Day: January 14, 2021

Edison Man Sentenced For New Brunswick Man’s Murder

January 14, 2021

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced an Edison man was sentenced today for the murder of a 23-year-old New Brunswick man who he fatally shot in the City.

Christopher “C-Dub” Thompson, 29, of Edison, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas J. Buck, J.S.C. to thirty years in prison for the murder of Larenz O’Garro.  Thompson was sentenced to an additional eight years in prison for the attempted murder of another man.  This term is subject to the No Early Release Act, meaning he must serve 85% before being eligible for parole.  Thomson was also sentenced for his unlawful possession of a handgun, and the hindering of his own apprehension for fleeing to Georgia after the murder.  Those sentences are to run concurrent to the murder and attempted murder.  He was also convicted of possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose.

Thompson was also separately sentenced to ten years in prison for being a certain person not to be in possession of a handgun due to a prior conviction with a five-year period of parole ineligibility.  In total, Thompson will have to serve forty-one years and eight months of his forty-eight-year sentence before he is eligible for parole.

At trial, Executive First Assistant Prosecutor Bina Desai and Assistant Prosecutor Deanna Himelson presented evidence and testimony establishing that, on October 26, 2018, Thompson fatally shot O’Garro shortly after an altercation involving the second victim and codefendant Eric “E-Z” Inman who was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison.

Thompson fled after the shooting, leading to an extensive search which included the coordinated efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the New Brunswick Police Department.  On November 15, 2018, members of the U.S Marshals Service apprehended Thompson in Lithonia, Georgia.

Thompson and Inman were charged after an investigation by Detective Kenneth Abode of the New Brunswick Police Department and Sergeant David Abromaitis of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.  Agent Jennifer Morelli and Victim Witness Counselor Marlene Valdez were also vital to the prosecution.

Rep. Smith’s Bill To Combat Anti-Semitism Becomes Law

January 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — Building on an amendment he wrote in 2004 to create a Special Envoy to combat anti-Semitism, this week Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) successfully pushed enactment of his Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act that expands the authority of the office and elevates the Envoy to that of Ambassador-at-Large, granting the position added clout to fight the rise in worldwide anti-Semitism.

     “My new law will raise the Special Envoy to the rank of Ambassador-at-large, a high-level position that will allow the Special Envoy to report directly to the Secretary of State,” Rep. Smith said. “The official rank of Ambassador comes with greater seniority and diplomatic access not only here in Washington, but equally important, overseas in dealing with foreign governments. In short, it gives the Special Envoy the clout required do the job more effectively.

    “Anti-Semitism is on the rise in many countries around the globe over the past 10 years. We’ve seen members of the Jewish community harassed, intimidated, assaulted and even killed. We’ve seen sacred places like synagogues and graves desecrated. We’ve heard the use of anti-Semitic slurs and threats, and the open targeting of the State of Israel with what the great Soviet refusenik and former religious prisoner Natan Sharansky told me are the ‘three Ds’– demonization, double-standards and de-legitimization of Israel.

   “With the rise of on-line anti-Semitism, hate abroad knows no borders and poisons our communities here at home. We need to integrate our efforts both in the United States and abroad to stop the hate and keep our communities safe,” said Smith, a founding member of both the House Anti-Semitism Caucus and the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, which is comprised of legislative-branch members from Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

   The Special Envoy ‘s mission is to combat discrimination and hatred toward Jews, and develop and implement foreign policy to fight anti-Semitism. Under Smith’s new law: the Special Envoy position would also:

  • be the primary advisor to the U.S. government in monitoring and combating anti-Semitism;
  • not be saddled with duties irrelevant to combating and anti-Semitism, nor “double-hatted” with other positions or responsibilities that distract from the central focus of anti-Semitism.

     Smith was especially grateful to one of his bill’s the 87 co-sponsors, Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL), for working to pass the bipartisan bill, as well as Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jackie Rosen (D-NV) and Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), along with their staffs, for their hard work in securing passage on the Senate side, and numerous Jewish groups who fought hard for this legislation.

