Police Sergeant, Firefighter Among 24 Arrested In New Jersey Child Sex Sting


Wednesday, September 19th 2018, 9:49 am
By: News On 6


A police officer and a firefighter were among 24 men in New Jersey who tried to lure teenagers for sexual activity, according to authorities.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says the men charged in the statewide sting used social media and chat apps to communicate with people they thought were teenage boys and girls. But they were actually talking with undercover officers, KCTV News 5 reports. 

“It is a frightening reality that sexual predators are lurking on social media, ready to strike if they find a child who is vulnerable,” Grewal said in a statement. "We want child predators to know that we are on social media too – and the child they target may be the undercover officer who puts them in handcuffs."

Those charged in "Operation Open House" were arrested this month at a Toms River home where they expected to meet the children, who they thought were home alone. Among them was a police officer who claimed he was a 19-year-old boy and believed he was chatting with a 15-year-old girl.

All 24 defendants were charged with luring. Many also face additional charges, including attempted sexual assault on a child. Additional charges beyond second-degree luring are also listed. 

The attorney general's office released their names and other identifying information Tuesday. Parentheses indicate who they allegedly believe they were communicating with.

Mina G. Beshay, 27, of Monroe Township, N.J. (Girl, 15) Beshay is a security guard. Additional charges: Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Attempted Showing Obscene Material to a Minor (3rd degree).

Christopher Vargas, 29, of Toms River, N.J. (Boy, 15) Vargas is a registered nurse.

Joshua Rauter, 31, of Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (Girl, 14) Rauter is a municipal public works employee. Additional charges: Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Attempted Showing Obscene Material to a Minor (3rd degree).

Joseph Martin, 35, of Seaside Heights, N.J. (Girl, 14) Martin is unemployed. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Richard Hoffman, 23, of Mays Landing, N.J. (Girl, 14) Hoffman is a firefighter and a college student.

Volvi Lowinger, 23, of Lakewood, N.J. (Girl, 15) Lowinger is a college student. Additional charges: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Attempted Showing Obscene Material to a Minor (3rd degree).

Thomas Graciano, 28, of Brick, N.J. (Boy, 15) Graciano is a physical therapist in a retirement community.

Thomas Blumensteel, 47, of Manchester, N.J. (Boy, 15) Blumensteel is a hotel manager and a registered sex offender. He was sentenced to three years in New Jersey State Prison in 1997 for aggravated criminal sexual contact for sexually assaulting a boy, 13, whom he was supervising as a church counselor. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Richard Conte, 47, of Farmingdale, N.J. (Girl, 15) Conte is a police sergeant with the Howell Township Police Department.

Thomas Fuller, 44, Toms River, N.J. (Boy, 15) Fuller is an assistant manager/sterilization technician. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Zachary Vincent, 24, of Forked River, N.J. (Girl, 15) Vincent is a landscaper. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

William Singleton, 24, of Pemberton Township, N.J. (Girl, 14) Singleton is a restaurant worker. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Jonathan Vece, 22, of Turnersville, N.J. (Girl, 14) Vece is a canvasser. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Lawrence Ivancic, 51, of Toms River, N.J. (Girl, 14) Ivancic is unemployed. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Robert Lisicki, 51, of Metuchen, N.J. (Boy, 15) Lisicki is a train conductor. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Dylan Daffron, 28, of Lacey Township, N.J. (Boy, 15) Daffron is a cashier at a retail store. Additional charges: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Attempted Showing Obscene Material to a Minor (3rd degree).

Steven Portnoy, 27, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. (Girl, 15) Pornoy is unemployed. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

David Studnicky, 64, of Toms River, N.J. (Boy, 15) Studnicky is employed as a dry cleaner. Additional charges: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Attempted Showing Obscene Material to a Minor (3rd degree).

Anthony Perfidio, 24, of Barnegat, N.J. (Boy, 15) Perfidio is a data entry clerk.

Brian Degnan, 33, of Toms River, N.J. (Boy, 15) Degnan is a data entry clerk.

Nabindranauth Nandalall, 24, of Bronx, N.Y. (Girl, 15) Nandalall is unemployed.

William D. Davis, 23, Bayville, N.J. (Girl, 15) Davis is a consultant.

Charles Schlottfeld, 26, of Bayville, N.J. (Girl, 14) Schlottfeld is a mechanic. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).

Douglass Walton, 54, of Hillsborough, N.J. (Boy, 14) Walton is employed in produce. Additional charge: Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree).