WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Around 4:10 p.m. the West Windsor Police Department and West Windsor Emergency Services responded to Old Trenton Road and Cottonwood Drive for an overturned vehicle. West Windsor and Princeton Junction Fire Companies were also dispatched to the scene but recalled due to no entrapment and no services needed. There were no injuries that needed transportation to the hospital reported in the accident.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Trenton, New Jersey woman today admitted distributing fentanyl that caused the death of a Monmouth county woman, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Tarashanna Blake, 33, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging her with one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl relating to the overdose death of a Monmouth County woman.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 15, 2018, a 39-year old woman from Englishtown, referred to in court as Victim-1, texted Blake seeking to buy heroin. Blake and Victim-1 discussed the “stamp” or “brand” of heroin Blake was selling and the purchase price. They agreed to meet at a location around Englishtown to complete the sale. Blake obtained the “CAMEL”-stamped heroin and traveled to the agreed upon location and sold to Victim-1 a controlled substance packaged like heroin, which was later determined to be fentanyl. That afternoon, Englishtown police responded to a location in Englishtown on a report of an overdose death of a female. Upon their arrival, Englishtown police discovered Victim-1, and in Victim-1’s possession were several wax folds of suspected heroin stamped “CAMEL” and empty wax folds stamped “CAMEL.” Laboratory analysis of these wax folds bearing the “CAMEL” stamp determined the substance to be fentanyl, a much more potent narcotic than heroin. An autopsy of Victim-1 found her cause of death to be acute fentanyl toxicity.
For distributing and possessing fentanyl, Blake faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and, because the offense resulted in death, she is subject to significant sentencing enhancements. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey; the Englishtown Police Department, under the direction of Peter S. Cooke Jr.; and Trenton Police Department’s Narcotics Task Force, under the direction of Acting Police Director Steve Wilson, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan L. O’Neill, of the Office’s Health Care Fraud Unit.
Defense counsel: Laura C. Sayler Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark
Charges Include Attempted Homicide and Aggravated Assault with a Gun
July 23, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Interim Police Director Steve E. Wilson today announced that from July 17, 2021 through July 21, 2021, the Trenton Police Department (TPD) arrested nine individuals and seized multiple shotguns and handguns with high-capacity magazines and hollow-point rounds.
Timothy Dearolf, 63, of Trenton, was arrested on July 17, 2021 and charged with making terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
At around 6:00 p.m. the TPD Street Crimes Unit (SCU) and patrol units went to 322 Rusling Street in response to a report of someone coming out of that building and threatening a Best Buy employee with a gun. During the investigation, detectives detained Dearolf while patrol officers spoke to the victim. A search warrant at the property produced a Mossberg Model 500 12 GA Pump Shotgun and a Harrington and Richardson Break-Action Style 12 GA Shotgun along with a green military style ammunition can containing an assortment of ammunition.
Caliph Stroman, 21, of Trenton, was arrested on July 17, 2021 and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a defaced firearm, unlawful possession of a high capacity magazine, hindering apprehension, obstructing the administration of law, and resisting arrest.
At around 2:00 p.m., while SCU Detectives were conducting an investigation in the area of 800 Greenwood Avenue, Stroman allegedly attempted to conceal himself while hiding a black cross-body bag that he was wearing. When detectives attempted to stop him, he fled on foot, discarded the bag and attempted to scale a fence. Stroman was unable to scale the fence and was apprehended. Officers searched the bag and found a defaced Canik Mod 2 TP9SA 9mm Semi-Automatic handgun, a high-capacity magazine, 18 rounds of ammunition, and $3,852 in cash.
Kevin Williams, 31, and Clyde Clark, 35, both of Trenton, were arrested on July 18, 2021. Williams was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a high-capacity magazine, and unlawful possession of hollow-point ammunition. Clark was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a high-capacity magazine, aggravated assault, and criminal mischief.
At around 1:00 a.m. SCU Detectives responded to the area of 613 Hoffman Avenue on a single round ShotSpotter activation. Williams and Clark were found in the area and detained. Williams allegedly had in his possession a Smith and Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun with a high-capacity magazine loaded with hollow-point ammunition. Clark was found with a Taurus Model G2C 9mm semi-automatic handgun with a high-capacity magazine loaded with ammunition. Officers also seized $3,611.00 in cash.
James L. Brown III, 18, and Jacquis L. McIntosh, 19, both of Trenton, were arrested July 20, 2021 and each charged with criminal attempt homicide, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school. Brown was also charged with obstructing the administration of law and resisting arrest.
Brown and McIntosh were arrested in connection with a murder attempt that occurred on North Anderson and Culbertson on May 21, 2021. On that date at approximately 10:00 p.m., the Trenton Communications Bureau received a call reporting several males fighting and a male shot. The victim was transported to Capital Health Regional Hospital and survived. When Brown and McIntosh were arrested on July 20, both were found in possession of a distributable amount of crack-cocaine.
Kaliek Merritt, 26, his brother Jefferson Merritt, 31, and Eva Rodriguez-Berrios, 29, all of Trenton, were arrested on July 21, 2021 and each charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of hollow-point ammunition. Kaliek Meritt was also charged with hindering apprehension.
At around 5:30 p.m., SCU detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop in the area of 623 Prospect Street for multiple violations. Kaliek Merritt, Rodriguez-Berrios and Jefferson Merritt were found to be in possession of a Ruger Model LCP .380 Auto Cal. semi-automatic handgun magazine loaded with hollow-point ammunition. All three occupants were taken into custody without incident.
Director Wilson credited SCU detectives under the direction of Captain Darren Zappley with the investigations leading to these charges.
These charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.