SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced that a pedestrian killed in a collision involving a New Jersey State Police trooper has been identified.
On November 11, 2021, at approximately 5:55 A.M., members of the South Brunswick Police Department responded to the southbound lane of Route 1 near Raymond Road in South Brunswick following a report that a marked New Jersey State Police vehicle was involved in a fatal collision with a male pedestrian. Upon their arrival, authorities located a male pedestrian who was pronounced dead at the scene. Following a notification from the South Brunswick Police, detectives of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office responded and assumed control of the scene.
Based on the continuing investigation, authorities have identified the pedestrian as Donelle Miles, 50, of Plainsboro.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.
EDISON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced today a Township man has been arrested and charged for his involvement in a child pornography investigation.
Yesterday, William Geisz, 79, of Edison was arrested and charged with first-degree using a file-sharing program to store items depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of children, second-degree distribution of child pornography, second-degree possession of child pornography, and disorderly persons lewdness.
Geisz was charged following an investigation by Detective Daniel Lojek of the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. The investigation determined Geisz utilized the public Wi-Fi at various retail locations in Edison, Woodbridge, and East Brunswick to upload and distribute images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of children.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lojek at (732) 745-5924.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Geisz are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County man was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for his role in conspiring with members of a white supremacist hate group to threaten and intimidate African Americans and Jewish Americans by vandalizing minority-owned properties throughout the country in September 2019, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Richard Tobin, 20, of Brooklawn, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with conspiracy against rights. Judge Kugler imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
“Richard Tobin encouraged hateful acts of violence against individuals and their houses of worship, based on their religion or the color of their skin,” Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said. “Justice demanded that he be held accountable for these racist and antisemitic actions, and we are proud to have joined with our colleagues in the Civil Rights Division and the Joint Terrorism Task Force in doing so in this case. Our commitment to protecting the civil rights of all in New Jersey is steadfast.”
“The defendant conspired with a white supremacist hate group to vandalize and destroy property owned by Jewish and Black Americans, intending to instill fear into those communities across the country,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said. “This sentence makes clear that targeting persons owning and using property simply based on their race or religion will not be tolerated. The Department of Justice will continue to prosecute civil rights conspiracies and vindicate the rights of victims of bias motivated crimes.”
“Richard Tobin’s white supremacist beliefs are abhorrent, but his beliefs aren’t why he’s going to prison,” Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, said. “He actively conspired with others to commit a crime of violence, to victimize innocent people because of who they are or how they worship. That’s what crossed a line and made it the FBI’s business. We’re always going to pursue individuals inciting violent, hateful acts meant to intimidate and isolate members of our community.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Tobin admitted that from Sept. 15 to Sept. 23, 2019, he was a member of a white supremacist group, “The Base,” and during that time, he communicated online with other members and directed them to destroy and vandalize properties affiliated with African Americans and Jewish Americans. Tobin dubbed this coordinated attack “Kristallnacht,” or “Night of Broken Glass,” after an attack in Germany on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, in which Nazis murdered Jewish people and burned and destroyed Jewish homes, synagogues, stores and schools. Tobin implored members of The Base to post propaganda flyers and to break windows and slash tires belonging to African Americans and Jewish Americans. On Sept. 21, 2019, members of The Base vandalized synagogues in Racine, Wisconsin, and Hancock, Michigan, by spray painting them with hate symbols.
A conspirator, Yousef Omar Barasneh, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy against rights in federal court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, for his role in vandalizing the synagogue in Racine, Wisconsin.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Kugler sentenced Tobin to three years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI Philadelphia Division’s South Jersey Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Maguire, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force and its member agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the New Jersey State Police and the Camden County Police Department, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. She also thanked the Brooklawn and Cherry Hill police departments for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen M. Harberg of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden and Trial Attorney Eric Peffley of the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section.
Defense counsel: Lisa Evans Lewis Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Mercer County, New Jersey, man with six prior felony convictions was sentenced today to 100 months in prison for firearms and distribution of controlled substances offenses, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Alfred Donaldson, 39, of Trenton, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an information charging him with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Jan. 4, 2019, law enforcement officers arrived at Donaldson’s residence to execute two arrest warrants issued for his failure to appear for his sentencing hearings on unrelated charges at the Mercer County Superior Court. They lawfully entered the residence and recovered a 9-millimeter Taurus handgun loaded with eight rounds of ammunition, 27 bricks of heroin, and more than one ounce of cocaine. At the time of the firearm and narcotics possession, Donaldson had sustained several convictions, including three convictions for controlled substance offenses. As a previously convicted felon, Donaldson is not permitted to possess firearms under federal law.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Donaldson to three years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews; officers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff John A. Kemler; and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo Onofri, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray A. Mateo of the Opioid Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Lisa Van Hoeck Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was charged with illegally possessing a loaded semi-automatic rifle as a previously convicted felon, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Jeremy W. Barringer, 46, of Toms River, New Jersey, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Barringer was taken into federal custody this morning, appeared today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni in Trenton federal court, and was detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Oct. 24, 2021, at 3:05 a.m., Mantoloking and Bay Head police officers responded to the area of Herbert Street and Highway 35 in Mantoloking in response to a report of a motor vehicle crash involving a single vehicle. Officers found Barringer, a previously convicted felon, behind the wheel of his vehicle and observed a 5.56-millimeter semi-automatic rifle on the floorboard of the back seat of Barringer’s vehicle. The rifle was later found to be loaded with approximately 21 rounds of 5.56-millimeter full metal jacket ammunition. When officers ordered Barringer to step out of the vehicle, they observed that Barringer was wearing a tactical, bullet-proof vest and an empty handgun holster on his hip. After taking Barringer into custody, officers conducted a further search of Barringer’s vehicle and discovered a black 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol with no serial number (commonly referred to as a “ghost gun”), loaded with 14 rounds of hollow-point ammunition, three 9-millimeter pistol magazines loaded with hollow-point ammunition, and three 30-round rifle magazines loaded with 5.56-millimeter ammunition.
The count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; officers of the Mantoloking Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stacy S. Ferris; and officers of the Bay Head Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police William A. Hoffman, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, officers from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy, and officers from the Toms River Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Mitchell A. Little, for their assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Andrea D. Bergman Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton
PLUMSTED TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on November 16, 2021, Richard Knight, 40, of New Egypt, pled guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i), and Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(ii), before the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C. At the time of his sentencing on January 14, 2022, the State will be recommending a sentence of five years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) with a two year period of parole ineligibility as to the Distribution of Child Pornography charge, as well as five years NJSP as to the Possession of Child Pornography charge. The sentences are to run concurrently. Knight will also be subject to the terms of Meghan’s Law, along with Parole Supervision for Life.
This investigation, which began in December 2020, was the result of numerous referrals from the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The Task Force detected that a user of the program Google Meets was uploading images of child pornography to the internet. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit identified a residence in New Egypt as the source of the uploaded images of child pornography. On June 9, 2021, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, United States Homeland Security Investigations, and Plumsted Township Police Department, executed a court-authorized search warrant on Knight’s residence in New Egypt. As a result, Detectives seized two cell phones from the residence. Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit revealed that Knight’s cell phone contained more than 1,000 images but less than 100,000 images of child pornography. The investigation also revealed that Knight distributed child pornography using Google Meets and other social media platforms.
Knight was subsequently arrested at his place of employment in Browns Mills on June 9, 2021; he has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Shanon Chant-Berry who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Plumsted Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and United States Homeland Security Investigations, for their collective and collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Knight’s arrest, guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.
WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has assumed sole responsibility for conducting separate criminal investigations stemming from allegations that acts of hazing occurred within the Wall Township High School football program and unrelated allegations that one or more sexual assaults involving juveniles took place off campus, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Tuesday.
Members of the Wall Township Police Department had been assisting during the early stages of these investigations, yet out of an abundance of caution, and in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety and to protect the integrity of the investigations, the Department has since been walled off from participating further.
Multiple MCPO assistant prosecutors and detectives have been assigned to manage the continuing investigations. The information gathered as a result will continue to be reviewed.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office reiterates that while these are serious allegations, juvenile records are strictly confidential under state law, so at this time, no additional specific information about these investigations can be released. Likewise, Superior Court proceedings involving juvenile defendants, meaning defendants under the age of 18, are closed to the public, and the identities of such defendants are kept confidential.
The Prosecutor’s Office intends to issue statements regarding the findings of its investigations, keeping in accordance with the strict confidentiality requirements of juvenile matters. These statements will constitute the only definitive factual accounts of the investigations, made at the appropriate times, and the Prosecutor’s Office strongly urges against the spread of misinformation and rumor, both online and otherwise.
“As these investigations unfold, we remain fully aware of the intense focus and unique pressure a national media spotlight has placed on the Wall Township High School community, and are sensitive to safeguarding the mental health and general well-being of students while simultaneously serving the interests of justice,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We are conducting these investigations with the utmost diligence, dedicating every necessary resource in order to uncover the entire truth, and this process will be thorough, fair, and unbiased from beginning to end.”
While these investigations are still ongoing, anyone with any information about these matters, including those in possession of any relevant video recordings, is urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Jose Rodriguez at (732) 431-7160, Ext. 7172. Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about this or any crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182); or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com
The decision has been made to end the football season and not play the Thanksgiving Day game. We acknowledge that this is difficult news for many in our community. Please be assured that the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County is working closely with the Wall High School counseling staff supporting students. If you know of a student that is in need of support please do not hesitate in reaching out to 732-556-2063. In addition, please see the attached document for outside support resources.
Tracy R. Handerhan, D. Litt. Superintendent of Schools
During these most difficult days, please be assured that we are first and foremost committed to our students’ physical and mental well-being. Your children are our top priority and we are steadfast in our mission to work together to ensure their safety and to provide the social, emotional and academic experiences they deserve. The administration, faculty, staff and school crisis team remain deeply committed to supporting our students as they cope with recent events. District counselors have been providing support services for our students and will continue to do so.
It is not unusual for adolescents to feel anxious, sad, fearful, angry or vulnerable as a result of traumatic events. This is compounded by the fact that so many rumors are circulating online and in the media. In response, Wall High School has partnered with the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County (MHA of MC). A team from the MHA of MC will begin working with the Wall High School students and staff on Monday. The goals of this partnership are (1) to assist the Wall High School community with immediate mental health and wellness needs of students and staff during this difficult time and (2) to develop a long-term student wellness strategy that will serve as a foundation to strengthen the Wall High School community moving forward. Attached you will find a document prepared by the MHA of MC specifically for the Wall Township school community. Additionally, attached to this correspondence is a compilation of counseling resources should you or someone you know be in need of these services.
The last two weeks have been extremely difficult for our school community. We recognize this. Once again, we are committed to supporting you and your children through these difficult times.