FREEHOLD, NJ — A former Lake Como man has been arrested in Massachusetts in connection with sending sexual text messages to an undercover police officer posing as an 11-year old Monmouth County girl, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Michael Camacho, 55, who most recently lived in New Bedford, Mass, was charged on March 14 with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree attempted obscenity to a minor, the prosecutor’s office said.
Camacho has waived extradition and is pending transportation to New Jersey to face these charges in Superior Court, Freehold. He faces up to 15 years in prison, if convicted of all charges.
The investigation began in Ocean Township when Camacho contacted the female child on her cell phone. At that point, a undercover detective with the Ocean Township Police Department took control of the child’s phone and began communicating with Camacho posing as the child, the prosecutor’s office said.
During text message conversations with the undercover detective that spanned weeks, Camacho discussed engaging in sexual activity with the child, sent obscene photographs of himself to the child, requested that the child send him photographs of herself, and discussed meeting up with the child, according to investigators.
The Ocean Township Police Department and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office located Camacho in New Bedford, Mass., and alerted authorities there. A contingent of law enforcement agencies in that state provided substantial assistance in locating Camacho in New Bedford and arresting him on the outstanding charges, the prosecutor said. They included Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Enterprise, Major and Cyber Crime Division and New Bedford Police Department
Camacho faces a sentence of five to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison and is subject to the provisions of Megan’s Law and parole supervision for life upon his release, if convicted of either of the second-degree charges. He faces a sentence of three to five years in prison on the third-degree charges. A conviction of any of the third-degree attempted endangering charges would also invoke the provisions of Megan’s Law and parole supervision for life.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have information about this investigation, or who feels they may have been subject to inappropriate online communications by Camacho, to call Detective Michael Melody of the Ocean Police Department at 732-897-3242 or Detective Tiffany Lenart of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit at 732-431-7160.
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