   Rabbi Aaron Kotler, President and CEO of Beth Medrash Govoha, said, “Congressman Smith has been a world leader in the effort to combat anti-Semitism, keeping the spotlight on the scourge of global hate. In our troubled times, we need his leadership more than ever. Smith led the 2004 Congressional effort to create a U.S. Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism.  Now he has strengthened the position of Special Envoy by legislation that accords the Envoy ambassadorial rank. Good people of all faiths owe him a debt of thanks for helping keep racism at bay and for protecting civilized society.”

   Nathan Diament, Executive Director for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center,said, “The Jewish community is very grateful for Rep. Chris Smith’s leadership in getting this legislation enacted. Sadly, we have seen a surge of anti-Semitic incidents around the world in recent years. With the passage of this legislation, Congress is providing powerful new tools to the State Department to lead impactful international efforts to combat what has been aptly called ‘the world’s oldest form of hatred’ and roll back the tide of anti-Jewish hate.”

   Chaplain Yaakov Wenger, of the National Chaplains Association, stated, “The National Chaplains Association applauds President Donald J. Trump for approving Congressman Chris Smith’s important bill which will help battle the scourge of anti-Semitism worldwide. Cong. Smith has been a staunch fighter of global hate and bigotry for decades, and true advocate for human rights. The president’s signing of the bill is a welcome step in battling divisiveness and hate.”

   Rabbi Avi Schnall, director of the New Jersey office of Agudath Israel, said, “We are very grateful for Congressman Smith’s persistence with seeing and ensuring this that bill became law,” At a time when anti-Semitism is on an alarming increase, now more than ever we need the Special Envoy to have the stature to be able to combat and do whatever we can to fight anti-Semitism.

   Lakewood community leaders Eli Tabak and Eli Liberman, who spearheaded Special Envoy Elan Carr’s historic visit to Lakewood in 2019, said, “Congressman Smith’s success in elevating the position of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to that of Ambassador is but the latest in a long and distinguished history of his efforts to lead the global fight against hate. We greatly appreciate his focus on rooting out anti-Semitism, and the need to address it publicly and forcefully. Seeing Congressman Smith take this initiative, especially during such tumultuous times is so important to all people of good will. We are grateful for his leadership and proud that this champion of human rights represents Lakewood.”

  On two separate occasions, the House voted overwhelmingly to approve Smith’s new law to elevate the U.S. Envoy to Ambassador-at-Large, once in September 2018 and the second time in January 2019.  Each time, the Senate stalled the bill despite widespread support from numerous organizations, including the Agudath Israel, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Jewish Federations of North America the Orthodox Union.

  The Senate finally approved the bill on December 16, 2020 and it was signed by the President this week.

AG Grewal, DEP Announce Lawsuit Against U.S. Government over Drinking Water Contamination from Military Bases’ Use of Firefighting Foam

January 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today that the State is suing the federal government over its contamination of groundwater and drinking water resources on and around U.S. military bases and other federal facilities in New Jersey through long-term use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a fire-suppressing substance that contains toxic chemicals proven harmful to human health.

The State’s two-count complaint centers on excessive levels of toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) emanating from the federal facilities. PFAS substances – also called “forever chemicals”– are manmade substances desired for their ability to repel water, oil and fire, and were commonly used to make products like Teflon and Scotchgard. Highly resistant to environmental degradation and known to accumulate in the human body, PFAS are associated with serious adverse health effects such as cancer. The chemicals are also known to negatively impact the immune system and decrease vaccine response.

Specifically, today’s complaint alleges that the routine use of AFFF at U.S. military and other facilities throughout New Jersey over time caused the contamination of public and private drinking water sources that provide drinking water to those facilities, as well as to communities located near the military installations, where both military and civilians families live.

