Category: Atlantic City

Legislation supported by Smith to forgive more than $8.1 million for Jersey Shore towns in Fourth District passes House, signed into law

September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON – Legislation supported by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to provide more than $8.1 million in Community Disaster Loan (CDL) forgiveness for Jersey Shore towns in the Fourth Congressional District impacted by Superstorm Sandy passed the House of Representatives and was signed into law today as part of a stopgap measure to avoid a government shutdown.

            “This long-awaited Community Disaster Loan forgiveness is greatly welcomed and much-needed relief for our local towns and communities that were devastated by Superstorm Sandy,” said Rep. Smith, who voted for the measure on the House Floor. “Nearly nine years after Sandy, our towns have finally received the reprieve they both need and deserve—and were originally assured—from these difficult payments.” 

            Mayors from Point Pleasant Beach and Manasquan, two of the towns in Smith’s district slated to receive CDL forgiveness, thanked Smith for his tireless efforts to secure the significant relief that will free up funds for critical municipal projects and other needed local improvements.

            “Point Pleasant Beach is so grateful to have an attentive and hardworking member like Congressman Chris Smith representing us,” said Mayor Paul Kanitra. “He listened to our needs regarding CDL forgiveness, and he and his staff put in countless hours to make this a reality. We expect the effects of this to save the Borough close to $1 million dollars.

            “This is a big deal,” said Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan. “This represents hundreds of thousands of dollars that we would’ve had to repay, that we can now use for other needed projects and improvements in Manasquan. There is no lack of projects we need funding.”

            In addition to securing relief for New Jersey towns, the legislation will also provide assistance to other eligible towns across the country with outstanding Community Disaster Loans.

            Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the CDL program provides operational funding for local governments to continue basic operations after substantial revenue loss caused by a major disaster, such as Superstorm Sandy, that adversely affects their ability to provide essential municipal services.


New Jersey State Police and Brigantine Police Solve 25-Year-Old Cold Case

Detectives Use DNA Evidence to Arrest Suspect for Sexual Assault of 10-year-old Girl

September 17, 2021

Brigantine, NJ (ATLANTIC) – The New Jersey State Police and Brigantine Police Department have charged Brian Lee Avis, 59, of Egg Harbor City, N.J., for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl during a 1996 home invasion, after detectives used DNA evidence to solve the 25-year-old cold case.

On July 19, 1996, the Brigantine Police Department responded to the report of a sexual assault at a residence on East Evans Boulevard in Brigantine City, Atlantic County. A male suspect allegedly broke into the residence in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl while she was sleeping. When the victim woke up, the suspect fled the scene.

Detectives collected evidence at the scene and obtained a DNA sample of the suspect from the victim’s bed. The suspect’s DNA profile had been generated in 2002 and was uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which is a national DNA collection database, however there were no CODIS matches for the profile.

During the summers of 1995 and 1996, there were approximately 14 reported incidents of an individual engaging in voyeuristic behavior and attempted sexual assaults of two sleeping teenage girls in the Brigantine area. The incidents created widespread panic and concern in the community which led to an increased presence by the Brigantine Police Department. When the investigation was renewed, investigators determined that the suspect lived in the vicinity, but he was never identified, and the cases remained unsolved.

In January of 2021, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit and Brigantine Police Department reopened the case in a cooperative investigation. Detectives began working with the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences (OFS) and a private company specializing in Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG). The evidence was resubmitted to OFS and a more robust DNA sample for the suspect was obtained.

On July 26, 2021, detectives submitted the DNA to a private laboratory for analysis. The laboratory conducted Microarray Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) testing for IGG analysis in an attempt to identify genetic relatives of the suspect based on the DNA sample obtained at the scene. Through various investigative means, detectives identified Brian Lee Avis as the suspect.

On September 12, detectives located Avis and escorted him to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, where they executed a search warrant for his DNA. Detectives obtained the sample by using a buccal swab, which collects DNA from cells inside of a person’s cheek. The sample was submitted for forensic analysis, which revealed a positive match to the DNA obtained at the scene.

On September 13, detectives arrested Avis and charged him with aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, burglary, and endangering the welfare of child. He was lodged at the Atlantic County Jail.

