Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Evesham Township Police Chief Walt Miller announced that a 48-year-old Marlton man traveled to the Staples store on Route 70 in Evesham Township Wednesday afternoon believing he would be having sex with the 13-year-old girl he met through a chat app and had been texting with over the last several weeks.
Instead, he was greeted by investigators from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit, the Evesham Township Police Department and United States Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill Office, who immediately took him into custody.
In reality, the young girl Daniel R. Gallagher had arranged to meet was a law enforcement officer who was on patrol in cyberspace looking for sexual predators.
Gallagher, of the first block of Willow Ridge Road, was charged with Attempting to Lure a Minor (Second Degree), Attempted Sexual Assault (Second Degree), Debauching the Morals of a Child (Third Degree), Providing Obscenity to a Minor (Third Degree), and Attempted Criminal Sexual Contact (Fourth Degree).
He was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.
The investigation began earlier this summer after Gallagher’s online activities were discovered by law enforcement officials. Prior to orchestrating the rendezvous, Gallagher sent nude photos and videos to the girl he believed he would be meeting.
The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit, the Evesham Township Police Department and HSI – Cherry Hill Office,
The lead investigator was Evesham Township Detective Christopher DeFrancesco, who is assigned to the High-Tech Crimes Unit as a Task Force Officer. Gallagher will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, who is assigned to the HTCU.
The Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit and HSI – Cherry Hill Office are members of the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The BCPO also belongs to the New Jersey State Police Cyber Terrorism Task Force.
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.