Day: November 4, 2021

Old Bridge Man Who Was Former Newark Police Officer Sentenced To 46 Months In Prison For Accepting Cash Payments From Brothel Owner In Exchange For Protection From Police Action And Failure To Report Cash On Federal Tax Return

November 4, 2021

NEWARK, N.J. – A former Newark police officer was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for soliciting and accepting cash payments from a brothel owner in Newark in exchange for protecting brothels from police action, and for failing to report those cash payments on his personal federal income tax returns, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Julio I. Rivera, 52, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to two counts of an indictment charging him with bribery (Count Six) and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false 2015 personal federal tax return (Count 13). Judge Arleo imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From September 2014 to August 2015, Rivera solicited and accepted cash payments from a Newark brothel owner (“Individual 1”) who ran brothels located on Lafayette Street and Emmet Street. In exchange for these cash bribes, Rivera performed official acts and violated his lawful duties for the benefit of Individual 1, including declining to arrest individuals who were committing and promoting prostitution, agreeing to protect these individuals from arrest by other Newark police officers, and agreeing to take adverse action against a competing brothel. Rivera collected between $40,000 and $95,000 in bribes in exchange for protecting those and other brothels in Newark.

Rivera also intentionally withheld information from his tax preparer regarding the cash bribes that he received, which caused Rivera’s filed federal tax returns for certain tax years, including 2015, to understate the total amount of income that Rivera received. Rivera stipulated that this misconduct resulted in a loss to the IRS of $15,000 to $40,000.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced Rivera to three years of supervised release, 1,000 hours of community service and ordered restitution of $17,408 and forfeiture of $79,941.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cari Fais of U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.


Defense counsel: Kristen Santillo Esq., New York

East Windsor Police Blotter Through November 3, 2021

November 4, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The East Windsor Township Police Department initiated the following police reports through Wednesday, November 3, 2021.

Receiving Stolen Property

Location: Route 130 South/Hankins Road Time/Date: 1:30 PM, 10/22/2021

The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop after observing the vehicle fail to observe a traffic signal. Investigation revealed that the license plate displayed on the vehicle was fictitious and the vehicle was reported stolen out of New York City. The driver was arrested and later released pending court action.



Shamari Robinson Bronx, NY

23 Years of Age

Receiving Stolen Property Failure to Observe Signal Fictitious Plates

Failure to Exhibit Driver’s License

Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Brian Rust

Drug Paraphernalia

Location: Twin Rivers Drive North Time/Date: 3:00 PM, 10/23/2021

The officer responded to a parking lot on Twin Rivers Drive North to assist an individual in locating his vehicle. The officers located the vehicle and observed drug paraphernalia in plain view. The officers conducted a search of the vehicle and recovered the drug paraphernalia. The individual was arrested and later released pending court action.



Brian Acevedo East Windsor, NJ 25 Years of Age

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe

Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Juan Polanco


Location: Route 130/Hickory Comer Road Time/Date: 11:00 PM, 10/24/2021

The officer responded to Route 130 south near Hickory Comer Road for a repmi of a vehicle driving on the rim. The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop after observing the vehicle driving on the rim. The driver exhibited signs of impairment and was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests. The driver was later released pending court action.

Defendant:             Stacy Hayes Jamesburg, NJ 49 Years of Age

Charges:                 DUI

Reckless Driving Careless Driving Unsafe Tires

Under the Influence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Juan Polanco

Disorderly Conduct Location: Colonade Motel

Time/Date: 6:05 PM, 10/25/2021

The officer responded to the parking lot of the Colonade Motel for a disturbance. The individual appeared intoxicated and was shouting obscenities at tenants and refused to return to his room.

