Phillipsburg, 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

Phillipsburg is a town located along the Delaware River in Warren County, New Jersey. It is situated across the river directly east from Easton, Pennsylvania. With a population of 14,000, Phillipsburg is the most populous municipality in Warren County. A number of serious problems resulting from the local commercial sex market have been documented, including the abuse of prostituted women and trafficked girls, and other child sex trafficking. In December 1997, two Phillipsburg women were arrested and charged with prostitution after they offered to perform oral sex on an undercover police officer for money. The two women had each approached the officer separately at different times. They were arraigned in Phillipsburg Municipal Court and a hearing was scheduled. In July, 2013,  officials in Warren and Hunterdon counties took part in an initiative organized by the state Attorney General’s Office meant to curb commercial sex trafficking and help victims of abuse. The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office was leading the coordination of local efforts with state authorities. New Jersey is believed to be a major entry point for human trafficking due, in part, to its convenient access from New York to Philadelphia. In March, 2022, a judge handed a five-year prison sentence to a man arrested in Phillipsburg who admitted he was sex trafficking two women in Morris County hotels. The men were accused of forcing the women into sex work by using physical threats and by plying the women with drugs, prosecutors said. The men would then allegedly keep the proceeds the women earned.

Demand reduction tactics have been used in the city.  For example, in September, 2022, the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office announced that a man was arrested and faced charges after he attempted to lure a 14-year-old female to engage in sexual acts. He was charged with one count of second-degree luring offense, as well as one count of second-degree attempted sexual assault, a third-degree offense of endangering the welfare of a child, and a third-degree offense of promoting prostitution. Phillipsburg Police officers received a tip that he was seeking an underage female to sexually abuse. The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit and the Phillipsburg Police Department initiated an undercover investigation, with the assistance of the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit. According to prosecutors, on September 1, 2022, the suspect began to communicate with an undercover officer posing as a 14 year old female, and agreed to meet at a predetermined location, where he was taken into custody by law enforcement. A ‘Probable Cause Affidavit’ outlined the origin of the investigation, which was a tip from a witness who contacted Phillipsburg police, and said he was an acquaintance of the suspect and knew he liked underage girls. After conversations about soliciting minors, the suspect had stated he was looking for “The younger, the better” and he would pay the requested “Finder’s fee” on pay day. The cooperating witness wore a wire and provided a phone number to the suspect for texting to arrange a meeting.

Key Partners

  • Phillipsburg Police Department
  • Warren County Prosecutor’s Office
    • Special Victim’s Unit
    • Cyber Crimes Unit
  • New Jersey State Police
    • Internet Crimes Against Children and Trafficking Central Units
State New Jersey
Type City
Population 14303
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