such as the assault and homicide of prostituted persons, as well as drug trafficking offenses. For example, in April, 2021, Ocean County authorities announced that a man and woman (a married couple) from Toms River were each charged with Promoting Prostitution in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1b(2), as well as and two counts of Money Laundering in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25. A year-long investigation conducted by the revealed that a business known as a spa located on Lakewood Road in Toms River was owned and operated by the couple and appeared to be operating as a legitimate business, but individuals patronizing the spa were offered sex in exchange for money. Detectives executed court-authorized search warrants on the spa and the couple’s residence in Toms River and court-authorized seizure orders on bank accounts held by the couple, and they were each charged. In addition to prostitution operations are serious violent crimes associated with the local sex trade, including homicide and setting up sex buyers for robbery. In September, 2020, a federal arrest warrant was issued for a man in the United States District Court. He was wanted by the FBI for allegedly running a prostitution operation that spanned across several states including New Jersey, and including Ocean County. He was charged with Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud, or Coercion; Conspiracy to Transport an Individual in Interstate Commerce to Engage in Prostitution; and Interstate Transportation for Prostitution.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. Several cities within the county have conducted demand reduction activities, and county agencies have supported demand reduction activities in multiple communities. For example, the Jackson Township Police Department have conducted an anti-prostitution investigation in September 2013 that resulted in multiple sex buyer arrests, and the cases have been handed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Lakehurst police received an anonymous tip suggesting that employees at one of the borough’s massage parlors were engaging in acts of prostitution. Officers began an investigation that culminated in the arrest of seven male sex buyers. Police released their names and other identifying information to the local media.
- Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office
- High Tech Crime Squad
- Economic Crime Squad
- Internal Affairs Unit
- New Jersey State Police
- Toms River Township Police Department
- Detective Bureau
- Patrol Division
- Jackson Township Police Department
- Lakehurst Police Department
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “12 People Arrested At Massage Parlor”, Asbury Park Press, September 10 2007.
- “Jackson Police Bust Illegal Craigslist Prostitution Operation”, Ocean County Signal, September 13 2013.
- “Three Men Arrested on Charges of Soliciting, Promoting Prostitution in Jackson”, Asbury Park Press, September 14 2013.
- https://www.jerseyshoreonline.com/cop-arrested-in-ocean-county-sex-sting-ordered-released/ (2018)
- https://www.jerseyshoreonline.com/operation-open-house-major-sex-sting-nets-arrests-in-ocean-county/ (2018)
- https://patch.com/new-jersey/tomsriver/toms-river-based-sex-sting-prompts-chat-app-warning-ag (2018)
Background on Local Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, Related Crimes:
- “At Jackson Office Complex, Prostitution Charge Filed in Massage Parlor Raid”, Asbury Park Press, October 10 2002.
- https://www.nj.com/18-year-old_utah_woman_arrested_prostitution.html (2010)
- https://www.facebook.com/TomsRiverPatch-woman-busted-in-prostitution-ring (2016)
- https://6abc.com/2-charged-in-toms-river-prostitution-case/ (2017)
- https://www.reddit.com/toms_river_police_prostitution_massage_parlor/ (2017)
- https://patch.com/toms-river-spa-owners-indicted-prostitution-charge-report (2018)
- https://patch.com/couple-indicted-running-brothel-toms-river (2018)
- https://www.jerseyshoreonline.com/operation-open-house-major-sex-sting-arrests-ocean-county/ (2018)
- https://shorenewsnetwork.com/man-pleads-guilty-for-trafficking-girl-17-as-prostitute-in-south-jersey-motels/ (2018)
- https://dailyvoice.com/hook-line-and-stinger-undercover-paterson-police-bust-52-prostitutes-johns (2019)
- https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/human-trafficking/mallie-monte-evans (2020)
- https://dailyvoice.com/married-couple-charged-with-promoting-prostitution-money-laundering-at-jersey-shore-spa (2021)
- https://www.app.com/toms-river-spa-owners-accused-promoting-prostitution/ (2021)
- https://www.rlsmedia.com/couple-charged-promoting-prostitution-out-toms-river-spa (2021)
- https://wobm.com/two-NJ-residents–running-massive-drug-operation-ocean-county-nj (2021)
Documented Prostitution-Related Violence:
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