TRENTON (MERCER)– A 23-year-old Maple Shade man has been arrested and charged with the February 24, 2021 murder of Lovelle Laramore, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
On Thursday, February 25, 2021, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Trenton Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to 407 Home Avenue on a report of an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, they found 60-year-old Lovelle Laramore on the couch with two gunshot wounds to the head. He was pronounced dead on scene.
An investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department revealed that Davon Marecheau was with the victim, his great-uncle, inside the residence on February 24 at the time of the murder. Detectives were able to obtain video surveillance that recorded audio of the gunshots as well as video of Marecheau leaving the scene after the shooting. During an execution of a search warrant at Marecheau’s apartment on March 4, detectives located several thousand dollars that Marecheau had taken from the victim’s residence after the murder.
Marecheau is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and theft. He is being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.
Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
PACIFIC OCEAN U.S. Navy Seaman Jamil Kelly, from Mt. Holly, N.J., uses an alidade on a bridge wing of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) Feb. 2, 2021. John Finn, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward deployed fleet, with its approximate 50-70 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and 20,000 Sailors in the area of operations at any given time, 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific area of operations to foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict alongside 35 other maritime nations and partners. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Waite)
A Burlington County, New Jersey, man today admitted stealing more than $350,000 from a special needs trust, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Eugene Young, 69, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by video conference before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
A special needs trust was established to provide for the supplemental care, maintenance, support, and education of a disabled individual and, in December 2017, had more than $1 million in assets in two bank accounts. In December 2017, Young caused the trust’s trustee, a senior citizen, to execute a power of attorney appointing him as the trustee’s agent.
Young used the power of attorney to gain access to the trust’s bank accounts and, between December 2017 and June 2019, used a variety of means to divert funds from the trust. Young used a debit card associated with the bank accounts to make more than 650 purchases and approximately 200 ATM withdrawals. He also wrote checks from the accounts to himself, made other withdrawals from the accounts, and cashed portions of annuity checks that were the property of the trust. The funds were not used for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiary, as required by the terms of the trust, but rather for Young’s personal use. Young misappropriated more than $350,000 from the trust before his scheme was discovered.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the gross pecuniary loss to others, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, special agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty, and special agents of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Friedman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Thomas Young Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service continues as Winter Storm Orlena moves though the area.
The National Weather Service Philadelphia-Mount Holly reports that heavy snow will continue with an additional snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches. Winds will gusting as high as 40 mph. Travel could be very difficult there will be areas of blowing snow that could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. The heaviest snow will end by late this evening. Periods of light snow accumulating snow will linger through Tuesday. The Winder Storm Warning will expire on 4:00 PM on Tuesday February 2, 2021.
There have been multiple accidents in the area South Brunswick Police Department reported at 12:00 pm that they have responded to 34 crashes/assists and that the roads remain hazardous. The remind people to stay off the roads as they are very slippery. NJ State Police has responded to 583 motor vehicle crashes and 839 aid to motorists. All agencies are urging residents to remain off the roadways and let snowplows do their jobs.
At 1:58 pm the Robbinsville Township Fire Department responded to the New Jersey Turnpike north bound in the inner lanes for a tractor-trailer accident blocking a lane.
The Robbinsville Township Fire Department also reminds those with fire hydrants near their homes to make sure they are clear. Clear a space 3 feet around the hydrant and a path to the roadway. This will help firefighters locate the hydrant and not have to spend time shoveling it out when needed in an emergency.
National Weather Service Snow totals as of 4:35 PM EST Mon Feb 1 2021
Florence 6.3 in 0300 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Columbus 5.1 in 0330 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Cooperstown 4.1 in 1100 AM 02/01 NWS Employee
1 ENE Westampton Twp 3.9 in 0100 PM 02/01 Official NWS Obs
Moorestown 3.8 in 0215 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Mount Laurel 3.7 in 0115 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Southampton Twp 3.0 in 1154 AM 02/01 Public
New Brunswick 18.0 in 0426 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
South Plainfield 17.0 in 1230 PM 02/01 Public
Port Reading 16.5 in 0320 PM 02/01 Public
Edison 14.0 in 0200 PM 02/01 Public
Perth Amboy 13.0 in 0120 PM 02/01 Public
South River 13.0 in 0345 PM 02/01 Public
Carteret 12.5 in 0125 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Colonia 11.2 in 1205 PM 02/01 Broadcast Media
East Brunswick 11.0 in 0200 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Highland Park 11.0 in 0200 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Old Bridge 11.0 in 0120 PM 02/01 Public
2 WSW Rossmoor 8.5 in 0100 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Holmdel 13.5 in 0230 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Belford 12.0 in 1136 AM 02/01 Public
Keyport 12.0 in 0250 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Colts Neck 11.5 in 0400 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Freehold 11.5 in 0130 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
1 ENE Cliffwood 11.0 in 0200 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Manalapan Twp 9.8 in 0240 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Marlboro 9.5 in 1240 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Eatontown 8.7 in 0245 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Freehold Twp 7.5 in 0200 PM 02/01 Public
Howell 7.2 in 0130 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
1 WNW Deal 6.5 in 0200 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Jackson 7.3 in 0430 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Brick 5.3 in 0426 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Bayville 0.5 in 0431 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Toms River 0.4 in 0430 PM 02/01 Trained Spotter
Mercer County has not reported yet.
...SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM CONTINUES ACROSS THE REGION...
Western Montgomery-Eastern Montgomery-Upper Bucks-Lower Bucks-
Including the cities of Flemington, Somerville, New Brunswick,
Freehold, Trenton, Collegeville, Pottstown, Norristown, Lansdale,
Chalfont, Perkasie, Morrisville, and Doylestown
401 PM EST Mon Feb 1 2021
...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM EST TUESDAY...
* WHAT...Heavy snow. Additional snow accumulations of 4 to 7
inches. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph.
* WHERE...Portions of central, northern and northwest New Jersey
and southeast Pennsylvania.
* WHEN...Until 4 PM EST Tuesday.
* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. Areas of blowing
snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous
conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...The heaviest snow will end by late this
evening. Periods of light snow accumulating snow will linger
If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in
your vehicle in case of an emergency.
The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can
be obtained by calling 5 1 1.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey State Police is urging New Jersey residents to prepare for a nor’easter that will affect the entire state. From late Sunday night through Tuesday morning, most of New Jersey will be under a Winter Storm Warning.
The storm is expected to create hazardous travel conditions statewide, so if you do not need to travel, please stay home to allow crews to safely treat our roadways. If you must travel, here are some safety tips to follow:
• Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on slick or snow-covered surfaces
• Increase the following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, which will help prevent rear-end crashes on slick roads
• Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before you leave for your trip
• Pack bottled water, blankets, and dry food goods in the event you get stranded
• Leave a friend or family member a travel itinerary so that they can alert police should you get stranded and/or lose cell service
• Make sure your gas tank is full before you leave in case you get stuck in traffic
• Top off your windshield washer fluid to clear salt from your windshield
• Pack a few bags of sand or cat litter, which can create traction for vehicles stuck on slippery road grades
If your vehicle becomes disabled during the storm, follow these safety rules:
• Call 9-1-1
• Stay inside your car. You are safer inside your car than outside
• Turn on your hazard lights
• To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows fully up. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm
The best way to avoid storm-related travel hazards is to stay off of the roads, but if you must travel, please take the time to prepare. Before you leave, make sure you check for the latest weather updates.
The Attorney General’s Office today released video footage which captured events surrounding a single-vehicle accident in which Keron Roundtree, 23, of Trenton, N.J., was injured when he sped away from Bordentown Township Police Officer Keith Alexander after an attempted traffic stop on Oct. 27, 2020. Mr. Roundtree succumbed to those injuries on November 17, 2020, at which time the investigation transferred from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office to the Attorney General’s Office, pursuant to P.L. 2019, c.1.
Video recordings from the officer’s body-worn camera and vehicular mobile video recorder are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Prior to today’s release, investigators met with Mr. Roundtree’s relatives to review the video recordings with them.
On the night of Oct. 27, Officer Alexander was on patrol on Route 206 Southbound in a marked police vehicle when he saw a Nissan Maxima traveling southbound in the left lane brake abruptly. The car, which was driven by Mr. Roundtree, resumed traveling southbound. Officer Alexander then followed Mr. Roundtree and observed him commit several motor vehicle infractions.
At approximately 8:51 p.m., about two minutes after he began following Mr. Roundtree’s car, Officer Alexander activated his overhead lights and siren to make a motor vehicle stop. At that point, Mr. Roundtree’s car sped off, traveling at speeds that reached in excess of 110 mph. Approximately one minute later, and without coming into contact with another car, Mr. Roundtree’s car crashed into a wooded area on the right side of Rt. 206. His car traveled into and out of the woods, coming to rest on the right shoulder of Route 206 Southbound.
Officer Alexander exited his vehicle and located Mr. Roundtree’s car. The car, which was heavily damaged, contained two occupants: Mr. Roundtree and an adult male passenger. Two bystanders assisted Officer Alexander in removing and rendering aid to both. Once ambulances arrived, the occupants of the Nissan Maxima were transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, N.J. Mr. Roundtree remained in the hospital until his death on Nov. 17, 2020. The passenger was admitted for treatment and later released.
The video recordings from Officer Alexander’s body-worn camera and the mobile video recorder in his police vehicle are posted online: Click here for recordings.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.
This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all 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. Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued by Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed. At present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regular grand juries are not sitting and hearing cases.
NEWARK, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, doctor was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for his role in a telemedicine scheme to prescribe expensive compounded medications to patients who did not need them, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Bernard Ogon, 48, of Burlington Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to one count of health care fraud conspiracy. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence today by videoconference.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Ogon admitted he signed prescriptions for compounded medications (medications with ingredients of a drug tailored to the needs of a particular patient) without having established a doctor-patient relationship, spoken to the patient or conducted any medical evaluation. Ogon often signed preprinted prescription forms – with patient information and medication already filled out – where all that was required was his signature. Then, instead of providing the prescription to the patient, Ogon would return the prescriptions to specific compounding pharmacies involved in the conspiracy. Ogon was paid $20 to $30 for each prescription he signed, and his participation in the conspiracy caused losses to health care benefit programs of over $24 million, including losses to government health care programs of over $7 million.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Ogon to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $24.3 million and forfeiture of $75,000.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty, and special agents of the Department of Health and Human Services, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Jason S. Gould, Acting Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
Defense counsel: Daniel M. Rosenberg Esq., Mount Holly, New Jersey
TRENTON (MERCER): A Burlington County, New Jersey, man today admitted attempting to interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder when he attempted to set fire to a police vehicle during a riot in the City of Trenton, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Killian F. Melecio, 20, of Columbus, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of attempting to obstruct, impede, or interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder affecting commerce.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 31, 2020, large-scale protests were held throughout the United States, including in Trenton, in response to the death of George Floyd. Although the May 31st protest in Trenton was peaceful earlier in the day, violence erupted later. A group of individuals proceeded down East State Street in downtown Trenton and began to riot, smashing store fronts, looting stores, and attacking multiple marked Trenton Police Department vehicles parked on the 100 Block of East State Street.
A City of Trenton street camera and other video footage taken by an individual present on the street captured Kadeem Dockery light an explosive device and throw it through the open front driver’s side window of a Trenton Police Department vehicle. Dockery then removed his shirt and handed it to Melecio, who then attempted to stuff the shirt in the gas tank of the police vehicle and ignite it. Melecio was then assisted by Justin Spry in attempting to set fire to the police vehicle. Law enforcement officers on scene arrested Spry, but Melecio and Dockery fled. Law enforcement later identified Melecio and Dockery through analysis of street camera and other video footage. They were arrested on Aug. 5, 2020.