“During Commissioner McCabe’s tenure, New Jersey has become a national leader in responding to the scientific evidence of PFAS chemicals’ impacts on human health,” said Attorney General Grewal. “With today’s lawsuit, we are inviting the federal government to finally take the risks posed by PFAS chemicals as seriously as New Jersey does, and to take appropriate steps to protect the health of military and civilian families who live near our military bases.”

“Federally owned facilities in New Jersey that polluted the environment through the use of aqueous film-forming foams must do the right thing by properly investigating and remediating PFAS-contaminated water supplies,” said Commissioner McCabe. “Governor Murphy and I are proud of New Jersey’s accomplishments in leading the nation by taking strong health- and science-based actions to protect the health of our residents from PFAS chemicals. Through this legal action, we are demanding that the federal government follow New Jersey’s lead.”

Affected U.S. military facilities listed in the complaint include Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL), a tri-service, joint-installation military complex made up of McGuire Air Force Base, the Naval Air Engineering Station-Lakehurst, and Fort Dix Army Base. More than 45,000 active duty, guard, reserve, family members and civilian personnel live and work on and around JBMDL. The combined population of municipalities surrounding JBMDL is approximately 600,000 people. Also listed in the complaint are the Naval Weapons Station Earle in Monmouth County, and the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Trenton.

Among other demands made in today’s lawsuit, the State asserts that the United States should be required to address  contamination of drinking water supplies when present above New Jersey’s own safe drinking water standards for PFOS and PFOA – a maximum contaminant level of 13 parts-per-trillion for PFOS, and 14 parts-per-trillion (ppt) for PFOA – instead of using the significantly higher federal standard of 70 ppt. Limited sampling of drinking water supplies in the area around JBDML has identified, so far, three private drinking water wells with combined levels of PFOS and PFOA well in excess of even the federal limit – ranging from 152 ppt to 1,688 ppt.

The excessive PFAS levels can be traced to the use of AFFF products at federal facilities. AFFF products are mixed with water to form a foam solution, which is then used to extinguish fuel and other flammable liquid fires. Spraying a fire with AFFF creates a film that coats the fire, blocking its oxygen supply and preventing re-ignition. 

According to the State’s complaint, the U.S. government is one of the nation’s largest users of AFFF, with its usage dating back to the 1970s, when it was employed for firefighter training activities and to extinguish fuel-based fires at federal government facilities.

AFFF is discharged directly on the ground and/or tarmac during emergencies, as well as during training exercises, and ultimately reverts from foam to a liquid solution. In liquid form, AFFF travels to surrounding groundwater, causing contamination onsite and also migrating offsite to contaminate nearby wells.

Today’s complaint notes that, in addition to AFFF’s routine use in suppressing fires at U.S. military bases, additional, inadvertent discharges of AFFF have occurred – and additional releases of PFOS and PFOA have taken place – at U.S. military facilities through the testing of equipment, equipment malfunctions and “other incidental releases.”

Among other things, today’s lawsuit seeks to recover costs to the State associated with DEP’s investigation of the PFAS contamination caused by U.S. military installations, as well as expenditures made by the State or to be made by the State to remediate the contamination.

The complaint also seeks a court order requiring the federal government to remediate the affected areas to levels that comply with State safe drinking water and water quality standards for PFOS and PFOA, conduct medical monitoring of residents whose drinking water supplies have been contaminated in excess of those levels, and provide alternative water supplies to New Jersey residents whose drinking water has been contaminated. The complaint is being filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, which is handling litigation from around the country relating to AFFF, but the case may ultimately be decided in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Deputy Attorney General Gwen Farley, of the Environmental Enforcement and Environmental Justice Section in the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group, handled this matter on behalf of the State.

