Month: August 2023

Lakehurst Man Pleads Guilty To Theft By Deception

August 28, 2023

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 28, 2023, Robert Cohan, 36, of Lakehurst, pled guilty to Theft by Deception before the Honorable Kimarie Rahill, J.S.C.  At the time of his sentencing on October 27, 2023, the State will be seeking a term of eight years New Jersey State Prison, along with approximately $220,000 in restitution to multiple victims.        

An investigation by the Toms River Township Police Department revealed that between February 2022 and May 2022, Cohan – oftentimes posing as a relative of someone who owns a legitimate contracting business – targeted residents of the Gardens of Pleasant Plains, an age-restricted community in Toms River.  Specifically, Cohan solicited individuals to engage his services to perform work on the exterior of their residences; he then performed little to no work – stealing approximately $200,000 from more than 10 victims in the process.  On June 23, 2022, Cohan was charged with Theft by Deception and taken into custody by Detectives from the Toms River Township Police Department without incident.  Cohan was subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.         

A subsequent investigation by the Berkeley Township Police Department revealed that in September 2022, Cohan approached an elderly victim at a bank in Berkeley Township – using a false identity – and solicited a small amount of money.  In exchange, the victim allowed Cohan to perform a small task on her property in lieu of being paid back. With knowledge of the victim’s address, Cohan continuously visited the victim and solicited larger sums of money for multiple reasons, including funeral expenses for his purportedly deceased father-in-law.  Cohan would also accompany the victim to several banks – convincing her to withdraw large sums of money from her account or by way of credit card cash advances – which totaled approximately $20,000.  Further investigation determined that Cohan’s father-in-law was, in fact, alive and that Cohan received the money from the victim under false pretenses.  As a result, Cohan was again charged with Theft by Deception; consequently, his previous release under Bail Reform was revoked by the Court.  On October 5, 2022, Cohan was taken into custody by Detectives from the Berkeley Township Police Department, and he has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.          

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Heisler and Assistant Prosecutor Taylor Toscano who handled the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Toms River Township Police Department, Berkeley Township Police Department, and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, their collective assistance in connection with this investigation.

Coast Guard Rescues 4 People, Dog From Sinking Boat in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey

August 28, 2023

BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN)–The Coast Guard rescued four people and a dog from a boat taking on water Sunday near the Forked River in Barnegat Bay.  

A 29-foot Response Boat – Small crew from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light, in New Jersey, discovered the sinking 30-foot recreational boat while already underway for operations.   

The Coast Guard crew transferred the four people and their dog aboard the Coast Guard rescue boat. The recreational boat capsized moments after completing the personnel transfer. 

“The boat’s owner believes the boat was taking on water due to a loose plug, but the compartment was not accessible to confirm,” said Chief Warrant Officer James B. Corbisiero, Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light’s commanding officer. “The timing of this rescue was fortunate; I commend the Coast Guard boat crew’s attentiveness and fast actions to aide these people and their dog.”

The Coast Guard crew took the rescued people and dog into a marina in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey. A commercial salvage company righted the boat and towed it into the same marina.  

There are no reported injuries.       

To learn about safe, responsible boating visit

A recreational boat is capsized near the Forked River in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2023. A 29-foot Response Boat – Small crew from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light was already underway when the crew discovered the sinking boat and rescued the four people and dog aboard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo) Photo by Chief Petty Officer Cynthia Oldham

Acting Governor Scutari Signs Firefighters Chaplain Bill Into Law

August 28, 2023

Acting Governor Nicholas Scutari today signed A-5275/S-3671, providing municipal governing bodies more flexibility in appointing chaplains to their fire departments.       

Under current law, the governing body of any municipality, by ordinance, may provide for the appointment of one or more ordained members of the clergy as chaplains to the paid or part-paid fire department and force of the municipality, with the rank of battalion chief and their salaries fixed by the governing body. The bill provides that, for any municipal fire department and force chaplain initially appointed after enactment, the municipality may specify in the ordinance appointing the chaplain whether the chaplain will have a rank and salary. The bill also codifies job protections for any chaplain employed prior to the bill’s enactment; they cannot be dismissed, nor can their salary be diminished, except for specified causes.       

