Day: October 13, 2020

Man Arrested In Drone Smuggling Operation At Fort Dix Correctional Facility

Read related MidJersey.News story here: Former Inmate Charged In Drone Smuggling Operation At Fort Dix Federal Prison

October 13, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)-NEW HANOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)—A Hudson County, New Jersey, man was arrested for conspiring to use drones to smuggle contraband, including tobacco and cell phone chargers, into the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, and for possessing with the intent to distribute narcotics, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Jason Arteaga Loayza, a/k/a “Juice,” 29, of Jersey City, New Jersey, was charged by complaint in November 2019 with one count of conspiring to smuggle contraband and to defraud the United States and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute a substance containing heroin and fentanyl. Arteaga was arrested on Oct. 12, 2020, in Vermont by federal marshals, and is scheduled to have his initial appearance on Oct. 14, 2020, before U.S. Magistrate John M. Conroy in Burlington, Vermont, federal court.

According to the documents filed in this case:

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG), obtained evidence that Arteaga, an inmate at Fort Dix from June 2017 to September 2018, participated in multiple drone deliveries of contraband meant for inmates between October 2018 and April 2019.

On Oct. 30, 2018, Fort Dix officers observed a drone with a fishing line hovering above the rooftop of a housing unit. Underneath the hatch to the rooftop, which had the bolts removed, responding officers recovered a bag that contained tobacco, cell phone chargers, and USB charging cables. In the same area officers found a cell phone that was likely used to coordinate the drone drop, which was in frequent communication with Arteaga leading up to the drop. An inmate found near the rooftop hatch had wet knees, consistent with being on the wet rooftop to retrieve the contraband package. Arteaga’s iCloud account contained screenshots of google search results for “fort dix weather” in October 2018 and screenshots of live chats with CC-1 taken days before the drop in which the inmate appeared to be inside of Fort Dix and wearing a prison uniform.

A few days earlier, Jersey City police officers had encountered a man in the common area of Arteaga’s residence with multiple plastic bags containing numerous cell phones. The man told police that he came to the address to meet Juice.

During a search of Arteaga’s residence in June 2019, agents discovered a kitchen closet with packages of empty cell phone boxes, cell phone chargers, empty boxes of SIM cards, and several phones, including a box that had been shipped to Arteaga the day before the drop. The kitchen closet also contained a tobacco box consistent with the tobacco that had been recovered in drone drops. Each of the drone drops that followed the Oct. 30, 2018, drop contained cell phones or cell phone equipment, and one additional drone drop contained tobacco. Arteaga also had a suitcase in his bedroom that contained his driver’s license, 20 packets of Suboxone Sublingual Film, a prescription opiate, and a plastic bag containing over 21 grams of a substance containing heroin and fentanyl.

One of the cell phones obtained during the search of Arteaga’s residence contained communications with a contact saved as “Adogfy,” in which Arteaga and Adogfy likely coordinated drone drops on Fort Dix. For example, the phone showed communications and a call between Arteaga and Adogfy on April 15, 2019; the next morning, a package of contraband with a cord attached to it was found in Fort Dix. The package contained packets of Hydroxycut drink mix, vacuum-sealed bags of tobacco, cellphone batteries, reading glasses, and a cell phone. On April 22, 2019, Adogfy sent Arteaga a photo that appeared to be an aerial shot of Fort Dix. Approximately two minutes later, Arteaga sent back the same photo marked with two yellow lines, and a message: “Behind the buildind [sic] where the yellow is the long yellow line is a fence.” Approximately one minute later, Adogfy sent Arteaga another aerial photo that appeared to be Fort Dix, with orange target marks over several housing units. Arteaga responded with the same photo, marked with a black dot behind a particular housing unit, and a message stating, “Black dot.” Later that week, Arteaga sent Adogfy a message asking, “U think that u cud do something 2m.” Adogfy responded, “2m too windy 20 mph.”

Two other men, Adrian Goolcharran, a/k/a “Adrian Ahoda” and “Adrian Ajoda,” and Nicolo Denichilo, have also been charged with participating in the scheme to use drones to smuggle contraband into Fort Dix. They have been released on bail pending further proceedings.

