Category: Burlington

25 Miles Of Garden State Parkway Reopened Near Bass River State Forest

June 2, 2023

UPDATE: Garden State Parkway has reopened in the area of the fire in Bass River State Forest. Pay close attention to speed limits they have been reduced in the area.


WILDFIRE UPDATE: Allen Road Wildfire – Bass River State Forest

NEW ROAD CLOSURE: GARDEN STATE PARKWAY
⚠️ Garden State Parkway is closed between Exit 63 and Exit 38 in both directions.

EXISTING ROAD CLOSURES
⚠️ Allen Road is closed
⚠️ Oswego Road is closed
⚠️ Stage Road is closed between North Maple Avenue and Rt. 679
⚠️ Rt. 679 is closed between Rt. 563 and Leaktown Road

WILDFIRE SIZE UPDATE
The Allen Road Wildfire remains 5,000 acres in size and 50% contained.

STRUCTURES THREATENED
⚠️ The Timberline Campground remains closed
✅ 0 residential structures are threatened

TRAIL CLOSURES
⚠️ The Batona Trail is closed in Bass River State Forest


Chesterfield Township Police Department Issues Crime Alert For Catalytic Conveter Thefts

May 31, 2023

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Chesterfield Township Police Department has issued a Crime Alert for catalytic converter thefts. Numerous reports of catalytic converter thefts were reported to Chesterfield Township Police Department by residents in the Old York village section of the township. These thefts occurred to vehicles overnight / in the early morning hours of Wednesday May 31, 2023. Please be aware and observant and report any suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1 or central communications at 609-723-8300. Chesterfield Township Police Department is actively investigating the thefts. If you have any tips or leads please call CTPD at 609-291-0912


Catalytic converter theft is a National problem due to the valuable metals inside the converters. Recent MidJersey.news stories on catalytic converter theft:


File photo of catalytic converters from a raid in North Hanover Township, NJ in 2022


18-Year-Old Man Charged With First-Degree Murder And Related Offences In Hamilton Township

May 18, 2023

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that an investigation conducted by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Hamilton Police Division has resulted in the arrest of a Burlington County man for the shooting death of Matthew Morales.

Joshua Davis, 18, of Fieldsboro, NJ, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was taken into custody without incident Wednesday afternoon in Mount Laurel. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Davis pending trial.

Hamilton police officers responded to a shooting in progress in the 4900 block of S. Broad Street shortly after 1 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Upon arrival, officers located a male victim in the driveway of a home near Pilgrim Way suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim, identified as Morales, 28, of Blackwood, NJ, was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Investigation revealed that Morales was shot during an altercation with Davis on S. Broad Street.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact MCHTF Detective Luis Vega at (609) 989-6406 or Sgt. Sherika Salmon at (609) 960-3119. Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Joshua Davis, 18, of Fieldsboro, NJ, is charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. He was taken into custody without incident Wednesday afternoon in Mount Laurel. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Davis pending trial.



The scene yesterday on South Broad Street near Pilgrim Way and Main Street, Hamilton Township, Mercer County, NJ


Two Rescued From Roof Of Burning Home In Florence

May 9, 2023 Afternoon Update:

FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Firefighters reported that on May 9, 2023, at 7:03 a.m. the Florence Township Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire. The initial dispatch information there was a house fire with people trapped inside. Upon arrival, units reported heavy smoke, 2 people trapped on the front roof, and heavy fire on the right rear of the building. The firefighters placed a ladder to the roof, rescued the trapped fire victims, and stretched a 1 ¾” hose line. The fire extended into the apartment on the second floor, the attic above, and the adjoining duplex on the left side.


Fire departments from Bordentown City, Bordentown Township, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Delran Township, Riverside Township, and Willingboro Township all assisted with fire suppression operations.


Both residents from the apartment were transported to the appropriate hospitals.

The fire was placed under control at 7:47 a.m., and is under investigation by the Florence Township Fire Marshal and the Florence Township Police Department.


“Working smoke detectors save lives, test them monthly, have an escape plan, have a meeting place, and practice them.”


