Day: July 24, 2023

Toms River Woman Pleads Guilty To Vehicular Homicide

July 24, 2023

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 24, 2023, Ashley Beams, 32, of Toms River Township, pled guilty to Vehicular Homicide before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., in connection with a motor vehicle crash that occurred in Toms River on February 8, 2022, resulting in the death of James Cruz, 62, of the Parlin section of Old Bridge Township.  At the time of her sentencing on September 15, 2023, the State will be seeking a term of six years New Jersey State Prison.      

On February 8, 2022, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department responded to the area of Bay Avenue for a report of a motor vehicle crash.  Responding Officers determined that James Cruz had been struck by a motor vehicle operated by Beams.  An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that Beams had been traveling eastbound on Bay Avenue approaching the cross street of Twin Oaks Drive.  Shortly after passing Twin Oaks Drive, Beams failed to maintain her lane of travel and entered the shoulder – striking Mr. Cruz, who at the time was retrieving a package from the trunk of his vehicle.  As a result of the collision, Mr. Cruz was pinned between the two vehicles and carried a significant distance eastbound on Bay Avenue.  Mr. Cruz was subsequently pronounced deceased at the scene.      

Beams was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune for treatment of injuries she sustained in the crash.  Blood samples taken from Beams at the hospital and in furtherance of the investigation revealed that her Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at the time of the collision was substantially higher than .08.  In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where the operator’s BAC is .08 or greater.  On February 16, 2022, Beams was arrested by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit at her residence.  She was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.      

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron who are handling 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, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Beams’ guilty pleas, and soon her state prison sentence.

Two Brothers Sentenced To Prison For Narcotics

July 24, 2023

FREEHOLDTwo brothers were sentenced to New Jersey State Prison in connection with a 2021 drug investigation, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.    

On Friday July 21, 2023, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Christie Bevacqua, Paul Anderson, 31, of Long Branch, was sentenced to six years New Jersey State Prison with a one-year period of parole ineligibility on a second-degree Distribution of Cocaine in excess of ½ ounce; second degree Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute in excess of ½ ounce; and second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.  Simon Anderson, 33, of Sayreville, was sentenced to ten years New Jersey State Prison on a first degree Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute in excess of 5 ounces. Keshon Fenter, 36 of Brick was sentenced to Probation on a third-degree Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine.    

All three men previously pled guilty before the Honorable Jill O’Malley on March 30, 2023.     In the spring of 2021, police from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force conducted an investigation during which Paul Anderson sold over ½ ounce of cocaine on four occasions. The investigation revealed that Simon Anderson was supplying his brother Paul with large quantities of cocaine. Keshon Fenter was also observed supplying cocaine to Paul Anderson for resale.     

On June 30, 2021, police from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force, Long Branch Police Department, Eatontown Police Department, Oceanport Police Department, and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office executed search warrants on residences in Long Branch, Eatontown and Oceanport. 

Upon executing the warrants, police seized over 200 grams of cocaine, a 9 mm loaded handgun with a high capacity magazine, 450 grams of marijuana, and approximately $80,000 cash.    

This case was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Emily Cartmell.

Paul Anderson was represented by Charles Moriarty Esq., of West Long Branch; Simon Anderson was represented by Kevin Roe Esq., of Hackensack; and Keshon Fenter was represented by Edwin Wu Esq., of Freehold.  

City of Trenton Paving Season is Well Underway

Capital City Finally United in Repaving Roadways

July 24, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)-The City of Trenton’s paving season is well underway with the Department of Public Works already having paved 16 streets (segments) and 5 alleyways as well as installing 32 humps.

Street paving has included Franklin Street, Park Avenue, Melrose Avenue, Quinton Avenue, Lyndale Avenue, Gouverneur Avenue, Overbrook Avenue, Arlington Avenue, Kulp/Summit Street, Lenape Avenue, Beechwood Avenue, Woodside Avenue, Riverside Avenue, Hermitage Avenue, Sullivan Way, and Calhoun Street.

Mayor W. Reed Gusciora remarked, “I would like to thank Director of Public Works Wahab Onitiri and our entire Department who work tirelessly to keep our streets clean and paved. Ultimately, this would also not have been possible without this current Trenton City Council, which under Council President Teska Frisby has been so supportive of investments in our public infrastructure.

”Alleyway paving has included five alleyways including Page Alley, Cadwalader Heights Alley, Burks Alley, Cunningham Alley, and Swan Alley. Similarly, 32 speedhumps on Edgewood Avenue, two on N. Dean Avenue, two on N. Eastfield Avenue, two on Cadwalader Terrace, two on Moreland Avenue, two on Oliver Avenue, two on Brinton Avenue, four on Quinton Avenue, three on Fountain Avenue, three on Rossell Avenue, three on Wayne Avenue, and two on E. State Street. 

Council President Teska Frisby affirmed, “I’m glad that under this Council, my colleagues and I have prioritized the people of Trenton over politics; this means significant investments in our public infrastructure and especially our roadways. Together, we’re getting things done.”

Cocaine, Heroin, Handgun and 30 Pounds of Marijuana Seized by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force

July 24, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A two-month investigation into narcotics distribution in Trenton and Bensalem, Pennsylvania, culminated recently with one arrest and the seizure of $63,900 in narcotics, a handgun and $13,860 in cash, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.    

Akeem Smith, 33, of Trenton, was arrested on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, as a result of the investigation conducted by the members of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hamilton, Trenton and Bensalem (PA) police.  A motor vehicle stop of Smith in a white 2020 Hyundai Tuscon was conducted by the Bensalem Police Department.  During the search of Smith’s person and subsequent search of the vehicle, officers located approximately 25 grams of crack cocaine, six grams of powder cocaine, and $5,485 in cash.  Smith was detained without incident.    

A concurrent search of Smith’s residence in Trenton resulted in the seizure of approximately 30 pounds of marijuana, 80 decks of heroin, a Smith and Wesson .380 handgun, $8,375 in cash and assorted drug paraphernalia.    

Smith was charged with narcotics and weapons offenses in Trenton, NJ, and narcotics offenses in Bensalem.  He is being held at the Bucks County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania pending future court proceedings.     

According to Prosecutor Onofri, the combined street value of the confiscated narcotics is approximately $63,900.    

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