The offenses charged in the complaint carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000 for the conspiracy count and 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the narcotics count.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited agents of DOJ-OIG, New Jersey area office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Guido Modano; the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 307, under the direction of Superintendent Jonathan Jackson; and the U.S. Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Douglas Shoemaker, with the investigation leading to the charges.

He also thanked Federal Bureau of Prisons personnel at Fort Dix, under the direction of Warden David Ortiz; agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; investigating agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas J. Mahoney; and officers with the Pemberton Borough Police Department, under the direction of Chief Edward Hunter; the Pemberton Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Jantas; and Chesterfield Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Kyle Wilson, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cari Fais and Jeffrey Manis of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated Quarantine Advisory Issued for Individuals Traveling to New Jersey, Bringing New Total to 38 States and Territories

38 States and Territories Include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming 

October 13, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today advised individuals traveling to New Jersey from states or territories with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or territory. The updated advisory includes the addition of Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia bringing the total to 38 states and territories. The travel advisory applies to any person arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.As of Tuesday, October 6, there are currently 38 states and territories that meet the criteria stated above: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Colorado; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Iowa; Idaho; Indiana; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Montana; North Carolina; North Dakota; Nebraska; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; Wisconsin; West Virginia; and Wyoming. 

“As cases have increased within our own state and we work to contain clusters, it is vital to ensure that we are taking all steps necessary to stop the further spread of COVID-19 from out of state,” said Governor Murphy. “It remains critically important for anyone arriving to New Jersey from these 38 states and territories to get tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine for 14 days.”

Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items. It is expected that individuals will follow the public health advisory to self-quarantine. The list of states will be updated on a rolling basis and is accessible here.

Trenton Re-entry Office to Host Job Fair at City Hall Tomorrow

October 13, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that the Office of Returning Citizens (ORC) will host a job fair tomorrow, Oct. 14, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. at the Trenton City Hall Parking lot on 319 E. State Street.

The fair will feature local employers from in and around Trenton. While the event is hosted with the city’s re-entry program in mind, job hunters of all backgrounds are welcome. 

“All of the participating businesses are ‘second chance’ employers, meaning that they hire and work with individuals who have previous experience with the criminal justice system,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We are grateful to the Mercer County One Stop Career Center, the Trenton Free Public Library, and Avanzar for their participation and their dedication to aiding Trentonians in securing gainful employment.”

The ORC, which helps formerly incarcerated Trenton residents secure employment opportunities, professional development training, and housing, was launched earlier this month. So far, six formerly incarcerated individuals have already found employment through the program, with more than 60 additional applicants currently being considered by the ORC.

Employers include FedEx, SDB Package and Delivery, Jackie’s Dollar Vine, Durham School Services, Amazon, The Arc Mercer, Abacus, IH Services, and MZ-MG Transportation.

Mayor Martin Signs Ordinances and Memorandum of Agreements to Consolidate the Hamilton Township Fire Division

October 13, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Today, Mayor Martin signed the ordinances and memorandum of agreements to officially consolidate the Hamilton Township Fire Division, effective January 1, 2021.

Under current structure, Hamilton fire services are comprised of nine, autonomous fire districts. Each of the nine districts is governed by five elected commissioners and have their own individual budgets.  With the signing of these ordinances, all nine districts will be consolidated and become part of a newly formed Hamilton Township Fire Division funded by municipal taxes. The Department of Community Affairs’ Local Finance Board previously approved the fire service consolidation on September 9th by a unanimous vote, and Council approved the ordinances by a unanimous vote.

The process to consolidate the fire districts has been one the Township has considered for over twenty years with the most recent proposal beginning in 2015. This proposal has faced many setbacks of the last five years, but remained one of the top priorities for Mayor Jeff Martin’s administration.

The ordinances signed officially dissolve all 9 fire districts and establish a Hamilton Township Fire Division under the Department of Public Safety. Additionally, the Mayor signed Memorandums of Agreement between the Township of Hamilton and Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association Locals 84 and 284.