Asbury Park Teen Sentenced To 10 Years For Aggravated Assault In Shooting Near Brick Memorial High School In 2019

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 14, 2021, Alonzo Legrande, 18, of Asbury Park, was sentenced by the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, P.J.Cr.P, to ten years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1).  This sentence is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2., meaning that Legrande will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility.  Additionally, Judge Daniels sentenced Legrande to ten years NJSP relative to his previously entered guilty plea to Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a.  The sentences will run concurrently.  Legrande entered his guilty plea to both charges on September 17, 2020 before Judge Daniels.  Legrande’s guilty pleas were contemplated in connection with his voluntary waiver of the Family Court’s jurisdiction in this matter, and his further agreement to be charged and prosecuted as an adult in Criminal Court. 

On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at approximately 1:45 p.m., Brick Township Police were summoned to Brick Memorial High School for a report of a student who had sustained a gunshot wound.  Investigation revealed that the student was walking home from school with three friends when he was shot approximately one-quarter mile away from Brick Memorial; he then ran back to the school for help.  As a precaution, Brick Township Police and school officials locked down the high school as well as neighboring schools before determining there was no immediate danger to students.  The victim was treated at Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township and released.

As part of their investigation, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office reviewed video surveillance footage from nearby residences.  The video surveillance depicted Legrande, who was 17 years-old at the time, and Luis Rivas, who was also a juvenile, acting together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting.  Further investigation revealed that Legrande was, in fact, the individual who fired the weapon.  He was apprehended on October 23, 2019, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension.  Rivas, who likewise agreed to be prosecuted as an adult, previously pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), and was sentenced by Judge Daniels on October 2, 2020 to four years NJSP subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act.

“Our law enforcement partners at the local, county, state and federal levels displayed tremendous teamwork and cooperation in connection with this very thorough investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.  “As a result of their exceptional efforts, both Rivas and Legrande been held accountable for their brazen lawlessness with these state prison sentences,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Chief Juvenile Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Pierro and Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski who handled the case on behalf of the State. Additionally, Prosecutor Billhimer is grateful for the hard work and persistence of all of the law enforcement agencies involved in securing this these state prison sentences for Rivas and Legrande:  Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit; Brick Township Police Department; Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit; Toms River Township Police Department; Lakewood Township Police Department; Bay Head Borough Police Department; Point Pleasant Beach Police Department; Asbury Park Police Department; Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Monmouth County Emergency Response Team; Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office; New Jersey State Police; New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center; and the United States Marshals Service. 

UPDATE: Bomb scare shuts down part of South Olden Avenue in Hamilton

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Click here to see MidJersey.News’ previous story: BREAKING: Hamilton Police investigating possible bomb situation

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): On January 14, 2021, at approximately 2:00 PM, Hamilton Police Officers were detailed to a residence on the 800 block of S. Olden Avenue on a suspicious item located in the residence.  Responding officers observed a cell phone picture from the owner of the residence, of what appeared to be an explosive device in their tenants’ bedroom.  

The New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit and a Mercer County Sheriffs’ Bomb Detection Dog was dispatched to the seen, as well as detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutors Office. The residence was then cleared of the suspicious device.  Upon further inspection of the item, it was determined that it was an imitation explosive device.   

No criminal charges were filed in this case.

Hamilton Police Detective Nicholas Schulte, of the Criminal Investigations Section, was assigned this investigation.  Detective Schulte can be contacted at (609) 689-5825 or via email at

NJ Sharing Network Foundation Announces New Board Officers to Advance Life-Saving Mission

January 14, 2021

The NJ Sharing Network Foundation  Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the election of its 2021-2022 Board Officers to lead its strategic efforts to increase the number of lives saved through innovative research, family support, public awareness and education about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Effective January 1, 2021, the new officers include:

Chair – Christopher J. Bautista of Spring Lake Heights, NJ

Christopher J. Bautista first became involved with NJ Sharing Network in 2016, shortly after his son Luke passed away at age 15 and donated his heart, both kidneys, liver and pancreas to save the lives of five people. This past year, Bautista served as Chair of NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Celebration of Lifein Long Branch. He used his advanced web development and event management skills to spearhead an online program that inspired thousands of viewers from 18 different countries, 38 states, and all across New Jersey, making it one of our state’s largest online community events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bautista and his family also created Team Luke, a 5K team that has raised nearly $300,000 since 2016 to support the NJ Sharing Network Foundation.

