Howard Brown, 56, of Atlantic City, believed he was chatting with a 14-year-old boy he met online. However, Brown had actually been sending messages to an undercover Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent working with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit (HTCU).
The investigation began on April 11, 2019 when Howard Brown reached out to the Special Agent believing she was a teenager. Conversations between him and the “14-year-old boy” eventually led to an agreed upon location where they could meet to allegedly engage in sexual activity. On May 14, 2019, just before 3:00 p.m., Mr. Brown drove from Atlantic City to the Camden Waterfront where he was met and arrested by law enforcement officers.
A digital device that was in Brown’s possession was seized by detectives and taken to Camden County Prosecutor’s Office HTCU for analysis.
Howard Brown, who is employed at Avalon Tile in Egg Harbor Township, was charged with second degree Luring, according to Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson. He was also charged with Attempted Criminal Sexual Contact, Attempted Sexual Assault with a minor and Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Howard Brown was remanded to the Camden County Correctional Facility pending a pretrial detention hearing. Under Criminal Justice Reform rules, the court may order he be detained or released with conditions.
These charges were the result of an investigation conducted by the High-Tech Crimes Unit of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Cherry Hill Office.
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office HTCU Detectives were assisted by members of the Camden County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT).
The investigation is ongoing.
All persons charged with criminal offenses are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
Released Wednesday, May 15, 2019.