TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko, told MidJersey.news that tonight, around 6:47 pm, officers responded to the 100 block of Walnut Avenue after receiving a report of shots fired.
While investigating, the officers were informed that 3 victims arrived at Capital Health Regional Medical Center.
Two adult women and one adult man were struck by gunfire. They are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The incident is being investigated by the Trenton Police Shooting Response Team. Anyone with information regarding this or any crime is asked to call our anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784)
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Trenton Fire Department responded a fire on Passaic Street around 2 pm. Firefighters found a fire on the 2nd story of a three story building and quickly knocked the fire down. No further information is available about the fire.
Over 2.7 Million New Jerseyans are Fully Vaccinated and Over Four Million Have Received Their First Shot
Changes Will Include Higher Outdoor Gathering Limits, Increased Capacity at Outdoor Venues and Indoor Catered Events, and Guidance for Graduations and Proms
April 26, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today announced the easing of restrictions for a variety of activities and higher outdoor capacity limits, effective May 10. The changes, which include higher outdoor gathering limits, higher large venue outdoor capacities, higher maximum capacities for private catered events, and more, come as COVID-19 metrics are on the decline and as more New Jerseyans continue to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
“Our robust COVID-19 vaccination program is starting to show results through lower COVID-19 case metrics including a decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” said Governor Murphy. “This allows us to take steps so that New Jerseyans can have a much more normal summer including allowing for students to celebrate important milestones and events like graduations and proms in-person. We hope to announce further reopening steps in the coming weeks as more and more state residents get vaccinated.”
“The continued cooperation with public health preventive measures and increasing vaccination rates among New Jersey residents allows for this easing of restrictions in the state,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “We encourage all residents 16 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine. It will not only protect you, but it will help us drive down community spread, so we can reopen the state further.”
The changes include:
The outdoor gathering limit will be raised to 500 persons from 200 persons. COVID-19 metrics will continue to be evaluated with the hope of raising the limit again, perhaps considerably, prior to Memorial Day.
Large Venue Outdoor Capacity
Outdoor capacity limits will be raised to 50% capacity for venues with 1,000 fixed seats or more. The current limit is 30% capacity for venues with 2,500 fixed seats or more. All attendees at these events are required to be six feet apart from other attendees, except that individuals who purchase or reserve tickets together may be seated together, but must be six feet away from all other groups or individuals in all directions.
Maximum Capacity for Indoor Certain Indoor Activities
Capacity limits for indoor private catered events, including proms, will be raised to 50% capacity of the room in which the event is being held with a maximum of 250 individuals. The current limit is 35% capacity of the room in which the event is held with a maximum of 150 individuals. These events must continue to follow all indoor dining protocols.
The limit for political events, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and performances occurring indoors will similarly increase to 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 individuals. Indoor religious services will continue to operate at 50% capacity, without a numerical cap.
Dance Floors at Indoor Catered Events
Dance floors will be permitted to open at indoor private catered events, including proms with masking and social distancing requirements in place. Dance floors will remain closed at bars and other related businesses, such as nightclubs.
Graduations and Proms
Schools and universities will be able to utilize the newly-raised outdoor gathering and large venue capacity limits to hold more robust graduation ceremonies. Proms will benefit from the increases to indoor private catered event capacity and the allowance of dance floors at such events. The Department of Education (DOE) and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) will be issuing guidance to assist schools and institutions in preparing for these end-of-year events.
Carnivals and Fairs
Effective May 10, carnivals and fairs are explicitly permitted to operate at outdoor amusement business capacity limits, which currently stand at 50% capacity.
An Executive Order and guidance will be issued on both day and overnight camp operations on Wednesday, April 28th.
City to Resume Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations Wednesday
April 26, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that the City will be offering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at evening and weekend clinics this week in order to make the vaccine more accessible to individuals who cannot take off from work or school.
The vaccine clinics will be held at the following sites in Trenton this week:
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Unity Square Park, Hamilton Ave & Division St (Johnson & Johnson)
Thursday, April 29, 2021, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Iglesia Pentecostal Assemblies, 50 N Clinton Ave (Moderna)
Friday, April 30, 2021, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Iglesia Pentecostal Assemblies, 50 N Clinton Ave (Moderna)
Saturday, May 1, 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Trenton Firehouse, 244 Perry St, Trenton (Moderna)
The vaccines are available to all Trenton residents, age 18 and older. No appointment required. The lines will be outside, so residents should dress appropriately just in case there are wait times.
According to the N.J. Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended lifting the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The federal agencies have stated that they have “…confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19” and that “…potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.”
As such, the City of Trenton will resume offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at this Wednesday’s clinic and to homebound residents across Trenton. Johnson & Johnson vaccines are ideal for the homebound initiative because they are easier to transport and require only one appointment. The City had been using Moderna to continue the homebound campaign while federal agencies reviewed the Johnson & Johnson version.
Homebound residents or their relatives can call (609) 815-2180 or email email@example.com to schedule an in-home vaccine appointment. City medical staff will wait 15 to 30 minutes with each patient after administering the vaccine to monitor for side effects.
Previously, the CDC and the FDA reviewed data involving six reported cases – among nearly seven million doses administered in the U.S. – in women between the ages of 18 and 48 who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. In these cases, a rare type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets.
Both the CDC and FDA have concluded that these adverse events are extremely rare. The City of Trenton has not heard of any similar reactions from the Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered by Trenton health personnel.