Earlier Midjersey.news story below:

May 9, 2023

FLORENCE, NJ (BURLINGTON)–It was reported that around 7:00 a.m., this morning a fire was reported in the 300 Block of Third Street with reports of two people trapped. Firefighters arrived and found smoke and fire coming from a 2 1/2 story duplex home with two victims trapped on the roof. Two were rescued from the roof and medical helicopter was called to the scene to fly them to the hospital. Two lines were stretched and firefighters vented the roof. The fire was placed under control in about a half hour.

This is a breaking news report from radio reports as well as witnesses on scene. Once official information becomes available the story will be updated.


Bystander photo


Montclair State University Student From Edgewater Park, NJ, Arrested for Allegedly Possessing and Creating Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Material Involving Children He Contacted on Social Media

May 8, 2023

TRENTON – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced charges against a Montclair State University (MSU) student who was arrested at his residence on the school’s campus in Essex County, NJ, for allegedly possessing and creating Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Material (CSAEM) involving children he contacted online. The arrest is the result of an investigation led by the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Cybercrime Bureau/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce.

Keyon Luff, 21, of Edgewater Park, NJ, is charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child for manufacturing CSAEM, second-degree sexual assault, third-degree endangering the welfare of a child for possession of CSAEM, and third-degree impersonation.

Luff, a junior at MSU, was taken into custody after detectives with the DCJ Cybercrime Bureau, assisted by the Montclair State University Police Department (MSUPD), executed a search warrant on Luff’s dorm room shortly before 7 a.m. on May 3, 2023. As a result of the search, detectives seized numerous digital devices from Luff’s room and determined that Luff was not only in possession of CSAEM, but also created fictitious social media accounts to contact underage children and engage in sexually explicit conversations. In some of those conversations, Luff directed children to perform sexual acts, record them, and send them to him via social media platforms. Luff was processed by MSUPD and transported to the Essex County Jail where he is being held pending a detention hearing.

“I commend the work of the dedicated men and women of the Division of Criminal Justice for their ongoing work on this case and the countless other cases against individuals who use the internet as a means to gain access into the lives of children,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Through our tireless efforts, we are working to identify and bring to justice those who seek to exploit the most vulnerable members of society – our children.”

The investigation that led to Luff’s arrest was initiated by the DCJ Cybercrime Bureau following a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC is a private, non-profit organization that assists with the location of missing children, reduction in child sexual exploitation, and prevention of child victimization. It also is an international clearing house that gathers information from law enforcement agencies and the public regarding issues of missing and exploited children. Cybertips are also reported to NCMEC when there is an allegation of a child being exploited over the Internet. NCMEC will then disseminate the information to the appropriate agencies for investigation.

Specifically, in this investigation, NCMEC reported that a cloud-based file hosting service reported that several files of suspected CSAEM were uploaded to its platform. Through investigative measures, investigators were able to determine that the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to upload the CSAEM files was associated with Montclair State University. Further investigation identified Luff as a suspect. 

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

Attorney General Platkin thanked the Montclair State University Police Department and its Detective Bureau for their assistance. 

First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

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



Riverside Teacher’s Aide Charged In Sexual Relationship With Student

May 3, 2023

RIVERSIDE, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Delanco Township Police Chief Adam M. Tilger announced that a Riverside High School teacher’s aide has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a male student.

Michelle Jacoby, 27, of Riverside, was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault (First Degree) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree). She was taken into custody last night and released today following an appearance in Superior Court.

The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began yesterday after the BCPO Special Victims Unit received information that the student had disclosed the relationship to a teacher. The investigation revealed that the relationship, which has since ended, involved multiple encounters over a two-year period beginning when the student was a freshman. Nearly of all them occurred in Jacoby’s home.

The age of the student and other details are being withheld in an attempt to protect his identity.

Riverside Superintendent Michael Adams said that Jacoby, who also serves as the Riverside High School marching band director, has been suspended.

“The safety of our students and staff is absolutely paramount,” Adams said in a statement to the school community. “Therefore, I want to assure you that based on the information shared with me regarding this specific allegation from a few years ago, there is no current safety concern for our staff or students. The School District will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities regarding this situation and will continue to provide the appropriate support/training for our staff and students.”

The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Delanco Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Det. Nick Schieber and DTPD Officer Adam Lipiec.

Jacoby is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the Special Victims Unit.

