The following information is being jointly released by Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Jason J. Molina, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Newark Field Office of United States Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
A 49-year-old Somerdale man traveled from his home in Camden County to the Walmart on Route 70 in Evesham Township on Tuesday 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 month.
What he found instead were 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.
Richard J. Kostrub, of the 200 block of Hollyoke Road, was unaware that the young girl he had arranged to meet was actually a federal agent from HSI.
Kostrub was charged with Luring (Second Degree), Attempted Sexual Assault (Second Degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material with Intent to Distribute (Second Degree), Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (Second Degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (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 month after Kostrub’s online activities were discovered by law enforcement officials. Prior to orchestrating the rendezvous, Kostrub sent a nude photo of a young girl to the person he believed he would be meeting. During the chat, he said he wanted to take her virginity.
The investigation was conducted by HSI – Cherry Hill Office, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit and the Evesham Township Police Department.
The case agent for the BCPO was Evesham Township Detective Christopher DeFrancesco, who is assigned to the High-Tech Crimes Unit as a Task Force Officer. Kostrub will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Special Victims Unit.
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.