Month: February 2020

$40,000 in Ecstasy, Two Handguns Seized by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force

February 28, 2020

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force concluded a month-long investigation this week with the seizure of more than $46,000 in drugs and two handguns, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Onofri stated that, on Tuesday evening, February 25, 2020, detectives with the MCNTF executed search warrants at two Trenton residences.  One of the investigation’s targets, Kenneth Veal, was located in a garage near his Ardmore Avenue residence and taken into custody without incident.  A search of his home in the 300 block of Ardmore Avenue revealed 15 bricks of heroin, 47 oxycodone pills, one gram of cocaine and half a pound of marijuana.  An additional brick of heroin was found in a 2009 Audi CP used by Veal.  During the search warrant execution at a residence used by Titus Carver in the 900 block of Greenwood Avenue, detectives located a kilogram of ecstasy.  Also recovered during the searches were two 9mm handguns, one of which had a defaced serial number, ammunition and $5,733 in cash.

As a result of the investigation, Veal, 31, was arrested and charged with second- and third-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.  Arrest warrants were issued charging Carver with first- and third-degree narcotics offenses and second- and fourth-degree weapons offenses.  He remains at large.

Onofri stated that the total amount of ecstasy seized has an approximate street value of $40,000.  The heroin, marijuana, oxycodone and cocaine have approximate street values of $3,200, $2,000, $1,410 and $100, respectively.

Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the Hamilton and Trenton police, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

As a result of the investigation, Kenneth Veal, 31, was arrested and charged with second- and third-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing. 

$7,500 in LSD Seized by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force

February 27, 2020

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded a three-month investigation last week with one arrest and the seizure of almost $8,000 in drugs, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Onofri stated that, on Friday evening, February 21, 2020, detectives with the MCNTF initiated surveillance of the investigation’s target, Viktor Drobyshevskiy, as well as his Monroe Township residence on Fernhead Avenue.  A motor vehicle stop of Drobyshevskiy was conducted at Meadow Road and the Route 1 bypass in West Windsor, NJ, and he was taken into custody without incident.  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Sergeant Joe Angarone utilized his K9 partner Bela to conduct a narcotics search of Drobyshevskiy’s 2011 Mazda and Bela indicated positive to locating narcotics within the vehicle.  A search warrant for the vehicle was obtained and detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, five tabs of LSD and eight grams of marijuana.  The investigation revealed that Drobyshevskiy was transporting the LSD to sell at a party in West Windsor.

Detectives with the MCNTF, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Monroe Township Police Department executed a search warrant for Drobyshevskiy’s residence after he was taken into custody.  During the search, detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, approximately 10 grams of psilocybin, 232 grams of marijuana, a .22 caliber rifle, a 9mm handgun and $505 in cash.

Onofri stated that the total amount of LSD seized was about one and a half ounces with an approximate street value of $7,500.  The psilocybin and marijuana have approximate street values of $200 and $250, respectively.

Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monroe Township Police Department, and the Hamilton and Princeton police, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Viktor Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Trenton Man Indicted for Murder

February 27, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced that a Mercer County grand jury returned a three-count indictment this week charging a Trenton man for the shooting death of William Johenkins in January 2019.

Andreas Crews, 37, of Trenton, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.  He remains in the Mercer County Correction Center.

Trenton police responded to the first block of Hanford Place at approximately 12:40 a.m. on January 24, 2019, after receiving a call about a man shot in the head.  Upon arrival, police located 45-year-old Johenkins in a silver minivan with a gunshot wound to the face.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton police, criminal complaints were signed charging Crews with Johenkins’ murder.  He was arrested in Burlington Township in December 2019.

Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Paravecchia presented the case to the grand jury.

Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Andreas Crews, 37, of Trenton, was indicted on one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.  He remains in the Mercer County Correction Center.

Rep. Chris Smith, On the Coronavirus Threat

February 27, 2020

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the Ranking Member of the House global health subcommittee, said today that the growing threat of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, requires Congress to immediately and adequately provide emergency funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies already working to protect US citizens.   

This week, the Trump administration is requesting at least $2.5 billion in additional funding to combat the coronavirus,” said Smith.  “The President, Secretary Azar, and others have moved swiftly to identify comprehensive ways to protect US citizens and prepare for a potential pandemic.” 

Smith recommended the CDC website for its background on the coronavirus and its guide on actions people can take to slow the spread of a pandemic virus and protect family and friends. 

The CDC reports, as of Feb. 25, that 14 cases have been diagnosed in the United States, plus 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings (such as the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan), for a current total of 53 cases within the United States.  

We cannot afford to underestimate the potential risk to Americans across the country,” Smith said. “We must bring to bear the full expertise, weight and resources of the federal government to help mitigate the dangers and foster real protection going forward,” he said.


MidJersey.news update: (this is not from Chris Smith’s office but wanted to add to the same topic without starting another article). The CDC and several other health organizations have stated to “Prepare for the virus” and there are a number of ways that can help spread the flu, germs and the coronavirus. Download the CDC document on how to prepare and get ready here.

Read about: Cell Phones and Acinetobacter Transmission

Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?

