TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–National Weather Service reports that there will be seasonably warm weather today with a high of 87F and passing shower in the southern half of the region.
Check out Air Now “Fire and Smoke Map” showing our area in relation to the forest fires out west. It does not seem as bad as last week but there could be enhanced sunrises and sunsets depending on how dense the smoke is at the time in the upper atmosphere. These maps were from the Air Now government website this morning.
BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Brick Township Chief of Police James Riccio announced that on July 26, 2021, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Brick Township Police responded to the parking lot of the ShopRite on Route 70 in Brick in reference to a male victim that had been stabbed in the parking lot. Responding officers found a 44-year-old male victim with apparent stab wounds to his back. The victim was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of his injuries where he is reported to be in critical but stable conditio
Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Riccio would like to stress that this is an active and ongoing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit. “There is no danger to the public at this time, our investigation indicates this was a targeted attack against the victim,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “We will release more information as it becomes available,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Anyone in possession of information related to this investigation is urged to contact Detective Lindsay Woodfield of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, extension 3989, or Detective Michael Bennett of the Brick Township Police Department at 732-262-1122.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin and Councilman Anthony Carabelli, Jr. welcomed Courtyard by Marriott with a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting on July 9th 2021. Also in attendance were Associate Director of Economic Development, Kate Kane, Chair of SHOP Hamilton, Jay Dugan, and President and CEO of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber, Hal English.
“We are excited to have Courtyard by Marriott open in Hamilton, expanding the accommodations we are able to offer travelers visiting our area both for business and leisure,” said Mayor Jeff Martin.
This is the second hotel that The Briad Group has brought to Hamilton Township, bringing the total number of hotels in Hamilton Township to four. The new hotel offers an upscale dining experience with a restaurant and bar onsite including a beautiful patio complete with lounge style furniture and fire pits. The Hotel also provides guests with a state of the art fitness center with peloton bikes, putting green turf and a salt water indoor pool. The new lobby experience offers engaging technology and inviting flexible spaces to work and relax including media pods. In addition, the hotel has a 624-square foot meeting room equipped with audio visual equipment.
The Briad Group, headquartered in Livingston, NJ, is best known for being experts in various divisions within the hospitality industry – their quick-service division operates Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurants; lodging, which develops and operates hotels under the Marriott and Hilton brands; and their newest ventures, unique rooftop and lounge experiences which include the Bradford Rooftop in Bridgewater, NJ, the Concourse Club in Wood-Ridge, NJ, and Techobesso and Love Story in San Diego, CA.
Philadelphia, PA. (July 26, 2021) – Dunkin’ and its greater Philadelphia-area franchisees, in partnership with Scholarship America, today announced the recipients of its twelfth annual Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program. The program helps high school seniors and college students in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware pursue a part-time or full-time undergraduate degree at the institution of their choice.
From over 900 applicants, Dunkin’ and Scholarship America selected 25 students to receive a $2,000 academic scholarship to an accredited two or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school of their choice for fall 2021. Dunkin’s Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program was open to current part-time and full-time undergraduate students and high school seniors. Dunkin’ awarded a total of $50,000 to the 25 recipients who were selected based on their academic records, demonstrated leadership skills, and overall commitment to their schools and local communities.
To date, the Dunkin’ Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program has awarded $500,000 in scholarships to 300 outstanding high school seniors and college students. The program was founded in 2009 by Dunkin’s Philadelphia-area franchisees as a way to ease the financial burden of college for students throughout the region.
“On behalf of my fellow Philadelphia franchisees, we are honored to award these 25 exceptional students with the 2021 Dunkin’ Philadelphia Regional Scholarships,” said Perry Shah, local Dunkin’ franchisee and Philadelphia regional advertising committee chairman. “We are proud to continue the tradition to further students’ educational goals in our community as well as celebrate a major milestone this year: providing over half a million dollars to our local students since the program’s inception in 2009!”
The 2021 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarship recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Cherry Street Pier. More details on the awards ceremony to come in the following weeks.