The charge of attempting to interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil order carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Scheduling is scheduled for May 26, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI and task force officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; troopers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and officers of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, under the direction of Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander E. Ramey and Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations remaining against Kadeem Dockery and Justin Spry are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced yesterday that the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) has issued a Finding of Probable Cause against national retailer America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Inc. for allegedly subjecting a former employee to discrimination based on her pregnancy and for failing to provide her with a suitable place to express breast milk.
A Finding of Probable Cause means that DCR has concluded its preliminary investigation of a civil rights complaint and determined there is sufficient evidence to support a claim that a state anti-discrimination law has been violated.
America’s Best is a discount provider of eye examinations, eyeglasses and contact lenses with 700 stores nationally, including 15 branch locations in New Jersey.
Jalaia Hill, a former employee at an America’s Best store in Burlington, filed a complaint with DCR alleging unlawful pregnancy-based discrimination by the company after returning from maternity leave to learn her hours had been cut from full-time to part-time. The reduction to part-time status also eliminated her from eligibility for employer-provided healthcare coverage.
Hill also alleged that America’s Best failed to reasonably accommodate her request for a place to express breast milk. Specifically, Hill told DCR, she was forced to use an oft-accessed utility room that did not have a lock on the door and that was filled with boxes of supplies. She alleged that while expressing milk she was forced to lean up against the unlocked door in an attempt to ensure privacy, yet she would still be periodically interrupted by workers who walked in to obtain supplies. She also alleged that she was frequently ordered by her manager to “hurry up and finish” because there were customers waiting.
“New Jersey is committed to protecting the equal rights of pregnant employees and breastfeeding employees,” said Attorney General Grewal. “New Jersey law goes farther than federal law when it comes to protecting pregnant and breastfeeding employees and employers must ensure they know what state law, as opposed to federal law, requires.”
“Employers cannot punish employees for having children or taking parental leave, and being forced to express breastmilk in a room without a lock on the door, with colleagues walking in and out, while being reprimanded to ‘hurry up and finish,’ would be a clear violation of the LAD,” said DCR Director Rachel Wainer Apter.
Hill began her employment with America’s Best as a full-time sales associate in May 2018, earning an hourly wage plus sales commissions. Because she worked more than 30 hours per week she was considered full-time, and received healthcare benefits for herself and her children.
Hill took maternity leave beginning on November 19, 2018 and returned to work on March 4, 2019.
In her complaint, Hill alleged that in February 2019 – only days before she was scheduled to return to her full-time sales associate position – she had a telephone conversation with her manager in which he informed her that only part-time hours were available because another employee had taken over her hours while she was out on leave.
According to Hill, she was never restored to full-time hours, despite also informing the company’s district manager of her situation, and despite an alleged promise from that same district manager to arrange additional work hours for Hill at the Audubon store to qualify Hill as a full-time employee.
Three of Hill’s Burlington store co-workers corroborated Hill’s assertion that she was a full-time employee before she went on maternity leave, but that her hours were reduced upon her return. (Time sheets obtained by DCR showed that Hill worked an average of 34 hours per week prior to her maternity leave, but worked an average of only 28 hours a week after returning.)
As to the failure to provide her an adequate place to express breastmilk, DCR’s investigation showed that America’s Best eventually installed a lock on the utility room door where Hill was forced to express milk on May 29, 2019 – nearly three months after Hill’s return to work from pregnancy leave.
In its response to Hill’s complaint, America’s Best denied having discriminated against Hill.
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights enforces the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the New Jersey Family Leave Act, and works to prevent, eliminate, and remedy discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation throughout New Jersey. To view a fact sheet on pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination, go to https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/downloads/fact_BRST.pdf. To find out more information, go to http://www.njcivilrights.gov.
TRENTON (Jan. 23, 2021) – One Michigan ticket matched all five of the five white balls and the Gold Mega Ball drawn winning the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The estimated cash value was $776.6 million.
In New Jersey, there was onesecond-tier prizewinning ticket sold for the Friday, January 22, drawing that matched five of the five white balls drawn winning the $1,000,000 prize. The ticket was purchased at 7-Eleven #11027, 2075 Route 88, Brick in Ocean County.
There were ten third-tier prizewinning tickets sold that matched four of the five white balls and the gold ball winning $10,000. Those tickets were purchased at the following locations:
Sussex County: 7-Eleven #37251, 63 Water St., Newton; and,
Warren County: Mini Mart, 1312 US Highway 22 East, Phillipsburg.
In addition to the second and third-tier prizes won, 236 players matched four of the five white balls drawn making each ticket worth $500. 15 of those tickets were purchased with the Megaplier option, multiplying the prizes to $1,000. Moreover, 389,264 other New Jersey players took home $1,455,848 in prizes ranging from $2 to $400. The winning numbers for the Friday, January 22, drawing were: 04, 26, 42, 50, and 60. The Gold Mega Ball was 24, and the Megaplier Multiplier was 02.
The jackpot resets to $20 million for the next drawing on Tuesday, January 26, at 11:00 pm. All New Jersey Lottery Mega Millions tickets must be purchased before 10:45 pm to participate in the drawing. Mega Millions tickets cost just two dollars; by adding the Megaplier option for an extra dollar per play, players can increase their non-jackpot winnings up to five times. Mega Millions tickets are sold in 46 participating jurisdictions. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Jersey Cash 5 Boasts the Biggest Cash Jackpot EVER
Jersey Cash 5 Leaps to Record $2 Million Jackpot
TRENTON (Jan. 23, 2021) – New Jersey Lottery would like to announce the record-breaking jackpot for tonight’s Jersey Cash 5 drawing. The drawing for the all-cash jackpot of $2 million happens tonight at 10:57 pm, so be sure to get your tickets in time. The $2 million jackpot is the highest jackpot for Jersey Cash 5, ever – topping the 2013 record of $1.96 million.
With daily drawings and jackpots starting at $100,000, seeing jackpots top the million-dollar milestone is a rare treat for the game’s loyal players, but the two-million-dollar jackpot breaks new ground for the Jersey Cash 5 record books. For just a dollar, Jersey Cash 5 is a great option for players to pick their lucky numbers – or go with a Quick Pick option – and hope for the five-out-of-five match tonight.