“No matter how long ago a crime occurred, we are committed to ensuring those who break the law are held accountable,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck. “I want to recognize the outstanding job by all law enforcement officers involved in the review and reinvestigation of this case. Their persistence in the search for justice reflects the very best of our law enforcement profession.”

“The sanctity and security of a 10-year-old girl’s bedroom was violated by a heinous act committed 25 years ago, violently stripping her of her innocence resulting in emotional scars that are as fresh today as they were that fateful summer night in 1996,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I commend our Cold Case Unit detectives and members of the Brigantine Police Department for reopening this case and working collaboratively by using modern technology to bring justice and closure for the victim.”

“First I want to thank the original Brigantine Police detectives who did a great job collecting and preserving the evidence 25 years ago. That evidence was preserved for 25 years and was able to still be used after all this time. It is a testament to their diligent detective work and the evidence custodians over the years who maintained and preserved the evidence for 25 years,” said Chief Rich Casamento, Brigantine Police Department. “Several months ago, Detective Sergeant Glasser of the Brigantine Police identified this evidence as a case that could be solved using current DNA technology. He advised the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit of his findings and re-opened the case. This case being solved is the result of the excellent investigative efforts of Detective Sergeant Glasser, the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit, and the original detectives 25 years ago. It is an example of the relentless pursuit of justice and all of them should be commended. I want to thank Colonel Callahan and the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit for their partnership and teamwork that led to solving this case. I hope closing this case brings some peace and healing to the victim and her family.”

“Our law enforcement partnerships and the dogged work since 1996, that has been completed by detectives at the Brigantine Police Department, and the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit has resulted in the arrest of Brian Lee Avis for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl in her bedroom 25 years ago,” said Cary Shill, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor. “I commend our law enforcement officers who worked together, staying committed to this case and 25 years later forensic science and their commitment to justice have resulted in these charges and the arrest of 59-year-old Brian Lee Avis.”

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant John Glasser of the Brigantine Police Department at (609)266-7600 ext. 276 or Detective Sergeant First Class Joseph Itri of the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit at (833) 4NJ-COLD. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.


Coast Guard sets Port Condition YANKEE for New York and New Jersey

August 21, 2021

NEW YORK — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has set Port Condition YANKEE for the Ports of New York and New Jersey, due to the expectation of gale force winds from Tropical Storm Henri expected to arrive within 24 hours.

Mariners are advised that the COTP will further manage tropical storm conditions in the ports through vessel traffic control measures. These measures will limit vessel movement in accordance with the Standard Severe Weather Practices outlined in the Captain of the Port New York Hurricane and Severe Weather Plan. These measures will be implemented by the Vessel Traffic Service based on observed and predicted wind conditions as the storm progresses.

All facilities and vessels within the Port of New York and New Jersey shall cease cargo operations, lightering and bunkering when directed by the COTP. All commercial self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500 gross tons desiring to remain or depart port must contact the COTP if their departure time is later than 12 hours after setting of Hurricane Condition YANKEE. Vessels bound for the port of New York and New Jersey are advised to contact the COTP at (718) 354-4088 for additional guidance. 

Please refer to Coast Guard Advisory Notice (CGAN 2021-13) for details.


The Coast Guard is advising the public of these important safety messages:

Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.

Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by tropical storms or hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.

Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Updated weather forecasts for the New York area can be found at the National Weather Service’s webpage. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.

Don’t rely on social media. People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.

Vessels and facilities may contact the Vessel Traffic Service at SECNYVTS@uscg.mil or (718) 354-4088 with additional questions or concerns.


Coast Guard sets Port Condition X-ray for New York and New Jersey Ahead Of Tropical Storm Henri

August 20, 2021

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has set Port Condition X-ray for the Ports of New York and New Jersey, due to the expectation of gale force winds from Tropical Storm Henri expected to arrive within 48 hours.

These ports currently remain open with no restrictions. Mariners are advised that the COTP will further manage tropical storm conditions in the ports through vessel traffic control measures. These measures will limit vessel movement in accordance with the Standard Severe Weather Practices outlined in the Captain of the Port New York Hurricane and Severe Weather Plan. These measures will be implemented by the Vessel Traffic Service based on observed and predicted wind conditions as the storm progresses.

At this time, the COTP is not requiring vessels and barges desiring to remain in port to complete a Remaining in Port Checklist. However, port users should monitor local weather broadcasts and implement their heavy weather procedures and take immediate action to safeguard personnel and property to minimize the damage caused by high winds, unusually high tides and heavy rain. 

