HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–According to NJ State Police spokesperson Sergeant Lawrence Peele, at approximately 7:55 p.m., troopers responded to a car fire on I-295 north on the Exit 60 ramp to I-195 in Hamilton Township, Mercer County. The driver of the Toyota Corolla was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. The exit ramp is currently closed. No other vehicles were involved and cause remains under the investigation.
From unofficial radio reports numerous calls came into the 9-1-1 center reporting the fire. Initial dispatch radio reports are that the vehicle was on fire from 9-1-1 witnesses and would not stop. Hamilton Township Fire Department, RWJ EMS and Mercer County Paramedics responded to the scene.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On August 12, 2020, Hamilton Police were detailed to the area of 210 Ridge Ave., near the entrance of the Ahavath Israel Congregation Cemetery, on a report of a Bias Intimidation complaint regarding graffiti spray painted at that location. Responding officers observed graffiti on the roadway of Ridge Ave. which read “Kill N****rs”, and was sprayed in red paint.
This criminal mischief appears to be the fourth such incident since June 11, 2020 involving the same suspect. The first reported incident occurred on June 11, 2020 at Saint Mary’s Cemetery located at 1200 Cedar Ln. In that incident, the same words were sprayed in red paint on the roadway near Clover Ave.
Two additional Bias Intimidation complaints occurred this month, in which investigators believe involve the same suspect, using the same red spray paint. The first incident that occurred this month was on August 3, 2020, at the Shady Brook Park located at 655 Pitman Ave. The second incident occurred again on August 6, 2020 in the roadway of Clover Ave. in the cemetery. In both incidents the same wording was used by the suspect, but a Swastika was also drawn in red spray paint.
In each of these Bias Intimidation incidents, detectives have not been able to develop a suspect.
Anyone with additional information regarding these incidents is asked to contact Detective Lawrence MacArthur of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 689-5827, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The public can also contact the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008 with any additional information.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township firefighters were dispatched at 9:22 am for an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike at mile marker 59 south bound truck lanes. Upon arrival additional ambulances were called for several injures. Traffic was backed up over two miles at this accident.
At 7:15 pm Robbinsville Township firefighters were back out on the NJ Turnpike this time at mile marker 62.5 south bound inner roadway for an overturned van with injures. EMS and firefighters arrived on scene, the injured did not want transport to the hospital. Treat’s Garage-Mackey’s Towing of Robbinsville up righted the van and towed the vehicle from the scene.
BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County First Assistant Prosecutor Michael T. Nolan, Jr. announced that Patrick Fasano, 31, and Maria Fasano, 27, both of Brick Township, have been charged with Operating a Controlled Dangerous Substance Production Facility in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4; Possession of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(4); Possession of less than One-Half Ounce of Psilocybin Mushrooms with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(5); Possession of DMT in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Psilocybin Mushrooms in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of less than 50 Grams of Marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(4); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2; Possession of a Firearm While in the Course of Committing a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1a; and Maintaining and Occupying a Fortified Structure in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4.1c.
The United States Department of Homeland Security alerted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force that a parcel had been intercepted entering the United States from the Netherlands, which was addressed to Patrick Fasano at a Brick Township address. The parcel contained approximately 920 grams of DMT, a Schedule I Narcotic known to produce hallucinogenic effects. An undercover Ocean County Narcotics Strike Force Detective delivered the package to Maria Fasano at that residence, and she accepted delivery of the package. On August 11, 2020, Detectives executed a search warrant on the subject residence, which resulted in the seizure of quantities of DMT, Psilocybin Mushrooms, and Marijuana. They also seized numerous firearms, ammunition, and approximately $1900 in cash. Additionally, Detectives located numerous items suggestive of maintaining a Controlled Dangerous Substance Production Facility, and further observed the residence to have an exterior mounted surveillance camera system indicative of a warning mechanism against potential law enforcement entry. Patrick and Maria Fasano were transported to Brick Township Police Headquarters to be processed and are currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
First Assistant Prosecutor Nolan extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, United States Department of Homeland Security, and Brick Township Police Department for their cooperative assistance in this investigation leading to these arrests.
The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Recovery Advocates of America 8th Annual New Jersey’s Walk/Run for Recovery held on September 19, 2020, at Mercer County Park (West Picnic Area) in West Windsor, NJ.
As you know, Covid-19 restrictions have caused the cancellation of some of our most popular fundraising events over the past several months. While the state of New Jersey’s reopening phases unknown at this time, the possibility remains that New Jersey will return to phase one of the reopening process. In the case we go back to phase one, our walk will be held virtually. For those of you who registered to attend in-person, we hope that we can count on your support. If this is the outcome, you will be registered automatically as a virtual participant.