“Chaplains provide an invaluable service for local fire departments and the communities they serve,” said Acting Governor Scutari. “They support the men and women who put their lives on the line when protecting the safety of the residents. This law enables local government to appoint fire chaplains that meet their needs without undue expense.”      

Primary sponsors of the bill include Senators Linda R. Greenstein and Shirley K. Turner and Assemblymembers Daniel R. Benson and Reginald W. Atkins.      

“Fully supporting our first responders is a top priority for me, including making changes to increase opportunities for the critical role of chaplain,” said Senator Linda Greenstein. “Now, fire houses can expand this role, or have the flexibility to tailor this role to the needs of their communities.”  

“New Jersey is home to people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs,” said Senator Turner. “By creating the position of Fire Chaplain and allowing greater flexibility for municipalities, we can help ensure firefighters around the state have access to a chaplain that shares their faith.”      

“This law will enable municipalities in New Jersey to determine the most appropriate compensation for chaplains or those who volunteer in their fire departments to offer spiritual and personal counseling to the men and women who come to our aid on our worst days,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson. “The new measure will enable local governments to make the best decisions for their communities and first responders.”       

“Whether they are volunteers or paid staff, fire chaplains perform an important job aiding and comforting firefighters and their families during trying times,” said Assemblyman Reginald Atkins. “Giving municipalities the flexibility to decide the job parameters for a newly appointed fire department chaplain is the right thing to do.”      

“Fire Department chaplains are an integral part of New Jersey’s fire service,” said Eddie Donnelly, President, NJ FMBA. “Whether supporting our members and families in times of need or being that consoling voice at a memorial service the NJ FMBA appreciates our Fire Chaplains. Thank you Senator Greenstein and Assemblyman Benson for sponsoring our Bill.  Thank you, Acting Governor Scutari for memorializing this piece of legislation today.”       

“This bill amends the law to allow municipalities to create the position of Fire Chaplain without a requirement of salary or rank. This gives municipalities the freedom to create the position of Fire Chaplain without financial concerns and civil service requirements,” said Deacon Bob Tharp. “The Fire Chaplain can be an important lifeline to firefighters in dealing with the stresses that are inherent in their daily work as well as being there to support them in dealing with situations involving severe trauma or loss of life. They can also be there to offer support to members of the community when faced with life changing situations.”      

“At a time when it is challenging to attract and retain people to serve as firefighters, particularly volunteers, this bill provides necessary flexibility regarding fire chaplains,” said Robert Ordway, President of the NJ State Firemen’s Association.  “As the relief association for 54,000 members of career and volunteer firefighters, we support smart public policy to recruit, train and protect the safety of firefighters at all ranks, and which, in this case, also brings equal treatment under the law of both police and firefighter chaplains.  We commend the Legislative sponsors, Governor’s Office and Acting Governor Scutari for their efforts to enact this law.”

College Student Indicted After Allegedly Impersonating Woman on Social Media to Obtain Lewd Footage of Children

August 28, 2023

TRENTON — The Office of the Attorney General today announced a state grand jury has voted to file criminal charges against a college student who allegedly deceived children he contacted online into providing him sexually explicit videos of themselves, then used the internet connection of his Essex County-based university to upload the videos online.        

A grand jury in Trenton has returned a 12-count indictment against Keyon Luff, 21, of Edgewater Park in Burlington County, N.J. Luff was indicted on charges including manufacturing child sexual exploitation and abuse material. The defendant is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark pending trial.        

According to the investigation led by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Cybercrimes Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce, between January and July 2021, Luff used a popular social media platform to contact at least three children between the ages of 14 and 16 online, directed them to engage in sexual acts, told the victims to record themselves on video, and instructed them to send the lewd videos to him.        

Luff allegedly created fictitious social media accounts to contact underage children and engage in sexually explicit conversations. According to the investigation, the defendant impersonated an adult female on one platform and utilized that false identity to obtain sexual files of others, including minors.          

Detectives seized numerous digital devices from Luff’s dorm room during the execution of a search warrant on May 3, 2023. Investigators determined the defendant was allegedly in possession of illicit, unlawful images of child sex abuse.        

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant assumed a fraudulent identity, posing as a woman with the specific intent of deceiving and manipulating children. The grand jury determined this individual utilized this charade to induce victims to produce footage that would later be shared online without their knowledge or consent,” said First Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay V. Ruotolo. “Such material should not exist, let alone circulate. And the manner in which it was allegedly obtained from the victims is not only abhorrent — it illustrates the alleged predatory premeditation that went into these crimes.”

