Day: July 8, 2022

27-Year-Old Man Sentenced To 5-Years NJ State Prison For Child Luring

Judge Ryan also ordered Hoffman to register as a Megan’s Law Offender, and that he be subject to Parole Supervision for Life.

July 8, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 8, 2022, Richard Hoffman, 27, of Mays Landing, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P, to five years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Luring in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6, in connection with a series of events that occurred in Toms River between September 4, 2018 and September 5, 2018. Judge Ryan also ordered Hoffman to register as a Megan’s Law Offender, and that he be subject to Parole Supervision for Life. Hoffman pled guilty before Judge Ryan on February 14, 2022.

Hoffman was arrested on September 5, 2018 as part of Operation Open House – a multi-agency undercover operation led by the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice, New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. This operation targeted men who were using the social media applications, Whisper and Kik, to attempt to lure underage females and males for sexual activity. Hoffman, who believed he was chatting with a fourteen year-old female, arranged to meet the female at a residence in Toms River for purposes of engaging in sexual activity. In reality, Hoffman was chatting with an undercover detective from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. On September 5, 2018, Hoffman arrived at the prearranged location in Toms River, and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman who handled the case on behalf of the State, and commends the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, United States Homeland Security Investigations, United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, New Jersey State Parole Board, Bayonne Police Department, Gloucester Township Police Department, Hazlet Township Police Department, Keyport Police Department, Monroe Township Police Department, Red Bank Police Department, Spring Lake Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, and Voorhees Township Police Department, for their collective and collaborative assistance in connection with the Operation Open House investigation, leading to Hoffman’s apprehension, guilty plea, and now his state prison sentence.

Two Charged With Firearms And Narcotics Offences In Bordentown Twp., NJ

July 8, 2022

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Police say that on July 2, 2022, at approximately 5:25 p.m. when Detective Sergeant Pavlov stopped a Toyota Scion on Rt. 206. Following a K9 alert a search was conducted of the vehicle which led to the seizure of a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun loaded with two (2) hollow point bullets. The vehicle passenger was additionally found to possess ten (10) wax folds of suspected heroin and a small black digital scale.

Both vehicle occupants were arrested and are identified as:

Najee Dormevil, age – 24, Olive St. Trenton NJ 08610 (Vehicle Driver).

Amani Nelson, age – 24, Railroad Ave. Florence NJ 08054 (Vehicle Passenger).

Both subjects were charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a drug offense, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a prohibited weapon or device, possession with the intent to distribute CDS, possession of CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Nelson was released on summons complaints and Dormevil was lodged in the Burlington County Jail.

Ptl. Foglia and his K9 “Hollywood” of the Lumberton Township Police Department assisted in this incident.

All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov Administers Oath Of Office To New Police Lieutenant And Sergeant

July 8, 2022

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov administered the oaths of office to promoted police officers, new Police Lieutenant Thomas Meyer and new Police Sergeant Joseph Carabelli, to fill existing openings in the police department, in front of Township officials and police at a recent ceremony.

Mayor Mironov stated,  “This is an exciting evening for East Windsor Township and our Police Department, where we promote two experienced officers who have worked for these opportunities and achieved positive scores in the testing process.  Tonight is a tremendous celebration for the Police Department, where we all congratulate the promoted officers, recognize their achievements and welcome working as a team as they continue to progress and demonstrate their abilities in their new positions.”

New Police Lieutenant Thomas Meyer, hired in August 2006, has served in Uniform Services including as a Field Training Officer and Secondary Officer-in-Charge, and in May 2013, was assigned as a Detective to Investigative Services.  In August 2017, Officer Meyer was promoted to Sergeant serving as a Platoon Supervisor and Field Training Program Coordinator, then in January 2019, was assigned as Detective Sergeant serving as the Investigative Services Supervisor.  Lieutenant Meyer also has served as a Public Information Officer, Humane Law Enforcement Officer, Municipal Counter Terrorism Coordinator, Internal Affairs Unit member, and part-time Instructor at the Mercer County Police Academy.  During his career, Lieutenant Meyer has received several awards and recognitions.  Lieutenant Meyer earned a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a Juris Doctor Degree from Seton Hall University School of Law.  Lieutenant Meyer is assigned as the interim Commander of Administrative Services.