Please refer to Coast Guard Advisory Notice (CGAN 2021-11) for details.

The Coast Guard is advising the public of these important safety messages:

Stay off the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.

Secure belongings. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Trailer-able boats should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, lifejackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.

Stay clear of beaches. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by tropical storms or hurricanes. Swimmers should stay clear of beaches until local lifeguards and law enforcement officials say the water is safe.

Be prepared. Area residents should be prepared by developing a family plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing their home and having a plan for pets. Information can be found at the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.

Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Updated weather forecasts for the New York area can be found at the National Weather Service’s webpage. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.

Don’t rely on social media. People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible. Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.

Vessels and facilities may contact the Vessel Traffic Service at SECNYVTS@uscg.mil or (718) 354-4088 with additional questions or concerns.


Coast Guard urges preparedness for Tropical Storm Henri

August 20, 201

The Coast Guard urges all mariners to prepare for Tropical Storm Henri before its predicted Sunday landfall.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts Henri to have wind speeds equal to or exceeding 39 mph.

The Coast Guard is reminding the public of these important safety messages:

  • Stay off the water. Hurricanes and tropical storms can be deadly and our ability to conduct rescues can be diminished or non-existent at the height of a storm. Be prepared, stay informed and heed storm warnings.
  • Be prepared. Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to inland marinas where they will be less vulnerable to breaking free of their moorings or to sustaining damage. Mooring lines should be doubled in case of high winds. Boats that can be trailered should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to remove EPIRBs and to secure life rings, life jackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources to be diverted and may put first responders in harm’s way to ensure people are not in distress.
  • Evacuate as necessary. If mandatory evacuations are set for an area, the public should evacuate without delay. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able rescue those in danger during the storm. 
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.
  • Lookout for rip currents. As the storm approaches, rip currents will become more prevalent. Rip currents typically reach speeds of 1 to 2 feet per second-this makes rip currents especially dangerous to beachgoers as these currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea. Because rip currents move perpendicular to shore and can be very strong, beach swimmers need to be careful.

    For more information on hurricane preparedness visit Ready.Gov and NOAA websites, as well as following them on Twitter.

Port conditions change based on weather forecasts, and current port conditions can be viewed on the following Coast Guard homeport webpage:


U.S. Coast Guard to swimmers, boaters: be aware of dangerous rip currents created by Tropical Storm Henri

August 20, 2021

The Coast Guard is advising boaters and all persons enjoying the water this weekend to be aware of the dangers presented by the possibility of increased sea states and the potential for increased rip currents as Tropical Storm Henri passes through the Mid-Atlantic region.

Boaters who are anticipating going out over the weekend should ensure they check conditions before launching, and ensure it is safe for their vessel. In addition, wearing a life jacket, having a reliable form of communication like a marine band radio and filing a float plan are simple ways to increase survivability and direct rescuers to you accurately if you encounter trouble.

Rip currents are created from turbulent sea conditions offshore.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an estimated 100 people are killed each year as a result of rip currents. With the arrival of Tropical Storm Henri off the Mid-Atlantic coast, rip current potential can increase.

Beachgoers should only swim where there are on-duty lifeguards and follow guidance from local authorities on surf conditions.

If you see someone in danger, do not hesitate to contact your local 911 operator. 

For more information on rip currents, click here.

For more information on Tropical Storm Henri and its impacts, click here


177th Fighter Wing Airmen Return to Base After Four Month Deployment to Middle East

August 3, 2021

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NJ (ATLANTIC)–Family members gathered at the 177th Fighter Wing based at the Atlantic City International Airport to welcome home the National Guard Members who have been deployed for over four months. A few days earlier on July 31, 2021 members of the 119th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron returned home from a deployment of over four months.

Family members held ‘welcome home’ signs and awaited the return of 177th Fighter Wing members from their deployment, The Airmen were deployed for more than four months to the Middle East in support of U.S. CENTCOM operations.




Dunkin’ of Philadelphia Awards Six South Jersey Students with Academic Scholarships

July 27, 2021

Philadelphia, PA. (July 26, 2021) – Dunkin’ and its greater Philadelphia-area franchisees, in partnership with Scholarship America, today announced the recipients of its twelfth annual Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program. The program helps high school seniors and college students in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware pursue a part-time or full-time undergraduate degree at the institution of their choice.

