LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, (MERCER)–According a source close to the investigation a bank robbery occurred at the Mercer Mall, Chase Bank inside Shop Ride on Route 1. The source also stated that there were possibly related robberies in Mount Holly, Burlington County. It was said that the perpetrator was driving a blue car with Texas temporary plates. The source also stated it is believed that this is the 5th robbery by the same suspect recently.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–According to NJ State Police Spokesman Trooper Charles Marchan, Troopers responded to a motor vehicle crash at 10:18 pm on State Highway 29 North Bound at Mile Post 1.
Based on a preliminary investigation Rossanna A. Allen, 23 year old female of Gibbsboro, N.J., was operating a Jeep northbound on State Highway 29.
Bob Whitaker, 63 year old male of Trenton, N.J., was operating a Ford northbound on State Highway 29.
Al H. Swaray, 37 year old male of Hatboro, PA, was operating a 2004 Nissan southbound on State Highway 29 in the northbound lanes. The front of Swaray’s Nissan struck the front of Allen’s Jeep. The Jeep then collided with the driver side of Whitaker’s Ford.
As a result of the crash Al A. Swaray, suffered fatal injuries and Rossana A. Allen suffered serious injuries.
The crash remains under investigation and there is no further information available at the moment.
In mid-October 2020, Ryan Lee, 35, used an internet-based application to communicate with an undercover officer, who Lee believed was a 13-year-old child. During the conversations, which were sexual in nature, Lee repeatedly asked the individual who he believed was 13 to send him nude photographs, while also sending multiple photographs of his penis to the undercover officer. On Oct. 17, 2020, Lee travelled from Trenton to a location in Somerset County where he believed the minor was located. Law enforcement identified Lee as he approached the location and arrested him.
October 27, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Three men have been charged with various sex offenses after attempting to have sexual contact with individuals they believed to be children they met online, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Quentin Anthony Blount, 28, of Easton, Pennsylvania, Jesus Modesto Sanchez, 29, of New York City, and Ryan Lee, 35, of Trenton, New Jersey, are charged in separate complaints: Blount is charged with interstate travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and attempted sex trafficking of a minor; Modesto Sanchez is charged with interstate travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and possession of child pornography; and Lee is charged with attempted online enticement and attempted transfer of obscene materials to minors. Blount and Lee made their initial appearances by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III on Oct. 23, 2020, and were detained. Modesto Sanchez is expected to make his initial appearance later this week.
“Sexual crimes against children are among the most difficult cases we handle,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “I am proud my office is working hand in hand with our partners at the FBI and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office to make sure these predators are identified and prosecuted with all the tools at our disposal.”
“Our children and their online safety is the utmost concern to us at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office,” Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson said. “Social media apps allow predators into our homes and as law enforcement, we must do what we can to make it a safer environment. We hope that this operation will continue to be eye-opening for parents. Although, 12 online child predators have been arrested, parents must learn the apps that their children are using and the inherent dangers within.”
“Children are our most vulnerable population, and crimes such as these are unthinkable,” Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. of the FBI Newark Division said. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will stop at nothing to prevent these heinous crimes, safeguard our children, and bring justice to all.”
According to documents filed in these cases and statements made in court:
Special agents of the FBI and local law enforcement engaged in an operation targeting individuals who use the internet to exploit children. Blount, Modesto Sanchez and Lee were among several individuals identified and arrested.
On Oct. 15, 2020, Blount used an internet-based application to communicate with an individual who he believed was offering her 14-year-old daughter for sex in exchange for money. Unbeknownst to Blount, he was communicating with an undercover law enforcement officer. Blount travelled from Easton to a location in Somerset County, New Jersey, to meet with the mother and the minor. Upon his arrival, he provided a sum of cash to the undercover officer, who Blount believed was the child’s mother, and was arrested by law enforcement.
In mid-October 2020, Modesto Sanchez used an internet-based application to communicate with an undercover officer who Modesto Sanchez believed was a 13-year-old child. During the conversation, Modesto Sanchez offered to perform various sex acts. On Oct. 17, 2020, Modesto Sanchez travelled from New York to a location in Somerset County to meet with the child. Law enforcement identified Modesto Sanchez as he approached the location where he believed the minor to be, at which time he was arrested by law enforcement. A search of Modesto Sanchez’ cellular telephone revealed over 200 videos depicting the graphic sexual exploitation of children.
In mid-October 2020, Lee used an internet-based application to communicate with an undercover officer, who Lee believed was a 13-year-old child. During the conversations, which were sexual in nature, Lee repeatedly asked the individual who he believed was 13 to send him nude photographs, while also sending multiple photographs of his penis to the undercover officer. On Oct. 17, 2020, Lee travelled from Trenton to a location in Somerset County where he believed the minor was located. Law enforcement identified Lee as he approached the location and arrested him.
