Prosecutors formally charged a New Jersey police officer accused of trying to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex.
The suspended Howell police sergeant, 48-year-old Richard Conte, was arrested last year following a sting operation to catch child predators. Conte was among two dozen men arrested for allegedly attempting to talk to underage girls and boys on social media.
On Wednesday, Conte was formally indicted by a state grand jury on a series of charges, including official misconduct and luring a child.
Conte was arrested on Sept. 6, 2018 after authorities say he tried to meet the girl in Toms River. The girl was actually an undercover police detective.
Conte claimed he was a 19-year-old boy. He had a condom in his pocket when he showed attempting to meet the minor and found an undercover sting instead.
Conte has served in the police force since 1997, and he previously was the volunteer fire chief for the South Wall Fire Department.
A nurse, a firefighter, college students and a registered sex offender were also arrested during the course of the operation.
Conte faces at least three years in prison if convicted.
His attorney could not be reached for comment.