Day: June 11, 2020

Hamilton Firefighters Quickly Knock Down House Fire

June 11, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to a house fire in the 200 Block of Samdin Boulevard tonight around 11:45 pm. Upon arrival firefighters found smoke visible from the exterior of the second floor. Upon entry fire was found on the second floor, two 1 3/4 hand lines were used to extinguish the fire.

Public Service Electric Gas, Hamilton Township Fire Marshal, Hamilton Township Building Department and Trenton Water, Hamilton Township Police Department all responded to the scene.

No further information is available about the fire at this time.

Jamesburg Standoff Ends Peacefully

June 11, 2020

JAMESBURG, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet and Chief James J. Craparotta of the Jamesburg Police Department said authorities successfully resolved a potentially dangerous situation by taking into custody a juvenile barricaded in a home earlier today.

A 15-year old juvenile was taken into custody without incident. The juvenile is charged with making terroristic threats in the second degree and criminal trespass in the fourth degree.

 At approximately 11:18 am law enforcement officers from the Jamesburg Police Department responded to a home on Pergola Avenue  regarding the presence of an intruder. The intruder was ultimately identified as a juvenile who had made recent threats to commit crimes of violence and to kill. The juvenile who was not authorized to be in the home was  commanded by police to exit, but the juvenile failed to comply.

 Subsequently, the  Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Response Team (SORT) was dispatched to the residence after they were alerted of the previous threats made by the juvenile and his failure to comply with the direction of the law enforcement authorities on the scene. SORT utilized numerous means of de-escalation over the course of three hours which included the use of a crisis negotiator.

Through the use of the SORT negotiator the juvenile ultimately surrendered peacefully at approximately 4:49 pm. The juvenile was taken into and remains in the custody of juvenile authorities.

 No one was injured during the incident this afternoon.

The investigation is active and is being pursued by Detective Sergeant Jason Muller of the Jamesburg Police Department.

Acting Prosecutor Kuberiet thanks the professional response of the SORT and the Jamesburg Police Department.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against the juvenile are merely accusations and the juvenile is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Black Lives Matter Protest The Stone Terrace At John Henry’s, Then Take Protest To Co-Owners Home Over Facebook Posts

Protesters even knelt on the sidewalk on front of a co-owner’s home for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd

June 11, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Black Lives Matter protesters picketed in front of the Stone Terrace At John Henry’s upscale event venue on Kuser Road this evening against alleged racist Facebook posts by a co-owner/chef of the establishment. Protesters marched up and down the sidewalk in front of the business as numerous passing vehicles honked horns in support of the protest.

Some of the screen shot images that protesters deemed racist from the personal Facebook account of the co-owner/chef can be found on the company’s Yelp page under reviews and photos here.

Earlier today Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin released a statement condemning the posts. See earlier MidJersey.News story here: Hamilton Twp. Mayor Jeff Martin Releases Statement On Local Business Owner’s Facebook Posts

After the protest was complete at Stone Terrace At John Henry’s on Kuser Road some of the protesters went to the home of a co-owner of the establishment and continued there.

Protesters knelt on the sidewalk on front of the home for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd the man who died being detained by police in Minneapolis that has sparked protests around the world.

Another protest of of the Stone Terrace At John Henry’s is planned for Monday at 9:00 am to coincide with the grand reopening of the venue after the covid-19 crisis.

MidJersey.News has sent an e-mail to the main e-mail account of The Stone Terrace At John Henry’s for a statement but has not received a reply as of this post. The establishment’s Facebook and Twitter appear to be shut down but the main website is working.

5:40 pm update on June 12, 2020 the restaurant has posted a statement on their Facebook page 2 hours ago you can read it here:

Hamilton Twp. Mayor Jeff Martin Releases Statement On Local Business Owner’s Facebook Posts

June 11, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The modestly upscale event venue The Stone Terrace by John Henry’s on Kuser Road has come under fire after one of the co-owners-chef allegedly made racist posts on his personal Facebook account. Some of the screen shots from the posts can be found on their Yelp page here under reviews photos here also on Yelp.

Area social media accounts have reports that there will be a protest in front of the venue at 6 pm. about the posts.