Bautista is the Director of Digital Services at altered image in Matawan, NJ. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he was the first basketball manager/player in NCAA Division 1 history.

Vice Chair – Jane A. Buckiewicz of Point Pleasant, NJ

Jane A. Buckiewicz has served as a member of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board since 2018 and currently serves as Chair of the Annual Golf Classic & Tennis Tournament to honor the memory of her son Dan, who passed away in 2009 and saved the lives of three people through organ donation and enhanced the lives of 70 more through tissue donation. Thanks to Buckiewicz’s leadership, this year’s event raised more than $150,000. Buckiewicz and her family also honor Dan with a team at the 5K Celebration of Life. Team Buck has participated every year since the inception of the event in 2011, raising more than $115,000.

Buckiewicz is retired after serving as Vice President of Finance and Human Resources at Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd. in Wilton, CT. She earned an MBA from Pace University and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.

Vice Chair – Ron Oswick of Freehold

Ron Oswick recently commemorated the 25th anniversary of his wife Tanya’s life-saving heart transplant by speaking at the 22nd Annual Golf Classic & Tennis Tournament. Oswick has been a member of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board since 2018. The Oswick’s also celebrate Tanya’s gift of life with a team at the 5K Celebration of Life. Their team, Second Chance, has participated since the inception of the event in 2011, and they have raised more than $65,000.

Oswick is a Senior Operations Analyst at Seix Investment Advisors in Park Ridge, NJ. He earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Management at Loyola College in Maryland.

Treasurer – Bhavna Tailor of Clifton, NJ,

Bhavna Tailor has served on the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board since 2015 and is a tireless advocate for organ and tissue donation. With 25 years of experience in education, Tailor is Vice President of Operations at Eastwick College & HoHoKus Schools directly assisting the president, overseeing marketing and technology, and managing the day-to-day operations to ensure the campus runs smoothly. Tailor plays a key role in leading Eastwick College’s student and community education programs that work throughout the year to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation.

Tailor serves on the Board of Trustees for Eastwick College and the Essex and Newark Workforce Investment Board. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU). She began her career in Nutley at the HoHoKus School of Rets Institute as a Financial Aid Officer, serving as Career Services Advisor, Corporate Director of IT and School Director.

Secretary – Elizabeth Stamler of Scotch Plains, NJ

Elizabeth Stamler is a lifelong resident of Scotch Plains, NJ, where she serves as an elected member of the Township Council and as Deputy Mayor for 2021. Stamler has been touched by organ and tissue donation in more ways than one. Her brother, aunt and father, the late Union County Prosecutor John H. Stamler, each received a life-saving heart transplant. Her other brother later passed away and gave the gift of life as a tissue donor, enhancing the lives of over 30 people. Stamler is a longtime volunteer at NJ Sharing Network and has served on the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees for four years.

Stamler is employed as a Procurement Specialist with Union County Emergency Services. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting from New Jersey City University and a certificate in Public Administration from Kean University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from The College of New Jersey.

The NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees is comprised of a diverse group of individuals from both public and private sectors, many of whom have been touched by donation, including donor families and transplant recipients.

“Chris, Jane, Ron, Bhavna and Elizabeth are all dedicated volunteers and advocates who hold a true passion for organ and tissue donation,” said Elisse E. Glennon, Executive Director, NJ Sharing Network Foundation. “They are respected leaders who bring a wealth of diverse experience, talent and expertise in their fields to further our mission to save and enhance lives.”