“This case illustrates that the Division of Criminal Justice will stop at nothing to investigate and prosecute those who exploit children over social media platforms,” said J. Stephen Ferketic, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge parents to be vigilant, and to be aware of who their children are communicating with on social media platforms.”          

The criminal investigation leading to Luff’s arrest was launched following a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a private nonprofit that assists with the location of missing children, reduction of child sexual exploitation, and prevention of child victimization.         In this investigation, NCMEC reported that a cloud-based file hosting service reported that several files depicting suspected child sex abuse were uploaded to its platform. Investigators determined that the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to upload the files was associated with the university Luff was attending, and further investigation identified him as a suspect.        

Luff has been indicted on the following charges:        

Manufacturing Child Sexual Exploitation/Abuse Material– three counts, 1st Degree Sexual Assault — 2nd Degree Photographing or Filming a Child in a Prohibited Sexual Act or in the Simulation of Such an Act – three counts, 2nd Degree Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child – three counts, 3rd Degree Possession of Child Sexual Exploitation/Abuse Material (less than 1,000 items) – 3rd Degree Impersonation — 4th Degree          

First-degree charges are punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000. 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 prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison and a fine of up to $10,000.          

The investigation was led by the DCJ Cybercrimes Unit under the supervision of Lt. Richard DaSilva. Deputy Attorney General Robert Guarni is prosecuting the case for the DCJ Cybercrimes Unit, under the Supervision of Deputy Unit Chief Lisa Rastelli, Unit Chief Jillian Carpenter, and Interim DCJ Director Derek Nececkas.          

These charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.          

Defense attorney Dorion B. Morgan, Esq., Mount Holly

Save LBI: “Promises and Realities -Wind Turbine Projects Off LBI Shores”

August 28, 2023

BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN)–Save held an event last night called “Promises and Realities -Wind Turbine Projects Off LBI Shores” at the Bay Breeze Park Pavilion in Barnegat Light. Speakers at the event were: Kirk Larson Mayor of Barnegat Light, Craig Osten, SaveBLI, Jim Gutowski, A Fisherman’s Perspective, Chris Placitella, Attorney, Thomas Stavola, Attorney, Bob Stern, Ph.D., President Save Long Beach Island, Inc.

Save LBI is “a group of citizens working together to save Long Beach Island and the ocean from the destructive impact of the proposed wind project, and offer sensible renewable energy alternatives. We are a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization and do not endorse any candidates or politicians, but we do aggressively pursue programs, policies, and actions to protect the Island.

Full video and information provided below:

Video: Save LBI in Barnegat Light 8/27/23

The post above was created by Denise Barclay Boccia.
Save LBI took the turbine photo from developer’s DEIS – added the Washington DC Monument, Barnegat Lighthouse, and a 6 ft man standing at the shoreline.
357 Turbines Across Long Beach Island
1,047 Total Height for each Turbine
**starting 8-12 miles offshore, will be the largest and most visible wind turbine project in the entire world!

Simulation above of Holyoke Ave. in Beach Haven provided by project developer in BOEM (DEIS).

State Grand Jury Declines to Criminally Charge Officer Involved in Fatal Shooting in Plainsboro, N.J., that Occurred on February 16, 2022

August 25, 2023

TRENTON – A state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Atiba Lewis, 45, of Plainsboro, N.J., who was fatally shot by Officer Phillip Nguyen of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.        

Mr. Lewis’s death was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019. In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the directive.        

The investigation included interviews of witnesses, photographs, review of body-worn camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner. This evidence, including video of the incident, was presented to a state grand jury. After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations Monday, August 21, 2023, and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury concluded no criminal charges should be filed against Officer Nguyen.        

According to the investigation, the shooting occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. on February 16, 2022. A civil order for possession (eviction/ejection) had been authorized to remove Mr. Lewis from an apartment on Ravens Crest Drive in Plainsboro. The Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office executed the order with assistance from other law enforcement agencies on the morning of February 16. During the execution of the order, Middlesex County Sheriff’s officers observed firearm paraphernalia in the residence. They were aware that Mr. Lewis was a certain person statutorily prohibited from possessing those firearms. A state Superior Court judge thereafter authorized a search warrant for the apartment. Four firearms were retrieved from Mr. Lewis’s residence and secured.        