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

Michelle Jacoby, 27, of Riverside, was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault (First Degree) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree). She was taken into custody last night and released today following an appearance in Superior Court.

Attorney General’s Office Investigating Motorcycle Crash Resulting in the Death of Driver and Serious Injury to Passenger in Pemberton During Pursuit by Police  

April 24, 2023

Pemberton, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Office is investigating a motorcycle crash that occurred during a police pursuit. The crash occurred on April 20, 2023, after a Pemberton Township Police Officer attempted to stop the motorcycle in connection with a criminal investigation. The motorcycle being pursued struck an unrelated civilian vehicle, resulting in the death of the motorcycle driver and serious injuries to the motorcycle passenger. The identities of the decedent and the other individual are not being released at this time.

According to the preliminary investigation, the crash occurred on County Route 687 West near the intersection of Davis Street in Pemberton shortly after 5:16 p.m.

A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved.


Death Investigation At Rodeway Inn

April 20, 2023

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Mount Laurel Police Chief Judy Lynn Schiavone announced that an investigation is being conducted into the death of a man whose body was found this morning at the Rodeway Inn on Route 73 in Mount Laurel.

The investigation began after officers from the Mount Laurel Police Department were called to the hotel just before 10 a.m. They found the decedent, whose name is being withheld at this time, outside of a room near a stairwell.

An autopsy will be performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood to determine the cause and manner of death.

A person of interest has been taken into custody. Additional information will be released tomorrow.

The investigation is being conducted by the Mount Laurel Police Department and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Camden County Police Department, the Cherry Hill Police Department and the Evesham Township Police Department.

Troopers Identify Philadelphia Man Killed On New Jersey Turnpike In Hamilton Township This Morning

April 10, 2023

Update from the NJ State Police:

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Tpr. II Charles Marchan from the New Jersey State Police Public Information Unit told MidJersey.news that Troopers responded to a motor vehicle crash at 5:19 a.m. on the New Jersey Turnpike northbound on the inner roadway milepost 58.8, Hamilton Twp., Mercer County.

Based on a preliminary investigation a Honda passenger car was traveling north on the New Jersey Turnpike in the center lane. A Ford transit van was traveling north in the right lane. In the area of milepost 58.8, the Honda changed lanes from the center lane to the right lane and a collision occurred. As a result of the crash the driver of the Honda, Abdenour Rekik, a 41-year-old of Philadelphia, PA sustained fatal injuries. The driver of the Ford sustained no injuries. The crash remains under investigation and there is no additional information available.


April 10, 2023

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–NJ State Police, Firefighters from Robbinsville and Bordentown Townships as well as EMS responded to mile post 58.8 north bound for a serious crash around 5:41 a.m. It was reported that one person was trapped and unresponsive. The New Jersey State Police is actively investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.



Tornado Warnings And Severe Thunderstorm Warnings For Most Of Central New Jersey

April 1, 2023

8:00 p.m. update

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)-ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The storms have moved east of Trenton and cut through the center of the state knocking trees and wires down. MidJersey.news is monitoring communications for any reports of damage. There are reports of people trapped in a vehicle in Upper Freehold Township due to wires and trees down on a car. Numerous roadways are closed due to trees and wires down. A large amount of hail has fallen in the area that could create damage to cars and other items.

Looking at radar the storms area currently in the shore areas.

Hail that has fallen from the severe thunderstorms with tornado warnings in the Robbinsville – Allentown – Upper Freehold Township areas.


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Tornado Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings have been issued for most of Central New Jersey. Take Cover Immediatly.








Cheer Coach Charged With Allegedly Assaulting Minors Who He Coached

March 31, 2023

MEDFORD, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The New Jersey State Police have charged Jonathan P. Ryker, 25, of Hammonton, N.J., with sexual assault for allegedly assaulting minors who he coached at Rockstar Cheer in Southampton, N.J.

In August 2022, detectives from Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Medford Township Police Department began investigating explicit content that was sent from Jonathan P. Ryker to a minor via social media. During the 8-month investigation, detectives were able to identify another victim of Ryker who was also a student at Rockstar Cheer.

Ryker was additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child, and aggravated criminal sexual contact. Ryker was lodged in Burlington County Jail pending a detention hearing.

