Day: August 6, 2020

Updated: NJ State Police Vehicle Trapped In Wires On Conover Road After Public Works Removing Tree Accidentally Pushed Tree Into Utility Pole

August 7, 2020 Update 12:45 pm:

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–According to NJ State Police Spokesman Trooper Charles Marchan, Yesterday, at 8:33 pm, a trooper from Hamilton Station was responding to a tree down in the roadway on Conover Road in Millstone Township, Monmouth County.

According to Marchan, the trooper requested the assistance of Millstone Township Public Works to move the tree. Millstone Twp Public Works was operating a case front loader to clear the tree from the roadway, when they accidentally pushed the tree into a utility pole which fell on the troop car while the trooper was inside. The trooper was not injured.



11:00 PM UPDATE: Radio reports are that the Trooper is out of the vehicle and is OK.

11:05 PM Update: Some fire department units returning.

11:12 PM Update: All fire department units are clear the scene turned over to NJSP

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news report and have an e-mail into NJ State Police for official comment on the situation. Once we receive official information story will be updated and any corrections made. Reports are from radio radio and other sources.

August 6, 2020, updated at 11:00 pm, updated 11:05 pm, 11:12 pm

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Just after 10:00 pm a NJ State Police vehicle reportedly became trapped in wires in front of 45 Conover Road when wires and a transformer fell. Millstone Township Fire Department and a chief from Manalapan Fire Company are on scene. JCP&L during initial contact could not give an estimate of how long it would take to respond. By 10:30 pm a JCP&L supervisor was on scene assessing the situation.

Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services and a JCP&L supervisor is on scene at the time of this report. Check back for an update.

As of 11:00 pm the trooper is now free of the vehicle and is reportedly OK from radio reports at the scene.

11:05 some fire department units are returning.

11:12 pm all fire department units are clear the scene turned over to NJSP

Mercer County Prosecutor Appoints Jessica Plumeri as Chief of County Detectives

August 6, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri recently announced the promotions of six members of his investigative staff, including the second female chief of detectives in Mercer County history.

Jessica Plumeri was sworn in as chief of county detectives on July 31.  Plumeri takes the helm after the August 1 retirement of Tracey McKeown, who was the prosecutor’s office first female chief.

“Jessica demonstrates the highest standards of professionalism, dedication to the safety of Mercer County residents, and a tireless pursuit of justice,” Prosecutor Onofri said.  “She continues to break glass ceilings in law enforcement and our investigative staff is in good hands with her leadership.”

Born in Trenton and raised in both Trenton and Hamilton Township, Plumeri graduated from Hamilton High North (Nottingham) in 1990 and attended Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, graduating in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice.

After college, she was hired as a detective with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) and, after graduating from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Academy, was assigned to the Grand Jury, Trial and Megan’s Law units.  As her career progressed, Plumeri was assigned to the Special Investigations Unit where she began her passion for investigations involving the illegal distribution of narcotics.

While with the MCPO, Plumeri continued to advance her knowledge and skills by completing the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Basic Narcotics School, “Top Gun” Narcotics School and the REID Basic Interrogation Course.  She also completed the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Physical Training Course and is certified by the Police Training Commission as a certified New Jersey physical training instructor.

In 1999, Plumeri entered the graduate program in education at The College of New Jersey.  She attended classes at night and graduated with her master’s degree in teaching in 2001.  The following year, she was hired by the Hopewell Township School District as a second-grade teacher.  It did not take the community long to appreciate her love of teaching, and in 2010, she received the Teacher of Year Award from the Hopewell Township Board of Education.

While teaching was a rewarding and fulfilling experience, there was still something missing.  After much thought, Plumeri realized her true passion in life was law enforcement, so she returned to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.  As a returning law enforcement officer, she had to complete training at the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Academy, and received the Police Training Commission Distinguished Recruit Award in 2011.

Upon returning to the prosecutor’s, Plumeri was assigned to the Trial Unit, assisted in homicide investigations, and returned to the Special Investigations Unit, where she served as a member of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force.  As a detective in the SIU, Plumeri participated in more than 3,000 narcotics investigations, 300 of which were undercover.  These investigations involved the distribution of narcotics and guns with the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the DEA, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the New Jersey State Police, and various state and local agencies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.  Plumeri again completed advanced training and became a certified undercover officer through a prestigious program hosted by the New Jersey State Police and FBI.  She is also an instructor at the Mercer County Police Academy and the state Division of Criminal Justice Academy.  She has instructed at the Undercover Narcotic Investigative Training School (U.N.I.T.) hosted by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

In 2016, Mercer County Sheriff John A. Kemler appointed Plumeri undersheriff of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), where she was responsible for the origin and coordination of the MCSO Tactical Response Team, policy development and training, court security, security for the Trenton-Mercer Airport, and numerous other essential duties related to warrant services and fugitive apprehension.

In 2019, Plumeri returned to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office as deputy chief of detectives and has been responsible for the oversight of major crimes investigations throughout the county.

During her law enforcement career, Plumeri has received numerous awards from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and local and state law enforcement agencies, including a 2001 certificate of excellence from the West Windsor Police Department for an undercover operation that benefited the entire community.  She has also assisted the DEA as an undercover officer resulting in the seizure of large amounts of narcotics.