The charges of attempted sex trafficking of a minor and attempted online enticement each carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison. The charge of interstate travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The charge of transferring obscene materials to a minor carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Each count carries a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; detectives with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Chief John W. Fodor, and officers with the Somerville, Bound Brook, and Hillsborough Police Departments with the investigation leading to these charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal 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.
Defense counsel: Blount and Lee: Rahul Sharma Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark
This brings total to 6 City employees 3 at City Hall and 3 at Trenton Water Works
October 27, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that immediately following positive COVID-19 tests for three employees, City Hall will be closed until Nov. 3, 2020 so the building can be vacated and sanitized according to the City’s COVID-19 protocol.
City Hall employees are to work from home until Nov. 3, 2020 and cannot return to City Hall until they are evaluated for exposure to the virus. Essential services such as police, fire and sanitation will continue normally, and additional services will be restored as department employees are cleared for work. The City Clerk’s Office will remain open to accept provisional ballots leading up to the general election.
City residents who have traveled to City Hall and are concerned about possible exposure should contact the Office of Emergency Management at (609) 989-4200.
Three employees have also tested positive at the Trenton Water Works administration building. Water treatment and other critical services have been unaffected. Customer service professionals have already been equipped to work remotely and continue to respond to any customer concerns.
“We’re not taking any chances as a second wave advances on our city,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We acted as soon as we heard of the positive tests and closing City Hall is the best way to ensure employee and resident safety. I can’t think of a better sign to Trenton residents that we need to take this disease as seriously as ever. For the sake of your loved ones, make sure you wear a mask, observe six-foot social distancing at all costs, and get tested if you have any suspicion you might be infected. If you feel sick or show symptoms, stay home!”
Trenton has had 4,151 cases since March, including 80 COVID-19 related deaths. As of Oct. 19, 2020, national forecasts predict that 3,500 to 7,600 new COVID-19 deaths will be reported during the week ending Nov. 14, 2020. These forecasts predict 235,000 to 247,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the United States by Nov. 19, 2020.
The City’s Health Department has tracked an increase in COVID-19 positive cases throughout Trenton as residents resume house parties, sports and other social events.
In order to keep loved ones and first responders safe, city residents are asked to follow these recommendations from the CDC, the N.J. Department of Health, and the City of Trenton Department of Health:
Stay home if you are sick.
Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
Use hand sanitizer if you’re without soap and water.
Monitor your health through daily temperature checks and look for signs of COVID-19. Limit your contact with people who exhibit cough, fever, fatigue, chills, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, difficulty breathing, congestion and runny nose.
Practice social distancing by remaining at least six feet apart from other residents and avoiding crowds.
Wear a face mask in public.
Call your healthcare provider for guidance if you have been around a COVID-19 positive person.
For a list of current testing options, visit here.
The City of Trenton Department of Health will continue to monitor public events and restaurants for compliance with COVID-19 regulations.
On October 21, 2020 in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and an outbreak in the City of Trenton, was it smart on the City official’s part to hold a press conference with the media in the basement of police headquarters, cramped in tight quarters, elbow to elbow, in a basement room with no windows and limited ventilation?
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:30 a BMW traveling on East State Street near Garfield Avenue crashed into a tree and burst into flames, resulting in a “River of flames” from fuel leaking on the ground as a result of the accident. Responding units reported a “column of smoke” in the air while en route to the scene.
Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS, Trenton Police and Capital Health paramedics responded to the scene for a vehicle into a tree and on fire with a person trapped. Upon arrival the driver self extricated and was no where to be found. Trenton Fire Department arrived and quickly doused the flames.
Fuel absorbent pads were used to help clean the resulting fuel spill from the accident. Hawks Towing removed the vehicle.
Trenton Police was investigating the crash, no further details were available at this time.
Breaking News report, from radio reports, witnesses and on scene reporting. If official information becomes available the story will be updated.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A serious 2 vehicle collision occurred on Route 29 North Bound at Mile Post 1 tonight around 10:15 pm.
The accident was originally dispatched as a pedestrian accident in Trenton at the tunnel near Waterfront Park but when Trenton Fire Department and TEMS arrived it was determined to be in Hamilton Township. Hamilton Township Fire Department was also dispatched to the scene of the accident.
Reports were that one person was hevily entrapped and had to be extricated by the fire department. At least one person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center a “trauma alert” was called.
The NJ State Police Serious Accident Investigation Unit was on scene investigating the crash. An e-mail was sent to the Public Information Officer for information and once received the story will be updated and additions and corrections made.
This is a Breaking News Report from radio and on scene reporting. Once public information becomes available the story will be updated.