About the NJ Sharing Network Foundation

The NJ Sharing Network Foundation is committed to help increase the number of lives saved through innovative research, family support, public awareness and education about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

About NJ Sharing Network

NJ Sharing Network is the federally designated non-profit organization responsible for recovering organs and tissue for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. With headquarters in New Providence, NJ, the organization is part of the national recovery system, serving the 110,000 people on the national waiting list. NJ Sharing Network was selected by NJBiz as one of the state’s “Best Places to Work” for the third consecutive year. To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit

BREAKING: Hamilton Police investigating possible bomb situation

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Click here to see MidJersey.News’ updated story: UPDATE: Bomb scare shuts down part of South Olden Avenue in Hamilton

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news story from on scene and radio reports. Once official information is available, the story will be updated and corrections will be made

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Hamilton Police along with New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad responded to the area of South Olden Avenue and Liberty Street around 2:00pm.

A source close to the investigation told MidJersey.News that police received a call for some sort of bomb threat in the vicinity, which called for an explosive response incident.

Police have evacuated the area and roads have been shut down until they figure out further. Hamilton Fire Police also assisted in shutting down the roads.

Police were also seen investigating two individuals at South Olden Avenue and Ellwood Street after they rolled up to the scene on bicycles, however it is unknown at this time if they are related to the situation.

The area is still shut down as of 4:45 pm.

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news story from on scene and radio reports. Once official information is available, the story will be updated and corrections will be made.

BREAKING: Inmate Suffers Chemical Burns At Mercer County Correctional Center

January 14, 20221

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 1:00 pm, Hopewell EMS and Hopewell Fire Departments were detailed to the Mercer County Correctional Center at 1750 River Road for a victim with chemical burns to the face. A New Jersey State Police helicopter was requested to fly an inmate with chemical burns to a trauma center. NJSP North Star helicopter responded and picked up the patient for transpor.

A Mercer County spokes person told MidJersey.News this afternoon that they could confirm an incident took place a short while ago involving an inmate scalded from an unknown substance. The victim suffered burns and is being airlifted to a hospital. The matter is under investigation.

This is a breaking news story check back for further details when released.

Hamilton Township Free Virtual Job Fair Announced for March 16

January 14, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Jeffrey Martin and the Hamilton Township Economic Development Advisory Commission (HTEDAC) will offer a FREE Virtual Job Fair for residents seeking employment in the greater Hamilton Township area. The Virtual Job Fair will showcase job openings from a range of employers in various fields and skillsets, including representatives from Amazon, UPS, FedEx, local labor unions, and area small businesses. The Virtual Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, March 16, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

“In these challenging economic times, we are thankful to the Commission for finding an innovative way to help residents learn about local employment opportunities as well as provide an outlet for our businesses and vendors to fill their vacancies,” said Mayor Martin. “Hamilton is a vibrant community with businesses large and small and an eager workforce. I look forward to welcoming all to this Job Fair.”

The Virtual Job Fair will be held using Hop-in, a virtual meeting platform accessible in your internet browser without additional software. Job Seekers will log-in to full-group sessions, then select from Company Showcase sessions with career opportunities in Healthcare, Construction, Professional Services, Information Technologies, Project Management, Courier, and Customer Services.

“Mayor Martin, the HTEDAC, and our partners are working diligently to build a thriving workforce for Hamilton Township. Offering a Virtual Job Fair allows Hamilton Township residents access to numerous job opportunities in a safe and easy way,” said HTEDAC Chairperson Lori Danko.

Represented companies will be available to discuss their open positions and answer questions in a face-to-face video environment, as well as collect resumes from prospective employees.

HTEDAC is currently seeking additional companies interested in participating and has available event sponsorship opportunities. Questions and sponsorship inquiries can be directed to HTEDAC Vice-Chairperson Gretchen DiMarco at

Further information registration for the Virtual Job Fair can be found online at:

The Virtual Job Fair is part of the Hamilton Township Economic Development Advisory Commission’s work to support economic development across the community. HTEDAC is an official municipal government commission comprised of volunteers, serving as an advisory body to the Mayor and Township Council through interaction with the Department of Economic Development.

