TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced today that a Lacey man was sentenced to state prison for five years for attempting to lure a “15-year-old boy” he met on social media to his residence for a sexual encounter.
The “boy” was in reality an undercover police officer participating in “Operation Open House,” a multi-agency undercover operation in 2018 led by the Attorney General’s Office.
The operation resulted in the arrest of 24 men who allegedly used social media to lure underage girls and boys for sexual activity.
Dylan Daffron, 29, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels in Ocean County. Daffron pleaded guilty on July 15, to second-degree luring/enticing a child. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh prosecuted Daffron and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau.
Daffron was arrested on Sept. 8, 2018 when an undercover officer from the Voorhees Township Police Department encountered him on social media. Daffron, who believed the undercover officer was a 15-year-old boy, communicated with the “boy” and ultimately asked him to meet him for sexual activity.
During the exchange, Daffron sent sexually explicit images to the undercover officer. Daffron was later arrested that day when he arrived at the house in Toms River where dozens of officers participating in Operation Open House were waiting to arrest alleged offenders and process any evidence seized.
In the past 13 months, the Division of Criminal Justice, the New Jersey State Police, and their law enforcement partners arrested 40 alleged child predators in two major undercover operations, “Operation Open House” in Ocean County and “Operation Home Alone” in Bergen County.
“Through multi-agency operations like Open House and Home Alone, as well as our day-to-day monitoring of social media, we’re working diligently to arrest sexual predators and protect children,” Attorney General Grewal said.
“I urge parents to talk to their children about the dangers of social media and the fact that predators use the internet to manipulate children into situations where they can be harmed,” Grewal said.
Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice said, “to understand the importance of these law enforcement efforts, one need only contemplate what would happen if a defendant like Daffron encountered a vulnerable victim on social media instead of an undercover officer.”
Allende added, “we are sending a message to online predators that if we catch them trying to lure a child, we will send them to prison.”
Along with investigating cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, members of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, and the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force routinely conduct undercover chat investigations on social media platforms leading to arrests of hands-on offenders and defendants attempting to lure children. They also conduct proactive investigations to apprehend offenders by monitoring peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and identifying the IP addresses of individuals sharing child pornography.
Grewal and Allende urge anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.