Law enforcement executed the order and search warrant while Mr. Lewis was out of the apartment.         At approximately 11:30 a.m., after Mr. Lewis had arrived back at the apartment complex, law enforcement officers attempted to arrest him for unlawful possession of the firearms.        

When the officers approached Mr. Lewis, he pulled out a knife and ran away from them. He continued to threaten the officers with the knife. Several officers deployed Tasers in an attempt to disarm Mr. Lewis, but the Tasers were ineffective. Mr. Lewis presented as being agitated and advanced at officers several times. At approximately 11:35 a.m., with a knife in his hand, Mr. Lewis advanced directly toward Officer Nguyen, who then fired his weapon, fatally wounding 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.        

A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of a person’s 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. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved. The grand jury is instructed on the elements of the potential criminal offenses, including criminal homicide offenses, that could be brought and, as required by statutes, the grand jury is instructed on self-defense and other forms of legal justification.        

A conflicts check was conducted pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation. Prior to presentation to the grand jury, the investigation was reviewed by OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher in accordance with the policies and procedures established for these presentations in the SOPs.        

At the conclusion of these investigations, pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and SOPs, OPIA determines whether any principal should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for administrative review in accordance with the AG’s Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures. OPIA monitors any resulting review and takes such actions as are necessary to ensure that the review is completed in a timely fashion, and that appropriate actions are taken based on the results of the review.        

The Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at this link:        

Further information about how fatal police encounters are investigated in New Jersey under the directive is found at this link:

City of Trenton Celebrates the Grand Reopening of the West Ward Recreation Center 

The highly anticipated center reopens after a five-year hiatus 

August 25, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–On Thursday, August 24th the West Ward Recreation Center reopened after five years of renovations. In celebration, the City of Trenton hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony, featuring performances by students of the Sprout University School of Performing Arts, and three Trenton vs. Philadelphia basketball games in honor of Kobe Bryant Day at the newly restored Center.      

“Many of you remember the floors were peeling and this facility’s deplorable condition was not representative of the great Capital City that we all love. We are extremely grateful that we were able to renovate this recreation center using grant funding from the County and the State,” Mayor Reed Gusciora said.      

New amenities at the Center include; a teaching lab for media production, acting, t-shirt printing, a computer lab, a kitchen, new offices and restrooms, a laundry area, a new gym floor colored purple and gold in honor of the late Kobe Bryant, and new rims and nets for the basketball courts.      

“This is for the City of Trenton. This is what greatness looks like. This is what you deserve and when you know you deserve something you accept nothing less and nothing less comes to you,” Trenton City Council President and West Ward Councilwoman Teska Frisby stated. “Princeton, Robbinsville, Lawrence, they are not the Capital City. We are and we’re going to show up that way, look that way, and we’re going to honor it that way.”      

The most popular of the four rec centers in Trenton due to its full-sized basketball court, the West Ward offers programming five days a week, including a popular afterschool program, basketball clinics, homework help, financial literacy, STEM and Arts programs, and summer camps.      

From 3-6 p.m. the center is open for kids ages 6-12 and from 6-8 p.m. for teens ages 13-18. The Center is also looking to add Saturday programming to help keep youth engaged and provide access to technology and assistance in their learning and development.

Toms River Man Charged With Possession of Child Pornography

A forensic examination of the devices by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit led to the discovery of more than 1000 images of child pornography. 

August 25, 2023

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 24, 2023, Edward Lynch, 52, of Toms River, was charged with Possession of Child Pornography.        

This investigation was the result of a referral from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC received cyber-tips that an individual was downloading images of child pornography from the internet; an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit identified an IP address associated with a residence in Toms River as the location from which the individual was downloading these images.          

On August 24, 2023, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Toms River Township Police Department Emergency Services Unit, executed a court-authorized search warrant on the subject residence.  As a result, Detectives seized multiple electronic devices from the residence.  A forensic examination of the devices by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit led to the discovery of more than 1000 images of child pornography.  Further investigation revealed that Lynch was the individual responsible for downloading the child pornography in question. Lynch was taken into custody at his residence without incident; he was thereafter transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he is presently lodged pending a detention hearing.          