Also promoted were Captain Tarek Elkachouty to deputy chief; Lieutenant Matt Norton to captain; Sergeant Natischa Clark to lieutenant; Detective Brian Kiely to sergeant; and Detective Michael Castaldo to officer-in-charge.

Princeton Alliance Church Donates 1,000 Smoke Detectors to Capital City

August 6, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora and Fire and Emergency Services Director Derrick J.V. Sawyer today thanked the Princeton Alliance Church for graciously donating 1,000 smoke detectors to the City of Trenton.

“We are grateful for Princeton Alliance Church and their support of the capital city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “In these troubled times, it’s inspiring to see community groups from both within the city and the surrounding area continue come through for those in need. This donation will have an immediate impact on the safety of our residents.”

“Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death in a residential fire by up to 50 percent,” said Director Sawyer. “We’re always trying to get more smoke alarms in Trenton homes, and when our reserves were running low, Princeton Alliance Church stepped in with this major contribution. These smoke alarms will help save lives.”

The Princeton Alliance Church has been a continued supporter of the people of Trenton. It’s provided hundreds of meals for Trenton community recreation centers, supplied groceries to seniors, and donated thousands of disposable masks and hygiene products for the COVID-19 shelter.

“It’s a pleasure to work with Mayor Gusciora, whom I find passionate about the city and serving the community,” said Lead Pastor Boyd Hannold. “We pray we can keep this relationship going. If we have the resources and they have the needs, we want to be the people that make a difference.”

Neptune Township Special Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Using Law Enforcement Database For Non-Law Enforcement Purpose

August 6, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Neptune Township Special Class 1 Police Officer pleaded guilty to computer theft today admitting he used a law enforcement database for a non-law enforcement purpose, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Syessence Davis, 27, of Neptune Township, pleaded guilty to third degree Computer Theft before Monmouth County Presiding Criminal Court Judge David F. Bauman, admitting he used a law enforcement database for a non-law enforcement purpose. As part of his plea agreement, Davis faces a probationary sentence when he returns for sentencing on Oct. 2, 2020. Judge Bauman also ordered that Davis permanently forfeit all future public employment in New Jersey.

An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Neptune Township Police Department revealed that in May 2020, Davis contacted the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center and requested that a driver’s license be run through the New Jersey Criminal Justice Information System. That inquiry, which the officer made through the Neptune Township Police Department booking telephone line, was subsequently determined to be made for a non-law enforcement purpose that was personal in nature.

“We were made aware of the infraction and immediately informed the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office about the actions of one of our officers,” explained Neptune Township Police Chief James Hunt.

“Every law enforcement officer has a responsibility to the general public to maintain a level of professional conduct. Accessing personal information of a citizen without a law enforcement need is unacceptable and will result in appropriate penalties, including loss of employment,” Prosecutor Gramiccioni said.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Unit.

Davis is represented by Taylor DiBenedetto, Esq., of Cherry Hill.

Paterson Woman Sentenced To 6 Years For DWI Death Of 80 Year Old East Brunswick Man

August 6, 2020

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced that a Paterson woman has been sentenced to serve 6 years in prison for causing the death of an 80-year-old man in a crash shortly after midnight on September 22, 2018.

Elizabeth Gomez, 44, of Paterson, was sentenced yesterday to serve 6 years in a New Jersey state prison. Superior Court Judge Colleen M. Flynn ordered that the defendant must complete 85 percent of the term before she can be eligible for parole.

In addition, the Judge ordered that Gomez is subject to a 10-year loss of license to begin upon her release from prison.

The sentence was imposed after Gomez pleaded guilty on December 23, 2019, in accordance with a plea agreement with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Keith Abrams, to second degree vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated which caused the death of Wen-Fu Lin, 80, of East Brunswick.

Gomez was charged following an investigation by Officer Jason Zier of the North Brunswick Police Department and Detective David Abromaitis of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office which determined that in the early morning hours of September 22, 2018, Gomez, who was intoxicated, was driving a 2007 BMW X3 on Route 1 near Fashion Plaza Drive when she ran a red light and crashed into a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu causing the death of the driver and injuring his passenger.   

Monmouth County Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Commit Health Care Fraud, Targeting State Health Benefits Programs

Dan Irvine, 50, of Oceanport, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by video conference before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

August 6, 2020

A pharmaceutical representative today admitted his role in a conspiracy to defraud New Jersey state health benefits programs, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Dan Irvine, 50, of Oceanport, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by video conference before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

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

Compounded medications are specialty medications mixed by a pharmacist to meet the specific medical needs of an individual patient. Although compounded drugs are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are properly prescribed when a physician determines that an FDA-approved medication does not meet the health needs of a particular patient, such as if a patient is allergic to a dye or other ingredient.