The Recovery Advocates team is committed to the safety of our community and will be posting updates on Race Roster in accordance to any new restrictions and/or guidelines our state implements during the weeks approaching our event (masks, testing etc.). During the ongoing global pandemic, drug overdoses and substance abuse relapses have increased over 20% and we can’t stress how important your support is during such a critical time. Please join us in celebrating recovery and supporting those who are also fighting for their lives in the continuous struggle with alcoholism and addiction .
This year, our 5K Run/Walk for Recovery fundraising goal is $100,000. All proceeds from the event will go directly into sustaining and expanding RECOVERY ADVOCATES C.A.R.E. Program that is now endorsed by Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri and the State of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, and our new education/prevention and awareness program throughout all New Jersey High Schools.
Substance use disorder has become a national epidemic. We greatly appreciate any and all support to help us in our mission!
Defendant was one of 40 offenders arrested in “Operation Statewide”
August 12, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a man was sentenced to state prison today after being convicted at trial of using a file-sharing network to distribute images of children being sexually exploited. He was one of 40 offenders arrested in “Operation Statewide,” a child protection operation by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which includes the New Jersey State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and numerous state, county and local law enforcement agencies.
John M. Rudy, 57, of Flemington, N.J., was sentenced today to seven years in state prison, including five years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Angela F. Borkowski in Hunterdon County. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life. Rudy was found guilty on Jan. 14 in a jury trial of second-degree charges of distribution of 25 or more items of child pornography and storing or maintaining 25 or more items of child pornography using a file-sharing network, and third-degree possession of 100 or more items of child pornography.
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh and former Deputy Attorney General Supriya Prasad tried the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) and Technical Assistant Gabrielle Pichler.
“By sharing child sexual abuse materials online, this defendant participated in a criminal network that promotes and perpetuates the brutal sexual exploitation of children,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our multi-agency efforts to patrol the internet and put these offenders in prison reflect our commitment to protect children and ensure justice for those who have been victimized. I commend our attorneys and trial team, as well as all of the detectives and investigators who helped secure this prison sentence.”
“We will continue to work with the State Police and law enforcement at all levels to disrupt the online market for these vile materials and send those who distribute them to prison,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We are sending a loud and clear message that those who commit these crimes will face serious consequences.”
“The criminals who operate these file-sharing networks online depicting child pornography are no less dangerous than those who peddle narcotics on the street. Their enterprise thrives on the pain and suffering of the victims and their families, and their deplorable behavior is a scourge on society,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to lead the charge against those who target our children by working cooperatively with our federal, state and local partners, whose collective resolve to bring child predators to justice is unwavering.”
While monitoring a peer-to-peer file-sharing network popular with sex offenders, a detective of the New Jersey State Police DTIU downloaded more than 50 items of child sexual exploitation material from a shared folder at a computer IP address that was subsequently traced to Rudy. Rudy was arrested on June 9, 2016 when members of the DTIU, assisted by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and the Raritan Township Police Department, executed a search warrant at his home and seized numerous devices, including a desktop computer, 97 flash drives, and eight SD cards. Forensic examinations revealed the flash drives and SD cards contained child sexual exploitation material, and one contained over 100 items of such material.
Operation Statewide was a multi-agency child protection operation coordinated by the New Jersey State Police, as lead agency for the New Jersey ICAC Task Force, which led to arrests of 40 men in 2016, including defendants in every county of New Jersey. During the operation, investigators linked all of the defendants to alleged use of the internet to download and distribute child sexual abuse materials. Peer to Peer, or P2P, file sharing networks play a major role in the distribution of such materials.
Because many of the videos and photos of child sexual abuse shared on these networks keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them.
Attorney General Grewal commended the attorneys and staff in the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau who prosecuted Rudy, as well as all members of the New Jersey State Police DTIU and other agencies in the ICAC Task Force who conducted Operation Statewide, including the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and Raritan Township Police Department.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about the distribution of child sexual abuse materials on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.
Defense Attorney: James R. Wronko, Esq., Wronko Loewin Bennuci, Somerville, N.J.
Residents and Businesses Are Invited to Participate & Support
August 12, 2020
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin announces that the Township’s upcoming 2021 Calendar theme, ‘Hamilton Heroes’ will showcase frontline workers, essential personnel, as well as our residents and businesses who volunteered throughout our community during the pandemic.
“The theme for our upcoming calendar, ‘Hamilton Heroes’, provides both our residents and businesses the opportunity to join us as a Township in saying ‘thank you’ to those who selflessly gave of themselves for the betterment of our community,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “As Mayor, I am proud of all of our Hamilton residents and organizations who have risen to the occasion time and time again, especially over the past several months – giving their time, energy, and talents.”