The 2021 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarship recipients are as follows: (Six South Jersey below out of 25 total) Photos provided by: Dunkin Scholarship Program:
Recipient: Abigail Smith
Hometown: Hammonton, NJ
High School: Hammonton High School
University: Stockton University
Bio: Abigail Smith is a recent graduate from Hammonton High School, where she was the National Honor Society Vice President. In addition, Smith was a Team Captain for Field Hockey and Track & Field and earned nine Varsity Letters in three sports throughout high school. In her free time, Abigail enjoyed participating in a variety of service-oriented clubs. This fall, Abigail will attend Stockton University, where she plans to pursue a degree in Health Sciences.
Recipient: Amanda Neve
Hometown: Browns Mills, NJ
High School: Pemberton Township High School
University: University of Miami
Bio: Amanda Neve is a recent graduate from Pemberton Township High School and Rowan College at Burlington County, Class of 2021, where she received her Associate’s Degree in Biology. Neve graduated with high honors in high school and college and graduated top 10 in her class at Pemberton Township High School. This fall, Amanda will attend University of Miami, where she plans to pursue a degree in Biochemistry And Molecular Bio.
Recipient: Raphael Littwin
Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ
High School: Cherry Hill High School West
University: University of Pennsylvania
Bio: Raphael Littwin is a recent graduate from Cherry Hill High School West, where he was the Valedictorian of his graduating class. Littwin was involved in Student Government, Peer Leaders, National Honor Society, and a member of the Varsity Volleyball Team. Raphael also held leadership positions throughout high school, including DECA Chapter President, Principal’s Advisory Council Member, Spanish Honor Society President, and Jewish Student Union President. This fall, Raphael will attend the University of Pennsylvania.
Cape May County
Recipient: Julia Knopp
Hometown: Ocean View, NJ
High School: Ocean City High School
University: Northeastern University
Bio: Julia Knopp is a recent graduate from Ocean City High School where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Knopp was a member of the National Honor Society and a 4-Year Varsity Spring Track Athlete. In her free time during the summer, Julia worked at an ice cream shop.
Recipient: Kelly Wei
Hometown: Sewell, NJ
High School: Washington Township High School
University: Brown University
Bio: Kelly Wei is a recent graduate from Washington Township High School. She held leadership roles during high school, including Class Charge of Class Council Executive Board, Asian American Club President, Yearbook President, Co-President of Freshmen Transition, Secretary of Business Education Honor Society. Wei was also a member of the National English Honor Society. Kelly was awarded Senior Hall of Fame recipient. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and boba. This fall, Kelly will attend Brown University, where she plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science.
Recipient: Alyssa Deevey
Hometown: Robbinsville, NJ
High School: Robbinsville High School
University: Ramapo College of New Jersey
Bio: Alyssa Deevey is a recent graduate from Robbinsville High School, where she was a four-year Principal Honor Roll Student. Deevey participated in Field Hockey and Lacrosse. Alyssa enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, the beach, community service, and church in her free time. Alyssa is a current employee at Dunkin’.
This fall, Alyssa will attend Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she plans to pursue a degree in Nursing.
Note: All photos provided by Dunkin Scholarship program.
EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—Police said, that on July 1, 2021, at 10:25 p.m. Ewing Township police responded to shots fire in the 300 Block of Berwyn Avenue. The first responding officers observed a male victim that appeared to be suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Police using information developed during the investigation, Detective Nicholas Muscente signed a criminal complaint against the alleged shooter, identified as Nydirah L. Leary of Trenton, NJ Leary is charged with Attempted Murder, Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, Possession of a Weapon, and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
With the assistance of the New Jersey State Police, Leary was subsequently arrested on July 24, 2021.
Anyone with any information concerning this incident is asked to contact Detective Nicholas Muscente at (609) 882-1313 x 7596 or Ewing Police Tip Line at (609) 882-7530, police say not to use the tip line for emergencies that require immediate response.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:20 a.m. Trenton Fire Department responded to 511 Centre Street for a house fire, a large column of smoke could be seen for miles. Upon arrival firefighters were met with heavy fire on the exterior of the structure that was extending into the attached 5 row homes. Firefighters knocked down the exterior fire and advanced hand lines inside, fire extended into the common attic area. After an aggressive interior attack firefighters were able to bring the fire under control saving severe damage to most of the row of homes.