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department Emergency Services Unit, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Lynch’s arrest.            

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. R.P.C.  3.6(b)(6).      

Plainsboro Man Charged With Murder

August 25, 2023

PLAINSBORO, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Eamon Blanchard of the Plainsboro Police Department announced today that a Plainsboro man’s previously filed charges were upgraded and has now been charged with Murder in connection with the aggravated assault that occurred in Plainsboro on August 18, 2023.        

On August 18, 2023, at approximately 4:14 P.M., authorities received a 911 call reporting a break in and that someone was severely injured. Upon their arrival Plainsboro Police Department discovered Herbert Roberts, 44, of Plainsboro, unharmed and an adult female Beverly Roberts, 73, of Princeton Junction, covered in blood, with severe injuries to her head and eyes. She was flown to the Newark University Hospital for treatment and remained in critical condition for a week. Today, August 25, 2023, Beverly Roberts succumbed to her injuries and passed away this morning.        

After an initial investigation lead by Detective Justin Kowalczyk of the Plainsboro Police Department and Detective Jose Rosario of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office it was determined that there was no break in and the 44-year-old male, who is a family member of the victim, was the perpetrator. Herbert Roberts was arrested at the scene without incident and charged with first-degree Attempted Murder. He has been held since his arrest.        

Today, Herbert Roberts has been charged with first-degree Murder.        

Anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area is asked to call Detective Kowalczyk of the Plainsboro Police Department at 609-799- 2333 or Detective Rosario the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732- 745-3289.        

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

Freehold Borough Shooting Under Investigation

August 25, 2023

FREEHOLDA shooting incident that left two people injured on Friday morning in Freehold Borough is currently under investigation, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated Friday.      

At approximately 7:14 a.m., members of the Freehold Borough Police Department responded to the 70 block of Center Street for the report of a shooting incident. Upon arrival, officers discovered two victims, a male and a female, suffering from gunshot wounds.  The victims were transported to a local hospital for treatment and are in stable condition.      

Members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and the Freehold Borough Police Department continue to investigate the shooting incident. Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Thomas Manzo at 800-533-7443 or Freehold Borough Police Detective Rich Schwerthoffer at 732-462-4200.        

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a 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 –, by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to the website at

Pemberton School District Employee Charged With Attempting To Meet 15-Year-Old Student For Sex

August 25, 2023

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Acting Pemberton Township Police Chief Jason Luis announced that a Pemberton Township School District employee was arrested today and charged with trying to arrange a sexual encounter with an underage female student.      

Christopher J. Perry, 34, of Piute Trail in Browns Mills, was charged with Attempted Sexual Assault (Second Degree), Enticing a Minor (Second Degree), Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Third Degree) and Attempted Criminal Sexual Contact (Fourth Degree). Perry will be lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a first appearance in Superior Court. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.      

The investigation began last month after Perry, who is employed by the district as an Information Technology Coordinator, contacted the student through Snapchat. The student’s parents notified school officials, who contacted police. A BCPO investigator continued the text exchange with Perry, who believed he was still communicating with the 15-year-old student.      

During the text exchange, Perry described in detail the sexual acts he wanted to perform on the student. He made arrangements to pick her up in his personal vehicle this afternoon at a park in Browns Mills.     But when he arrived, instead of meeting the student, he was taken into custody by law enforcement officers. A short time earlier, Perry had been observed stopping at a drug store to purchase condoms on his way to the meeting location.    

“I commend the parents of this young girl for reporting this interaction,” Prosecutor Bradshaw said. “It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for parents to be aware of what their children are doing online. This case strongly demonstrates how easy it is for the predators who prowl around cyberspace to quickly materialize in person as very real, very dangerous threats to those that we love and are supposed to protect.”    

The investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Pemberton Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Arek Arargil and PTPD Detective Brenna Stone.    

Anyone who possesses information concerning this defendant that might be useful to investigators is urged to call the Pemberton Township Police Department’s tip line at 609-894-3352.    

All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Christopher J. Perry, 34, of Piute Trail in Browns Mills, was charged with Attempted Sexual Assault (Second Degree), Enticing a Minor (Second Degree), Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Third Degree) and Attempted Criminal Sexual Contact (Fourth Degree). Perry will be lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a first appearance in Superior Court. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.      