Jersey Cash 5, which held its first drawing in 1992, has already proven to be a vital component of the Lottery’s offerings to support our State.
Photo and Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael B Zingaro
WRIGHTSTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)–PEARL HARBOR, HI — The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) conducted a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Jan. 22.
Cmdr. Samuel Bell, from Wrightstown, New Jersey, relieved Cmdr. John Gonser, from Amityville, New York, as Cheyenne’s commanding officer, during the ceremony which was held in the Submarine Squadron 1 War Room.
“USS Cheyenne has a storied legacy in the submarine force,” said Gonser. “Sailors are rightfully proud to join that tradition. When I took command, I challenged the crew to make those who came before us, who built that legacy, proud of us. For the past 41 months, this crew did just that. I am humbled and awed to call each and every one of them a shipmate.”
Under Gonser’s command, Cheyenne completed two Western Pacific deployments, in which they conducted five missions vital to national security and five exercises that expanded undersea warfighting experimentation. Cheyenne received the Battle Excellence (“E”) Award in 2020, the Navigation (“N”) Award in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and the Retention Excellence Award in 2018 and 2019. Over 150 submariners earned their Submarine Warfare designators with Gonser at the helm.
“Thank you for staying positive and connected through a schedule that would have been challenging even if COVID-19 did not exist,” said Gonser. “While I cannot discuss the nature of the operations, these Sailors helped preserve our national defense for today while building the next generation of undersea warriors.”
Gonser is going to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon.
Capt. Michael Majewski, commodore, Submarine Squadron 7, presided over the small ceremony, consisting only of essential personnel due to COVID-19 mitigations and safety procedures in place.
“Cheyenne has been my go to boat since I became commodore of Squadron 7 last year, but she was the go to boat long before that,” said Majewski. “She is the most capable 688 in the fleet and has proven it time and again with her performance.”
Bell comes from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy.
“The Cheyenne is well known in the submarine force as a command where Sailors want to be, and has recently been recognized for continued excellence,” said Bell. “I look forward to becoming a part of the legend.”
Cheyenne was commissioned Sept. 13, 1996 and is the third ship to be named after Cheyenne, Wyoming in the United States Navy. Measuring 360 feet long and displacing more than 6,900 tons, Cheyenne has a crew of approximately 140 Sailors. Cheyenne is capable of supporting various missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
HAMILTON (MERCER): Hamilton Police received a call around 10:10pm for a possibly intoxicated driver in a red vehicle with Pennsylvania plates traveling on South Broad Street. The vehicle reportedly struck a traffic light and continued down South Broad Street towards the Whitehorse Circle with a blown out rear passenger side tire.
Hamilton Police intercepted the vehicle on Route 206 just past the Hamilton-Bordentown border and pulled the vehicle over. After conducting a field sobriety test, the driver was placed under arrest for driving under the influence.
**Keep this in mind for the upcoming holiday. Be smart when driving and use this advice previously issued by law enforcement agencies in NJ:
Take mass transit, a taxi cab, or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
Spend the night where the activity or party is held.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
Always buckle up, every ride. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
If you are intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a taxi cab or have a sober friend or family member drive or escort you to your doorstep.
Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
UPDATE: NJ State Police Sgt. Philip Curry from the NJSP Public Information Bureau told MidJersey.news that the crash scene was still active but was able to give some details. The accident occurred at 5:45pm at MP 57.7 southbound on the outer roadway. It appears that it was involving three vehicles. Two occupants from one of the vehicles needed to be extricated and were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. Another driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI and was found to be in possession of marijuana. That is all the information available at this time.
Earlier MidJersey.news story:
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:45 pm, the Robbinsville and Bordentown Township Fire Departments, Robbinsville FD EMS, Capital Health Paramedics, and RWJ EMS were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike for a serious crash at 57.7 South Bound. It appears that a tractor-trailer hit two vehicles, entrapping two in one of the vehicles in the outer lanes. Bordentown and Robbinsville firefighters arrived on scene and started extricating the trapped occupants. Mutual aid was called from Hamilton Township Fire Department for additional assistance. Once extricated, Robbinsville FD EMS and RWJ EMS transported the two patients to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. NJ State Police are investigating the crash.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Fire-EMS was detailed to the NJ Turnpike at 12:30 pm for an accident at Mile Marker 59.9 North Bound Outer Lanes just south of interchange 7A. Bordentown Fire and EMS was also detailed, but recalled due to the minor injuries involved. It appeared that a dump truck and a car collided where both went though a guard rail and came to rest in a ditch. Robbinsville Fire Department was also busy with a serious gas leak at the same time, so just the ambulance and Bordentown Township Fire Department responded to the crash.
Then again about 1:45 pm in another emergency call to the NJ Turnpike, this time in front of the Woodrow Wilson Service Area at Mile Marker 58.5 North Bound Outer Roadway. It appeared that a tractor-trailer with a shipping container rear ended a tractor-trailer bulk tank. It was reported the driver was thrown though the windshield and was lying on the roadway right in front of the truck. Since Robbinsville FD was still tied up with the serious gas leak, Bordentown Township Fire Department and Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to the scene. Bordentown EMS, Capital Health Paramedics, and RWJ EMS transported at least one person to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.
This breaking news report is from radio reports and on scene reporting, once official information is received from the NJ State Police Public Information Bureau the story will be updated and any corrections made.
Accident 1 at mile marker 59.9 North Bound Outer roadway:
Accident 2 at mile marker 58.5 North Bound Outer Roadway in front of the Woodrow Wilson Service Area:
PALMYRA, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Burlington County Bridge Commission Director of Public Safety Patrick J. Reilly, Jr. announced that the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and Burlington County Bridge Commission Police Department are investigating a multi-car collision that occurred on the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge at 6:49 p.m. last night, killing one person.
The crash occurred when two cars heading westbound towards Philadelphia appeared to be speeding and one car clipped the other sending it into the eastbound lane, where it struck a Honda Civic head-on. The driver of the Civic was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which ultimately involved five vehicles.