Signal 22 responded to the scene for rehab with cold drinks and water due to the high heat and humidity. Surrounding township fire departments covered the city until crews were completed their assignment.
Note: originally stated was 2 alarm but was a 1 alarm plus extra not a full 2-alarm fire.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that two men have been indicted for shooting at the patrol vehicle of a Pemberton Township police officer seven years ago in the Sunbury Village section of Pemberton Township.
Tayron Brown, 24, of Trenton, was indicted on charges of Attempted Murder (First Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Murder (First Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree) and Aggravated Assault (Third Degree).
Brown’s co-defendant, Kavon Carter, 23, of Pemberton Township, was indicted on charges of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree) and Aggravated Assault (Third Degree).
The indictment was returned July 16 and signed by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be held soon in Superior Court. Brown is presently incarcerated in New Jersey state prison, and Carter is in the Burlington County Jail, both for unrelated offenses.
Brown and Carter were initially charged in September 2019, however the opportunity to seek an indictment was delayed because grand juries were not convened during the pandemic.
The investigation revealed that an officer was parked along Lemmon Avenue on September 24, 2014, when a bullet fired in his direction struck the roof of the marked patrol vehicle, approximately six inches above the officer’s head.
The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Pemberton Township Police Department. Brown and Carter are being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Mike Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force.
An indictment is an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 26, 2021, Marcus Samuels, 32, of South Toms River, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to ten years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), relative to the shooting death of Willie Love, 27, of Beachwood, that occurred in South Toms River on June 8, 2015. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Samuels will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Additionally, Samuels was sentenced to ten years NJSP as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2 and N.J.S.A. 2C:28-5a(1), and five years NJSP in connection with an unrelated charge of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b, relative to an incident that occurred in Seaside Heights on May 3, 2015. Samuels pled guilty to all charges before Judge Ryan on June 4, 2021. The sentences will run concurrently.
On June 8, 2015, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Officers of the South Toms River Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River for a report of a male having suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. The male was identified to be Willie Love, who later succumbed to his injuries at Community Medical Center.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and South Toms River Police Department revealed that Samuels – who was driving a 2004 Dodge Nitro – pulled alongside a vehicle being operated by Mr. Love which contained three passengers. Samuels then recklessly fired a handgun into Mr. Love’s vehicle, striking Mr. Love, which led to his death. Samuels turned himself into law enforcement in the presence of his attorney on June 12, 2015, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.
While Samuels was detained in the Ocean County Jail pending trial on these charges, he conspired with other inmates to influence a witness into retracting or changing a statement previously provided to law enforcement in connection with the investigation.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Chief Narcotics Assistant Prosecutor William Porter and Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Burke who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, South Toms River Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Science, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately resulting in Samuels’ state prison sentence.
22 Year Law Enforcement Veteran To Forfeit Public Employment
July 26, 2021
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County Corrections officer has pled guilty after shoplifting in Ocean Township and West Long Branch, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.
Suzanne Simone, 53, of Ocean Township, a 22-year-veteran of the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, pled guilty today before Judge Ellen Torregossa-O’Connor to fourth degree Shoplifting in connection with multiple instances where she failed to pay for items at local Target and Home Depot stores. Simone’s plea calls for her to pay restitution to both stores in a total amount of $1,320.90. Simone has also forfeited public office in New Jersey. She will receive non-custodial probation and is not allowed to return to either store.
This follows an investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office which revealed that on multiple occasions, Simone “skip scanned” items, essentially scanning multiple smaller items, and not scanning larger items or pretending to scan them and leaving the store without paying for them. In multiple instances, Simone was wearing her uniform while committing the theft. Some of the stolen goods were later recovered from her residence.
Simone is currently suspended from her position at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution. She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 24, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.
Simone is represented by Robert Holden Esq., of Shrewsbury.
Citizens may report concerns via the following: Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Corruption Tip Line – 855-7-UNJUST (855 786-5878); or E-mail at: email@example.com write “Corruption/Misconduct Tip” in the subject line.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced that the owner of an Ocean County real estate improvement company has been charged in connection with an alleged scheme to provide false payroll information in order to obtain lower premiums on workers’ compensation coverage.