Man arrested after burglary of Trent Jewelers in Hamilton

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): On January 14, 2021 at approximately 1:57 AM, Officers were detailed to Trent Jewelers located at 16 Edinburg Road on a report of a burglary in progress.  Witnesses had heard a loud bang and saw a suspect crawl through the bottom of a smashed out front glass door.  They then saw the suspect exit the business and followed the suspect to the area of Brighton Avenue where he entered a vehicle.  Officers arrived on scene and located a black Honda Accord on Corson Avenue leaving the area.  They conducted a motor vehicle stop and found the driver to have six watches in his pocket and seven watches in his vehicle all with the Trent Jeweler price tags on them.  He was placed under arrest.

The male was identified as Kevin Baksany, 35, of Hamilton.  He was charged with Burglary, Theft, Criminal Mischief, Possession of Burglar’s Tools and Obstruction.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Brian Davis of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-689-5823 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Detectives Arrest Trenton’s H-Block in Operation Eight-Ball

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Six-Month Investigation Yields 18 Arrests, Guns, $228,000 in Drugs

TRENTON (MERCER): Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri today announced that a six month, multi-jurisdictional investigation of narcotics distribution and violent crime in the  Mercer County area has culminated with the arrest of 18 individuals and the seizure of  approximately 1,000 grams of heroin, 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of  marijuana, 11 guns, six vehicles and more than $22,000 in cash.  

“Operation Eight-Ball was an enormous investigative endeavor and as a result, many  violent offenders have been taken off of the street,” said Prosecutor Onofri. “I cannot  thank our many law enforcement partners enough for their dedication and assistance in  providing safer neighborhoods for the residents of Trenton and Mercer County.” 

“Our law enforcement challenges this year required a coordinated plan, and I’m thankful  for the city, county, state, and federal officers who stepped up to make Trenton a safer  place to live,” said Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley. “In just this operation alone,  their hard work yielded multiple firearms, high-capacity magazines, kilograms of  narcotics, and more than 15 arrests, six of which are connected to several homicides.  This multi-tiered response awaits any criminal group that seeks to plague our streets with  drugs and violence.”

“This investigation makes clear the violence associated with drug trafficking,” said Susan  A. Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey  Division. “Those targeted in this investigation brought violence and misery to the residents  of Mercer County. Their arrests have made the community safer, and DEA will continue  to work with our partners to pursue those who violate the law.” 

“In the spring of 2020, as the number of shootings and homicides in Trenton began  increasing at an alarming rate, we set out to expose trends and connections that might  be responsible for triggering the uptick in violence,” said Prosecutor Onofri. 

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and  the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, along with the Drug Enforcement  Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation,  and many state, county and local police agencies, began their hard-hitting investigation  a short time later and dubbed the job “Operation Eight-Ball,” representing the eight-ball  logo used by Trenton’s H-Block, a violent criminal street gang responsible for numerous  shootings and murders in the city. According to Prosecutor Onofri, the initial investigation  focused on the alleged drug activities of H-Block, and through informant information,  controlled buys, surveillances and intelligence, authorities were able to obtain and  execute more than 40 warrants of individuals, vehicles and locations in New Jersey and  Pennsylvania.  

On November 4, 2020, search warrants were executed and arrests were made as this  investigation progressed. On this day, an undercover officer made arrangements to  purchase a quantity of heroin from Joseph Kaite. After conducting the narcotics  transaction with the undercover detective at a gas station on North Olden Avenue in  Trenton, detectives attempted to arrest Kaite, however, he fled in his vehicle. When  detectives attempted to stop Kaite, he collided with a police vehicle causing heavy  damage to both vehicles. He then attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended after a  brief struggle. Also arrested inside the vehicle were Vincent Bowman and Zaire Jones.  Search warrants related to the investigation were subsequently executed and detectives  located 30 bricks of heroin and a shotgun. At an apartment on Beakes Street in Trenton,  detectives located evidence related to murder of Derek Colley that resulted in homicide  charges being filed against Kaite and Tabika Hale. 