Five individuals were taken to the hospital with various injuries, none of which appear to be life threatening. The name of the decedent is being withheld pending notification to their family.
The investigation is being led by BCPO Detective Jack Bowker and Det. Sgt. Brian Laudenslager of the Bridge Commission Police Department. Anyone with information pertaining to this crash is asked to call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113, or send an email to email@example.com.
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MANSFIELD, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Mansfield Township Police Department Chief Ronald G. Mulhall Jr. announced that a Chesterfield woman was charged with stealing more than $60,000 from a youth football and cheerleading program while serving as the organization’s treasurer over a five-year period that ended last year.
Stacy Cassidy, 45, of Monmouth Road, was charged with Elements of Computer Theft (Second Degree), Misapplication of Entrusted Property (Third Degree), Theft by Deception (Third Degree), and Forgery by Uttering (Fourth Degree). She was lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility pending a hearing tomorrow in Superior Court in Mount Holly.
The investigation began earlier this year after members of the Northern Burlington Junior Greyhound Athletic Association contacted law enforcement officials with suspicions that Cassidy had been embezzling funds from the organization and using them for personal expenses while serving as treasurer between January 2015 and December 2019.
The investigation revealed that during that period, Cassidy made 542 unauthorized transactions totaling $60,654.28. She used the money to help pay for her mortgage, cell phone bill, groceries, gas, and home heating oil, among other items. Included in that activity were 84 unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals totaling more than $21,000 that coincided with family vacations on cruises and to Disney World.
The investigation further revealed that, in an attempt to conceal the scheme, Cassidy restricted access to account statements, fabricated reports misrepresenting the organization’s financial position, and forged documents to falsely indicate that insurance premiums had been paid and coverage was being maintained.
A search warrant was executed this morning at Cassidy’s residence. She was taken into custody with the assistance of the Chesterfield Township Police Department and the
Cassidy will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit. The case was investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Mansfield Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Nicholas Schieber and Mansfield Township Police Detective Ken Allen.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Smith: Defense bill helps service members, NJ military missions, $37M for JB-MDL
December 9, 2020
Joint Base, MDL –The House passed and Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) voted for the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, new legislation that will protect the airlift and air refueling missions at America’s only tri-service installation, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB-MDL), and brings $37 million in construction jobs that will support construction work for the local economy.
“The bill requires the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain a minimum of 50 KC–10 Extender tankers—many of which are based at JB-MDL here in New Jersey—through fiscal year 2021, 38 Extenders through FY2022 and 26 through 2023,” Smith said. “This timetable should allow the critical air mobility mission at JB-MDL to continue without major disruptions as the Joint Base receives the new Boeing KC-46 tankers in the years ahead. We should see the first of 24 new aircraft in late 2021.”
Smith noted the bill authorizes construction of two key military projects at JB-MDL located in part in his congressional district:
· $22 million for the Air Force for a much-needed Munitions Storage Area
· $15 million for the New Jersey National Guard to build a National Guard Readiness Center to help with deployments of Guard members from the base.
The bill also addresses key military challenges including suicide prevention in the ranks and sexual assault and harassment and it improves information sharing on human trafficking activities to counter this heinous crime. The bill also provides 3 percent raises for all military personnel and hazard duty pay for certain deployments and combat.
The 2021 NDAA also
· initiates mental healthcare reforms for service-members, family members and retirees and seeks to improve the effectiveness of DoD’s suicide prevention programs.
· addresses sexual assault and harassment in the military with reforms designed to improve reporting, improve and protect the rights of victims, and provide for more effective responses for sex-related offenses.
· authorizes improvements to Military Family Housing with long overdue upgrades to identification and remediation of severe environmental hazards, and support for families displaced for mold and other hazards.
· provides reforms for military families, including childcare shortages, reforms to programs that support military families with children with special needs.
· ensures service members have the diagnostic equipment, testing capabilities and PPE they need, along with providing medical surge capacity, and health benefits to members of the National Guard that supported the COVID-19 response.
· improves U.S. coordination and information-sharing to combat international human trafficking and reauthorizes a stronger, survivor-led U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.
· strengthens tools to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorist programs.
The author of the recently House-passed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and Ranking Republican on the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China also highlighted key NDAA provisions that protect the U.S. from Chinese military and cyber threats and U.S. interests in promoting and protecting democracy around the world.
“Specifically, the bill expands the prohibition on DoD acquiring certain sensitive materials from China, or certain printed circuit boards from China,” Smith said. “It also requires a report on the vulnerabilities to the medicine supply chain of the United States from foreign nations like China, and a Presidential assessment on how to deter Chinese industrial espionage and large-scale cyber theft of intellectual property and personal information. The NDAA also requires public reporting of Chinese military companies operating in the United States and for that list to be published on the Federal Register.
“On human rights issues, democracy and the rule of law, President Xi is in a race to the bottom with North Korea,” said Smith, noting that for over 30 years, “I have pushed back on the fantasy notion that trade with China—in reality, a gutting of American manufacturing and a wholesale transfer of intellectual property—would somehow improve China’s behavior. It just didn’t happen.”
Update: Sgt. Philip Curry of the New Jersey State Police, Public Information Bureau told MidJersey.news:
The crash occurred at 9:45am on the outer roadway of the NJ Turnpike northbound mile post 54, Bordentown, Burlington County. Preliminary investigation revealed that a tractor-trailer was stopped on the right shoulder when it was struck by a northbound traveling utility body pickup truck. The pickup then crossed the roadway and struck the guardrail dividing the inner and the outer roadway coming to a rest partially in the inner roadway right lane and the outer roadway left lane. The truck spilled debris on the outer roadway which caused the outer to be temporarily closed for cleanup. Traffic was diverted to the inner with minimal impact on traffic.
A section of guardrail sustained substantial damage as a result of the crash.
The driver of the TT sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Capital Health.
BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)-NJSP, Fire and EMS responded to a motor vehicle crash on the NJ Turnpike near mile post 54.4 north bound outer lanes at 9:54 am. When Bordentown and Florence firefighters arrived they went in service to cut an occupant out of one of the vehicles. It appears that there are vehicles on both the right and left side of the outer lanes. NJ Turnpike is reporting property damage so expect delays in the area. At least two were transported by Endeavor Emergency Squad and Robbinsville ambulances to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.
