TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–On Wednesday morning, Trenton Police Director Sheilah Coley held roll call in Mill Hill Park and then deployed more than two dozen Trenton police officers, including command staff, to patrol on foot the city’s downtown business district.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Trenton man was charged today with attempting to ignite a marked police vehicle during the recent violent outburst in Trenton following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Earlja J. Dudley, 27, of Trenton, was arrested by special agents of the FBI and is charged by complaint with one count of attempting to damage or destroy by fire a vehicle owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance, and one count of attempting to damage or destroy by fire a vehicle used in and affecting interstate commerce. Dudley will make his initial appearance this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 31, 2020, large-scale protests were held throughout the United States, including in Trenton, in response to the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25, 2020, while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Floyd’s death, and the ensuing protests, have drawn national media attention. Although the May 31 protest in Trenton was peaceful earlier in the day, violence erupted later. A group of individuals proceeded down East State Street in downtown Trenton and began to riot, smashing store fronts, looting stores, and attacking multiple marked Trenton Police Department vehicles parked on the 100 Block of East State Street. Dudley is the second defendant to be charged with federal arson offenses from those protests.
A bystander video that was posted publicly to a social media platform captured an individual, later identified as Dudley, wearing a tank top and baseball cap with the Roman numerals “XIV” in red lettering, along with distinctive green, black, and white sneakers. The video recorded Dudley and another individual standing in front of a marked Trenton Police Department vehicle and opening its hood. The video then recorded another individual joining Dudley and lighting an object that Dudley was holding over the exposed engine well of the police vehicle. Dudley placed the burning object into the engine well of the vehicle and moved away from it. Shortly thereafter, flames are visible on the video rising from the engine well of the vehicle. Law enforcement obtained photographs of Dudley posted on social media wearing, on other occasions, a tank top and baseball cap with Roman numerals “XIV” in red lettering, and distinctive green, black, and white sneakers, all of which matched the articles of clothing that Dudley was wearing in the video.
Both counts charged in the criminal complaint carry a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI and task force officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; and troopers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, under the direction of Jared M. Maples, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander E. Ramey and Michelle Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The investigation further revealed McDonald was in possession of a generator reported stolen out of South Brunswick, and a John Deere front end loader reported stolen out of Monroe.
June 17, 2020
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A couple is facing charges of animal cruelty after four German Shepard puppies in their care died due to neglect, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Daniel McDonald, 25, and Tricia Jaccoma, 24, are charged with four counts of third degree animal cruelty with respect to the deaths of four German Shepherd puppies found deceased on a property in Howell where they were temporarily residing.
The remains of two deceased German Shepherd puppies were found in a fire pit on the property in Howell on Monday, May 18, 2020. The Howell Township Police Department and Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division, conducted an investigation, which led to the discovery of the remains of two more deceased puppies which had been buried on the property.
The joint investigation revealed the puppies were stolen from a farm in Somerset County on or about May 12, when the puppies were only approximately three weeks old. Investigators learned McDonald and Jaccoma were staying at the Somerset County farm prior to the time the puppies went missing and were in possession of the puppies while residing in a camper on the property in Howell. Investigators also learned the puppies were ill, in distress, and were struggling to breathe prior to their deaths, and that the pair did not get the puppies medical attention because of the costs associated with the care. The investigation further revealed McDonald disposed of the bodies of the deceased puppies by burying two of them and tossing the other two into the fire pit on or about May 16. A necropsy performed on the two buried puppies revealed the puppies suffered from parasites and also were severely emaciated and malnourished with “no indications of recent nutritional ingestion.”
In addition to the animal cruelty charges for failing to provide the puppies with the necessary care, both McDonald and Jaccoma were additionally charged with multiple counts of third degree Receiving Stolen Property, for being in possession of the stolen puppies in Monmouth County. McDonald was further charged with four counts of Hindering Apprehension of oneself, disorderly persons offenses, for disposing of the deceased puppies bodies.
The investigation further revealed McDonald was in possession of a generator reported stolen out of South Brunswick, and a John Deere front end loader reported stolen out of Monroe. McDonald was charged with additional counts of third degree and second degree Receiving Stolen Property, respectively, for being in possession of these stolen items.
McDonald was ordered detained at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon on June 10, 2020.
Jaccoma is currently a fugitive. If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact Humane Law Enforcement Officer Michael Magliozzo of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 732 995-0329, or Patrolwoman Heather Scherbinski of the Howell Township Police Department at 732-938-4111.
If convicted of the second-degree charge, McDonald faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison.
If convicted of any of the third degree charges, they each face a sentence of three to five years in in a New Jersey state prison on each count.
This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit, and liaison to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division.
McDonald is represented by Paul Zager, Esq. of Red Bank. McDonald is scheduled for a Pre-Indictment Conference on July 6, 2020.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 11:42 pm, Officers A. Lucidi and M. Stefanelli responded to a report of a structure fire at Palermo’s on the 300 block of Klockner Avenue. Upon arrival the Officers saw an active blaze on the porch to an upstairs apartment above the restaurant. The Officers accessed the roof via the stairs to the upstairs apartment and were able to wake the three residents inside of the apartment. The residents were safely evacuated and moved away from the structure. Hamilton Firefighters from Stations 12, 14, 16, 17 and 18 responded and extinguished the fire.
The fire caused damage to the exterior porch, exterior stairs, side and interior of the structure. No deaths or injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is was determined to be accidental by the Fire Marshall.