In keeping with past tradition, we are also asking our residents and businesses to submit photos for the 2021 calendar consistent with this years’ theme. Featured photographs for the upcoming calendar will be chosen by a selection committee and photographers will be credited for their picture. Those wishing to submit a photo along with a signed disclosure form can do so by visiting www.HamiltonNJ.com/PhotoContest. Rules for photo submission can also be found on this website. The deadline for photograph submission is Friday, October 2, 2020.
Local businesses can also participate in the 2021 calendar by purchasing advertisements. This is a great opportunity to reach every household and business in our community – that’s nearly 90,000 residents! Advertisement information is available on our township website at www.HamiltonNJ.com/CalendarSponsor . Space is limited, and will be reserved on a first-come/first-served basis upon receipt of payment with a deadline of Monday, September 14.
The 2021 calendars are expected to be distributed to households and local businesses in late December.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that the former operator of the Wrightstown Municipal Utilities Authority pleaded guilty today to a criminal charge for using the municipal authority to dispose of waste from his private septic disposal company without proper authorization and failing to report that waste disposal to the state as required.
Rodman Lucas, 62, of Pemberton Township, N.J., pleaded guilty today to an accusation charging him with third-degree conspiracy to tamper with public records before Superior Court Judge Terrence R. Cook in Burlington County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Lucas be sentenced to a term of probation, with a condition that he serve up to 364 days in the county jail. He will be permanently barred from public office and employment. Sentencing for Lucas is scheduled for Sept. 30, 2020.
Deputy Attorney General Brian Uzdavinis took the guilty plea for the Corruption Bureau within the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The investigation began with a referral from the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, which initially investigated the matter.
“We formed OPIA to root out the type of misconduct and abuse of trust that undermines faith in government,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This case was referred to OPIA after an initial investigation by the Office of the State Comptroller, which began when local residents complained about what they saw happening at the Wrightstown Municipal Utilities Authority. We urge members of the public to contact our corruption tipline – 844-OPIA-TIPS – if they have reason to suspect that a public official is abusing his or her position and authority.”
Lucas was hired in October 2012 as the Wrightstown Municipal Utilities Authority’s (WMUA) plant operator/operations manager. Within a few months of taking the job, Lucas, who also owns a private septic waste disposal company called Aqua Clean Toilet Systems LLC, began dumping septic waste collected by his company’s trucks directly into a manhole at the WMUA without proper authorization. The WMUA at that time only processed incoming wastewater from the local sewage system, and it had not officially accepted septic waste privately collected from residential and commercial septic tanks for several years. When the WMUA previously accepted such waste, it was always tested and documented, and if deemed acceptable, it was received through a special filtration line or channel. Lucas continued regularly dumping his firm’s septic waste at the WMUA in this improper manner for about five years until complaints about the conduct were raised at a WMUA board meeting in September 2017.
Lucas ceased dumping at the WMUA a few months later, but the issue triggered an investigation by the Office of the State Comptroller. That investigation and the subsequent OPIA investigation determined that over a period of approximately five years from early 2013 through early 2018, Lucas disposed of more than 600,000 gallons of Aqua Clean’s septic waste at the WMUA.
Wastewater management facilities like the WMUA must regularly file various reports with the state Department of Environmental Protection, including monthly “residuals transfer reports” (RTR’s) showing the amounts of incoming and outgoing waste, including the total amount of any septic waste received. All of the RTR’s filed by the WMUA during Lucas’s tenure as plant operator, while he was dumping septic waste from Aqua Clean from 2013 through 2018, show only outgoing waste, but no incoming septic waste. That is the basis for the criminal charge to which Lucas pleaded guilty.
Attorney General Grewal created the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability in September 2018 to combat corruption and strengthen public confidence in government institutions. In December 2019, the Attorney General issued a directive codifying OPIA and making it a permanent part of the Attorney General’s Office. That directive established the OPIA Corruption Bureau as the lead office within the Department of Law & Public Safety for the investigation and prosecution of state criminal violations involving corruption and abuse of public trust.
OPIA has a toll-free Tipline 1-844-OPIA-TIPS for the public to report corruption. The AG’s Office has an Anti-Corruption Reward Program that offers a reward of up to $25,000 for tips leading to a conviction for a crime involving public corruption. Information is posted at: http://nj.gov/oag/corruption/reward.html.
Defense Attorney: Robert M. Perry, Esq., Rosenberg Perry & Associates, Mount Holly, N.J.