21 Arrests in New Jersey Child Sexual Exploitation Sweep

An investigation that targeted people who sexually exploited children online has led to 21 arrests in New Jersey.

What We Know:

  • Gurbir Grewal, Attorney General, stated the arrests Wednesday, were made between March 18th throughout July 31st. Stemming from “Operation Screen Capture,” this operation began to note the high growth of reports of intimidation and threats to children from online predators in the course of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • A registered sex offender, Aaron Craiger (34) from Oklahoma, was taken into custody on March 18th in a motel located in Atlantic City after he supposedly came from Oklahoma to meet a couple of men who arranged him with an opportunity to have sex with underage girls. The defendant was communicating with undercover investigators from the Department of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and New Jersey State Police.
  • One investigator made it seem like he was offering his 12-year-old daughter for sex. Another investigator pretended to offer his girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter. Craiger had the condoms on him when he was arrested and presumably possessed and gave out child sexual abuse materials.
  • From Keansburg, N.J., Jason Berry (40) sexually used a 14-year-old girl he had met on social media and convinced her into sending nude pictures of herself while engaging in sexual activity. He also manipulated the girl into carving his initials on her legs. In addition to that, Berry also tricked the girl into giving him her mother’s phone number and sent those images to her mother.
  • Newark, N.J., resident Alize Tejada (21) apparently sexually attacked a young child. Allegedly stating, she videotaped herself while conducting sexual acts on the child and uploading the video to social media.
  • In addition to Craiger, Berry, and Tejada, 17 other men were arrested and a juvenile male will face child endangerment charges for possessing or dispersing child sexual abuse materials.
  • Cyber tips have been given to the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force about possible threats to children online. This kinds of threats to children have increased to 50 percent in the state since last March.
  • Superintendent of New Jersey State Police, Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, said that the State Police are working with law enforcement and will also give all their efforts to keep the children safe. Parents and guardians are being advised to talk with their kids about the dangers of the internet and to be very aware of their online activity.

Attorney General Grewal explained how parents have to be aware of their children’s online activities, warning children that strangers they meet on very well known social media sites, apps, and gaming platforms can be out to hurt them.