The individual was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct and began to flee from the officer once handcuffed. The officer quickly regained control of the individual and transported him to police headquarters. The individual was later released pending court action

Defendant:            Matthew Wojtowicz East Windsor, NJ 31 Years of Age

Charges:                 Obstructing Justice Disorderly conduct Harassment

Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Michael Pidhorecki


Location: Route 571/Route 535 Time/Date: 4:40 PM, 11/02/2021

The officer responded to the intersection of Route 571 and Route 535 for a reported motor vehicle. collision. No injuries were sustained. Investigation revealed that the driver failed to observe a

red signal and collided with another vehicle in the intersection. The driver exhibited signs of . impairment and was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests. The driver was later · released pending court action.

Defendant:             Hugo Davila-Rafael Trenton, NJ

51 Years of Age

Charges:                DUI

Reckless Driving Careless Driving

Failure to Observe Signal Unlicensed Driver Uninsured Vehicle Umegistered Vehicle Obstructing Traffic

Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Juan Polanco

All accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a Court of law.

Marlboro, NJ Doctor Charged With Accepting Bribes And Kickbacks From Pharmaceutical Company In Exchange For Unlawfully Prescribing Fentanyl

November 4, 2021

NEWARK, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, doctor was charged today for his participation in a scheme to receive bribes and kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company in exchange for unlawfully prescribing large volumes of a powerful fentanyl narcotic, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Mukaram Gazi, 51, of Marlboro, New Jersey, is charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks; one count of receiving kickbacks; one count of health care fraud; and one count of conspiring to unlawfully distribute dangerous narcotics.

According to the indictment:

Gazi owned and maintained a urology practice with locations in Freehold, Hamilton, Howell, and Toms River, New Jersey. Gazi solicited and received more than $130,000 in bribes and kickbacks from Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company based in Arizona, in exchange for prescribing its drug Subsys, a powerful opioid narcotic designed to rapidly enter a patient’s bloodstream upon being sprayed under the tongue. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Subsys solely for the “management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients who are already receiving and who are tolerant to around the clock therapy for their underlying persistent cancer pain.”

Gazi did not treat patients who were suffering from breakthrough cancer pain and was not in the practice of prescribing fentanyl-based pain medications. However, in exchange for bribes and kickbacks from Insys Therapeutics, he began prescribing Subsys to a number of patients for whom Subsys was medically unnecessary.

The bribes and kickbacks Gazi accepted for prescribing Subsys were disguised as payments for educational presentations regarding Subsys that Gazi purportedly provided to licensed practitioners. In reality, these presentations were a sham – they often functioned as social events at restaurants, lacked the appropriate audience of licensed practitioners who could prescribe Subsys, and many of the purported signatures on the speaker program sign-in sheets were forged. Gazi also prescribed high-dosage Adderall to a pharmacy owner who filled many of his Subsys prescriptions, as well as the pharmacy owner’s significant other, to induce the pharmacy owner to continue filling his Subsys prescriptions.

Gazi also caused the submission of fraudulent claims to Medicare, New Jersey Medicaid, and other health insurance providers for the prescriptions of Subsys and Adderall that he wrote, which were induced through kickbacks, medically unnecessary, and not eligible for reimbursement. He also conspired with others to distribute these powerful narcotics outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and investigators of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; special agents of the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; special agents the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Baker of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit, and Senior Trial Counsel David Malagold, of the Cybercrime Unit, in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Defense counsel: Damian P. Conforti Esq., Roseland, New Jersey

Trenton to Receive $1.3 Million in Municipal Aid Grant Awards from N.J. Department of Transportation for Road Repairs

November 4, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that the City of Trenton will receive more than $1.3 million in state grant funding to make long-overdue repairs to Greenwood Ave and Chestnut Ave. 

“We are very grateful to have been awarded the third largest grant amount in the state, and to be one of three municipalities that received awards for more than one project,” said Mayor Gusciora. “This funding will allow us to advance two critical infrastructure projects that will restore two of our busiest roads.”

Governor Phil Murphy and N.J. Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti last week announced $161.25 million in Fiscal Year 2022 municipal aid grants to be distributed to 541 cities and towns throughout New Jersey. 

