A Sun Staff Report
RAMSEY, N.J. — A 66-year-old Dracut man charged in August with child-enticement was arrested Thursday in Ramsey, New Jersey, for allegedly arranging to engage in sexual activity with an 8-year-old girl, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in that state.
Richard Bly, who lives at 95 Tennis Plaza Road Unit 16, allegedly posted an online advertisement on Feb. 7 looking to meet a parent who would be willing to have their child engage in sexual activity with him. According to the complaint, Bly sent a number of emails to an undercover law-enforcement agent who was posing as a mother of an 8-year-old over the course of several weeks.
“Bly repeatedly expressed his interest in engaging in sexual activity with the child and made plans to meet the child and her mother at a hotel in Ramsey, New Jersey,” the press release read.
He was arrested at the hotel Thursday morning. Bly can face a maximum penalty of life in prison for online enticement of a minor. The mandatory minimum prison sentence is 10 years. He may also be fined $250,000.
Bly appeared at Newark federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre Thursday and was detained.
Bly was initially held without bail Aug. 23 in Newburyport District Court after being charged with enticement of a child under 16. He allegedly used Craigslist to entice a 14-year-old girl into sexual activity. He arranged to meet a girl at the commuter rail station in Newbury, but was met by an undercover police officer instead.
It wasn’t clear when Bly was released from custody in that pending case.
But a couple days later, Dracut police, upon learning of the felony charges pending in Essex County, confiscated his firearm and found an unlocked 9mm handgun. He was charged in Lowell District Court with improper storage of a firearm.