From over 900 applicants, Dunkin’ and Scholarship America selected 25 students to receive a $2,000 academic scholarship to an accredited two or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school of their choice for fall 2021. Dunkin’s Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program was open to current part-time and full-time undergraduate students and high school seniors. Dunkin’ awarded a total of $50,000 to the 25 recipients who were selected based on their academic records, demonstrated leadership skills, and overall commitment to their schools and local communities.

To date, the Dunkin’ Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program has awarded $500,000 in scholarships to 300 outstanding high school seniors and college students. The program was founded in 2009 by Dunkin’s Philadelphia-area franchisees as a way to ease the financial burden of college for students throughout the region.

“On behalf of my fellow Philadelphia franchisees, we are honored to award these 25 exceptional students with the 2021 Dunkin’ Philadelphia Regional Scholarships,” said Perry Shah, local Dunkin’ franchisee and Philadelphia regional advertising committee chairman. “We are proud to continue the tradition to further students’ educational goals in our community as well as celebrate a major milestone this year: providing over half a million dollars to our local students since the program’s inception in 2009!”

The 2021 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarship recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Cherry Street Pier. More details on the awards ceremony to come in the following weeks.

The 2021 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarship recipients are as follows: (Six South Jersey below out of 25 total) Photos provided by: Dunkin Scholarship Program:

Atlantic County 

Recipient: Abigail Smith

Hometown: Hammonton, NJ

High School: Hammonton High School

University: Stockton University

Bio: Abigail Smith is a recent graduate from Hammonton High School, where she was the National Honor Society Vice President. In addition, Smith was a Team Captain for Field Hockey and Track & Field and earned nine Varsity Letters in three sports throughout high school. In her free time, Abigail enjoyed participating in a variety of service-oriented clubs. This fall, Abigail will attend Stockton University, where she plans to pursue a degree in Health Sciences. 


Burlington County

Recipient: Amanda Neve

Hometown: Browns Mills, NJ

High School: Pemberton Township High School 

University: University of Miami

Bio: Amanda Neve is a recent graduate from Pemberton Township High School and Rowan College at Burlington County, Class of 2021, where she received her Associate’s Degree in Biology. Neve graduated with high honors in high school and college and graduated top 10 in her class at Pemberton Township High School. This fall, Amanda will attend University of Miami, where she plans to pursue a degree in Biochemistry And Molecular Bio. 


Camden County 

Recipient: Raphael Littwin

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ 

High School: Cherry Hill High School West

University: University of Pennsylvania

Bio: Raphael Littwin is a recent graduate from Cherry Hill High School West, where he was the Valedictorian of his graduating class. Littwin was involved in Student Government, Peer Leaders, National Honor Society, and a member of the Varsity Volleyball Team. Raphael also held leadership positions throughout high school, including DECA Chapter President, Principal’s Advisory Council Member, Spanish Honor Society President, and Jewish Student Union President. This fall, Raphael will attend the University of Pennsylvania.


Cape May County 

Recipient: Julia Knopp

Hometown: Ocean View, NJ

High School: Ocean City High School 

University: Northeastern University

Bio: Julia Knopp is a recent graduate from Ocean City High School where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Knopp was a member of the National Honor Society and a 4-Year Varsity Spring Track Athlete. In her free time during the summer, Julia worked at an ice cream shop. 


Gloucester County

Recipient: Kelly Wei

Hometown: Sewell, NJ

High School: Washington Township High School

University: Brown University

Bio: Kelly Wei is a recent graduate from Washington Township High School. She held leadership roles during high school, including Class Charge of Class Council Executive Board, Asian American Club President, Yearbook President, Co-President of Freshmen Transition, Secretary of Business Education Honor Society. Wei was also a member of the National English Honor Society. Kelly was awarded Senior Hall of Fame recipient. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and boba. This fall, Kelly will attend Brown University, where she plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science.


Mercer County

Recipient: Alyssa Deevey

Hometown: Robbinsville, NJ

High School: Robbinsville High School

University: Ramapo College of New Jersey

Bio: Alyssa Deevey is a recent graduate from Robbinsville High School, where she was a four-year Principal Honor Roll Student. Deevey participated in Field Hockey and Lacrosse. Alyssa enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, the beach, community service, and church in her free time. Alyssa is a current employee at Dunkin’. 