The investigation continued into 2021 and last week, search warrants were executed at  locations in Trenton and Ewing, New Jersey, and Bristol and Morrisville, Pennsylvania.  Prior to the execution of these warrants, surveillance officers followed Deshawn Abner as  he traveled by cab from Bond Street in Trenton to the Extended Stay Motel on Route 1 in  West Windsor where Abner and a second individual, identified as Aziz Stroman, were

observed searching a wooded area around the hotel. After searching the area for about  30 minutes, Abner was seen retrieving a box containing 210 bricks of heroin from the  bushes in the hotel parking lot. After retrieving the package, Abner entered the Mercedes  Benz Stroman had arrived in, and the two men departed the area. Arrest teams converged  on the area and both Abner and Stroman were eventually detained after attempting to  flee. A search warrant for Stroman’s Mercedes Benz was obtained and detectives located  210 bricks of heroin on the front passenger floor. Both Abner and Stroman were charged  with first-degree narcotic offenses. 

After Abner and Stroman were taken into custody, detectives contacted officers in Pennsylvania who had an individual identified as Ricardo Moise under observation.  Through the investigation, authorities had pinpointed Moise as the supplier of heroin to  North Trenton. At that time, Moise was seen moving items out of his apartment on Beaver  Street in Bristol Township, and detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bristol Borough  Police Department, arrested him for outstanding warrants as a result of distributing 75  bricks of heroin to an undercover officer in the spring of 2020. Search warrants were  subsequently executed at related locations. 

According to Prosecutor Onofri, the total retail value of the confiscated drugs is $228,000.  The heroin is valued at $60,000; the methamphetamine is valued at $100,000; and the  marijuana at $68,000. 

In addition to the narcotics, authorities also seized 11 guns, six vehicles and  approximately $22,000 in cash. Approximately 24 bank accounts in connection to the investigation were frozen and continue to be investigated by the Mercer County  Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit. 

As a result of this cooperative investigation, the following arrests were made with the  listed charges:  

Ricardo Moise, 31, Bristol, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Deshawn Abner, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses

Daishawn Dickerson, 30, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Aziz Stroman, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses

Zaire Jones, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy 

Vincent Bowman, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy 

Kashawn Batts, 33, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses

Jaquane Leonard, 32, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses

Joseph Kaite, 19, Trenton – Homicide, numerous narcotic and weapons offenses

Tabika Hale, 26, Trenton – Homicide and weapons offenses 

Aniyah Boone, 20, Bensalem, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Casimer Phillips, 22, Newtonville – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Kevonte Bivens, 23, Montgomery, Alabama – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Aleque Williams-Dixon, 21, Blackwood – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Prince Attoh, 20, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses 

Additionally, information obtained during Operation Eight-Ball directly linked Tyzir Hamilton, 19, Treizon Thompson, 20, and Darnell Davis, 19, to the murders of William  Irizarry and Julius Vargas. Arrest warrants for the three defendants were obtained in  October 2020 and search warrants were also executed at several locations, which led to  the recovery of several weapons. 

Operation Eight-Ball developed over six months of investigation. It initiated with the  Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, and received support and resources  from 16 additional agencies including: 

  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central
  • Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bucks County District Attorney’s Office (PA)
  • Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ewing Police Department
  • Hamilton Police Department
  • Lawrence Police Department
  • Princeton Police Department
  • Robbinsville Police Department
  • Trenton Police Department
  • West Windsor Police Department
  • Bristol Borough Police Department (PA)
  • The College of New Jersey Police Department

In the interest of investigative security and pursuant to established court requirements,  the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is limited in discussing specific details regarding  the ongoing investigation and the alleged conspiracies. Despite having been charged, all  persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court  of law.