Responding were Bordentown Township Fire Department, Florence Township Fire Department, Robbinsville Township Fire Department EMS, and Endeavor Emergency Squad responded to the scene. NJ State Police is investigating the crash. NJ Turnpike Authority is making emergency repairs in the area of where the crash happened.
West Trenton, N.J. – The day before Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year, but this holiday season has proven to be anything but typical. Although we expect fewer motorists on the road this year, the message of the New Jersey State Police remains the same. If you must travel during the holiday, we encourage you to take the time to prepare for unexpected emergencies by following a few safety tips that will surely come in handy if you find yourself in a jam. Before you head out, please consider the following:
•Fill up your gas tank •Check fluids (including windshield washer fluid and antifreeze) •Check tire pressure •Bring a mobile phone charger •Carry a flashlight with new batteries •Bring bottles of water and nonperishable snacks •Do not drive drowsy. Symptoms of driving tired are similar to those of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Use service areas to rest, stretch your legs, or grab a cup a coffee •Let someone know your travel plans •Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly
The easiest tip to follow to ensure not only your safety, but the safety of fellow motorists and pedestrians this holiday is to not get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday period, there were six fatal crashes that resulted in six deaths on New Jersey roadways. Drug and/or alcohol impairment was found to be a contributing factor in two of the crashes. These types of tragedies can be easily avoided by making responsible decisions and staying at home if you plan to drink alcohol.
The New Jersey State Police will have more than 90 additional troopers statewide during the holiday period in addition to normal patrols. Troopers will focus their efforts on speeding, aggressive driving, seatbelt usage, cell phone violations, distracted driving, and DWI.
“Although we will be celebrating the holiday differently this year, DWI education and enforcement remain a top priority for the New Jersey State Police,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Safety starts with sober driving, so we ask that you do your part by making responsible choices this holiday. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and please do not drink and drive.”
The 2020 Thanksgiving holiday period begins on Wednesday, November 25, at 6:00 p.m. and ends on Monday, November 30, at 6:00 a.m.
MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Several 9-1-1 calls reporting a car fire on the New Jersey Turnpike north of Exit 7 in the north bound lanes in Bordentown Township ended up to be the wrong location.
Bordentown Township and Robbinsville firefighters were dispatched at 2:03 pm to an area between Exit 7 and Exit 7A for a car fire. Upon arrival at the originally reported location they could see a column of smoke south of Exit 7, firefighters continued to the call and found the vehicle fire just north of the interchange turn for the PA Turnpike Extension on the north bound side of the highway at mile marker 51.8 outer lanes. Firefighters once on location quickly extinguished the flames. No other information was available about the call.
BORDENTOWN TWP/CITY (BURLINGTON): You may have noticed that Bordentown officers are looking a little scruffy this month, that’s because for the third year in a row the Bordentown Township and City Police Departments have decided to forgo shaving to help raise funds for a local resident in need.
This year’s recipient is Brianna Lemmo, a 16 year-old from Bordentown City who is currently battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Participating officers have made donations to grow a full beard, mustache or goatee and female officers are donating to paint their fingernails any color they desire.
Jimmy’s American Grill, Old Town Pub, Chickie’s & Pete’s Bordentown and Mario and Franks II have all generously agreed to support this initiative and will donate 10% of their proceeds on Tuesday, November 24, to help Brianna with her ongoing cancer fight.
Please patronize these establishments next Tuesday to help us raise money for Brianna!
NEWARK, NJ –An Ohio man who was out on bail for allegedly committing a bank robbery in the Chicago area and who is charged in New Jersey with seven bank robberies or attempted bank robberies will make his initial court appearance by videoconference today, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Tyler O’Toole, 23, of Cleveland, Ohio, was arrested in Queens, New York, on November 14, 2020. He is charged by complaint sworn out in the District of New Jersey on Nov. 4, 2020, with five counts of bank robbery and two counts of attempted bank robbery and is scheduled to have his initial appearance by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
O’Toole was arrested in Glenview, Illinois, on Aug. 20, 2020, and charged in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois with bank robbery. O’Toole was released on bail and placed on home detention with electronic location monitoring.
On Sept. 24, 2020, O’Toole removed his monitoring device, stole his mother’s blue 2018 Hyundai Elantra, and drove away. He later robbed, or attempted to rob, the following New Jersey banks:
Date Bank Location:
Oct. 8, 2020
Morris Plains, New Jersey
Oct. 8, 2020
Pompton Plains, New Jersey
Oct. 22, 2020
Aberdeen, New Jersey
Oct. 22, 2020
Bank of America
East Windsor, New Jersey
Oct. 27, 2020
Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Oct. 27, 2020
Mount Holly, New Jersey
Oct. 30, 2020
Runnemede, New Jersey
*attempted bank robbery
At each bank, O’Toole presented a note demanding cash from bank tellers. For example, during the Oct. 27, 2020, robbery of the Chase Bank in Lawrence Township, O’Toole handed the teller a manila envelope which stated:
• This is a robbery. Comply and Nobody gets hurt. • Give me 20’s 50’s 100’s • NO Trackers or Ink Packs • Put Money in THIS Envelope • Be fast, Act Normal
Each bank robbery or attempted bank robbery charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s Violent Crimes/Interstate Theft Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the FBI’s Westchester, County, New York Safe Streets Task Force; the Camden County, Monmouth County and Morris County prosecutor’s offices; and the Morris Plains Boro, Pompton Plains, Aberdeen Township, East Windsor Township, Lawrence Township, Mount Holly Township, Runnemede Borough, Medford, and Gloucester Township police departments for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
O’Toole has slight facial scarring and facial hair.
O’Toole was last known to reside in Cleveland, Ohio. He may be in the area of Southern New Jersey or Eastern Pennsylvania.
