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Indiana Man Convicted of Online Enticement of a NJ Minor and Child Porn

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ, a Lebanon, Indiana, man was convicted today on four counts of sex offenses, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Randal Wise, 45, was convicted of attempted online enticement of a minor, transportation of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and attempted transfer of obscenity to a minor following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp.

According to documents in this case, and the evidence at trial:

On Oct. 24, 2019, Wise traveled into New Jersey, approached an individual he believed was a 14-year-old boy on an internet dating application, and started a sexual dialogue. The individual was actually an undercover officer posing as a minor. Wise sent the undercover officer multiple photographs of his genitalia and requested similar photographs from him. The following day, Wise approached another individual that he believed was a minor boy on the same application. Unbeknownst to Wise, this individual was a second undercover officer posing as a minor. Wise engaged the second undercover officer in a highly sexual dialogue over the ensuing 24-hour period, sending sexually explicit photographs, questioning the second undercover officer about his sexual preferences and interests, and inviting the individual to his hotel for sex. On Oct. 26, 2019, Wise traveled to the second undercover officer’s location to engage in sexual activity with a minor, at which time he was arrested.

Law enforcement seized Wise’s phone and subsequently discovered multiple items of child pornography embedded in a sexually graphic conversation.

The attempted online enticement of a minor charge carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Because of a prior conviction, the transportation of child pornography charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 40 years, and a mandatory minimum of 15 years. Because of a prior conviction the possession of child pornography charge carries a maximum of 20 years, and a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. The attempted transfer of obscenity to a minor count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years. All of the counts carry a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 22, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s conviction. He also thanked the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Thomas J. Chirichella, detectives with the Bayonne Police Department, and detectives with the Indianapolis Police Department.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ray Mateo and Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division in Newark.

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