BREAKING NEWS: From unconfirmed radio reports. If or when official information becomes available the story will be updated.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–At 11:33 pm Police and EMS responded to the 900 Block of Southard Street for a female shot in the back. EMS transported patient to the trauma center at Capitol Health Regional Medical Center. A “trauma alert” was called.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A federal grand jury today indicted the leader of a Trenton drug-trafficking organization for his role overseeing and managing the distribution of large amounts of heroin in the Trenton area, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Robert M. Gbanapolor, 33, of Trenton, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin with the intent to distribute and distribution. Gbanapolor and 10 others were previously charged by complaint in June 2019. He will be arraigned on a date to be determined.
Eight other members of this drug trafficking conspiracy have previously pleaded guilty in this case. The charges against two other defendants remain pending on complaint.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
From June 2018 through May 2019, the defendants and others engaged in a heroin trafficking conspiracy in the areas of Stuyvesant Avenue, Hoffman Avenue, and Highland Avenue in Trenton, as well as in the area of Barbary Road in Philadelphia.
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 Gbanapolor obtained regular bulk supplies of heroin from Duane Paulino-Escalera, whom Gbanapolor referred to as “Papi.”
Members of the conspiracy distributed the heroin supplied by Papi to other conspirators, distributors, sub-dealers, and end-users in and around Trenton. Law enforcement officers intercepted numerous discussions among the conspirators regarding issues such as heroin quality and availability, branding, quantity and customer satisfaction.
The charge against Gbanapolor carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a $5 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division, Camden Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; and task force officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked detectives and officers of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christine A. Hoffman; detectives and officers of the Gloucester Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Earle; members of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; detectives and officers of the Bordentown Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Brian Pesce; and special agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson for their assistance.
This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). 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.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric A. Boden and Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment and the original complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: David E. Schafer, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy has announced that indoor malls can reopen on June 29, 2020. Once executive order is posted later will update the story see details released so far below:
NEW: Indoor portions of retail shopping malls may REOPEN on 6/29: 😷Masks required to be worn 👥All stores limited to 50% capacity 🍽️Restaurants may provide take-out or outdoor dining 🚫Food court seating and common seating areas remain closed ❌Theaters and arcades remain closed
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 155, which will allow in-person clinical, lab, and hands-on programming at institutions of higher education to resume as of July 1, 2020 with enhanced health and safety protocols. Executive Order No. 155 will also allow trade and training schools to reopen on July 1 provided specific health and safety polices are in place. As part of this process, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education has issued Restart Standards for all New Jersey Institutions of Higher Education that can guide the reopening and assist institutions as they prepare for next steps.
“As we move forward in our restart and recovery, these institutions will play a huge role. They are where our future workforce is being created,” said Governor Murphy. “While New Jersey continues to face the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased that we are able to take this step forward for our students and educators.”
“Sustained positive public health trends have allowed New Jersey to enter stage two on the road back to our ‘new normal,’ and after a period of uncertainty, we are pleased to be at a point where we can safely begin restarting campus operations for students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, Secretary of Higher Education. “An equitable restart of operations must be done carefully through an iterative, staged process that balances the desire to move forward with concerns for public health. We know many students prefer learning in-person, particularly those who experience hardship and whose home environments are not conducive to online education. As we seek to ensure appropriate measures are in place so educational activity can continue, the health and safety of the entire campus community will remain our priority.”
In order to open, institutions under the purview of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) must submit plans that demonstrate how they will follow criteria delineated in guidelines to be released by OSHE today. Those plans are due to OSHE 14 days before the institution intends to implement the plan by bringing students and staff back to campus. Trade and training schools, which are outside of OSHE’s purview, are subject to a similar set of health and safety protocols.