Tyler James O’Toole is wanted for his alleged involvement in a series of bank robberies. Beginning in September of 2020 through present, O’Toole is thought to have committed at least six bank robberies in New Jersey, and is a suspect in over a dozen others robberies in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. On November 4, 2020, a federal arrest warrant was issued for O’Toole in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, after he was charged with bank robbery.
In addition, O’Toole is wanted for his alleged involvement in a previous bank robbery in Glenview, Illinois.
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, (MERCER)–According a source close to the investigation a bank robbery occurred at the Mercer Mall, Chase Bank inside Shop Ride on Route 1. The source also stated that there were possibly related robberies in Mount Holly, Burlington County. It was said that the perpetrator was driving a blue car with Texas temporary plates. The source also stated it is believed that this is the 5th robbery by the same suspect recently.
FORT DIX, NEW HANOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–A Union County, New Jersey, man has been charged with conspiring to use drones to smuggle contraband, including tobacco, cell phone chargers, and a cell phone, into the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Johansel Moronta, 27, of Linden, New Jersey, an inmate at Fort Dix from April 2018 to March 2019, was charged by complaint, unsealed today, with one count of conspiring to smuggle contraband into the prison and to defraud the United States and one count of being a federal inmate possessing and obtaining, and attempting to possess and obtain, contraband. Moronta will be scheduled to appear on a date to be determined by the court.
Three other men, Adrian Goolcharran, a/k/a “Adrian Ahoda” and “Adrian Ajoda,” Nicolo Denichilo, and Jason Arteaga Loayza, a/k/a “Juice,” previously have been charged with participating in the scheme to use drones to smuggle contraband into Fort Dix.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) obtained evidence that in October 2018, while incarcerated at the federal prison at Fort Dix, Moronta participated, along with Arteaga, a former Fort Dix inmate, Goolcharran, and others, in a scheme to use unmanned aircrafts, or drones, to deliver contraband to inmates. Moronta’s role in the scheme was to coordinate the drone drops with Goolcharran and Arteaga from within the prison, and then retrieve the contraband after the drone, piloted by Goolcharran, had dropped the contraband inside the facility.
On Oct. 30, 2018, at approximately 1:40 a.m., Fort Dix officers observed a drone with fishing line hovering above the rooftop of an inmate housing unit. Officers found Moronta leaving a bathroom in the area where the bag of contraband dropped from the drone had been found, along with bolts that secured an open rooftop hatch used to access the delivery. Officers also found a cell phone that Moronta used to coordinate drone drops with Arteaga and Goolcharran. The phone contained numerous text messages and phone calls exchanged between Moronta, Goolcharran and Arteaga in the days leading up to the drop. On Oct. 27, 2018, Moronta sent a text message to Goolcharran referring to himself as “Joe [expletive] in fort dix on the rooftop.” On Oct. 30, 2018, at 12:07 a.m., Moronta sent a text message to Goolcharran asking “U in the area,” and Goolcharran responded “Yea.,” likely meaning that Goolcharran was near Fort Dix and available to make the drone drop. At 12:36 a.m., Goolcharran messaged Moronta “How we lookin,” and Moronta responded a few minutes later with “It ok.” Moronta also sent messages to Arteaga at 12:57 a.m., stating “Two trip,” likely referring to the number of drone flights planned, and “Same cop from last week,” likely referring to the corrections officer on duty.
Moronta also coordinated other drone drops with Arteaga and Goolcharran. Location data from Goolcharran’s cell phone confirmed that Goolcharran’s cell phone was in the Fort Dix area during the early morning hours of October 24, 2018, and began to depart the area by about 1:54 a.m. that same morning. In addition, evidence obtained from Moronta’s cell phone revealed numerous communications between Moronta, Arteaga, and Goolcharran on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, 2018, showing the three men coordinating multiple drone drops.
The offenses charged in the complaint carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000 for the conspiracy count and one year in prison and $100,000 maximum fine for the possessing or obtaining contraband count.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited agents of DOJ-OIG, New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Guido Modano; DOJ-OIG’s Cyber Investigations Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Keith Bonanno; the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 307 under the direction of Superintendent Jonathan Jackson; and the U.S. Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Douglas Shoemaker, with the investigation leading to the charges.
He also thanked Federal Bureau of Prisons personnel at Fort Dix, under the direction of Warden David Ortiz; agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; investigating agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas J. Mahoney; and officers with the Pemberton Borough Police Department, under the direction of Chief Edward Hunter; the Pemberton Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Jantas; and Chesterfield Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Kyle Wilson, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cari Fais and Jeffrey J. Manis of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill to allow housing for employees at facilities that board horses passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee Thursday.
The bill (A2768) would amend the Right to Farm Act to allow housing for equine-related farm employees as long as the newly constructed housing is in a separate area or level from the horses and meets all Uniform Construction Code standards, including fire ratings.
The bill also makes providing this housing an act that falls under Right to Farm protections.
“Farm employees often need more access to the horses they care for,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “They will be able to take better care of these animals if they can live on the same farm.”
Dancer’s bill will require the state agriculture development committee to adopt rules and regulations to implement the bill. The committee would adopt an agricultural management practice that permits the housing of equine-related farm employees in the same building where the horses are boarded either in a separate area or level from the horses.
“Taking care of a horse is one of the most demanding and worthwhile jobs one could do,” said Dancer. “The horse industry is important to New Jersey’s economy, and we must keep this industry thriving.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that the Mercer County Homicide Task Force has arrested and charged three men for the August 9, 2020 double homicide on Centre Street in Trenton.
Darnell Davis, 19, of Willingboro, Tyzir Hamilton, 19, of Trenton, and Treizon Thompson, 20, of Trenton, are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of first-degree conspiracy. The three men were all taken into custody on Tuesday in Trenton. The prosecutor’s office has filed motions to detain all three defendants.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force. Prosecutor Onofri praised the investigative work of the HTF and thanked the public for the assistance provided during the investigation. “For weeks, detectives have methodically pieced the puzzle together, identifying the vehicle and all three suspects. But the help of the public in solving this double homicide was instrumental. It allowed us to follow leads from the very beginning, helping to point investigators in the right direction and allowing them to connect the dots.”