Multi-Vehicle Crash On NJ Turnpike In Robbinsville

August 25, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Around 6:30 p.m. the NJ State Police, Robbinsville Township Fire Department, and EMS were dispatched to the New Jersey Turnpike north bound outer lanes near mile post 62.2 (near Gordon Road overpass) for multi-vehicle crash with an overturned vehicle and reported entrapment. Upon arrival it appeared that everyone was out of their vehicles and there were no serious injuries. One vehicle was overturned on its roof and two other vehicles were damaged in the area. The injured were transported to local hospitals for treatment. No other information is available. The New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash.

Police Report Serious Crash In Ewing Township

August 25, 2023

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Police reported that on Thursday, August 24, 2023, at approximately 2:52 p.m., Ewing Police officers responded to the area of Federal City Road and Snook Drive for a report of a motor vehicle crash. Responding officers found two vehicles which collided head on.      

There was a total of five occupants among both vehicles and a pedestrian who was injured avoiding the collision. One occupant was trapped in one of the vehicles and had to be extricated by members of the Ewing Fire Department.    

All five of the occupants and the pedestrian were transported to local hospitals, with one of the occupants, a 79-year-old female, suffering from severe injuries and later being flown by medical helicopter to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.      

Information from witnesses is that the driver of one of the vehicles crossed the double yellow line on Federal City Road, striking the other vehicle head on.      

The crash is under investigation by Officer Jon Bag and Detective Tyler Finnerty. The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collison Unit responded to assist with the investigation.      

None of the injuries are considered life threatening. No charges have been filed at this time.

File photo

The 305th AMW Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for its Newly Commissioned ‘Dock 46 Two-Bay Hangar’

August 25, 2023

By Senior Airman Matt Porter 87th Air Base Wing

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J  –  The 305th Air Mobility Wing held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its newly commissioned ‘Dock 46 two-bay hangar’ at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., on August 24, 2023.

The event concludes four and a half years of planning and 240,650 accident-free man-hours after its initial groundbreaking on December 3, 2018. A military construction project valued at nearly $54 million, the hangar will serve as a mission-critical asset in the KC-46A Pegasus’ ability to provide Rapid Global Mobility for the Joint Force.

For the men and women of the 605th AMXS, it signifies a historic weapon system transfer and the beginning of a new era in global aerial refueling operations.

“This project is significant due to the tangible difference it makes in the ability to perform major maintenance on such a complex aircraft,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Aaron Vogeler, 605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “It represents a commitment to the future of this installation and our mission, the defense of our nation, as well as the economic impact on the surrounding communities.”

The prime contractor, Walsh Federal, subcontracted approximately $31 million to 210 New Jersey contractors during the four years of construction.

Approximately 44,000 military and civilian employees work in support of the Joint Base, making it the second-largest employer in New Jersey and contributing nearly seven billion dollars to New Jersey’s annual economic output.

“After years of advocating in Congress we were able to realize this MILCON,” said Chris Smith, New Jersey 4th District congressman. “I wanted this facility at the Joint Base because of the immense strategic value it brings to the Northeast and our Allies abroad.”

The state-of-the-art facility measures over 90,000 square feet, representing a 50% increase in hangar space for the KC-46. Its fabric doors are designed to withstand winds up to 120 mph and is also equipped with a fire pump capable of pumping 2,500 gpm.

“The KC-46 affords unprecedented connectivity as a Joint Force-multiplier and this Hangar will be instrumental to the global employment of our Pegasus fleet,” said U.S. Air Force Col Elizabeth Hanson, 305th Air Mobility Wing commander. “We thank everyone who helped make this project not only a reality, but a foundation to launch our air refueling mission for tomorrow.”

