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Sussex County man pleads guilty to multiple charges including endangering the welfare of child, attempted animal cruelty

NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – A Sussex County man has pleaded guilty to several charges including endangering the welfare of child and attempted animal cruelty, according to Sussex County Prosecutor Francis Koch.

Richard Decker, 32, of Vernon Township pled guilty to second-degree possession of a destructive device, fourth-degree manufacturing a firearm, third-degree endangering the welfare of child (pornography), fourth-degree attempted animal cruelty, third-degree criminal mischief, and fourth-degree cyber harassment before the Honorable Louis S. Sceusi, J.S.C., at the Sussex County Courthouse in Newton on April 27, Koch said.

In pleading guilty, Decker admitted to possessing a destructive device with the intent to use it unlawfully against another or the property of another and manufacturing a firearm without being licensed to do so. He also admitted to possessing, under his control, less than 1,000 items depicting the sexual exploitation of a child and attempting to procure or use of an animal or creature to initiate an act of sexual contact, Koch said.

Decker also admitted to causing damage to the property of another by purposefully leaving homemade tire deflation devices on another’s property, and, through an online capacity, threatening to commit a crime against another, Koch said.

The case was investigated by the High Tech Crimes Unit of the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, with the assistance of the Vernon Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police- Sussex Barracks, New Jersey State Police TEAMS Unit, New Jersey State Police Hazardous Material Unit, New Jersey State Police- K9 Unit, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI, Koch said.

Decker is scheduled to be sentenced on June 26, 2020, Koch said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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