Zechariah Greenspan, 37, owner of Mulberry Management, L.L.C. (“Mulberry Management”) in Lakewood, was indicted July 7, 2021 on second-degree charges of insurance fraud, theft by deception and misconduct by a corporate official for allegedly providing false and misleading statements to New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group in order to obtain lower premiums on the workers’ compensation insurance he is legally obligated to provide employees.
According to the indictment, between July 2016, and March 2018, Greenspan committed five or more acts of insurance fraud by submitting false documents, making false or misleading statements, and omitting material facts that misrepresented the amount of wages that Mulberry Management paid to its individual uninsured subcontractors, and that Mulberry Management had paid an insured subcontractor – ZG Holdings, L.L.C. (“ZG Holdings”), which he also owns – for subcontractor work.
Greenspan committed theft by deception by obtaining workers compensation insurance at a lower premium by significantly underreporting his payroll to individual uninsured subcontractors, and by submitting false records indicating Mulberry Management had paid ZG Holdings for subcontractor work and that ZG Holdings had sufficient workers’ compensation coverage for said work, when in fact, he knew that Mulberry Management had not paid ZG Holdings for subcontractor work and/or that ZG Holdings lacked sufficient workers’ compensation insurance for said work, according to the indictment.
Greenspan is charged with misconduct by a corporate official for using Mulberry Management and/or ZG Holdings to commit the aforementioned crimes, according to the indictment.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000.
Deputy Attorney General Melvina D. Fennell presented the case to the State Grand Jury for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor under the supervision of Private Insurance Bureau Chief Cheryl Maccaroni. Under the supervision of Lieutenant Anne Hayes, Investigator Thomas Andreopoulos coordinated the investigation with Analysts Terry Worthington and Jordan Thompson, along with Detective Matthew Armstrong.
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy Thompson noted that many cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On July 18, Conservation Police Officers Nicole Carman and Michael Bickerton investigated a group of four out-of-state individuals who were collecting freshwater clams from Doctors Creek in Allentown, New Jersey. This creek is in the immediate vicinity of a sewage treatment plant. The waterway is deemed condemned by NJDEP due to pollution, rendering shellfish dangerous to public health if consumed. Officers apprehended the individuals in possession of approximately 64,000 corbicula clams, which are an invasive species. Thanks to a call from an observant passer-by, these clams were seized before they could find their way into the food supply chain. Please contact the 24-Hour DEP Hotline at 877-WARN-DEP if you observe individuals collecting freshwater clams or mussels.
CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Two separate serious crashes on the NJ Turnpike in the area of Exit 8A left the North Bound outer “truck” lanes of the NJ Turnpike closed and traffic backed almost 10 miles to Exit 7A in Robbinsville.
Monroe Township Fire Rescue 23, Ladder 23, Engine 23, Tanker 23, Chief 23, Squad 57 and Monroe Twp EMS responded to the the NJTP for 2 separate calls. 1st call was for an overturned Commercial Vehicle in the NB Car Lanes. While responding, a 2nd call for a 2nd Commercial MVC with heavy entrapment just south of the first call was received. Crews worked quickly to free the driver from the vehicle.
MidJersey.news has reached out to NJ State Police for official information and when that becomes available the story will be updated.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Burlington County, New Jersey, man is expected to make his initial appearance today after being charged with trafficking over three kilograms of methamphetamine and illegally possessing unregistered firearms as a previously convicted felon, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Nicholas Layton, 41, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more methamphetamine, three counts of unlawful possession of unregistered firearms and one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He is scheduled to appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in Court:
In December 2018, Layton and an unnamed conspirator were driving separate vehicles from Arizona back to New Jersey. Both vehicles were the subject of a motor vehicle stop in Crawford County, Arkansas. Subsequent investigation revealed that the conspirator’s vehicle contained four wrapped bundles of suspected narcotics, later confirmed to be approximately three kilograms of methamphetamine. According to receipts located in both vehicles, Layton rented both cars and the cars traveled together through multiple states before being stopped in Arkansas. Both Layton and his conspirator were charged by the State of Arkansas in connection with the methamphetamine; Layton was released by authorities.