Joint Base Leadership and personnel attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the 305th Air Mobility Wing’s Dock 46 Two-Bay Hangar at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. on 24 Aug. 2023. New Jersey 4th District Congressman Chris Smith addressed the audience on the strategic value the facility brings to the KC-46A Pegasus refueling mission. The event concludes four and a half years of planning and 240,650 accident-free man-hours after its initial groundbreaking on December 3, 2018. A military construction project valued at nearly $54 million, the hangar will serve as a mission-critical asset in the KC-46A Pegasus’ ability to provide Rapid Global Mobility for the Joint Force. Photos by: Senior Airman Matt Porter

Joint Base Leadership and personnel attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the 305th Air Mobility Wing’s Dock 46 Two-Bay Hangar at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. on 24 Aug. 2023. New Jersey 4th District Congressman Chris Smith addressed the audience on the strategic value the facility brings to the KC-46A Pegasus refueling mission. The event concludes four and a half years of planning and 240,650 accident-free man-hours after its initial groundbreaking on December 3, 2018. A military construction project valued at nearly $54 million, the hangar will serve as a mission-critical asset in the KC-46A Pegasus’ ability to provide Rapid Global Mobility for the Joint Force. Photos by: Senior Airman Matt Porter

Central Jersey Does Exist! State Tourism Map Will Have A “Central Jersey” Region 

August 24, 2023

SOMERVILLE – Governor Phil Murphy today signed S3206 to promote Central Jersey tourism. The bill requires the Division of Travel and Tourism, within the Department of State, to re-draw the State tourism map to create a “Central Jersey” region and to incorporate it in all regional marketing campaigns, including publications and on The “Central Jersey” region will be comprised of, at minimum, the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset. The Division of Travel and Tourism will also be required to promote overnight stays.

“Today, we settle the decades-old debate once and for all: Central Jersey exists,” said Governor Murphy. “The region has a rich history dating back to the American Revolution, with a legacy graced by historical figures like George Washington. And today, Central Jersey is home to some of the nation’s leading public universities and host to beautiful agricultural landscapes and activities for tourists to immerse themselves in. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to share these wonders with the world.”

“Central Jersey exists! We are looking forward to working with our Division of Travel and Tourism to highlight this important region for residents and visitors alike,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “Tourism is a vital part of our state’s economy and many of our communities rely upon visitors to support local small businesses. This legislation is an investment in the future of Central Jersey communities and will strengthen the region’s ability to draw new and returning guests.”

The bill will take effect 90 days after enactment. The prime sponsors for this bill are Senator Andrew Zwicker and Assemblyman Roy Freiman.

“We should properly promote all the regions of our state,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “Central Jersey is blessed with beautiful destinations and a rich history. We will see a terrific return on our investment to attract tourism, including economic growth and job creation.”

“After 235 years since the founding of our great state, Central Jersey is finally on the map,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker. “While the very existence of the middle of our state has long been the subject of debate, we are long overdue in designating Central Jersey as the hub of tourism, innovation, and history that it is. This law will promote travel to our quaint river towns and canal villages, scenic walking sites, harvest festivals, breweries, and more Revolutionary War sites than you’ll find anywhere else. Central Jersey offers some of the best experiences to those traveling and vacationing in New Jersey. From this day forward, Central Jersey exists, and you should come visit.”

“Central Jersey holds a unique cultural and historical resonance in our state and offers a unique combination of historical, agricultural, artistic, and eco-tourism experiences that are comparable to any other part of the country,” said Senator Bob Smith. “We need to be doing all we can to promote Central Jersey as both a journey and a destination –a gem too often hidden that needs finally to be allowed to shine.”

“From the iconic Jersey shoreline to our bustling, vibrant cities in the north and south, New Jersey is rich in historic and famed tourist attractions. For too long the heart of our state—home to our State capital, historic sites, and bucolic scenery—Central Jersey has not received the real attention it deserves,” said Assemblyman Roy Freiman. “Travel and tourism is a vital industry and an economic engine for the state generating thousands of jobs and attracting countless tourists each year. Redefining New Jersey’s tourism regions, looking at the way we fund tourism efforts, and delving into agritourism will help us highlight both our world-famous attractions and hidden gems.”

“Whether you are interested in history, wildlife, or the great outdoors, Central Jersey has a lot to offer,” said Assemblywoman Sadaf Jaffer. “With this law, we are committing to show residents and visitors alike all of the tourism destinations in New Jersey while also giving a boost to local economies.”

“Travel is an integral part of New Jersey’s economy,” said Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli. “When people come to visit our shoreline, historic sites, and cities, they generate significant economic benefits and drive local economies. By encouraging overnight tourism and clearly defining our tourism regions with a re-drawn map, we can encourage growth in this industry that will create new jobs and opportunities for New Jersey residents.”

Photos by: Rich Hundley III/Governor’s Office