Mayor of Hamilton Township Jeff Martin held his Inauguration ceremony there on January 1, 2020 and has released a statement:

𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗠𝗮𝘆𝗼𝗿 𝗝𝗲𝗳𝗳 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗻 𝗥𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗝𝗼𝗲 𝗥𝘂𝘀𝘀𝗼 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗧𝗲𝗿𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲

I’m saddened and horrified to see Mr. Russo holds such hateful and abhorrent views. Had I known he held these racist feelings, I would never have attended, supported, or held events at his restaurant. I unequivocally condemn his words and his disregard for human decency.

Hamilton’s diversity is one of the best parts of our Township. We have residents of all races, religions, ages, creeds, nationalities, and beliefs. We have people who live in urban, suburban and rural communities. Like America, our diversity is our strength.

Clearly, a much larger discussion on race and racism, on diversity, on compassion, and on acceptance is not only needed, but necessary. Today, I am leading the first of those discussions with members of our law enforcement and minority community. I am happy to lead and participate in those discussions locally, but they must also occur across our state and country. Until we come together to ensure hate has no home, we will continue to face the ugliness that is racism.

North Carolina, man with ties to Trenton admitted today to distributing heroin and unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon

June 11, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Raleigh, North Carolina, man with ties to Trenton admitted today to distributing heroin and unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Dennis Cheston Jr., a/k/a “Beans,” 39, pleaded guilty by videoconference before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to a third superseding indictment that charged him with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin (Count Five) and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Count Nine).

In October 2018, Cheston and 26 other members identified as having participated in a large drug trafficking conspiracy operating in Trenton were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin. Cheston and others also were charged with additional firearms offenses. On Feb. 27, 2020, a grand jury returned a 10-count third superseding indictment charging Cheston and eight other defendants with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and various other drug and firearm offenses. Of the 26 defendants charged in the original criminal complaint, Cheston is the 23rd defendant to plead guilty. The charges in the third superseding indictment and the criminal complaint are currently pending against the three remaining defendants, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From October 2017 to October 2018, law enforcement officers conducted an investigation of a large narcotics conspiracy that operated in Trenton and which sought to profit from the distribution of heroin and numerous other controlled substances. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that Jakir Taylor and Jerome Roberts obtained regular supplies of hundreds of “bricks” of heroin from defendant David Antonio, whom they referred to as “Papi.”

Telephone and text message communications intercepted pursuant to the wiretap orders also revealed that, on multiple occasions during the investigation, Cheston – a convicted felon who has ties to Trenton – traveled from North Carolina to Trenton and obtained quantities of heroin from Taylor, which Taylor had obtained from Antonio. During one intercepted telephone call between Taylor and Cheston, Cheston advised Taylor that the heroin bearing an ink stamp that read “Top Secret,” was high quality, and that his customers liked it. During the course of these drug transactions and additional intercepted communications between Taylor and Cheston, Cheston also agreed to travel from North Carolina to Trenton and supply Taylor with multiple firearms in exchange for future supplies of heroin. On Sept. 8, 2018, based on the intercepted communications and other evidence obtained during the investigation, law enforcement tracked Cheston’s travel from North Carolina to Trenton, where he was arrested upon his arrival as he exited the Trenton Transit Center. During a subsequent search of Cheston’s backpack, law enforcement recovered a nine-millimeter Smith & Wesson handgun, which Cheston had agreed to provide to Taylor.

The drug distribution count to which Cheston pleaded guilty carries a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum fine of $1 million. The felon-in-possession count to which Cheston pleaded guilty carries a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. Cheston’s sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Satellite Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; officers of the Princeton Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Nicholas Sutter; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John P. Stemler III; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Bruce Painter; and detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked officers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan; detectives of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo Onofri; officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler; and members of the New Jersey State Board of Parole for their assistance in the case.

The government is represented by Attorney-in-Charge J. Brendan Day and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

This case was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the FBI’s Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force, a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to enhance the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of individuals involved in gang-related activities, violent crime, and drug distribution in and around the greater Trenton area. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.


Defense Counsel: Justin T. Loughry Esq. Camden, New Jersey