“Today we take another concrete step towards the creation of the Hamilton Township Fire Division. With a firm date set in place, we can finally see the finish line on consolidation,” stated Mayor Jeff Martin. “This move is a win-win for Township residents, saving roughly $1.5 million a year in reduced fire service costs all while keeping the same number of fire houses and firefighters.  This is an extraordinary moment in both Hamilton and New Jersey history. I want to thank again all that have worked to make this happen including Governor Murphy and his administration, our Legislative leaders – Senator Greenstein, Assemblyman DeAngelo, and Assemblyman Benson, our Township Council, our fire consolidation subcommittee members including — Councilman Pat Papero, Jr., Councilman Anthony Carabelli, Jr., Mark Murranko, Joe Monzo, Chief Richard Kraemer, Scott Goldsmith, Nick Buroczi, Shane Mull, Richard Braslow, and all of the Hamilton Firefighters.”

“It is incredibly to finally be here and formally move forward with fire district consolidation,” said Councilman Charles Whalen. “I commend all of those that have been involved in this process from the beginning and every step of the way. This is a great day for the Township all around and will shape Hamilton for years to come.”

“I am proud of the efforts of the members of FMBA 84 and 284 that worked so hard for this day, and never backed down to the threats of a previous administration that failed them and the residents.” Eddie Donnelly, President of the NJ FMBA said.  “This community should be grateful to Mayor Jeff Martin and this Township Council for what they have accomplished towards making Hamilton Township safer.”

 “You can throw all the equipment and manpower at a fire you want, but without coordination and communication the emergency will always have the upper hand,” Fire Chief Richard Kraemer said. “This long awaited and much need adjustment to how our Department operates gives the advantage back to the men and women of the Hamilton Fire Department and makes our whole community safer.”

“The members of the Hamilton Fire Department have always stood together. We have always been willing to put ourselves between danger and the residents we serve,” Nick Buroczi, President of Hamilton FMBA Local 284 said. “In this push for consolidation Mayor Jeff Martin and the entire Township Council also stood shoulder to shoulder with us and because of that our community is safer.”

“I applaud the hard work and dedication the Martin Administration, our fire chiefs, and local FMBA representatives to finally make fire consolidation a reality in Hamilton.” said Senator Linda Greenstein. “Ensuring our first responders and firefighters can continue to provide some of the best service in the state of New Jersey to the residents of Hamilton has always been a top priority of all of our local leaders.”

“This is a big moment for Hamilton. Thanks to Mayor Martin and our Township Council, we are finally going to have a unified fire service that will save taxpayers money all while creating a more responsive and capable service for our residents. This is another example of our community working together to make a safer and more effective Hamilton,” said Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo.

“Congratulations to the Mayor and Council on this important milestone achieved through their hard work,” said Assembly Dan Benson. “The time is right to have a strong Township-wide uniform fire service. It improves safety for our residents as well as our firefighters and will ensure that all Hamiltonians receive the same high level of service regardless of their zip code.”

The next step, currently in process, is coordination with the Civil Service Commission for organizational transfer of all current district firefighters.

Mayor Martin signed the ordinances and memorandum of agreements at Station 17, to officially consolidate the Hamilton Township Fire Division, effective January 1, 2021.

19 Year Old Arrested And Charged With Unlawful Possession Of Weapons And Other Charges

October 13, 2020

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The Bordentown Township Police Department announces the arrest of a 19 year old Bordentown Township man for unlawfully possessing two (2) handguns.

This incident originated on 10/9/20 at 3:05 pm when Township Officers served a domestic violence restraining order on Isaiah Daniels, age 19, at the Bradford Pointe Apartment Complex. This court order also included a search of Daniels’ apartment and when officers began to conduct said search Daniels took off running and was apprehended following a brief foot chase. The search uncovered two (2) handguns (Springfield 9mm pistol and a Sentinel .22 caliber revolver), marijuana and drug paraphernalia belonging to Daniels’ within the apartment.

He was then charged with two (2) counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, endangering another person, obstruction, eluding, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Daniels was then committed to the Burlington County Jail pending a detention hearing. All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito Announces Reduction In Gun Violence Through “Project Guardian”

October 13, 2020

The Department of Justice today announced it charged more than 14,200 defendants with firearms-related crimes during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, despite the challenges of COVID 19 and its impact on the criminal justice process. Of those cases, 342 have been brought by the District of New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

These cases have been a Department priority since November 2019 when Attorney General William P. Barr announced his commitment to investigating, prosecuting, and combatting gun crimes as an important part of the Department’s anti-violent crime strategy. These firearms-related charges are the result of the critical law enforcement partnership between United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, led by Acting Director Regina Lombardo, who has made firearms-related investigations a priority.