In May and June of 2019, Layton sold methamphetamine on three separate occasions to confidential informants under the surveillance of law enforcement in Pemberton and Mount Holly, New Jersey.
On July 17, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Layton’s residence in Mount Holly where they located:
1) a black “AR” style, 5.56 x 45mm semi-automatic rifle, having no visible serial number, which law enforcement later determined was a Privately Made Firearm (“PMF”);
2) a 9mm semi-automatic rifle, having no visible serial number, which law enforcement later determined was a PMF;
3) a firearm silencer, having no visible serial number, which law enforcement later determined was a PMF; and
4) eight “M-Class” explosive devices
On July 17, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at another residence associated with Layton in Southampton, New Jersey, where they located:
5) a Norcino, SKS type, 762 caliber, semi-automatic rifle (the “Norcino”), bearing serial number 244931DUP;
6) a 12-gauge caliber Browning shotgun (the “Browning”), bearing serial number 13324 S69; and
7) nine “M-Class” explosive devices
Layton was not found at either location during the execution of the search warrants. On or about Aug. 4, 2019, Layton was found at a residence in Marlton, New Jersey. At the time of his arrest, Layton was found in possession of approximately 200 grams of methamphetamine and an additional explosive device. The conspiracy and the possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine counts are punishable by a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a fine of $10 million; the possession of an unregistered firearm is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000; and the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and fine of $250,000.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Camden Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; the DEA Fort Smith Post of Duty under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley, Arkansas; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Toby C, Taylor, Newark Field Division; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina; and officers of the Arkansas State Police, under the direction of Chief William J. Bryant, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle S. Gasparian of the Criminal Division in Trenton
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Brian P. Reilly, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton
CAPE MAY, N.J. — The Coast Guard rescued seven people from a sport fishing boat beset by weather 69 miles southeast of Cape May Sunday.
A small craft advisory for the area indicated 4-to-6-foot seas with winds gusting up to 30 knots.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay received the initial report from Coast Guard Sector Virginia at 1:19 p.m., stating that a 40-foot sport fishing boat with seven people aboard had been beset by weather with seas reaching approximately 10 feet.
The crew of the vessel activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) when conditions continued to deteriorate. Coast Guard crews aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Station Indian River were launched to assist.
All seven people were hoisted and taken to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City where local EMS was standing by to assist.
“One of the scariest and most unpredictable places you can be is out on the water in a storm,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Petrenko, an operations specialist with the Sector Delaware Bay command center. “Fortunately, they had life jackets, a registered EPIRB and a radio, which they used to call for help. If any one of those pieces had been missing, we might not have been as successful as we were.”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:18 p.m. last night (July 25, 2021) the Hamilton Township Fire Department was dispatched to assist Hamilton Township Police Department in a search for a missing Hamilton Township person when splashing noises were heard in the water in Gropp’s Lake. Hamilton Township Fire Department responded and searched the lake with three boats and other firefighters searched the shore line. Hamilton Township Police searched the shore lines as well as other neighborhoods surrounding the lake. The New Jersey State Police was on I-195 in the area of the lake with several cars searching the highway.
At 1:00 a.m. NJ State Police were summoning a NJ State Police Helicopter and West Windsor Police was contacted for a drone to help with the search.
At 1:38 a.m. Hamilton Police requested EMS to respond to Tartear Drive the opposite side of I-195 from Gropp Lake. A person was found in the woods meeting the description for a person missing from Hamilton Township.
Patient located at 1:40 a.m. Hamilton Township fire telling boats to return to shore. EMS confirms patient located at 1:44 a.m.
This is a “Breaking News” report and once official information is received from Hamilton Township Police the story will be updated. Information contained in this report is from on scene reporting.
NOTE: This is a different incident than the missing person that was reported earlier that person has been located. No word on exactly what went on at the lake except for fire/ems radio traffic indicating they had a patient in the woods near the drain pipe for the lake.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Trenton Police, Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics were dispatched to the area of 58 Hudson Street near Tyler for a reported shooting victim at 9:28 p.m. Trenton EMS arrived on scene at 9:33 p.m. and packaged the patient and transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center at 9:46 p.m. EMS called for a “Trauma Alert” while en route to the hospital.