This fall, Alyssa will attend Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she plans to pursue a degree in Nursing.  


Note: All photos provided by Dunkin Scholarship program.


Banner Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Ocean City, NJ Causeway

July 19, 2021

OCEAN CITY, NJ — At 12:38 p.m. Monday (July 19, 2021), Ocean City police and fire crews responded to a call that a banner plane made an emergency landing on the Route 52 Causeway between Ocean City and Somers Point.

Landon Lucas, an 18-year-old flying for Paramount Air Service, reported that his plane began to experience engine trouble as he was flying near Steel Pier in Atlantic City. He released his banner into the ocean and was attempting to reach Ocean City Municipal Airport when he spotted a gap in traffic in the westbound lanes of the causeway.

The pilot successfully landed with no damage to the plane and no injury to himself or any motorist.

Investigators are on the scene, and crews are working to remove the wings and tow the plane away.

Both inbound lanes to Ocean City are open, and a single lane of outbound traffic is now open while the investigation continues.


Coast Guard medevacs injured mariner in Absecon Inlet, New Jersey

June 17, 2021

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Coast Guard medevaced an injured mariner after his vessel ran aground in Absecon Inlet Thursday morning. 

Just before 3 a.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay command center received a transmission on VHF-FM channel 16 from a mariner stating that he ran aground, hit his head and was potentially taking on water.

The command center launched a 29-foot Response Boat—Small boat crew from Station Atlantic City. Once on scene, the crew found the mariner’s vessel high aground and not taking on water. They brought the mariner aboard and transited to Station Atlantic City where emergency medical technicians transported him to Atlantic Care Hospital.

“We are grateful that this mariner had communications equipment on board in order to reach out for help,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Perkins, the coxswain aboard the RB-S from Station Atlantic City. “You never know when you may need to reach out for assistance, and having a VHF radio on board could end up saving your life.”


Egg Harbor Township Man Pleads Guilty To Sending False Distress Call To US Coast Guard

June 17, 2021

An Atlantic County, New Jersey, man yesterday admitted sending a false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard and submitting fraudulent information on a loan application, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Andrew Biddle, 51, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an indictment charging him with one count of bank fraud and one count of causing the U.S. Coast Guard to render unnecessary aid.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On June 25, 2014, Biddle submitted documents to secure a loan for $55,000 from Southeast Financial Credit Union. Biddle listed as collateral for the loan a boat and provided a fraudulent appraisal document for the boat. Biddle also submitted to Southeast Financial a document that falsely listed his gross earnings as owner of Professional Boat; a document that falsely inflated the net income for Professional Boat; and a fraudulent income tax return. Based on the fraudulent documents Southeast Financial fund the loan and deposit $55,000 into Biddle’s account.

Between February 2014 and July 2014, the Egg Harbor Township Police Department filed theft charges against Biddle. Biddle admitted that on July 20, 2014, he and a passenger took a boat out of Seavillage Marina in Northfield and traveled across Great Egg Harbor Inlet to a restaurant in Somers Point to have dinner. During dinner, Biddle and the passenger finalized a scheme to fake Biddle’s disappearance. After dinner, Biddle and his passenger traveled back to the marina by boat. The passenger dropped Biddle off between two piers so that he could be picked up by another individual and driven out of the area. The passenger then continued back to Seaville Marina and he intentionally hit a navigational marker in Great Egg Harbor Inlet near Longport. The collision caused the passenger to be ejected from the boat. The passenger caused someone to call 911. Based on that call the U.S. Coast Guard, New Jersey State Police and Longport fire/rescue responded to the area to search for and try and save Biddle. The U.S. Coast Guard and others searched for Biddle using vessels and helicopters on July 20 and 21, 2014. Biddle admitted that while the Coast Guard was searching for him, he was in Florida.

Biddle admitted that he faked his disappearance in order to avoid prosecution by authorities in Atlantic County, but eventually turned himself into authorities in Atlantic County on Feb. 12, 2015.
The count of bank fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The false distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard carries a maximum potential penalty of six years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and detectives of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, Egg Harbor Township Police Department, and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance.

