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Howell Sergeant Accused of Luring 15-Year-Old Girl Who Turned Out to Be Cop

Howell Township

A Howell police sergeant was arrested after he allegedly arranged to meet a girl he thought was 15 years old but was really an undercover cop.

According to authorities, Howell Police Sgt. Richard Conte, 47, was arrested and charged Thursday with second-degree attempted luring or enticing of a child.

Officials say on Sept. 3, a detective - posing as a 15-year old girl - created a post that stated that she was at a shore house in Toms River looking to meet new friends. Subsequently, Conte responded to ad and sent a photo of himself, which the detective recognized him as a Howell officer.

Authorities added that when the detective - posing as the girl - told Conte she was 15, he said to start another chat on the app Kik, where she should claim she’s 18.

A meeting was ultimately arranged for Sept. 5th. Police say Conte showed up around 7 p.m. in his personal car but drove off before Toms River Police arrested him in Seaside Heights. Authorities say arresting officers found condoms in Conte's pocket.

Officials say a search of IP address logs from Kik, showed the account was created at Conte's home address.

According to authorities, Conte - who has a detention hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning in Toms River - is in the Ocean County Jail.