Some tips on items you may want to keep clean to protect yourself and others:

  1. Wash your hands, scrub with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds. Do this after using the bathroom and several times per day.
  2. Clean your cell phone. I personally use an alchol based wipe to clean my phone and accessories.
  3. Computer key board, clean the keys on the board every day.
  4. Land line phones clean at least daily and possibly after every use with a antiseptic wipe.
  5. Door knobs, and other items frequently touched clean with a disinfectant.
  6. Vehicle steering wheels, knobs, door handles.

Some experts also say to stock up on food, diapers, medicines, and other items. One of the main reasons they say to stock up on those items is because the supply chain could be interrupted so it would be a good idea to have a couple week supply of essentials handy just in case.

Basketball, MCT: TCA Over Hightstown 85-63

February 26, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–In Mercer County Tournament’s final four Trenton Catholic Academy boys defeated Hightstown High School with a final score of 85-63. Trenton Catholic Academy will take on Nottingham High School in the final Friday at 7 pm at the Cure Insurance Arena.

Photo gallery:

Basketball, MCT: Nottingham Boys Over Robbinsville 61-47

February 26, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–In Mercer County Tournament’s final four held a the Cure Insurance Arena tonight, Nottingham defeated Robbinsville boys basketball with a final score of 61-47. Nottingham will advance to the final game against Trenton Catholic Academy on Friday Night 7 pm at the Cure Insurance Arena.

Photo gallery:

Jury Finds Hamilton Man Guilty of Robbery

February 26, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Hamilton man was convicted by a jury on Tuesday of robbery and a weapons offense, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

On February 25, 2020, a Mercer County jury found Dwayne Penix, 40, of Hamilton, guilty of one count of first-degree robbery and one count of fourth-degree possession of an imitation firearm for an unlawful purpose.

On December 23, 2017, Penix robbed the Family Dollar on Greenwood Avenue in Hamilton Township. While wearing a black mask and gray rain suit, Penix threatened the cashier with a silver object she thought to be a firearm, grabbed the entire cash register and fled the store. About 12 minutes after the robbery, Penix’s vehicle was stopped and after executing a search warrant of Penix’s vehicle, Hamilton police located a gray rain jacket in the trunk matching the description of the rain jacket depicted on Family Dollar’s video surveillance system. A block away from the Family Dollar, in the backyard of a vacant house, Hamilton police located a black mask on the ground next to Family Dollar’s cash register and the imitation firearm used in the robbery. The black mask was submitted to New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences and testing revealed the mask to contain Penix’s DNA.

Penix is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17. He faces a state prison sentence of 10 to 20 years, subject to the No Early Release Act.

Assistant Prosecutors Scott Gershman and Michael Nardelli represented the state during the five-day trial before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Darlene J. Pereksta. The defendant was represented by Mark Fury, Esq.

Quick Police Work Catches Thief

February 25, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)— On Thursday February 20, 2020 around 7:12 pm. the Robbinsville Township Police Department received a call for two cars broken into at Jersey Strong on Route 130. While responding one of the victims whose car was broken into received information via cell phone application their credit card was used at Rite-Aid on Route 33. Robbinsville Police responded to Rite-Aid to gather evidence as well as check other surrounding stores for the suspect.
Robbinsville police quickly checked other stores and found a person matching the description in Walgreens on Route 33 and was noticed gathering gift cards and put them back when police arrived. Police located subject and subject and had in possession credit cards from the broken into vehicles at Jersey Strong.
Robbinsville Township Police have charged Paige Leddick, Age 19 from Middle Village, NY with two counts of theft. Patrolwoman Allisoin Ricci was the investigating officer.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Theft (two separate vehicles)
Date: February 20, 2020
Time: 1912
Location: Jersey Strong
Reporting Officer: Patrolwoman Allison Ricci

Accused: Paige Leddick Age 19
Middle Village NY
Charged: 2 Counts of theft
Charged and released pending Court.

Hamilton, Robbinsville Sewer Lawsuit Dismissed Without Prejudice

February 25, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – (February 25, 2020) – The lawsuit filed by Hamilton Township under the administration of former mayor Kelly Yaede against Robbinsville regarding past sewer charges has been dismissed without prejudice.

The suit, filed August 20, 2019, could be reinstituted if the two townships cannot come to an agreement, but that is not likely. Robbinsville had filed a formal denial of the allegations in the lawsuit, and the two sides were set for mediation at the time the suit was dismissed, per a Trentonian report Monday.

“We will be doing the rate study and letting the professionals come up with a fair and equitable solution,” Mayor Fried said Monday. “It’s easy to work with your neighbors when they do what they say they will.”

Soundly defeated by Jeff Martin in November, yaede had rejected calls for an independent sewer rate study after initially saying she supported the action. That rate study will now go forward.

Hamilton filed suit in New Jersey Superior Court August 26, 2019, claiming Robbinsville owed its sewer utility $2.8 million, this despite never producing an official invoice to back that purported debt.

