A Tuckerton man expected to meet a 12-year-old female in Ocean County Saturday morning but instead was greeted by an undercover detective, police announced Sunday.
Mark E. Allan, 55, was charged with second-degree luring or enticing a child and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child after he was ensnared in a sting operation that was organized after an incident at the Stafford branch of the Ocean County Library on Route 9 in Manahawkin on Friday, police said.
A 12-year-old female told police that an older man had been following her around and passed her an inappropriate message that contained his phone number.
Stafford Township Police Department Detective Drew Smith and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Investigator Jay Steele, posing as the 12-year-old, communicated with Allan, who scheduled a meeting at a predetermined location, police said.
“When the suspect arrived to meet the 12-year-old girl, he was instead greeted by the 6-foot, 230-pound undercover male officer, who apprehended the suspect without incident,” police said in a prepared statement.
The Stafford Township Police Department in conjunction with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit made the arrest.
Allan was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $100,000.00 bail set by Superior Court Judge Rochelle Gizinski.
The Stafford Township Police Department Patrol Division and Drug Enforcement Unit assisted in the investigation.