Stanhope man arrested in Operation Home Alone

STANHOPE. Larry Noel Jr., 43, of Stanhope, N.J. (Boy, 14) Noel, warehouse worker, was charged with Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), according to the NJ Department o


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Due to a joint effort with the New Jersey Attorney General Office, 16 child predators, including a Stanhope man, were arrested in "Operation Home Alone," a multi-agency undercover operation targeting men who allegedly were using social media in 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 residence where they allegedly expected to find their victim home alone. Instead, they found law enforcement officers prepared to arrest them and process any evidence seized. Those arrested include a Ridgewood police officer, a Bronx, N.Y., high school teacher, drivers for two rideshare companies, a minister, a finance lead for an internet service provider, a bank branch office manager, a barbershop owner, a dental hygienist, two takeout food deliverymen, and others.

The operation was led by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, and New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is led by the New Jersey State Police. The ICAC Task Force includes DCJ, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI, all 21 County Prosecutors’ Offices, and many other state, county and local law enforcement agencies. The additional participating agencies are listed below. Attorney General Grewal made the announcement at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office with Acting Prosecutor Calo, DCJ Director Veronica Allende, Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police, Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory Ehrie of the FBI Newark Field Office, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Reinhold of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Newark, and leaders and representatives of the other participating agencies.

“The 16 men we arrested allegedly used social media to stalk victims they believed were vulnerable children who could be sexually exploited. Fortunately, their victims were really undercover officers prepared to put them in handcuffs,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Parents need to know that the profiles of underage girls and boys we posted on social media to catch these offenders could easily have been profiles of their own children, who might also be targeted by predators on chat apps and popular gaming sites."

The arrests in Operation Home Alone were made over a five-day period from April 11 through April 15. Seven defendants travelled to the undercover house from locations in New York State, and one traveled from Philadelphia. The defendants are variously charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor, and third-degree attempted debauching the morals of a child. Two men face third-degree charges of attempted showing obscene material to a minor for allegedly sending photographs of their genitals to undercover detectives. Two men are charged with having child pornography on their electronic devices, including one who allegedly had more than 13,000 files of suspected child pornography on his phone and a second who was already facing sentencing on a prior child pornography charge filed by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

The undercover law enforcement members who conducted the chats with the defendants were specially trained members of the ICAC Task Force. The defendants typically initiated contact based on profiles posted on social media platforms by the undercover detectives and agents. The social platforms that were used in these encounters included Kik, Skout, Grindr, Tinder, MeetMe, and Adam4Adam. Once chatting began, the undercover officers clearly identified themselves as underage girls or boys. Despite that information, the defendants allegedly engaged the purported “children” in conversations about sex and made arrangements to meet the “children” for sex.

“Parents need to be aware of their children’s activities on the internet, and if children appear anxious or evasive when this topic is raised, it may be a red flag,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It is critical that parents talk to their children about social media and chat apps to let them know that the people they encounter may not be who they initially seem to be.”

In past cases, the ICAC Task Force has made arrests of alleged child predators who used the following chat apps: Kik, Skout, Grindr, Whisper, Omegle, Tinder, Chat Avenue, Chat Roulette, Wishbone, Live.ly, Musical.ly, Paltalk, Yubo, Hot or Not, Down, and Tumblr. Arrests also have been made involving the gaming apps Fortnite, Minecraft, and Discord. Attorney General Grewal urged parents to familiarize themselves with these apps and warn their children about sharing information with strangers.

The defendant who is a police officer, Peter Tuchol Jr., was placed under arrest on April 15 at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office—Paramus. Thirteen other defendants were arrested at the undercover residence in Bergen County. One defendant was arrested at a shopping mall, and the remaining defendant was arrested at his own residence. Those who went to the undercover residence 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.

The defendants were lodged in the Bergen County Jail until detention hearings were held during the past week. One defendant, Michael Mancini, was ordered detained in jail pending trial. The other defendants were released subject to stringent pre-trial monitoring conditions, including at a minimum reporting regularly to Pre-Trial Services staff and prohibitions from using the internet except for work or having any unsupervised contact with children under 18.