“Now more than ever, we need the community to work with us,” Prosecutor Onofri continued, referencing Tuesday night’s shooting that left an eight year old and a 16 year old dead. “This homicide case, along with recent sex assault cases, have been successfully solved by us all working together for justice, and I encourage the public to continue communication with law enforcement.”
On August 9, 2020, at approximately 7:30 a.m., patrol officers with the Trenton Police Department responded to the area of 300 Centre Street for a shooting in progress. Upon arrival, officers located the first victim, William Irizarry, 18, lying on the street in the area of 339 Centre Street. He had sustained multiple gunshot wounds throughout his body and was pronounced dead at the scene. The second victim, Julius Vargas, 18, was located inside a corner market with a gunshot wound. Vargas was transported to the hospital for treatment, however, succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
The Trenton Police Crime Scene Unit photographed and processed the scene. Approximately 24 9mm shell casings were located. The scene inside of the market was also photographed and processed, and blood and several individual bags of suspected heroin were discovered.
According to the affidavit, HTF detectives were able to locate a witness and numerous cameras in the area of the shooting. A suspect vehicle was identified as a black Chrysler 300 with PA plates, along with two shooters, described as two black males wearing all black clothing and black ski masks. The black Chrysler 300 is seen circling the area before the shooting, then parking and watching the victims for several minutes as they stood on the corner with others. When the suspect vehicle drives up to the corner and stops, two shooters, later identified as Hamilton and Thompson, exit. Both run toward the victims, firing multiple gunshots. The driver, later identified as Davis, remains in the car. Hamilton and Thompson then chase after Irizarry as he runs into the street, continuing to shoot at him. When Irizarry falls to ground after suffering a gunshot wound, they both continue to shoot at him as he lays on the ground. Afterward, Hamilton and Thompson return to the suspect vehicle, which flees.
Further investigation revealed that a black Chrysler 300 was stolen out of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, on August 3, 2020, and seen on an automated license plate reader camera in the area of Pennington Avenue and Reservoir Street in Trenton on August 4. Detectives were able to partially match the license plate of the suspect vehicle to that of the stolen vehicle out of Bensalem.
The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit conducted a physical search and forensic examination of Irizarry’s cell phone, pursuant to a search warrant, and a photo was found that Irizarry posted on his Facebook page disrespecting the H-Block gang. Detectives continued to monitor multiple public social media posts throughout the month of August of numerous H-Block gang members talking about the murders of Irizarry and Vargas, taunting and threatening friends and family of the victims. They also referenced Irizarry disrespecting the H-Block gang prior to being murdered.
On September 1, 2020, while on surveillance during another investigation, HTF detectives observed the black Chrysler 300 with Pennsylvania plates driving in the area of Perry and Southard streets in Trenton. While detectives were attempting to identify the occupants, the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit came to an end on Reservoir Street near Frazier Street, where the vehicle crashed into a telephone pole and the occupants subsequently escaped on foot. Area surveillance footage shows the vehicle crash into the pole. Two black males exited the vehicle through the front passenger door, both wearing all black with their hoods up. The black males fled on Reservoir Street toward Frazier Street and subsequently made a right onto Frazier Street toward Pennington Avenue, then out of sight. One of the black males had what appeared to be a black handgun in his right hand.
A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle and detectives located a fully-loaded, 9mm Taurus handgun under the driver’s seat. The handgun was submitted to the New Jersey State Police Laboratory and identified as one of the guns used in the murders of Irizarry and Vargas. Further investigation revealed another witness who was able to identify Davis, Hamilton and Thompson as being responsible for the deaths of Irizarry and Vargas.
During Tuesday’s arrests of the three suspects, additional search warrants were executed in relation to the investigation and two more guns were located. Prosecutor Onofri thanked the Mercer County Homicide Task Force, his Special Investigations Unit, the U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the Mercer County Tactical Response Team, under the leadership of Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler, for their assistance.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The Bordentown Township Police Department is seeking assistance with the investigation into a pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Saturday evening, 10/17/20.
This incident originated at approximately 6:55 pm when a 42 year-old male was crossing Farnsworth Ave. in the area of Municipal Dr. The male was then struck by a vehicle which fled the scene and continued traveling towards Rt. 130. The pedestrian suffered serious injuries as a result of the collision and was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he remains in stable condition.
The only description of the vehicle at this time is a gray colored sedan with possible passenger side damage. Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact Dsgt. Pavlov at 609-298-4300, ext. 2128, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:45 am the Robbinsville Township Fire Department and the Bordentown Township Fire Departments were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident in the area of mile marker 58 south bound with injuries.
Luckily there is a North-South response sent to accidents on the NJ Turnpike because there is constant confusion with exact locations when people call 9-1-1 to report accidents and fires. This accident was originally reported at mile marker 58.0 south bound inner roadway “car lanes” but the vehicle was at mile marker 58.8 south bound outer lanes or “truck lanes” When Robbinsville Township firefighters went to the reported inner roadway location they discovered the accident was on the outer roadway. They radioed ahead to the north bound Bordentown Township fire and EMS apparatus that they could make the U-turn at 7A to get to the accident.
Bordentown firefighters arrived on location on the inner roadway and determined that a vehicle rear ended a tractor trailer and there was one injury. Bordentown Township EMS transported the patient to a local hospital. No word on the condition of the patient.
NJ State Police was on scene investigating the crash.
It seems with almost every call on the NJ Turnpike there is location confusion since the creation of the inner and outer roadways, nicknamed car and truck lanes. A similar situation happened on last night’s call near Exit 8. A response was sent from Hightstown and Cranbury Fire Departments and first aid squads to a South Bound accident in the area of Exit 8 “truck lanes” and the accident was actually in the North Bound inner roadway in the “car lanes” on the exit ramp. The confusion of people calling 9-1-1 had sent apparatus to the wrong location and delays responses since apparatus has to travel miles to make U-turns. It appears that the nick names “car lanes” and “truck lanes” adds unnecessary confusion the NJSP radio uses Inner Roadways and Outer Roadways for descriptions.