Between October 2015 and March 2016, Irvine participated in a conspiracy that targeted insurance plans that paid thousands of dollars for certain prescription compound medications – including vitamins and pain creams – from an out-of-state pharmacy, identified in the information as “Compounding Pharmacy.” The conspirators found patients with these insurance plans, particularly New Jersey state and local government and education employees. An entity referred to as the “Pharmacy Benefits Administrator” provided pharmacy benefit management services for the State Health Benefits Program, which covers qualified state and local government employees, retirees, and eligible dependents; the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program, which covers qualified local education employees, retirees, and eligible dependents; and other insurance plans. The Pharmacy Benefits Administrator paid prescription drug claims and then billed the State of New Jersey or the other insurance plans for the amounts paid.

Irvine obtained insurance information from individuals with favorable insurance coverage and filled out prescriptions for compounded medications. Irvine selected medications based on their high insurance reimbursements and selected the maximum quantities and refills to generate the highest insurance reimbursements. Irvine then had doctors sign the prescriptions without the doctors examining the individuals or determining that the individuals had a medical necessity for the compounded medications. Irvine faxed the completed, signed prescriptions to the Compounding Pharmacy. Irvine had an agreement to receive as a commission a portion of the amount paid by the Pharmacy Benefits Administrator for prescriptions he obtained. He received $63,017 in commissions.

Irvine faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. As part of his plea agreement, Irvine must forfeit $63,017 in criminal proceeds and pay restitution of at least $208,989. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Joe Denahan in Newark; IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez in Newark; and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael C. Mikulka, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea. He also thanked the Division of Pensions and Financial Transactions in the State Attorney General’s Office, under the direction of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Division Chief Aimee Nason, for its assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. David Walk Jr. and Christina O. Hud of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.


Defense counsel: Scott McBride Esq., and Eric Suggs Esq., Roseland, New Jersey

Burlington County Man And Trenton Man Arrested By FBI For Attempting To Set Fire To Police Car Following Protests May 31

Killian F. Melecio, 20, of Columbus, New Jersey, and Kadeem A. Dockery, 29, of Trenton, were arrested Aug. 5, 2020, by special agents of the FBI

See previous MidJersey.News coverage here:

May 31, 2020 –Trenton Burns As Rioters Torch Cars, Loot Stores And Clash With Police After “Peaceful Protest” Goes Violent At Dusk

June 2, 2020 BREAKING: Middlesex County Man Arrested For Attempting To Set Fire To Trenton Police Car After Demonstration

June 17, 2020 — Trenton Man Charged With Attempting To Ignite A Mark Police Vehicle During Trenton Protests

August 6, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Two New Jersey men have been charged with attempting to set fire to a marked police vehicle following the May 2020 protests in Trenton, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Killian F. Melecio, 20, of Columbus, New Jersey, and Kadeem A. Dockery, 29, of Trenton, were arrested Aug. 5, 2020, by special agents of the FBI and 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. Melecio and Dockery appeared by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni. Dockery was released; Melecio was detained pending a bail hearing.

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. Although the protest in Trenton was peaceful earlier in the day, violence erupted later. A group of individuals proceeded down East State Street and began to smash store fronts, loot stores, and attack multiple marked Trenton Police Department vehicles.

A street camera and other video footage taken by an individual present recorded Dockery light an explosive device and throw it through the open front driver’s side window of a Trenton Police Department vehicle. Dockery then removed his shirt and handed it to Melecio, who attempted to stuff the shirt in the gas tank of the police vehicle and ignite it. Melecio was assisted by Justin D. Spry, who was charged in a criminal complaint on June 2, 2020, for his role in the riot. Law enforcement officers on scene observed Spry as he attempted to ignite the vehicle. Melecio fled, and Spry attempted to flee, but was arrested. During the course of Spry’s arrest, Dockery lit another explosive device and threw it over the Trenton Police vehicle at the arresting officers, where it exploded at their feet. Law enforcement identified Melecio and Dockery through their distinctive tattoos seen on the video footage.

Both counts carry a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, 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 Joe Denahan, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; troopers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and officers of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, under the direction of Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander E. Ramey and Michelle S. 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 defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Defense counsel:

Melecio: Mark G. Davis Esq., Hamilton, New Jersey
Dockery: Lawrence Welle Esq., Red Bank, New Jersey

File Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

More Bias Intimidation Graffiti Reported in Hamilton

August 6, 2020

See prior MidJersey.News story here: Hamilton Police Investigate Bias Intimidation Graffiti from August 4, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On August 6, 2020, Hamilton Police were detailed to the area of 1200 Cedar Ln. (St. Mary’s Cemetery) in the area of Clover Ave, on a report of a Bias Intimidation complaint regarding graffiti at that location.  Responding officers observed graffiti on the roadway of Clover Ave. which read “Kill N****rs” in red spray paint, which was also accompanied by a Swastika sprayed in red paint.

This criminal mischief appears to be the second such incident this week involving the same suspect.  The first reported incident occurred on August 3, 2020 at Shady Brook Park located at 655 Pitman Ave. In that incident, the same words were sprayed in red paint on a fence post located in the park. 

In both Bias Intimidation incidents, no suspects have been identified.

Anyone with additional information regarding either incident is asked to contact Detective Larry MacArthur of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 689-5827 or via email at  The public can also contact the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008 with any additional information.