The following 16 men were arrested in Operation Home Alone. They allegedly believed they were communicating with a minor as described in parentheses. The defendants are charged as indicated. The cases will be prosecuted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (BCPO) or Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) as indicated.

1. Peter Tuchol Jr., 28, of Waldwick, N.J. (Girl, 15) Tuchol has been suspended from his position as a police officer with the Ridgewood Police Department. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (anabolic steroids) (3rd degree), Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug (4th degree), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (hypodermic needles) (4th degree). BCPO is prosecuting.

2. Kevin Roth, 26, Nanuet, N.Y. (Boy, 14) Roth is a teacher at the High School of Computers and Technology in Bronx, N.Y. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree). BCPO is prosecuting.

3. Dariush Ghamarnezhad, 37, of Pomona, N.Y. (Girl, 14) Ghamarnezhad is a dental hygienist. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree). DCJ is prosecuting.

4. Joel Guichardo, 38, of Passaic, N.J. (Girl, 14) Guichardo is a barbershop owner. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree). BCPO is prosecuting.

5. Larry Noel Jr., 43, of Stanhope, N.J. (Boy, 14) Noel is a warehouse worker. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree). DCJ is prosecuting.

6. Shaheen Lariff, 49, of New City, N.Y. (Boy, 15) Lariff is a bank branch office manager. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree). DCJ is prosecuting.

7. Rajan Lama, 33, Woodside, N.Y. (Girl, 14) Lama is a driver for a rideshare company. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Criminal Sexual Contact (2nd & 4th degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree). BCPO is prosecuting.

8. Luis Gonzalez Palacio, 36, of Weehawkin, N.J. (Boy, 14) Gonzalez Palacio is a finance lead for a major internet service provider. Palacio allegedly had more than 13,000 suspected files of child pornography on his phone when he was arrested. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree). DCJ is prosecuting.

9. Roger Arroyo, 37, of Philadelphia, Pa. (Girl, 14) Arroyo is a traveling minister. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Attempted Criminal Sexual Contact (4th degree). BCPO is prosecuting.

10. Yosef Kriger, 31, of New City, N.Y. (Girl, 14) Kriger is a pharmaceuticals delivery driver. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree). BCPO is prosecuting.

11. Michael Mancini, 36, of Hawthorne, N.J. (Girl, 14) Mancini is a supermarket employee and DJ. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree). DCJ is prosecuting.

12. Teodoro Alvarez Ortega, 28, of Suffern, N.Y. (Boy, 14) Avarez Ortega is a restaurant server. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), 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). DCJ is prosecuting.

13. Jacob Smith, 26, of New Rochelle, N.Y. (Girl, 14) Smith is a takeout food delivery driver. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), 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). DCJ is prosecuting.

14. Jose Martinez, 47, of Fairview, N.J. (Boy, 14) Martinez is a takeout food delivery driver. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree), Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree). BCPO is prosecuting.

15. Jason Keizer, 33, of Garfield, N.J. (Girl, 14) Keizer is unemployed. Charges: Attempted Debauching Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree). Keizer is currently awaiting sentencing on a prior child pornography charge filed by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. BCPO is prosecuting.

16. Hareshkum Tailor, 55, Garfield, N.J. (Girl, 14) Tailor is a driver for a rideshare company. Charges: Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault on a Minor (2nd degree). DCJ is prosecuting.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges against the defendants in Operation Home Alone are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Because they are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.

The Attorney General commended all individuals and agencies involved in the efforst including the following ICAC Task Force Members:

• U.S. Homeland Security Investigations

• FBI Innocent Images Squad

• New Jersey State Parole Board

• Bayonne Police Department

• Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office

• Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office

• Camden County Prosecutor’s Office

• Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office

• Essex County Prosecutor’s Office

• Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office

• Hazlet Township Police Department

• Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office

• Keyport Police Department

• Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office

• Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office

• Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

• Morris County Prosecutor’s Office

• Ocean Township Police Department

• Passaic County Sheriff’s Department

• Red Bank Police Department

• Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office

• Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office

• Union County Prosecutor’s Office

• Voorhees Township Police Department

• Warren County Prosecutor’s Office



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