Under the Municipal Aid grant program, each county is apportioned a share of the total funding based on population and the number of local centerline miles. Municipalities compete for portions of their county’s share. NJDOT provides 75 percent of the grant amount when a town awards a contract and the remaining 25 percent upon completion of the project.

The Chestnut Ave project will use $397,634 in grant funds to restore a heavily trafficked roadway that has sections between 50 and 100 years old. The other $910,647 will be used to repave Greenwood Ave, a main artery that connects residents and visitors to Trenton Central High School, government buildings, houses of worship, the Transit Center, St. Francis Medical Center and other important sites.

The two projects will complement several other paving projects throughout Trenton. PSE&G is finishing up repaving more than 30 roads all over the city that were disrupted due to line maintenance. The Gusciora Administration is also finalizing a $2 million plan to pave 57 additional City streets starting in the Spring 2022.

H. Hovnanian Family Foundation Donated $5 Million To Community Medical Center In Toms River

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Community Medical Center (CMC), an RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) facility, has announced the donation of a $5 million gift, given by local philanthropist Edele Hovnanian on behalf of H. Hovnanian Family Foundation. The gift will support capital renovations to the Emergency Department at Community Medical Center.  

“We are so grateful to Edele and the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation for their generous contribution to our Emergency Department renovations,” said Patrick Ahearn, Chief Executive Officer, Community Medical Center. “This gift will help ensure that our community has increased access to care when they need it most and will play a vital role in bettering the health and well-being of Ocean County residents.”

“The Emergency Department benefits the entire community and is like the doorway to the hospital in many respects,” Ms. Hovnanian said. “We proudly support CMC’s Emergency Department putting its best foot forward. I’ve been very positively impressed with CMC’s vision and have absolute faith that the hospital is laying the foundation for what central New Jersey needs in terms of acute care.”

Ms. Hovnanian serves as President of Hovsons Inc., the company her father, Hirair, founded, and heads the H. Hovnanian Family Foundation. She and her four siblings learned at an early age from her father and her mother, Anna, how to think strategically about finances as well as leverage personal success to develop and support charitable causes and the local community.

“When my dad came to the United States from Armenia in 1951 to pursue higher education, he settled in the Toms River area after graduating from Villanova University,” said Ms. Hovnanian. “Central New Jersey is where our family has been since that day. CMC is the hospital many people use, and it’s an obvious place for us to give back to the community.”

Following her father’s example, Ms. Hovnanian doesn’t treat philanthropy differently from business. She evaluates the overall impact of a donation on the community using the business acumen she learned from working alongside her father to discern where philanthropy will have the biggest impact.

Supporting CMC’s state-of-the-art Emergency Department renovations met all the criteria. When completed, the $37 million upgrade—already partially finished—will transform the department. The renovated ED will include features such as air filtration and individual rooms with glass walls to prevent germs from spreading, efficient patient flow design, and at-hand access to tests such as CT scans, X-rays and ultrasounds.

To learn more about supporting Community Medical Center, call 732.557.8131 or visit

West Windsor Crash Closes Route 1 At Washington Road

November 4, 2021

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–West Windsor Police and West Windsor Fire and Emergency Services responded to the intersection of US Route 1 and Washington Road- CR 571 at 11:13 a.m. for an overturned truck with reported injuries. Upon arrival of police and fire it was determined that the roadway would need to be closed due to the crash. The West Windsor Fire and Emergency Services Hazardous Materials Team was also called to the scene for 40 gallons of diesel fuel and transmission fluid and oil leaking into the storm drains and soil. Preliminary information is that the truck was traveling south bound on US Route 1 and attempted to avoid a vehicle, and crashed into the NJ barrier and overturned.

No further information is available at this time. Once West Windsor Police issues a press release the story will be updated and any corrections made.

Google Maps has the area still closed as of 1:20 p.m.