New Police Sergeant Joseph Carabelli, hired in May 2011, has served in Uniform Services including as a Field Training Officer, Secondary Officer in Charge and Primary Officer in Charge.  In February 2020, Officer Carabelli was assigned as a Detective to Investigative Services, and also has served as a part-time instructor at the Mercer County Police Academy.  During his career, Sergeant Carabelli has received several recognitions and awards.  Sergeant Carabelli earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Seton Hall University and a Master’s Degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  Sergeant Carabelli is assigned as a platoon supervisor in Uniform Services.

East Windsor Township Mayor Janice S. Mironov administered the oath of office to new Police Sergeant Joseph Carabelli (center left) and new Police Lieutenant Thomas Meyer (center right) in a ceremony attended by Chief of Police James Geary (right), elected officials and other police officers.

Trenton City Council Puts Firefighters And Residents Lives At Risk, As Council Rejects Purchase of Critical Fire Safety Equipment

City Sought to Utilize Federal American Recovery Plan Funds

July 8, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora questioned the wisdom of City Council leadership after they failed to approve resolutions to replace protective equipment for the Trenton Fire Department (TFD).

“This is reckless behavior that places our public safety employees at risk. Three members of this Council have hijacked City business,” said Mayor Gusciora. “This equipment is used to protect firefighters and save lives.”

Prior to discarding the protective equipment measure, Council President Kathy McBride ruled “out of order” an attempt to fill a vacant seventh Council seat – a vote in which the mayor is granted a tie-breaking vote himself. Instead, McBride disallowed the motion, and her decision was upheld in a 3-3 tie even as Gusciora attempted to have his vote counted.

The fire safety equipment, namely self-contained breathing apparatus that include a harness, tank, and facemask, is used by firefighters to protect against smoke inhalation and other noxious chemicals while putting out fires. It is essential fire safety gear that is overdue for replacement.

The Administration’s plan was to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), federal funding that has been granted to the City, in the amount of $446,771 for the equipment. Rules drafted to guide ARPA spending specifically cite funding of “Emergency operations centers & emergency response equipment (e.g., emergency response radio systems)” as an eligible use.

The purchase was rejected by Council last night. Council Members Kathy McBride, Sonya Wilkins, and Robin Vaughn voted against the proposal; Council Members Joe Harrison, George Muschal, and Marge Caldwell-Wilson voted in the affirmative.

Much of the current protective equipment is outdated. Of the 151 harnesses on hand, 94 of those are now beyond their life cycle as per the professional fire standards. The stock of air tanks, which should be as high as 350, currently has 128 operational tanks. Just last year, 70 below-standard tanks were retired.

“The ARPA funding is a godsend to help us update fire safety apparatus,” said Department of Fire and Emergency Services Director Kenneth M. Douglas. “My firefighters are wondering right now why we would turn down this opportunity, but I’ve assured them that we will keep at it until we have the protective equipment we need.”

“We cannot grind the business of the City to a halt, or someone is going to get hurt,” Gusciora said. “It’s one thing not to pay your bills, but it’s another to turn down federal money being used to protect our public safety workers.”

City operations are currently being funding through executive order of the Mayor, due to the fact that Council leadership delayed budget hearings for months and declined passage of temporary emergency appropriations.

File Photos above by: Brian McCarthy, Dennis Symons and Michael Ratcliffe

Woman Charged in Connection with South Brunswick Fatal Crash

July 8, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that a woman was charged in connection with a fatal crash that occurred on June 15, 2022, on Georges Road in South Brunswick Township.

An investigation by Officer Jesse Blake of the South Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on June 15, 2022, at approximately 10:31 A.M., authorities responded to the southbound lane of Georges Road near Crossroads North Middle School following the report of a crash. Upon their arrival, authorities determined a vehicle driven by Shamantha Bolla, 18, of Monmouth Junction, struck Dean Battaglia, 53, of South Brunswick. Battaglia succumbed to his injuries and was ultimately pronounced dead on scene.

On July 7, 2022, Bolla was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree reckless death by auto.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Blake of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000 X 7474 or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Bolla are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.