As always, individuals who have received the vaccine and develop abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
The city’s ongoing vaccination efforts are made possible by continuous support from the Trenton Health Team, the Henry J. Austin Medical Center, the Mercer County Board of Social Services, Trenton Housing Authority, Mercer County Meals on Wheels and the Trenton Council of Civic Associations. The Mayor offered special thanks to the Latino Merchants Association of New Jersey for helping organize Wednesday’s event on short notice.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–NEPTUNE, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and unlawfully possessing a machinegun, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Davon Harley, 30, of Neptune City, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an indictment charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of unlawful possession of a machinegun. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed today and statements made in court:
In February 2020, a Neptune City Police officer confronted Harley, a previously convicted felon, who was arguing with others in the yard of an apartment complex. Harley fled through the apartment complex into neighboring properties and discarded a handgun that, upon inspection, had been altered to fire exclusively in fully automatic mode. The weapon had a magazine capable of holding 31 rounds of ammunition. Law enforcement officers, assisted by the Neptune Township and Asbury Park police departments, located Harley and the machinegun and magazine that Harley had discarded. The magazine contained 22 rounds of ammunition.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Harley to three years of supervised release.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai; officers of the Neptune City Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Matthew Quagliato; officers of the Neptune Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police James M. Hunt, Jr.; officers of the Asbury Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police David Kelso; officers of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Shaun Golden; and detectives of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Matthews of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
Defense Counsel: Mark G. Davis Esq., Trenton, New Jersey
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office became the first New Jersey state agency to make cryptocurrency seizures in two separate cases originating in 2017 and 2018. Now, in 2021, our Office is the first state agency to complete the forfeiture and liquidation of cryptocurrency assets from the 2018 case, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
“The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office leads from the front on innovative law enforcement strategies and practices necessary in the emerging new crypto world. No office is better suited to break that ground than our team of talented investigators,” Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.
The 2018 forfeiture is tied to an investigation by detectives from the Office’s Gang and Criminal Enterprise Unit; the Narcotics Strike Force; and the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit. In 2018, investigators executed search warrants at two locations in Long Branch utilized by Giddel Gonzalez-Estrada, 39, of Broadway in Long Branch. Seized at the two locations were three vehicles, about $32,000 in cash, approximately 500 grams of cocaine with a street value of about $50,000, a small amount of marijuana, a .22 cal. handgun, and large amounts of packaging, weighing materials and various paraphernalia used for the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics.
During the execution of the search warrants, financial documents were discovered. Upon further investigation, it was determined Gonzalez-Estrada maintained cryptocurrency in a United States-based exchange. The cryptocurrency was consequently frozen and subsequently seized after it was determined to be the proceeds of narcotics distribution activity stored as cryptocurrency assets. The cryptocurrency value at the time of seizure was approximately $57k. Our team successfully completed the process of asset liquidation for cryptocurrency seized and forfeited with $198,237.31 in net proceeds is being sent from Coinbase to the Monmouth County forfeiture account.
Gonzalez-Estrada pleaded guilty in 2019 to various drug charges and was sentenced to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison. A forfeiture complaint was filed, and a judgment was entered on August 5, 2019, by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas forfeiting the assets seized in the investigation to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
“I am proud of the work our investigators did uncovering these modern methods used to conceal assets derived from criminal activity in the cyberworld. This will serve as an effective template for the state law enforcement agencies in the cryptocurrency market – a place where we can expect proceeds from crimes to continue to be concealed,” Prosecutor Gramiccioni said.
The first crypto seizure for this office and for a New Jersey state agency occurred after the arrest of Terry Kou, 28, of Colts Neck, in late 2017, when this Office seized cryptocurrency assets valued at more than $200k. The value of that cryptocurrency is now estimated to be more than $1.25 million. Kou was later charged in 2019 with additional offenses last year following a two-year operation focusing on eradicating fraud and identity theft. The investigation dubbed “Operation Plastic Army” resulted in the arrests of 16 individuals, including Kou, who were involved in defrauding more than a dozen financial institutions. Kou’s case is still pending.
The Gonzalez-Estrada criminal prosecution was assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Merlin K. Thomas. The forfeiture portion of the case was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Costanzo, Director of the Forfeiture Section of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The local supply of blood and platelets, critical for patients needing surgery, during trauma situations or when receiving treatment for cancer, is dangerously low. To help stabilize and replenish the supply, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton, NJ, is hosting a community blood and platelet drive on Monday, May 12 from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm in the hospital’s Outpatient Auditorium on the first floor of Outpatient Services Building # 5.
“The blood supply has been strained and very unstable since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. After 14 months of not having access to many of our usual donor groups, the situation has become quite dire,” said Richard Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJUH Hamilton.
While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are strongly encouraged to help maintain physical distancing protocols. Blood and platelet donors may schedule an appointment by phone at 732-235-8100, ext. 221 or online at http://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org. Donors with questions about medical eligibility for donation can call 732-235-8100, ext. 248.
Blood collected during the drive will remain within the RWJBarnabas Health system, including the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Multiple protocols are in place to ensure the health and safety of donors, including pre-screening upon entry, mandatory masking and physical distancing of stations and enhanced disinfecting protocols of high-touch surfaces. All donors receive refreshments at the bedside, a “Life’s Essential” tee shirt and a chance to win a $50 gift card. Platelet donors also receive a $10 gift card.