“The number one priority of government is to keep its citizens safe,” Attorney General Barr said. “By preventing firearms from falling into the hands of individuals who are prohibited from having them, we can stop violent crime before it happens. Violating federal firearms laws is a serious crime and offenders face serious consequences. The Department of Justice is committed to investigating and prosecuting individuals, who illegally buy, sell, use, or possess firearms. Reducing gun violence requires a coordinated effort, and we could not have charged more than 14,000 individuals with firearms-related crimes without the hard work of the dedicated law enforcement professionals at the ATF, our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country, and especially all of our state and local law enforcement partners.”

“When I became U.S. Attorney more than two years ago, I emphasized that our most important job is protecting the public,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “Project Guardian is one of the best strategies we have to accomplish that mission. By coordinating with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we have pursued and prosecuted those who violate our firearms laws, and helped to reduce gun violence in our state.”

“Protecting the public from violent crime involving firearms is at the core of ATF’s mission,” ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo said. “Every day the men and women of ATF pursue and investigate those who use firearms to commit violent crimes in our communities, many of whom are prohibited from possessing firearms from previous convictions. ATF, in collaboration with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the nation, is committed to bringing these offenders to justice for their egregious and violent criminal acts.”

The Department of Justice announced its commitment to decreasing gun violence and enforcing federal firearms laws in an effort to make the communities in America safer through Project Guardian. As part of this strategy, Project Guardian focuses on close coordination with all law enforcement partners to investigate, prosecute and prevent gun crimes, including the illegal acquisition or attempted acquisition, possession, use, and trafficking of firearms.

Under federal law, it is illegal to possess a firearm if you fall into one of nine prohibited categories including being a felon, illegal alien, or unlawful user of a controlled substance. Further, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense or violent crime. It is also illegal to purchase – or even to attempt to illegally purchase – firearms if the buyer is a prohibited person or illegally purchasing a firearm on behalf of others. Lying on ATF Form 4473, which is used to lawfully purchase a firearm, is also a federal offense. The Department is committed to prosecuting these firearms offenses as well as using all modern technologies available to law enforcement such as the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, known as NIBIN, to promote gun crime intelligence.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has continued its long-standing partnerships with federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies to implement Project Guardian and has renewed its commitment to prosecute firearms offenses. For example:

On May 6, 2020, Jonathan Brown, 26, of Covington, Georgia, was arrested for trafficking multiple firearms from Georgia to Jersey City, New Jersey, which were subsequently used in acts of violence. Brown was charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit the unlicensed sale of firearms. Brown led a scheme to purchase firearms in or around Georgia and traffic those firearms to individuals in Jersey City. Brown, who is barred from purchasing firearms himself due to multiple prior felony convictions, used straw purchasers in Georgia to obtain the firearms so that Brown could sell those firearms to others. On multiple occasions, Brown brought firearms from Georgia to New Jersey for sale. Within months of Brown’s trips to Jersey City, law enforcement arrested numerous individuals in Jersey City in possession of firearms purchased by Brown’s straw purchasers. At least one of the weapons trafficked by Brown was later used in the shooting of another person in Jersey City. At least one of the individuals in possession of one of Brown’s guns had a prior felony conviction, and was therefore barred from possessing a firearm. To date, law enforcement has recovered seven firearms allegedly trafficked by Brown in Jersey City.

On May 29, 2020, a New Jersey man with a prior felony conviction was charged with unlawfully possessing dozens of firearms, including handguns, rifles, a silencer, ammunition, and high-capacity magazines. Darick Nollett, 30, of Heislerville, New Jersey, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and one count of knowingly receiving and possessing a firearm that was not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Law enforcement officers executing a court-authorized search warrant of Nollett’s residence recovered the following, in addition to a firearm silencer:

