HACKENSACK — A New Jersey police officer and a New York City high school teacher were among the 16 suspects arrested during a sting operation that targeted men who were using social media apps to meet underage boys and girls for sex.

The suspects in Operation Home Alone had made contact with who they thought were children but were actually undercover police officers, state prosecutors said Wednesday. They were arrested when they arrived to meet at a house in Bergen County, officials said.

Those arrested included drivers for two ride-share companies, a Philadelphia-based traveling minister, a finance lead for an internet service provider, a bank office manager, a barbershop owner, a dental hygienist and two takeout food deliverymen. Most were arrested over a five-day period starting April 11.

One of them was charged with having thousands of files of suspected child pornography on his phone.

The arrest of Ridgewood cop Peter Tuchol Jr. was first reported last week. 

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday that it's important for parents to be aware of what apps their children are using on social media

“Parents need to know that the profiles of underage girls and boys we posted on social media to catch these offenders could easily have been profiles of their own children, who might also be targeted by predators on chat apps and popular gaming sites. Our message to parents with Operation Home Alone is be on guard. Our message to child predators is law enforcement is working overtime to find you and arrest you," Grewal said.

Peter Tuchol Jr., a police officer in Bergen County, was charged with trying to have sex with a minor. (Bergen County Prosecutor's Office)

Peter Tuchol Jr., 28, of Waldwick
Authorities say this Ridgewood police officer was trying to communicate with a girl he thought was 15. He has been suspended from the force. He is charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor, third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child, third-degree possession of anabolic steroids and fourth-degree possession of hypodermic needles.

Kevin Roth busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Kevin Roth, 26, of Nanuet, New York
Authorities say this teacher at the High School of Computers and Technology in the Bronx thought he was talking to a 14-year-old boy. He was charged with second-degree luring and second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor. He is being prosecuted in Bergen County.

Dariush Ghamarnezhad busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Dariush Ghamarnezhad, 37, of Pomona, New York
Authorities say this dental hygienist thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring and second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor. He is being prosecuted by state prosecutors.

Joel Guichardo busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Joel Guichardo, 38, of Passaic
Prosecutors say this barbershop owner thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree debauching the morals of a child. He is being prosecuted in Bergen County.

Larry Noel Jr. busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Larry Noel Jr., 43, of Stanhope
Authorities say this warehouse worker thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old boy. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree debauching the morals of a child. State prosecutors are handling the case.

Shaheen Lariff busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Shaheen Lariff, 49, of New City, New York
Authorities say this bank office manager thought he was chatting with a 15-year-old boy. He was charged with second-degree luring and second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor. State prosecutors are handling the case.

Rajan Lama busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Rajan Lama, 33, Woodside, New York
Authorities say this ride-share driver thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring, second- and fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual contact, and third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child. He is being prosecuted in Bergen County.

Luis Gonzalez Palacio busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Luis Gonzalez Palacio, 36, of Weehawkin
Authorities say this financial manager for an internet service provider thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old boy. Investigators say he had more than 13,000 files of suspected child pornography on his phone. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree possession of child pornography. State prosecutors hare handling the case.

Roger Arroyo, 37, of Philadelphia
Authorities say this traveling minister thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring, third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child and fourth-degree attempted sexual contact. He is being prosecuted in Bergen County.

Yosef Kriger busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Yosef Kriger, 31, of New City, New York
Authorities say this pharmaceuticals delivery driver thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child. He is being prosecuted in Bergen County.

Michael Mancini busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Michael Mancini, 36, of Hawthorne
Authorities said this supermarket employee thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child. State prosecutors are handling the case.

Teodoro Alvarez Ortega busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Teodoro Alvarez Ortega, 28, of Suffern, New York
Authorities said this restaurant server thought he was talking to a 14-year-old boy. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child. State prosecutors are handling this case.

Jacob Smith, 26, of New Rochelle, New York
Authorities say this takeout food delivery driver thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor, third-degree debauching morals of a child and third-degree showing obscene material to a minor. State prosecutors are handling this case.

Jose Martinez busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Jose Martinez, 47, of Fairview
Authorities say this takeout food delivery driver thought he was talking to a 14-year-old boy. He was charged with second-degree luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor and third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child. He is being prosecuted in Bergen County.

Jason Keizer busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Jason Keizer, 33, of Garfield
Authorities say this unemployed man, who already was convicted in a Bergen County child pornography case, thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. He is facing new charges of third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child and third-degree possession of child pornography.

Hareshkum Tailor busted in Operation Home Alone. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Hareshkum Tailor, 55, Garfield
Authorities say this ride-share driver thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old girl. He was charged with second-degree luring and second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor. State prosecutors are handling this case.

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