BORDENTOWN CITY (BURLINGTON)– Firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire that broke out at a car wash this evening in Bordentown City.
Members of the Consolidated Fire Association, a fire department in Bordentown City, responded to the Valet Auto Wash in the 800 block of US-206 just after 5:00pm on a reported vehicle fire. Crews arrived and found a vehicle well involved in fire and stretched a 1 3/4 inch line from the bumper to extinguish the fire.
It is reported that the vehicle was inside of the car wash at the time of the fire, but luckily was able to pushed out by the owner and employees.
“Forensic previews conducted on those devices revealed a second-degree amount of child pornography depicting children as young as five years old. Additionally, detectives located several videos depicting Richtman performing sexual acts on a horse.”
January 31, 2022
EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation into online child exploitation has resulted in the arrest of an East Windsor man.
Mitchell B. Richtman, 31, of East Windsor, NJ, is charged with second-degree possession of child pornography and fourth-degree animal cruelty. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Richtman pending trial.
Detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit recently received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual in Mercer County was uploading child pornography. An investigation was initiated and Richtman was identified as a suspect. On Thursday, January 27, 2022, detectives with the ICAC unit executed a search warrant at Richtman’s residence in East Windsor. He was detained without incident and several electronic devices were seized. Forensic previews conducted on those devices revealed a second-degree amount of child pornography depicting children as young as five years old. Additionally, detectives located several videos depicting Richtman performing sexual acts on a horse.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of 5 to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Prosecutor Onofri urges anyone with information about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children to please contact his Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit at 609-989-6568 or the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tip line at 888-648-6007.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:30 a.m. the Robbinsville Police and Fire Department were dispatched to the area of 1369 Route 130 for a traffic accident with wires down across the roadway.
Police and firefighters responded and the incident involved a tractor-trailer, tow truck and a boom truck. A utility pole was snapped on the south bound side and the support pole across the roadway was also broken off at the base. Fluids leaked out from a downed transformer.
The Mercer County Fire Police, NJ Department of Transportation and NJ State Police also assisted in traffic detours in the area.
Currently the south bound lane of Route 130 is closed between North Main Street-Voelbel and Windor Road-Church Street.
Power was out in the area and most customers have been resorted except those closest to the incident.
Note: This article will be updated as information comes in from the scene:
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to the 300 Block of Genesee Street near Beatty Street for a house fire at 10:17 p.m. Responding units reported smoke showing and an “all hands” was called at 10:19 p.m. Fire was reported on all floors of a 2 1/2 story middle of the row. Firefighters conducting a primary search found two victims, three BLS Trenton EMS units and two Capital Health Paramedic ALS units were called to the scene.
A 2nd Alarm was called at 10:43 p.m., command reported that there was heavy fire and four handlines were stretched and in operation. Two victims were transported to Captial Health Regional Medical Center. 10:50 p.m. Signal 22 Canteen Unit was activated.
10:52 p.m. the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office investigators and the Mercer County Fire Marshal was called to the scene.
10:59 p.m. Command reports fire on rear and right side of 345 and additional fire extending to 343.
11:10 p.m. reports of fire though the roof.
11:18 FM-1 on scene. (Fire Marshal)
11:29 p.m. A Fire Marshal from the NJ State Division of Fire Safety was requested to the scene.
11:30 p.m. Command reports that there is still fire in the original fire building and two exposures to the right of the main fire building. (Exposures D and D-1)
11:31 p.m. Requesting an additional Special Service Unit to refill air bottles. Hamilton Township Fire Department Special Service 18 was called.
11:53 p.m. Fire placed under control.
This is a preliminary Breaking News report from radio reports and reporters who are on scene. As additional details become available the story will be updated.
HILLSIDE, NJ (UNION)–A man was arrested Friday morning at his Trenton home after being criminally charged with running over and killing his girlfriend in Hillside in December, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel and Hillside Police Chief Vincent Ricciardi jointly announced Sunday.
Daaim J. Boykins, 40, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes in connection with the death of Schwnaire Jones, 36 of Willingboro.
Shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2021, members of the Hillside Police Department responded to the area of 41 King Street and found Jones — who had sustained critical injuries as a result of being intentionally struck by a vehicle — laying on the sidewalk. She was subsequently pronounced dead, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Cleaver, who is prosecuting the case.
An investigation led by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Hillside Police Department, and with the assistance of the Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Trenton Police Department, resulted in the identification of Boykins as the murder suspect and led to his eventual capture and arrest.
“We are grateful for the collaboration from the local law enforcement agencies who assisted our Office in locating and apprehending the suspect,” Prosecutor Daniel said. “And we hope that this arrest can bring some small measure of comfort to all those grieving Ms. Jones.”
Anyone with information about this matter is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force Sgt. Lamar Hartsfield at 908-451-1873, Homicide Task Force Officer Ariel Franjul at 908-347-2212 or Hillside Police Det. Jose Aguiar at 732-221-0910.
Convictions on crimes of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Winter weather has officially settled into New Jersey, and with the weather comes opportunities for winter fun. However, full layers of ice have not been able to form due to fluctuations in temperatures. That means ponds, rivers and lakes may not be as frozen as they look and are dangerous for ice skating, ice fishing and snowmobiling. Ice thickness, particularly in lower elevations and coastal areas, can be inconsistent and often unsafe. The best way to stay safe is by paying attention to warning signs and to STAY OFF THE ICE!
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The National Westher Service confirmed Blizzard Conditions along the entire coastal strip of New Jersey from Cape May to Sandy Hook, NJ during the Nor’easter of January 28 and 29, 2022. A blizzard is defined as three or more hours of visibility reductions to one quarter mile or less due to falling or blowing snow, and sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater. Shore areas received 11 to 21 inches of snow reported.
Moving further west inland towards Trenton areas of Western Monmouth, Western Ocean, and Western Burlington and Mercer County received around 9 to 10 inches of snow. Further north in the areas north of our reporting area such as Hunterdon, Warren, Morris, Passaic and Sussex Counties received 2.1 to 5.6 inches of snow.
BRADLEY BEACH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 11:11 p.m. last night January 27, 2022, Bradley Beach received a 9-1-1 call for a possible structure fire at 900 Ocean Avenue. When Police arrived, it was confirmed as a working fire. A full first alarm was called for sending additional resources to the scene. In a short period of time fire was upgraded to a 2nd Alarm. Firefighters had heavy fire on the rear of one house that extended to two other structures. Firefighters were able to make a quick knock down of the fire. Firefighters remained on scene for a couple of hours for overhaul before clearing. Around 5:00 a.m. this morning firefighters were sent back to the scene for reported fire on the second floor. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
NEWARK – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced today that the Division of Consumer Affairs is taking action to address the sale of license plate frames and holders that violate New Jersey law and can result in drivers being pulled over.
In a letter to New Jersey motor vehicle dealers, the Division is putting merchants on notice that state law requires all markings on a license plate to be legible or identifiable. According to a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision, a driver is in violation of the law if their license plate frame or holder conceals or obscures a marking on the plate – like the words “Garden State” or “New Jersey” – so that the marking cannot be reasonably identified.
The letter notes that merchants may be held accountable if they sell or advertise unlawful license plate frames or holders (or vehicles with such frames or holders) without adequately informing consumers that they may violate state law if they use the frame or holder.
“It should go without saying that drivers buying cars in New Jersey should not be sold products that violate state laws,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck. “With today’s common sense action, we are addressing unlawful license plate frames and holders at their source. By promoting compliance among motor vehicle dealers and other merchants, we hope to reduce the number of drivers who are violating the law unintentionally and getting pulled over as a result.”
The Division is issuing this letter to ensure merchants are aware that selling vehicles with—or advertising—license plate frames or identification marker holders that may conceal or obscure a marking on the license plate in a way that the marking cannot reasonably be identified or discerned may cause them to violate the Consumer Fraud Act. Specifically, businesses offering such frames or holders in New Jersey have a duty to inform consumers that driving with them may cause the consumer to violate New Jersey law.
Similarly, drivers should also be aware they may be ticketed for an obstructed plate violation, even if they didn’t put the holder or frame on their vehicle. Drivers are subject to a fine not exceeding $100 for the first violation or $200 for a subsequent violation, and may be subject to a term of imprisonment in the event of a default.
“Many license plate frames comply with the law, but both merchants and drivers should know exactly what the law prohibits,” said Sean P. Neafsey, Acting Director of the Division. “The purpose of the letter is to provide information to dealers and also to prompt consumers to check their vehicles and avoid potential violations by removing frames that obstruct the marking on their license plates.”
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 to receive a complaint form by mail.
Systemwide Cross Honoring in Effect on Saturday, Regular Weekday and Weekend Service will Operate Friday and Saturday as Conditions Warrant
January 28, 2022
All NJ TRANSIT services will operate on a regular weekday schedule today, Friday, January 28, 2022 and on regular weekend schedules on Saturday, January 29, 2022 for as long as weather and road conditions safely permit. Customers may see the possibility of delays, detours and potential service cancellations if storm conditions intensify.
Beginning Saturday, January 29 for customers of Bus Route No. 197, NJ TRANSIT rail will cross-honor bus passes and tickets on the Port Jervis Line trains to/from Harriman, Tuxedo and Sloatsburg through the end of the service day on Sunday. Bus service to/from Warwick, N.Y., will originate/terminate at West Milford Park & Ride due to weather conditions.
Cross-honoring will be in effect for rail, light rail, NJ TRANSIT bus and private carrier bus service on Saturday, January 29. Customers should check njtransit.com for updates.
For example, customers who normally take the bus from Rutherford to the Port Authority Bus Terminal may use their bus pass or ticket on the train from Rutherford to New York Penn Station. Customers using their tickets or passes to travel to a destination other than the destination printed on their original ticket will be subject to the appropriate additional fare if applicable.
For the safety of our customers and employees, weather conditions may require temporary service suspensions. Should that occur, NJ TRANSIT will make every effort to provide customers with up to four hours’ notice to allow for sufficient time to make return travel arrangements. Customers are encouraged to continuously monitor njtransit.com or the NJ TRANSIT mobile app for the latest service information.
NJ TRANSIT’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be open and closely monitoring weather forecasts and conditions as the storm develops. Key personnel will monitor any impacts to the system throughout the duration of the storm.
Customers are advised to use extreme caution around bus stops, stations and facilities as slippery conditions may exist. Customers should also build extra travel time into their schedules as delays and cancellations are possible as a result of the storm’s impact.
Rail cars and locomotives have been “winterized,” a process that includes checking onboard heating systems, ventilation, thermostats, weather stripping and electronic components, as well as changing locomotive filters and fuel from a summer blend to a winter blend.
NJ TRANSIT’s preventative maintenance program also includes the inspection and winter maintenance of more than 750 switches and switch heaters, overhead wire systems, 12 moveable bridges and wayside power at storage yards and terminals.
Two jet-engine-powered snow blowers are available to remove ice and snow from tracks and critical switching areas. In addition, all locomotives are equipped with snowplows to clear snow from the rails.
NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations has approximately 20,000 pounds of salt on hand with the ability to obtain an additional 100,000 pounds, if needed.
In addition, our year-round tree trimming program proactively minimizes downed trees or limbs along the right-of-way and on our overhead electrical system, personnel are on standby to quickly respond to reports of trees or limbs that could damage overhead wires or prevent safe passage of trains. Our year-round tree trimming program is part of our preventative maintenance program.
Bus maintenance personnel have checked the heating systems, engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers, doors and airbrake systems on NJ TRANSIT’s 2,200 buses.
Bus snow-fighting equipment has been readied and ice/snow-inhibiting supplies have been restocked for winter to keep 52 bus loops, terminals and lots cleared throughout the state.
Light Rail Operations
Snowplows are ready to clear station platforms and park/ride lots.
Switch heaters have been tested throughout NJ TRANSIT’s three light rail systems.
Necessary supplies such as calcium chloride, snow shovels, and scrapers are available and strategically located on the system.
Snow blowers and backup generators have been checked to ensure they are in working order.
Subcontractors are under contract to assist work crews in clearing all light rail stations, walkways, and park/ride facilities.
Management staff for all three lines will be coordinating with local municipalities to discuss snow removal in the light rail’s downtown ‘street running’ territory.
Access Link anticipates offering regular weekday service, but modifications may be made if severe weather conditions warrant. Customers should continue to monitor the weather as modifications or delays may occur.
Stations and Terminals
All rail stations equipped with heaters have been inspected to ensure that they are in proper working order.
Staff will monitor platform conditions to ensure safe walking conditions.
Before starting your trip, visit njtransit.com for up-to-the-minute service information.
Customers are encouraged to download or update the NJ TRANSIT mobile app to set up and receive customized service alert information via push notifications. Visit the You Tube video for easy instructions on setting up custom push notifications.
Stay connected to NJ TRANSIT social media during your commute. Find and follow your rail, bus or light rail-specific Twitter accounts for the best information:
Governor Phil Murphy has declared a State of Emergency:
A blizzard warning has been issued for Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, and Cape May Counties in NJ and coastal Sussex County DE.
...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 PM EST
* WHAT...Blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations of
8 to 15 inches. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph.
* WHERE...The coastal counties of New Jersey, and coastal sections
of Sussex County in Delaware.
* WHEN...From 7 PM this evening to 7 PM EST Saturday.
* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Areas
of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Gusty
winds could bring down tree branches.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Snow is expected to begin on Friday
evening, with snow becoming heavy after midnight. The most
likely time for blizzard conditions is late Friday night through
midday Saturday. Blizzard conditions are primarily expected at
or within a few miles from the coast. Snow will wind down
RIVERSIDE, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a New York developer who purchased a historic Riverside commercial building to create luxury apartments in the seven-story landmark has pled guilty to using the credentials of a potential subcontractor to fraudulently gain approval for electrical permits from the township construction office.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Raphael S. Weiss, 61, of Brooklyn, pled guilty to Computer Related Activity (Second Degree) and Forgery (Third Degree) in exchange for a suspended five-year sentence.
The plea was entered yesterday in Superior Court before the Hon. Philip E. Haines, J.S.C., who scheduled sentencing for March 23. Leading up to that proceeding, Weiss’s attorney and Riverside officials have agreed to work together for Weiss to surrender the property to another developer, and to ensure all liens have been satisfied.
“We are pleased that the defendant has accepted responsibility for his crimes and more importantly, that Riverside soon will be able to move forward with this project with a responsible developer,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “We know how important the Keystone Watch Case Co. is to Riverside’s past, present and future, and look forward to seeing this beautiful building brought back to life, and the positive impact it will have on this community.”
The investigation began in 2020 after a contractor who was negotiating with Weiss to be the electrician of record on the Keystone Watch Case Co. building redevelopment project noticed that electrical work had begun at the North Pavilion Avenue site, even though no formal agreement had been finalized and he had not applied for any permits.
After being denied access to the construction site by Weiss, the electrician went to the Township construction office and was told that 36 permits had already been issued in his name and in the name of his business for work to be done at the property.
Further examination revealed that the electrician’s signature had been forged on the permits, which were applied for by Weiss, and a counterfeit version of the contractor’s state-issued embossing seal had been used to make an imprint.
The investigation revealed that Weiss initiated the scheme as a way to reduce construction costs by fraudulently utilizing the credentials of the licensed electrician to obtain the necessary permits, then hiring unlicensed, unqualified laborers to complete the work at a much less expensive rate.
Not only was the action illegal, but it also jeopardized the safety of the project, as demonstrated by the fact that the electrical work completed after the fraudulent permits were obtained failed to pass inspection.
The Keystone Watch Case Co. building was constructed in 1908 and manufactured gold cases for watches. The company employed more than 1,000 employees in 1918, making it the largest watch case manufacturer in the world. The business was treasured as a strong engine in the local economy, with many employees living close enough to walk to work.
The company closed in 1956, and the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was purchased in 2016 by Brooklyn-based SimShabs Capital Partners LTD, of which Weiss is owner and president.
The plans submitted by Weiss to Riverside Township indicated that the iconic landmark, which has a prominent, highly visible clock tower rising above the roofline, would be converted into 64 luxury apartments.
Weiss is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit, and Assistant Prosecutor Andrew McDonnell, supervisor of the BCPO Insurance Fraud Unit.
The investigation was conducted by detectives from the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit and the Riverside Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Nicholas Schieber and Riverside Lt. Louis Fisher.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri today announced that a month-long investigation into narcotics distribution in the Trenton area has culminated with the arrest of a Jersey City man and the seizure of approximately $100,000 in cocaine.
On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, as part of an ongoing investigation, members of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration were conducting surveillance in the city. As a result of the investigation and surveillance, detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop of a silver BMW in the area of Parkway Avenue. MCPO Detective Tom Paglione subsequently utilized his narcotic canine, Indy, to conduct an exterior and interior sniff of the vehicle. Indy alerted to the scent of a narcotic odor inside the BMW and a search revealed a plastic bag containing a kilogram of powder cocaine on the rear floor next to the rear center console.
Hector Perez-Suarez, 31, of Jersey City, was detained without incident. A search of his person revealed $2,100 in cash. Perez-Suarez was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with the intent to distribute. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain him pending trial.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, the total street value of the confiscated cocaine is $100,000.
Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–MidJersey.News was alerted this afternoon about the clickbait website Daily Voice using MidJersey.News copyrighted material in one of their online stories that was shared on Facebook. The clearly marked copyrighted work was taken from the fire department’s website and shared on their website.
MidJersey.news has reached out by emailing the Daily Voice at 3:44 p.m. to remove the copyrighted work. As of 4:34 p.m. MidJersey.news has not received a reply why the clearly marked material was stolen and used on their site.
25 Grant Recipients of $8.2 Million in Community-Based Violence Intervention Funding, the Largest Such Program in State History
January 27, 2022
Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced a $7 million investment in gunshot detection technology and other law enforcement equipment to reduce gun violence using federal American Rescue Plan funds. In addition, Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck announced that 25 non-profit organizations will receive $8.2 million in grant funding for community-based violence intervention (CBVI) programming, the largest such investment in New Jersey’s history.
“Combating gun violence is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted approach,” said Governor Murphy. “The funding announced today will provide resources to both law enforcement agencies and community partners, equipping them with much-needed resources as we continue to fight the epidemic of gun violence. Today’s announcement allows us to make our communities safer while we continue advocating for commonsense gun safety measures.”
“Today’s historic investment in gun violence prevention reflects the Murphy Administration’s commitment to protecting the safety of all New Jersey residents,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “I applaud Governor Murphy for recognizing that we cannot reduce gun violence unless we invest in both law enforcement and the community, and for demonstrating that one of the best ways to strengthen public trust is by ensuring public safety.”
New Jersey is investing $7 million in technology-driven violence reduction to allow communities across New Jersey to acquire and enhance gunshot detection technology and related infrastructure improvements, making it easier for first responders and law enforcement to more effectively respond to—and reduce—gun violence in New Jersey’s communities. This funding comes amid a national spike in gun violence.
The funding will allow recipients to acquire a fully integrated network of three distinct systems, including an acoustic detection system, a video management system, and a system of automatic license plate readers. When combined, these systems allow first responders to more quickly render lifesaving medical aid to victims of gun violence and assist law enforcement in identifying shooters, leading to faster apprehension and reduced instances of retaliatory violence.
Through this investment, agencies like the Paterson Police Department will be able to direct resources to areas where they are most necessary and at the exact time when such service means the difference between life and death. The technology will also help prosecutors obtain the kind of evidence necessary to meet their burden of proof and uphold community faith in the justice system.
“The $7 million we announced today for New Jersey police departments will help provide state-of-the-art technologies to combat the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. “This funding comes directly from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which I proudly helped pass last year. With it, our communities’ Finest will have the tools and resources they need to prevent and respond to gun violence. As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of Robert Cuadra, let us redouble our efforts to stomp-out gun violence in our streets. Enough is enough.”
“Gun violence has impacted far too many precious lives in Paterson and across our state,” said Assembly members Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly, whose district includes Paterson. “This senseless violence is upending the lives of families and our communities. The funding announced today by Governor Murphy and Acting Attorney General Bruck will help us combat the violence on our streets by both empowering law enforcement and community-based organizations that do critical groundwork. We must continue to work to create secure and healthy environments for all. We look forward to working with the administration to continue making Paterson safe.”
“Public safety is a high priority in Paterson,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. “We are combating gun violence in Paterson and this initiative will enhance our efforts. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in making Paterson a safer city.”
Also announced today are the recipients of $8.2 million in state grant dollars for violence intervention programs, including 25 community organizations in 15 municipalities covering every region of the state. This historic investment will support intervention strategies that provide alternatives to violence and embody a community-based public safety model.
Among the recipients are two non-profit organizations that serve the Paterson area: Reimagining Justice, Inc. and the Juvenile Education and Awareness Project, both of which work to build community support for violence reduction. In 2021, law enforcement reported 110 shooting incidents in Paterson, resulting in 18 homicides by gunfire.
“The NJVIP community advocates have worked tirelessly to advocate for investment for community based public safety organizations to get meaningful investment for the lifesaving boot-on-the-ground work we have been doing in our communities to end gun violence,” said Dr. Liza Chowdhury of Reimagining Justice. “This investment today will help our organizations address the pain people face in communities most impacted by violence, provide desperately needed resources that help communities thrive and do the important prevention work that is needed so we don’t have to wait for someone to be the next gunshot victim. We thank the Governor’s office and leaders around the state who continue to support our work and honor their commitment by their investment.”
The complete list of grant recipients receiving funding under the CBVI program is as follows:
1. Juvenile Education and Awareness Project, Passaic ($47,087) 2. Reimagining Justice, Inc., Paterson ($500,000) 3. Newark Community Street Team, Inc., Newark ($499,996) 4. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern NJ, Asbury Park ($93,416) 5. Mighty Writers, Camden ($500,000) 6. Advocacy Foundation, Inc., Atlantic County ($365,758) 7. HMH Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune ($499,957) 8. Hope and Future, Inc., West New York ($250,000) 9. James R Halsey Foundation of the Arts, Trenton ($50,000) 10. After School All Stars New Jersey, Newark ($118,950) 11. Salvation and Social Justice, Trenton ($500,000) 12. Center For Family Services, Inc., Camden ($245,008) 13. United Community Corporation, Newark ($500,000) 14. Life Worth Living, Inc., Bridgeton ($430,885) 15. Elizabeth Youth Theatre Ensemble, Elizabeth ($380,240) 16. Prevention Education, Inc. T/A PEI Kids, Lawrence ($348,990) 17. United Advocacy Group, Inc., Bridgeton ($261,310) 18. The Alcove Center for Grieving Children and Families, Inc., Galloway ($52,545) 19. Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County, Jersey City ($500,000) 20. Nicholas Luciano Safe Way Out A NJ Nonprofit, Mount Laurel ($200,000) 21. Inside Outside Circle Foundation, Newark ($181,153) 22. The HUBB Arts & Trauma Center (FP YouthOutCry Foundation, Inc.), Newark ($487,343) 23. Hear My Cries A NJ Nonprofit Organization, Newark ($498,000) 24. REFAL, INC., Newark ($500,000) 25. Weequahic Park Environmental Authority, Newark ($227,000)
These violence intervention and reduction announcements are part of the Murphy Administration’s ongoing efforts to prevent gun violence by addressing the root causes of violence, supporting innovative policing initiatives, building the technological infrastructure to improve response times, and engaging and empowering traditionally underserved communities to cope with the trauma gun violence leaves in its wake.
HAMILTON, NJ (MERCER)-– This past Fall, the Hamilton Township Council voted in favor of the demolition of East State Street properties damaged in a 2015 six-alarm fire. Yesterday, Mayor Martin was joined by Council Vice President Chuddy Whalen, Councilman Anthony Carabelli, Jr., and Director of the Department of Community & Economic Development Fred Dumont as demolition began.
Seven of the eight condemned properties damaged in the fire that tore through the 1700 block of East State Street, displacing dozens of residents, are set to be demolished. A private developer purchased the eighth property prior to acquiring the other vacant properties in 2021 by the Township. When stepping into office, Mayor Martin promised to address the vacant and abandoned properties within the Township.
“For six years, the residents of Hamilton have been reminded of the awful fire that took place in 2015,” stated Mayor Jeff Martin. “It is due time to move forward and rebuild. While we have more work to do on many other vacant and abandoned properties, this is a great place to start.”
Once demolition is complete, the Township will seek to convert the land to affordable housing units.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville-Allentown High School Cooperative Ice Hockey Team defeated Princeton 2-1 this afternoon at the Mercer County Skating Center. Princeton outshot Robbinsville with 53 to 22 shots on goal but, Robbinsville’s Daltan Tilghman (AHS) was able to put 2 in the back of the net. Robbinsville’s goalie Zander Wiley like a brick wall stopped 52 of 53 shots on goal. It was the first time Robbinsville has defeated Princeton since 2016.
POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 12:30 p.m., Point Pleasant Beach received a call for a brush fire on Gull Island across from Point Lobster. The first arriving Chief confirmed the fire and requested mutual aid from Point Pleasant Brough along with Manasquan for their fireboat. The New Jersey State Police Marine unit along with the United States Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet also responded.
Due to dry conditions and high winds today, the fire quickly spread along the bank of the island mostly moving towards the west. Complicating the firefight, most fireboats in the area have been winterized. Manasquan did respond with their fireboat but had pump issues and a replacement pump was brought to the scene. Firefighters were shuttled to the island by the USCG and Tow Boat US. When firefighters made the island, they were able to get water on the fire and contain it. The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service responded, and a helicopter was requested for an air drop but was canceled since firefighters knocked down the fire. The Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office responded, and the cause is under investigation.
BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan today announced the arrest of two juveniles from Ocean County for the alleged arson on the Garden State Parkway that shut down the northbound and southbound lanes for approximately 10 hours.
On Wednesday, January 19, at approximately 5:00 p.m., State Police troopers responded to the report of a fire in the area of milepost 91 in Brick Township. During the investigation, detectives determined that the fire was started within a drainage culvert that runs underneath the Garden State Parkway from the 91 north entrance ramp to the 91 south exit ramp.
Through various investigative means, the two juveniles were identified as the suspects that allegedly started the fire. As a result of the investigation, detectives also discovered that the juveniles recently burglarized a building owned by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority adjacent the Garden State Parkway 91 north commuter lot.
On January 25, the two juveniles were charged with arson, burglary, criminal mischief, interference with transportation, and defiant trespassing. They were released pending a future court date.
The case is being prosecuted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
While no information is released regarding most juvenile cases, the New Jersey State Police is releasing the above information today in response to public interest regarding the alleged offense. No additional information on the investigation or juvenile complaints will be released at this time, in accordance with the strict confidentiality requirements of juvenile matters and juvenile records. Likewise, Family Court proceedings involving juveniles are closed to the public, and the identities of juveniles involved are kept confidential.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation into online child exploitation has resulted in the arrest of a Lawrence Township man.
Kelly Skeel, 45, of Lawrence, NJ, is charged with second-degree possession of child pornography. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Skeel pending trial.
Detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit recently received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual in Mercer County was uploading child pornography. An investigation was initiated and Skeel was identified as a subject. On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, detectives with ICAC executed a search warrant at Skeel’s residence in Lawrence. He was detained without incident and several electronics were seized. Forensic previews conducted on multiple DVDs at the home along with further investigation revealed thousands of images and videos of child pornography and erotica.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Prosecutor Onofri urged anyone with information about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children to please contact his Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit at 609-989-6568 or the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tip line at 888-648-6007.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director (TPD) Steve E. Wilson today announced a successful drug enforcement operation at the Budget Inn Hotel resulting in 12 arrests as well as the seizure of more than 100 narcotic doses and $1,700 in suspected drug proceeds.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2022, the Daytime Task Force along with Trenton SWAT executed search warrants at the Budget Inn Hotel located at 590 New York Avenue in Trenton. Several targets fled into different rooms and allegedly destroyed evidence by flushing narcotics in the bathrooms. Consent searches were also conducted in two rooms based upon illegal drug activity observed during pre-raid surveillance.
Once secured, a systematic search of target locations was conducted which resulted in more than 100 narcotic doses and $1,715 in U.S. Currency being seized.
The investigation was carried out following numerous complaints of rampant drug use that were brought to the attention the TPD, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
The charges include heroin and crack distribution, tampering with evidence and possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a School. The following people were arrested in this operation:
Kenneth Rivera, 28, of Trenton
Robert Rivera, 30, of Trenton
Gikoli Walitho, 32, of Ewing
Justin Rey, 28, of Trenton
Shanelle Harris, 41, of Trenton
Elizabeth Atland, 38, of Trenton
Toni Johnson, 28, of Trenton
Frederick Ganie, 51, of Trenton
Paul Allen, 45, of Trenton
Rayshawn Burton, 41, of Trenton
Ronnie Glanton, 37, of Trenton
Kevin Reeves, 39, of Trenton
In a separate operation, Xaview Colon, 20 and Bashawn Newton, 28, of Trenton and Jennifer Halcomb, 39, of Maple Shade, N.J., were arrested on Jan. 19, 2022 and charged with weapon and drug offenses after TPD Street Crimes Unit detectives observed a suspected narcotics transaction. Further investigation revealed Colon to be in possession of a handgun with a high-capacity magazine and a large quantity of heroin. During the investigation, Bashawn Newton and Jennifer Halcomb were also found to be in possession of significant quantities of heroin.
These charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:30 p.m. Trenton Fire Department was detailed to 42 Elmhurst Avenue for a house fire. Upon arrival firefighters found heavy fire and called for a 2nd Alarm. Firefighters had the bulk of the fire knocked down in a half hour. Firefighters remained on location for an extended time for extensive overhaul and knocking down hot spots. No further information is available at this time.
TRENTON, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, man was arrested today on charges that he distributed images and a video depicting child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Brian J. Crann, 37, of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (Joint Base MDL), in Burlington, New Jersey, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography. He was arrested today, appeared this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert, and was ordered detained.
According to documents filed in this case:
On Jan. 22, 2022, Crann transmitted a video and two images of child sexual abuse to another individual using an account on an instant messaging mobile application. Crann also transmitted a non-pornographic image of himself with a minor, who appeared to be the same minor victim depicted in the images and video of child sexual abuse.
The investigation revealed that the account was associated with an Android smartphone and that a short time before the user of the account sent the images and video, the account was accessed using a Wi-Fi Internet Protocol address assigned to an internet service account subscribed in Crann’s name at a residential address on Joint Base MDL. The contact number for the internet service account was a mobile telephone number subscribed in Crann’s name at the same residential address. On Jan. 25, 2022, law enforcement officials searched Crann and recovered an Android smartphone with the mobile telephone number subscribed in Crann’s name. A search of the smartphone revealed a copy of the non-pornographic image of Crann with the minor that had been sent from the account via the app on Jan. 22, 2022.
The distribution of child pornography charge is punishable by a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss caused by the offense, whichever is greatest.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI Newark Field Office Crimes Against Children Squad, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and Fort Dix Army CID Resident Unit with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander E. Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office 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: Lisa J. Van Hoeck Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton
Charges Stem from New Jersey State Police Investigation Where Detectives Recovered 6 Guns, High-Capacity Magazines, Ammunition, and Drugs from Party Bus
January 25, 2022
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced the indictment of 15 individuals after an investigation by the New Jersey State Police led to the seizure of six guns including two ghost guns, four high-capacity magazines, hollow-point ammunition, and drugs from a party bus traveling through Mercer County in October.
The charges stem from an investigation by the New Jersey State Police. On October 30, 2021, detectives with the Crime Suppression Central Unit learned that a party bus carrying multiple occupants in possession of weapons was traveling through Mercer County and that it would return to the Trenton area via Interstate 195.
In the early hours of October 31st, detectives with the Crime Suppression Unit and Opioid Enforcement Task Force along with members of the Trenton Police Department and Hamilton Police Department located and stopped the bus on Interstate 195 in Hamilton Township. As detectives approached the bus, they observed the occupants allegedly attempting to conceal several weapons within the bus.
The occupants of the bus were arrested and as a result of the investigation, detectives recovered three 9mm handguns, including two ghost guns, a .45 caliber handgun, a .40 caliber handgun, a .380 caliber handgun, four high-capacity magazines, hollow-point ammunition, and promethazine, a prescription syrup. A ghost gun is a firearm that is assembled from various parts that are not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer, making them difficult for law enforcement to trace.
“These guns are a danger to public safety, and we in law enforcement are committed to stopping violence and preventing criminals from getting their hands on illegal weapons,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “Let this indictment be a warning to those engaging in criminal behavior: you will be held accountable.”
“This indictment is a great example of our commitment to keep illegal firearms out of our communities,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners across all levels to hold those who break the law accountable and reduce the presence of illegal weapons to prevent gun violence in our state.”
“As a result of our detectives’ hard work and keen investigative skills, a cache of illegal weapons and ammunition was removed from the streets. Those in possession will now have to answer for their crimes,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “These indictments are a testament to the dedication and commitment the New Jersey State Police and our law enforcement partners share in order to make our communities safer for residents.”
The following defendants were indicted on January 24 on 2nd degree unlawful possession of a weapon, 3rd degree unlawful possession of a firearm without a serial number, 4th degree possession of hollow nose ammunition, 4th degree unlawful possession of large capacity ammunition magazines, and various first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree weapons offenses. Defendants with an asterisk also face 2nd degree certain persons not to have weapons charges:
Javon McKinney, 22, of Trenton;
Jaquan Harper, 20, of Trenton;
Jahmel Johnson*, 24, of Trenton;
Joshus Chavis, 21, of Trenton;
Tahvon Goss*, 23, of Trenton;
Makai Brown, 21, of Atlanta, GA;
Maurice Nance, 20, of Trenton;
Harold Ruiz*, 22, of Trenton;
Zaequan Cofield, 21, of Trenton;
Khalil Glanton, 22, of Trenton;
Daquane McRae*, 26, of Trenton;
Zaire Leary*, 24, of Trenton;
Daquan Lewis*, 27, of Trenton;
Aaron Turner*, 31, of Trenton; and
Kena West*, 25, of Trenton.
McKinney, Harper, Johnson, and Chavis are also charged with 2nd degree possession, receipt, or transfer of a community gun in connection with one of the firearms seized. A “community gun” is a firearm that is transferred among, between or within any association of two or more persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another.
Deputy Attorney General Jaclyn Poulton is lead prosecutor on the case for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cassandra Montalto, Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart.
The investigation was conducted by detectives of the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit, including Detective Patrick Septer and Detective Anthony Pompei, working in collaboration with the Trenton Police Department, and Hamilton Township Police Department.
First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000, while second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, and fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This investigation is another step towards reducing gun violence in New Jersey, one of Acting Attorney General Bruck’s key priority areas. In addition to long-term enforcement actions, the Attorney General’s Office and local, state, and federal law enforcement partners are establishing a statewide gun violence task force, holding a series of gun buyback programs around the state this summer, as well as performing targeted sweeps of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants for violent offenses, as part of a comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence.
Javon McKinney: Arun D. Lavine, Esq., Lawrenceville, N.J.
Jaquan Harper: Jarred S. Freeman, Esq., Edison, N.J.
Jahmel Johnson: Douglas A. Cole, Esq., Milford, N.J.
Tahvon Goss: Edward H. Heyburn, Esq., East Windsor, N.J.
Makai Brown: Brian McCauley, Esq., Red Bank, N.J.
Maurice Nance: Jacqueline A. Higueruela, Esq., Trenton, N.J.
Harold Ruiz: Christopher G. Olsen, Esq., Metuchen, N.J.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On January 23, 2022 at approximately 5:08 a.m., Officers were dispatched to the 500 block of East Franklin Street on a report of someone burglarizing a vehicle. Upon arrival Officers spoke to the witness who received an alert from his home surveillance cameras that showed someone entering his neighbor’s vehicle. He exited his residence and confronted the suspect who started to run away. The witness chased after the suspect and caught him at the intersection of East Franklin Street and Fairmount Avenue. The suspect again fled but left a brown bag that contained his cell phone, baby clothing, and a left handed black/red Milwaukee glove. The baby clothing was taken from the vehicle. Officers checked the area and located a male matching the description of the suspect walking in the area of Quinton Avenue in Trenton. Officers stopped the male who was identified as Calvin Stevens, 38, of Trenton. A show up was conducted and Stevens was identified by the witness as the male he saw burglarizing the vehicle and chased after. Stevens had in his possession a right handed black/red Milwaukee glove. Stevens was arrested and charged with Burglary and Theft.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Nick Schulte of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-689-5825 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov along with Council Members Denise Daniels, Alan Rosenberg, David Russell and John Zoller joined local owners and management staff for the grand re-opening ribbon cutting of the newly constructed McDonald’s, on the corner of Route 130 South and Dutch Neck Road.
Mayor Mironov stated, “East Windsor happily welcomes back to our community the very popular McDonald’s and their many dedicated and long-term employees who service their loyal customers. The Township appreciates McDonald’s long term investment in East Windsor, with this brand new modernized restaurant on this prominently located site. The new design incorporates enhanced customer service and safety with additional ordering lanes and menu boards, along with modernized and efficient technology to support the restaurant operations.”
Demolition of the old building began earlier this year, and construction of a similar sized, approximately 4,940 square foot modernized McDonald’s restaurant replaced the long existing building. Improvements included side-by-side drive-thru kiosks and new menu boards and pre-browse menu boards to expand vehicle stacking capacity and enhance ordering safety, as well as new free-standing and wall signage, repaved and upgraded parking areas, added landscaping and related improvements.
McDonald’s was founded in 1940 and has grown to become the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries. McDonald’s, best known for its hamburgers, cheeseburgers and french fries also features chicken, breakfast, salads, fish, fruit, milkshakes and desserts on its menu.
Current restaurant hours are daily from 6 A.M. to 11 PM, and drive-through hours are Monday through Thursday and Sunday, 5:30 A.M. to 1 A.M., and Friday and Saturday, 5:30 A.M. to 2 A.M. For more information, visit http://www.mcdonalds.com or call (609) 443-4433.
BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 2:45 p.m. Brick Police received multiple 9-1-1 calls for a possible structure fire at 171 Walnut Drive. Herbertsville 2471 was first due to the fire as the fire station is down the road. When firefighters arrived, they reported heavy fire throughout a 2-story wood frame. Firefighters put the deck gun in service with the tank water and protected the D exposure as there was an issue with the fire possibly spreading to other structures. Stations 23,22,21 and 75 also responded to the scene. Firefighters put two master streams into service and knocked the fire down. The cause of the fire is and is under investigation by the Brick Township Police Department and the Fire Bureau.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:15 a.m. the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to 400 Block of West State Street for a house fire. Upon arrival firefighters found a heater on fire that was extending to the structure in a multi-family home. Firefighters pulled handlines and quickly knocked the fire down. Fire crews remained on scene for extensive overhaul and the fire investigation. It was reported the heater was the origin of the fire. Three units in the multi-family house need to be temporarily evacuated until repairs are made. The Red Cross was called for those who were displaced. No further information is available at this time.
EDISON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Thomas Bryan of the Edison Police Department announced today that a fatal crash is under investigation.
On January 20, 2022, at 10:25 P.M., authorities responded to the southbound lane of Route 1 in the area of the Fox Road following the report of a crash. Upon their arrival, authorities located Diana Somarriba, 18, of South Brunswick and two teenage males who were the occupants of a vehicle, which had struck a vacant building. Somarriba was transported to a nearby hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Captain Dominic Masi of the Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7400 or Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.
Diana Somarriba was the most generous, goofy and amazing person. She has always made people laugh no matter what mood she was in. She was in the progress of joining the army and finally getting her goals to an end. Unfortunately she has been in a car accident and passed away early in the morning of January 21, 2022. We are absolutely devastated by Diana’s passing and are struggling to find the funds to cover the cost of the service. Please consider donating if you are able to do so. We are so very grateful for every donation during this difficult time.
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–This afternoon at Mercer County Skating Center the Robbinsville-Allentown Coopertive Ice Hockey Team blanked Lawrence High School with a final score of 6-0. It was also Robbinsville Raven’s Senior Night