Updated information from TPD on 7/28/2021
Trenton police said that they responded to a male shot at 58 Hudson Street and found a male shot numerous times. Trenton Fire Department, TEMS and paramedics treated and transported the victim with non-life-threating injuries to Capital Health Regional Medical Center. Police located numerous casings and three vehicles were struck by gunfire. There was no suspect information available. Trenton Police Shooting Response Team is continuing the investigation with Detective Cipriano and Sergeant Garcia. Anyone with information is asked to contact Trenton Police Department.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On July 25, 2021, Hamilton Police were dispatched to the 300 block of Sharps Ln. on a missing juvenile. Officers were advised that 16 year old Joshua E. Stamat, was last seen at the residence by his mother at approximately 02:00 AM on this date. Further investigation revealed that Joshua Stamat may have made his way via the NJ Transit Rail Line to the Pennsauken Train Station, and then to the Philadelphia Train Station by 08:00 AM this morning. Possible destinations Joshua may be heading to, may be Wisconsin, Washington DC, or Ohio. Joshua Stamat may also utilize bus lines to travel to his destination.
Joshua E. Stamat is described as a white male, 5’11” tall, 145 lbs., pure white colored hair, reddish colored eyes, and was wearing black prescription sunglasses. Joshua was last seen wearing black pants, a black hoodie with “American Eagle” written in white lettering on the front, a black back pack, and black and red Nike sneakers. Joshua also walks with a slight limp. Joshua Stamat also uses the name Chad English.
Hamilton Police Detectives are asking for the publics’ assistance with any information regarding the whereabouts of Joshua Stamat. Anyone with information is asked to contact Juvenile Detective Stacy Pollard at (609) 581-4026 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Multiple people were injured after a crash involving two cars, Saturday afternoon.
The crash happened just before 5:00 pm at the intersection of West Park Avenue and Lafayette Avenue. Hamilton firefighters were dispatched to the scene for possible entrapment. Crews arrived and performed a “door pop” to free the a from the vehicle. Two people were transported to the hospital.
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.
EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector (RGV) Missing Migrant Program (MMP) assisted in the identification of a deceased Guatemalan migrant found in the Delaware River in New Jersey.
On June 30, 2020, an unidentified Guatemalan male was found deceased in the Delaware River. The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) requested assistance from RGV MMP with their efforts in identifying the subject. NJSP provided fingerprint images of the individual to the Border Patrol to begin the process.
Border Patrol’s database contains the biometric information for over 200 million people that are otherwise unavailable to other law enforcement agencies. MMP agents and the RGV Joint Forensic Center (JFC), successfully identify the male as Israel Mario Luciano-Alvarado. The successful identification was confirmed through collaboration with the family, via the Guatemalan Consulate.
This is only one of the many successes of MMP’s “reunification” mission. Although the program strives to save lives through the deployment of rescue beacons and location placards throughout the RGV’s area of responsibility, the successful identification of decedents provides closure to mourning families. The collaboration of our local, state, and federal partners is a force multiplier in successfully completing the mission of the Border Patrol as well as of many of the agencies we work with.
RGV Sector Chief Brian Hastings stated, “The dedication of this team shows the underlying commitment to challenging situations and compassionate efforts made by both MMP and the investigators with the NJ State Police.”
The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and report suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A tractor trailer hitting wires and pulling down utility poles is to blame for a street closure in Hamilton today.
The incident occurred just before 10:00 am. Multiple 911 calls were received by Hamilton and Robbinsville Police Departments stating that there was a serious crash on George Dye Road. Police arrived and located a Ferrari Foods truck that had struck wires between Route 33 and Nottingham Way. There were no reported injuries.
The section of George Dye Road was shut down for majority of the day while PSE&G responded to the scene for immediate repairs. At least two poles were damaged and multiple wires were brought down.
EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:00 p.m. a two vehicle rear end type crash occurred on Route 29 and Lower Ferry Road. Originally reported the next block towards Trenton near Afton Ave, the Trenton Fire Department was already on the road and responded over to the scene. EMS from Ewing Township and Capital Health paramedics were on scene treating a patient from the car that was rear ended at the traffic light. The person was transported to the local hospital but it appeared that there were no life-threatening-injuries in the crash.
The Ewing Township Police Department is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The City of Trenton today unveiled a banner on the front of City Hall celebrating Athing Mu, a Trenton native who is representing the United States in the 800-meter dash at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
The event took place on the front steps of City Hall this morning. Mayor Gusciora was accompanied by Trenton City Council, Senator Shirley K. Turner, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Assistant Superintendent Hope Grant, Mercer County Commissioner Samuel Frisby, and dozens of children from the Capital Area YMCA, along with Coach Al Jennings and Coach Bernice Mitchell, who coached Mu in high school.
“We are truly proud of Athing’s accomplishments, and she is a terrific inspiration to our youth,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Today’s event is a reflection of the Capital City’s unwavering support, and we will continue to cheer her on throughout the Games. Trenton makes champions, and the whole world will witness it next week in Japan.”
Athing Mu was born in Trenton and is a graduate of Trenton Central High School. She is a middle-distance runner who ran for the Trenton Track Club with Coach Al Jennings. Mu was named the 2020 National High School Indoor Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News.
She now attends Texas A&M, where she holds the U-20 Indoor 400m NCAA record of 49:57 and 800m (1:57:73). On June 27, Mu won her first US outdoors title in the final 200m of the 800m setting a world-leading record and securing the second-fastest time in American history with 1:5607. The combination of her 400m speed and the tactical acumen that she displayed at her qualifying race for the US Olympic team makes her a favorite to win gold in Tokyo.
The banner will hang outside the front of City Hall for the duration of the Olympics.
Police said that Sgt. Brodowski was first on scene and determined that Vehicle #1, a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze driven by a resident of Franklin Park, NJ, was traveling behind Vehicle #2, a 2018 Audi Q7. Vehicle #2, which was slowing for a red light, was rear-ended by Vehicle #1. Vehicle #1 left no traces of trying to stop or slow down prior to impact.
Driver #1 of the Chevrolet Cruze was found to be unconscious and injured upon arrival. Sgt. Brodowski had to break the driver’s side window in order to extricate Driver #1 from the wreckage and began life saving efforts. Driver #1 had been unrestrained and smashed his face into the front windshield and had no pulse and was not breathing.
Firefighters and EMS from West Windsor Emergency Services and Capital Health Paramedics arrived and took over the care of Driver #1.
Driver #1 was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center as responding First Responders were able assist the man 1 in regaining a pulse. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries to his head/face as a result of the collision.
Vehicle #2’s two occupants were uninjured in the collision.
The incident is still under investigation by the WWPD Traffic Unit. If anyone has any pertinent information to share, please contact Traffic Sgt. Bal at Bal@westwindsorpolice.com or (609) 799-1222.
Responding to the scene were: West Windsor Police Department, West Windsor Division of Fire & Emergency Services Squad #45, Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company Station #44, West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company Station #43, Princeton Emergency Services – First Aid and Rescue Squad, Capital Health Paramedics, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On Wednesday July 21, 2021, patrol officers responded to a neighborhood located off of Hawkin Road on the report of multiple burglaries to motor vehicles which had taken place between 4:50 am to 5:30 am.
A resident of Bane Lane reported that unknown suspect(s) entered 4 unlocked vehicles which were parked in the driveway and stole property valued in excess of $200.00. The property included loose change, a duffle bag and a purse which contained cash, a NJ driver’s license, credit cards and other personal identification.
A second resident of Bane Lane reported that his and a family member’s unlocked vehicles which were parked in the driveway were burglarized and property valued in excess of $800.00 was stolen. This included a pair of designer sunglasses and Apple air pods. Upon reviewing Ring doorbell video, it was observed that the suspect attempted to enter a third vehicle parked in the driveway but was unable to because it was locked. The video showed an unknown suspect wearing a blue sweatshirt with a hood, brown pants and white sneakers make entry to the vehicles. He possibly left in a white or gray colored passenger vehicle that was observed in the area.