The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

21-270

Defense counsel: Thomas Young Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden


Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue 6 from a vessel taking on water near Atlantic City, New Jersey

June 12, 2021

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued six boaters after their boat began taking on water approximately 34 miles east of Atlantic City, Thursday June 10, 2021.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Command Center in Philadelphia received an alert that a 28-foot pleasure craft with six people aboard was taking on water due to the inclement weather and the heavy seas in the area.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City launched to assist the boaters.

Once on scene, the Dolphin aircrew hoisted two of the boaters to safety while a nearby good Samaritan crew assisted with transferring the last four aboard their vessel.

All six boaters were safely transferred back to shore.

“These men no doubt made the right call deciding to be rescued in what looked like very unforgiving seas,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Swanner, the Dolphin pilot. “Luckily they had life jackets, which aided in their recovery and again, proved to be critical in saving these men. We encourage all boaters to have operable radios, EPIRBs and proper life jackets onboard.” 

Sector Delaware Bay issued an urgent marine information broadcast notifying mariners in the area of the adrift boat, and the owner will make plans to salvage the vessel.

No injuries or pollution were reported.

USCG

U.S. Coast Guard 5th District Public Affairs North


An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew crewmember from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., hoists two boaters from their 28-foot pleasure craft, approximately 34 miles east of Atlantic City, June 10, 2021. The aircrew and a good Samaritan boatcrew rescued six boaters after their vessel began taking on water due to inclement weather. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City/Released)

Taken: 06.10.2021 | Video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno


Stage 3 Fire Restrictions In Effect Tomorrow Morning For B & C NJ Forrest Fire Service Areas

May 18, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service will be implementing Stage 3 Fire Restrictions in the Division B & C Coverage Areas starting at 8:00 a.m. May 19, 2021. All open fires in wooded areas are prohibited unless in an elevated stove using only propane,, natural gas, gas or electricity. No charcoal fires area allowed in wooded areas. No agricultural burning at this time.

The area included is from the Raritan River South and Mercer County except for Hopewell Township. Cape May County is not included in the restrictions. See notes below from the New Jersey Forrest Fire Service for additional information.


The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has implemented stage 3 fire restrictions for our Division B & C coverage areas beginning 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 19.

Stage 3 Fire Restrictions:
🚫🔥All fires in wooded areas will be prohibited unless contained in an elevated stove using only propane, natural gas, gas, or electricity.
🚫🔥No charcoal fires are allowed.
🚫🔥No agricultural burning.

Division B is – Burlington County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County (south of the Raritan River), Mercer County except Hopewell Township

Division C is – Atlantic County, Cape May County, Camden County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, Salem County (NOTE: Cape May County is EXCLUDED from Stage 3 restrictions)

🔗 Current New Jersey Fire Danger: https://www.nj.gov/…/infot…/conditions-restrictions.html



National Police Week: 2021 Police Unity Tour Chapter 10

March 13, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Riders of the 2021 Police Unity Tour Chapter 10 biked hundreds of miles over a period of three days, despite not being able to ride into Washington, DC.

Organized in May 1997, The primary purpose of the Police Unity Tour “We Ride For Those Who Died” is to raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty. They also raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC.

This years ride began on May 9. Bikers began their first day by riding from Eatontown, NJ to Atlantic City, NJ, totaling 97 miles. During this ride, they made stops at the Ocean County Police Academy for a memorial ceremony, and did a ride-by at the Trooper Castellano Memorial on Route 195 in Howell, before ending their first day in Atlantic City.

The next day, riders began in Atlantic City, and ended their day in Lewes, DE, including the ferry from Cape May, NJ to Lewes. On this day, bikers rode a total of 72 miles.

On day three, the last day of the tour, riders continued from Lewes, DE to Annapolis, MD, totaling 90 miles.

All together, bikers rode nearly 260 miles to honor law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

The Police Unity Tour usually consists of four days, however this year the fourth day was stolen from them by officials of Washington, DC. Unfortunately, officials would not grant the organization permits for the ride, nor ceremony at the memorial, claiming covid concerns and that it could “incite unrest.”

Despite politics stealing their ride through DC, riders did a great job this year to raise support for the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice when they left their families to protect ours.

Mercer County agencies that participated in the ride are Princeton Township Police, East Windsor Township Police, Robbinsville Township Police, Trenton Police, Ewing Township Police, and New Jersey State Police.