Yaede falsely claimed in an interview with the Hamilton Post Aug. 22 that Robbinsville’s usage of the sewer system has increased, from 15.9 percent in 2016 to 19 percent in 2019, but yet again provided no proof of increased flow, and never presented her Township Council with any documentation or proof that Robbinsville owed anything.

Hamilton operates a regional wastewater treatment facility serving residents of both Hamilton and Robbinsville. The sewage is ultimately treated at Hamilton’s Water Pollution Control plant before being discharged into Crosswicks Creek. Hamilton and Robbinsville have had a joint sewer agreement since 1976. Hamilton originally agreed to the rate study, which Robbinsville has repeatedly offered to pay half the cost of.

“The rate study would reveal with real data what is fair and reasonable for both towns,” Mayor Fried added. “We want to be a good neighbor and pay our fair share.”

Hamilton Township Firefighters Participate In “Cooked & Uncorked” Fundraising Event

February 24, 2020

EDISON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)—Firefighters from Hamilton Township Fire Department participated in the Garden State Cooked & Uncorked, putting fire to good use, which is the premiere fire department cookoff in New Jersey. The event is held annually and hosted by the NJFMBA New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association and highlights culinary talents of different fire departments. The event was held tonight at the Pines Manor, Edison NJ

The Hamilton Township Fire Department FMBA entry was “Plant based meatballs over pad tai” the entry did not place this year but in years past they have earned third, second and first places.

The yearly fundraising event is held for the Saint Barnabus Burn Center Foundation.

Prescribed Burning In Mercer County Today And Other Areas

February 24, 2020

Today, February 24, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service will be conducting prescribed burning operations in the following areas.

DIVISION A

Mercer County – Mercer Meadows

DIVISION B

Ocean County
– Little Egg Harbor – Stafford Forge Road
– Barnegat – Greenwood Wildlife Management Area
– Lacey – Double Trouble State Park

DIVISION C

Atlantic County
– Buena Vista – Highland Ave/Old Landis Ave
– Estell Manor – River Road
Camden County
– Waterford – Wharton State Forest

This schedule is weather dependent and subject to change.

If in doubt about the source of smoke or fire, call 9-1-1 or 877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337).

More information about prescribed burning can be found here: https://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2019/19_0029.htm

Quick Action By Hamilton Firefighters Save Home

February 23, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Hamilton Township Fire Department was dispatched to the 1700 Block of South Broad Street tonight for a house of fire around 9:30 pm. Upon arrival, the first officer reported smoke showing from the 2nd floor and called an “All Hands” sending additional help to the scene as well as covers from surrounding towns. Crews searched for occupants and stretched a 1 3/4 landline to the 2nd floor where they found a fire in the wall. Firefighters located the base of the fire and quickly extinguished the fire as well as any extension. The fire was declared officially under control at 9:57 pm.

The Hamilton Township Fire Marshal and Hamilton Township Building Department Electrical Inspector were on scene investigating.

Allentown FFA Wreath Laying Ceremony For First FFA President

February 23, 2020

MANALAPAN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Allentown FFA held a wreath laying ceremony for the first FFA National President from Freehold, NJ today the 2nd day of FFA Week. This has been a tradition tracked back in Allentown FFA scrap books as far as 1975.

Applegate was elected first FFA president in 1928 (Called New Farmers of America in 1928) First National FFA Convention is held in Kansas City, Mo.: 33 delegates from 18 states (Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin) are in attendance.

More on NJ’s FFA History here at the NJ Department of Agriculture website.

Leslie N. Applegate was born on October 20, 1911 and died in December 1971. Anyone wishing to visit Applegate is buried in Old Tennent Cemetery 454 Tennent Rd, Manalapan, Section C, Lot 16, Grave 279

NJ Forrest Fire Service Prescribed Burns

February 23, 2020

Today, February 23, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service will be conducting prescribed burning operations in the following areas.

DIVISION A
Morris County
– Mendham – Valley Road
Somerset County
– Bernardsville – Hardscrabble Road
Sussex County
– Andover – Kittatinny Valley State Park

DIVISION B
Burlington County
– Shamong – Wharton State Forest
– Bass River – Warren Grove Bombing Range
Ocean County
– Berkeley – Township Line Road
– Berkeley – Dover Forge Road
– Jackson – Jackson Township Schools
Monmouth County
– Howell – Atlantic Avenue

DIVISION C
Cumberland County
– Commercial – Millville Wildlife Management Area
– Lawrence – Millville Wildlife Management Area
– Maurice River – Peaslee Wildlife Management Area
Gloucester County
– Franklin – White Oaks Wildlife Management Area

This schedule is weather dependent and subject to change.

If in doubt about the source of smoke or fire, call 9-1-1 or 877-WARN-DEP (877-927-6337).

More information about prescribed burning can be found here: https://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2019/19_0029.htm

Monday Februray 24, 2020

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has determined that the weather conditions on Monday, February 24th will be safe and suitable for prescribed burning.

The Pole Farm and Reed Bryan sections of Mercer Meadows will be CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, beginning Monday morning.

For more information on prescribed burning, please visit: http://mercercountyparks.org/#!/activities/prescribed-burns