If you or anyone you know may have been a victim please contact the New Jersey State Police Red Lion Station at 609-859-2282. Anonymous tips are welcomed.

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


Medford Man Charged With Murdering Wife, Medical Examiner Concludes Homicide Due To Compression Of Victim’s Neck

March 30, 2023

MEDFORD, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Medford Township Police Chief Arthur E. Waterman announced that a Medford Township man has been charged with killing his wife in their Regent Court home last week.

Babu Natarajan, 40, was charged with Murder (First Degree). He was taken into custody yesterday at his residence and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court.

The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began on the afternoon of March 21, when officers from the Medford Township Police Department were called to the residence for a report of an unconscious and unresponsive female adult.

Upon arrival, they found the body of Angammal Babu, 41, on the bed in the upstairs master bedroom. The 911 call was placed by the defendant, who indicated to responding officers that his wife had taken a nap because she was tired.

An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood concluded that the manner of death was homicide, and the cause of death was due to compression of the victim’s neck.

The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and the Medford Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Al-Jerome Burnett-Crawford, BCPO Detective Melyssa Alonso, MTPD Detective Sergeant Jeff Samalonis and MTPD Detective Mark Hunsinger.

Natarajan will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO the Major Crimes Unit.

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


Babu Natarajan, 40, was charged with Murder (First Degree). He was taken into custody yesterday at his residence and lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court.


Bordentown Doctor Gets 15 Months In Prison And Ordered To Pay $1.9 Million For Role In Two Conspiracies To Defraud NJ State Health Benefits Programs

March 29, 2023

CAMDEN, N.J. – A doctor was sentenced yesterday to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $1.9 million and forfeiture of $54,000 for his role in two separate conspiracies to defrauding New Jersey state health benefits programs and accepting kickbacks in exchange for referring laboratory work. Dr. Daniel Oswari, 51, of Bordentown, New Jersey, pleaded on Dec. 16, 2019, in Camden federal court to two counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Travel Act.



Prior press relase from Monday, December 16, 2019:

Doctor and Pharmaceutical Representative Admit Health Care Fraud Conspiracies Targeting State Health Benefits Programs

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Trenton doctor today admitted his role in two separate conspiracies for defrauding New Jersey state health benefits programs and accepting kickbacks in exchange for referring laboratory work, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. A pharmaceutical representative admitted his role in a separate health care fraud conspiracy and to obstructing justice by telling witnesses to lie to the grand jury investigating the scheme.

Dr. Daniel Oswari, 48, of Bordentown, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to two counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud (Count One) and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Travel Act (Count 23). Mark Bruno, 45, of Northfield, New Jersey, also pleaded guilty before Judge Kugler to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and obstruction of justice.

Oswari was charged in October 2019 along with Steven Monaco, Michael Goldis, and Aaron Jones, and charges remain pending against those three defendants.

According to documents filed in these cases and statements made in court:

Compounded medications are specialty medications mixed by a pharmacist to meet the specific medical needs of an individual patient. Although compounded drugs are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are properly prescribed when a physician determines that an FDA-approved medication does not meet the health needs of a particular patient, such as if a patient is allergic to a dye or other ingredient.

Between January 2014 and April 2016, Oswari participated in a conspiracy that discovered that certain insurance plans paid for certain prescription compound medications – a including vitamins and pain creams – from a Louisiana pharmacy, identified in the indictment as the “Compounding Pharmacy 1,” and a Pennsylvania pharmacy, identified in the indictment as “Compounding Pharmacy 2.” The conspirators targeted patients with these insurance plans that provided coverage for the compound medications, particularly New Jersey state and local government and education employees. An entity referred to in the indictment as the “Pharmacy Benefits Administrator” provided pharmacy benefit management services for the State Health Benefits Program, which covers qualified state and local government employees, retirees, and eligible dependents, the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program, which covers qualified local education employees, retirees, and eligible dependents, and other insurance plans. The Pharmacy Benefits Administrator paid prescription drug claims and then billed the State of New Jersey or the other insurance plans for the amounts paid.

