Fourteen of the twenty four alleged New Jersey child predators arrested in an undercover sting operation targeting men using social media to lure underage boys and girls into sex are from Atlantic and Ocean County.

According to a press release Tuesday from Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, the arrests of 24 alleged child predators were made  in “Operation Open House,” a multi-agency undercover operation targeting men who allegedly were using social media in an attempt to lure underage girls and boys for sexual activity.

The underage “children” were, in fact, undercover officers. Most of the defendants were arrested when they arrived at a house in Toms River, N.J., where they allegedly expected to find their victim home alone. Instead, they found dozens of law enforcement officers prepared to arrest them and process any evidence seized.

Most of the defendants in Operation Open House were arrested at the undercover house in Toms River – a four-bedroom, residence – while a few were arrested at other meet-up locations or were stopped in their cars after driving to the vicinity of those locations. Those who went to the undercover house allegedly expected to find their victims home alone. Instead, they were arrested upon arrival, sometimes by teams that included the very officer who portrayed the child they targeted for sex.

Those arrested included two from Atlantic County; Richard Hoffman, 23, a fire fighter from Mays Landing, and Steven Portnoy, 27, of Egg Harbor Township and twelve from  Ocean County, including Joshua Rauter, 31, of Little Egg Harbor Township and Anthony Perfidio, 24, of Barnegat.

Here is a link to the press release concerning "Operation Open House" and the names of all of those arrested.