• A Remington 710 .270 caliber rifle;
• A Savage 93R17 .17 caliber rifle;
• An Aero Precision DTOM 15 rifle;
• A CMMG Inc. MK4 rifle;
• A Del-Ton DTI-15 rifle;
• An Aero Precision DTOM 15 rifle;
• A Keltec rifle;
• A Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver;
• A Ruger LCP .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol;
• A Colt Python .357 caliber revolver;
• A Taurus PT738 .380 caliber handgun;
• A Sig Sauer P226 .22 caliber handgun;
• A Glock 20 10mm handgun;
• A Heckler & Koch VP9 tactical pistol;
• A Smith & Wesson M&P40 .40 caliber handgun;
• A Springfield XD-40 .40 caliber handgun;
• A Springfield XD-45 .45 caliber handgun;
• A Taurus PT111 G2 9mm handgun;
• A Browning BPS 12 gauge shotgun;
• A Winchester Model 120 12 gauge shotgun;
• A Hatsan Arms Escort PS Magnum 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun;
• A Remington 870 20 gauge shotgun;
• A Mossberg 500E .410 gauge shotgun;
• A Rossi 520 20 gauge shotgun;
• A New England Firearms Pardner SBI 12 gauge shotgun;
• A Fabrica Aguirre y Aranzabal JC Higgins Model 100 12 gauge shotgun;
• A Savage Model 720 12 gauge shotgun;
• A Springfield Armory Model 1896 rifle;
• A Ruger Model 10-22 .22 caliber rifle;
• A Remington 7615 Police .223 caliber rifle;
• A Winchester Model 1864 30 30 rifle; and
• A Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun;

Law enforcement officers also recovered an assembled AR-15 style rifle with scope that did not bear a serial number, along with unassembled parts for another AR-15 style rifle.

On June 1, 2020, Ibraaheem Islam, a/k/a “Ish,” 32, was charged by superseding complaint with three counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Counts One through Three), one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Count Four), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Count Five). Those charges stemmed from Islam’s involvement in narcotics trafficking activity on a regular basis in the vicinity of Chadwick Avenue, Newark. Law enforcement obtained warrants to search two vehicles and one residence associated with Islam. On May 30, 2020, law enforcement recovered a 5.7×28 millimeter caliber FN Herstal model “FN Five-Seven” pistol, loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition, 194 vials containing suspected cocaine base, and 64 glassine envelopes containing suspected heroin.

On July 20, 2020, Tevin Browning, 29, of Newark, was charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit carjacking, one count of attempted carjacking, one count of discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence, and one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon following his alleged involvement in a July 9, 2020 attempted carjacking in Jersey City during which a victim was shot in the abdomen. Specifically, at approximately 5:00 p.m. on July 9, 2020, a carjacking occurred in the area of Tonnelle and Broadway avenues in Jersey City. Browning and an armed conspirator attempted to forcibly enter an Acura MDX. As the passenger entered the Acura, Browning and his conspirator forcibly attempted to enter the vehicle. Browning attempted to enter the rear right passenger side of the Acura, and punched the passenger in the head. At that point, the driver quickly attempted to drive away from the area. As the driver drove away, the gunman attempted to enter the front passenger side of the Acura and held onto the Acura. After a short distance, the gunman shot the driver in the abdomen, and then fell off the Acura as its driver was able to escape. Moments later, a Dodge Challenger arrived at the scene and picked up the gunman before fleeing the area. Police officers found a spent .45 caliber shell casing stamped “Blazer .45 Auto” in the area where the gunman had fallen to the ground. A lawful search warrant of the Challenger produced a .45 caliber Hi-Point Model JHP semiautomatic handgun, bearing serial number 406099, which was loaded with four rounds of ammunition. Two of the rounds were stamped “Blazer .45 Auto” on the shell casing.

On Oct. 7, 2020, Benjamin Daye, 34, admitted to robbing a Camden barbershop at gunpoint on November 23, 2019. Upon entering the barbershop, Daye grabbed a juvenile customer, pointed a loaded gun at the customer’s head, and demanded cash and belongings from employees and customers. Daye fled and was apprehended shortly thereafter next to a bag containing the handgun and the stolen items.

These are just a few examples of the cases brought in the District of New Jersey under Project Guardian. Between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020, this office charged 342 individuals with gun offenses. Of those individuals, 252 were prior convicted felons who were prohibited from possessing firearms and almost 90 possessed firearms in furtherance of, or in relation to, drug trafficking offenses or crimes of violence, such as carjackings and shootings.

The charges and allegations pending against all defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

For more information on the lawful purchasing of firearms, please see: