Day: February 25, 2022

Marlboro Over Robbinsville Ice Hockey in NJSIAA State Tournament Public C

February 25, 2022

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Marlboro-Holmdel won their game against Robbinsville-Allentown with a final score of 3-0 at the Mercer County Skating Center. Marlboro-Holmdel advances to the Quarterfinal Round in the NJSIAA State Ice Hockey Tournament Public C Division. Marlboro-Holmdel takes on Governor Livingston on Monday February 28, 2022.

UPDATE: AG’s Office Investigating Fatal Police-Involved Shooting in Plainsboro

February 25, 2022

Plainsboro, NJ (MIDDLESEX)– The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation of an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Feb. 16, 2022, in Plainsboro, N.J. The decedent has been identified as Atiba Lewis, 45, of Plainsboro.

The officer who fired at Mr. Lewis is Detective Phillip Nguyen of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the preliminary investigation, the shooting occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Ravens Crest Drive in Plainsboro, N.J. Law enforcement officers, including members of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, were outside a residence when they encountered Mr. Lewis. During the encounter, one officer discharged his service weapon, fatally wounding Mr. Lewis. A knife was recovered near Mr. Lewis. Officers and emergency medical personnel rendered first aid to Mr. Lewis, who was transported to Princeton Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 12:10 p.m.

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, which implements the statutory requirement that the Attorney General’s Office conduct the investigation of any death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody, and which establishes clear standards and procedures for conducting such investigations.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.

Woman Charged with Stealing from Another Employer

February 25, 2022

FREEHOLDThe Howell woman who was criminally charged last month with swindling a former employer out of more than $2.2 million over the course of seven years has been additionally criminally charged with stealing more than $67,000 from her next employer, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Friday.

Donna Cook, 52, is charged with third-degree Theft by Unlawful Taking, third-degree Forgery, and third-degree False Uttering.

After news coverage of Cook’s January arrest circulated, her next employer, a Shrewsbury-based excavating company, reviewed its financial records – and discovered that from early November 2021 into early January 2022, Cook had allegedly written multiple checks out to cash, and an additional check made out to directly pay a personal expense, with forged signatures, according to an investigation by the MCPO Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau.

Cook turned herself in again to authorities on Friday, after which she was released with a pending first appearance to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court. The arrest was made a little more than a week after her scheduled first appearance in the initial case against her, which resulted in separate charges of second-degree Theft, third-degree Forgery, and third-degree False Uttering in connection with Cook’s alleged actions taken while at her previous employer, a Tinton Falls-based construction company.

The Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank the members of the Shrewsbury and Tinton Falls police departments who assisted the two investigations. Anyone with additional information about potentially problematic activities on the part of Cook at any of her places of employment is encouraged to contact MCPO Detective Michael Acquaviva toll-free at (800) 533-7443.

These cases are being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos. Cook is being represented by Allison Friedman, Esq., with an office in Freehold.

If convicted on the second-degree offense, Cook faces up to 10 years in state prison.

Despite the aforementioned pending charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

Another Large Drug Bust in Mercer County; This Time $300K Cocaine in Trenton

Makes second large bust in a week

February 25, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A two-month investigation into narcotics distribution in the Trenton area has culminated with the arrest of a Trenton man and the seizure of $300,000 in cocaine, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Early Friday morning, February 25, 2022, members of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Tactical Response Team, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at the West State Street apartment of Cesar Cedeno-Correa.  During the search, Cedeno-Correa was detained without incident.  Three kilograms of cocaine and more than $195,000 in cash were located in a backpack in the bedroom.  An additional 60 grams of cocaine, a money counter and two digital scales were also seized.

Cedeno-Correa, 28, is charged with numerous narcotic-related offenses, including first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with the intent to distribute, and money laundering.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain him pending trial.

According to Prosecutor Onofri, the street value of the confiscated cocaine is approximately $300,000.

Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Recently announced, on Thursday, February 17, 2022, as part of an ongoing investigation, members of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI were conducting surveillance in a parking lot on Route 130 in Hamilton Township.  As a result of the investigation and surveillance, detectives detained Job Carranza-Ocampo without incident and located two kilograms of heroin in the bed of his Ford F-150 pickup truck.  A kilogram of fentanyl was located on the ground behind his truck. Full story below:

Second Man Charged in August 2021 Ditmar Alley Homicide

February 25, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department has led to charges being filed against a second individual in the August 2021 homicide of Herberth Ramirez-Pimentel.

Domonic Hodges, 26, of Hamilton, is charged with murder, felony murder, robbery, and multiple weapons offenses.  He is currently being held in the Mercer County Correction Center on a parole violation.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Hodges pending trial.  Last month, a 15-year-old Trenton male was charged with the same offenses in the case.  The juvenile was taken into custody by members of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, the Trenton Police and the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and is currently being held in the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center.

Trenton police responded to Ditmar Alley just after 4 a.m. on Thursday, August 19, 2021.  Officers located Herberth Ramirez-Pimentel, 37, of Trenton, unresponsive and suffering a gunshot wound.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Jackson Man Pleads Guilty to Leaving Scene of Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash

February 25, 2022

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 24, 2022, Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez, 27, of Jackson, pled guilty to Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1, before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred in Jackson Township on December 24, 2020. At the time of his sentencing on April 22, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of seven years in New Jersey State Prison.

On December 24, 2020, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Officers of the Jackson Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Cedar Swap Road and I-195 for a report of a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Jackson Township Police Department revealed that a 2010 Mercedes Benz, driven by Norman Shtab, 83, of Howell Township, was exiting I-195 at Exit 21. His wife, Phyllis Shtab, 81, also of Howell, was a passenger in the vehicle. As Mr. Shtab was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Cedar Swap Road, his vehicle collided with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.

Mr. and Mrs. Shtab were transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune Township following the crash. Mr. Shtab was treated for his injuries and later released. On December 26, 2020, Mrs. Shtab succumbed to the injuries she sustained as a result of the crash, and was pronounced deceased at Jersey Shore Medical Center on that date.

On December 30, 2020, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado – identified through continuing investigation to be Alcazar-Sanchez – who fled the scene of the December 24, 2020 crash on foot. Further investigation revealed that Alcazar-Sanchez then fled the United States and traveled to Mexico. On March 3, 2021, Alcazar-Sanchez surrendered himself to United States Customs and Border Patrol Protection Agents in Laredo, Texas. He was ultimately extradited back to Ocean County, and has remained lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his return on March 31, 2021.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara who handled the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Jackson Township Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Jackson Township Police Department Special Emergency Response Team, Brick Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Field Services Unit/Warrants, United States Customs and Border Protection, Laredo Texas Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service, for their collaborative efforts and assistance relative to this investigation ultimately leading to Alcazar-Sanchez’s arrest, guilty plea, and soon his state prison sentence.