A resident of Veronica Court reported that security video indicated that 2 unknown suspects had entered 2 vehicles which were parked in the driveway. It was reported that the only thing stolen from the vehicles was the key fob for one of them which had been left in the vehicle. The suspects were described as being a male with a stocky build wearing a blue sweatsuit and a skinny male wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a mask. A white 4 door vehicle, possibly a Honda Accord was observed in the area at the time.
The Jackson Police Department is once again asking residents to remove valuables from their vehicles and lock them. Do not leave the key fobs inside of the vehicle and call 732-928-1111 to report suspicious activity.
EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The East Windsor Township Police Department initiated the following police reports through Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Reminder defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
Obstruction of Justice
Location: Mercer Street/ Airport Road, East Windsor, NJ 08520
Time/Date: 12:20 PM, 7-15-2021
The officer was detailed to the area for a report of possible theft of construction equipment. The investigation revealed that the defendant was caught by the construction workers and unsuccessful in taking the equipment. Furthermore, the defendant provided false information to the officer, attempting to conceal his identity. The defendant has been charged and released pending court action.
Defendant: John Patrick Cassidy
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
19 Years of Age
Charges: Obstruction of Justice
Arresting Officer: PO Robert Galvin #106
Motor Vehicle Theft
Location: 150 Milford Road, East Windsor, NJ
Time/Date: 1:30 PM, 7-15-2021
The officer was detailed to the area for a report of a stolen motor vehicle. Investigation revealed that two (2) National Tree Company employees removed the car keys from an employee backpack and stole the vehicle from the warehouse parking lot. The vehicle was located in front of the defendant’s residence located in Ewing, NJ. The defendant’s have been charged pending arrest and court action.
Defendant: Danjulo O. Scott
22 Years of Age
Charges: Motor Vehicle Theft
Defendant: Hysson A. Jones
18 Years of Age
Charges: Motor Vehicle Theft
Arresting Officer: Detective Robert Davison #86
Location: Route 130 North/ Old Cranbury Road/ Days Inn
Time/Date: 8:51 AM, 7-21-2021
The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 130 North and Old Cranbury Road after observing a vehicle speeding. During the investigation, suspected crack/cocaine were located in the vehicle. Continued investigation led officers to the Days Inn where additional suspected crack/cocaine were located in the defendant’s hotel room. The driver and passenger were arrested and later released pending court action.
Defendant: Joshua Shane Martinez
New York, NY
24 Years of Age
Charges: Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in a Motor Vehicle
Defendant: Celine Marie Mendoza
24 Years of Age
Charges: Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance
HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–Hightstown Police were investigating a 9-1-1 call earlier for a missing teenager. It escalated around 5:50 p.m. when the Hightstown Fire Company was dispatched to the Peddie Lake in the area of Main Street for a “water rescue” due to the nature of the call mutual aid was dispatched from several area fire departments and rescue squads.
The search concentrated around the Peddie Lake Bridge on East Ward Street. Hightstown Police and Peddie Security searched the area and the banks of the lake and the school campus. Fire Departments deployed boats to search the area of the bridge. The Mercer County Sherriff’s Office searched with their drone.
After approximately a two hour search with boats, divers, drones and by foot along the lake nothing was found at the lake. The search was called off just before dark.
Responding departments include: Hightstown Fire Company, Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Plainsboro Fire Department, Trenton Fire Department, Hamilton Township Fire Department, West Windsor Fire Company, East Windsor Fire Company, Hightstown EMS, Robbinsville EMS, East Windsor EMS, Signal 22 and others.
Hightstown Police are continuing the investigation.
Update: Hightstown Police say they are investigating this as a false call. The investigation is still active and when more information becomes available they will let us know.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–West Windsor Police and West Windsor Emergency Services responded to a serious MVA on U.S. Route 1 near Carnegie Boulevard around 1:00 p.m. The crash also sent Capital Health Paramedics and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue squad to the scene. The victim was rushed to the hospital by medical personnel.
West Windsor Police sent a notice to avoid the area of Route 1 North Bound at Carnegie Boulevard for an accident investigation.
West Windsor Police are investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.
Once official information becomes available the story will be updated.