New Jersey Officials Seeing Uptick In Child Predators During Pandemic; 7 Charged During ‘Operation Safe Quarantine’

BURLINGTON COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — An investigation targeting child predators has led to arrests. Burlington County prosecutors say increased activity on the computer during the pandemic put children at risk.

New Jersey officials are seeing an uptick in child predators during the coronavirus pandemic, a time when child predators are taking advantage of quarantine orders.

Credit: CBS3

The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Homeland Security and a number of other state, federal amd local agencies launched “Operation Safe Quarantine” in May.

They’ve made seven arrests of people charged with possessing and distributing child pornography. One case is still under investigation.

“At a time when our leaders and public health specialists have been urging or even ordering people to stay home for their own safety, we must do everything we can to make being home safe,” said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina. “Operation Safe Quarantine has been a concentrated effort by our high-tech crime unit to investigate and bring closure to as many cyber tips as possible, and bring to justice those who traffic in child pornography or lurk in chatrooms to engage children in the hopes of exchanging nude photographs or having a sex encounter in person.

The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office says more arrests are coming in the weeks to come. Operation Safe Quarantine is still very much on full force and will be as long as we’re dealing with this COVID-19 crisis.