Oswari and members of his staff tried to persuade patients to receive the prescription compound medications, even if the patients did not have a medical necessity for the medications.  Oswari signed printed prescription forms from Compounding Pharmacies 1 and 2 that had pre-selected the highest number of refills to obtain the highest possible insurance reimbursement.  Oswari signed some prescriptions without seeing or evaluating the individuals, including for individuals who were not his patients. Oswari signed approximately 285 prescriptions for compounded medications, and the Pharmacy Benefits Administrator paid Compounding Pharmacies 1 and 2 approximately $1.9 million for the prescriptions he signed. In exchange for signing the prescriptions, Oswari received cash kickbacks. 

Oswari also pleaded guilty to a separate conspiracy to take kickbacks for referring laboratory work and signing prescriptions. Oswari had a laboratory hire his medical assistant as a phlebotomist. The medical assistant continued to work for Oswari, but laboratory paid her salary for over two years. In return, Oswari referred his blood and urine samples to the laboratory for testing. This lab work was insured by Medicare, New Jersey Medicaid, and other insurance companies. 

Bruno worked for a company that marketed compounded medications and received a percentage of the insurance payments. Bruno introduced a doctor to the company and received a percentage of the payments for prescriptions that the doctor wrote. Bruno and others paid the doctor to reward him for signing prescriptions. Bruno recruited individuals covered by New Jersey state insurance plans because he knew that those plans paid thousands of dollars for certain compounded medications. Bruno paid several of these individuals to see his doctor and receive prescriptions for compounded medications. Bruno received $68,872 from the company and caused $524,935 in losses.

Bruno learned in 2018 that the federal grand jury was investigating him. In 2019, two individuals paid by Bruno to receive compounded medications told him that they had received subpoenas to testify in the grand jury, and another two told Bruno that they were contacted by the FBI. Bruno told the first two to lie in the grand jury and deny that he paid them. Bruno told the other two to tell the FBI that he had not paid them.

The health care fraud and wire fraud conspiracy count to which Oswari pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. The kickbacks conspiracy count to which Oswari also pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The heath care fraud conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges to which Bruno pleaded guilty each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense.

Sentencing for Oswari is scheduled for March 23, 2020, and sentencing for Bruno is scheduled for March 24, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur in Newark; and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael C. Mikulka, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.  He also thanked the Division of Pensions and Financial Transactions in the State Attorney General’s Office, under the direction of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Division Chief Aimee Nason, for its assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. David Walk Jr. and Christina O. Hud of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment against Monaco, Goldis, and Jones are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Bordentown, NJ, Man Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Assault In Stabbing

March 29, 2023

MAYS LANDING, NJ – Raul Virella, 30, of Bordentown, NJ, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 to second-degree aggravated assault, in exchange for a seven-year term in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the No Early Release Act, meaning that he must serve 85% of that sentence before he is eligible for parole.

On February 8, 2022, Officer D. Fabrizio of the Galloway Township Police Department, responded to an altercation in the area of Federal Court in Galloway.   Investigating officers made contact with a victim suffering from severe stab wounds.                            The victim was transported to the hospital where he underwent lifesaving emergency surgery.

Defendant, Raul Virella, was placed under arrest nearby.   During a statement to law enforcement, Defendant admitted to stabbing the victim.

Sentencing will be on May 9, 2023, before the Honorable W. Todd Miller, J.S.C. Assistant Prosecutor David Little represents the state in this matter.

Raul Virella, 30, of Bordentown, NJ,


Cause Of Large Church Fire Still Under Investigation

March 21, 2023

FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The cause of yesterday’s fire at the Fountain of Life Center has yet to be determined.

In a statement Mayor Craig Wilkie stated, The Fountain of Life Center located at Old York Rd. and Burlington-Columbus Rd. experienced a significant fire last night causing heavy damage to the church. The fire has been placed under control. Emergency services personnel are on the grounds working on hot spots and clean up. Please stay out of the area and seek alternative routes of travel. Bystanders and onlookers are asked to stay out of the area and not enter the grounds. Your cooperation in allowing the personnel on the grounds to work is greatly appreciated.


Yesterday’s MidJersey.News story:




5+ Alarm Fire At Fountain Of Life Church In Florence, NJ

March 20, 2023

FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Firefighters are currently battling a 5+ Alarm fire at the Life Center of Fountain of Life Church at 2035 Columbus Road at the corner of Old York Road and Burlington/Columbus Road. Numerous fire companies are operating and had to sound evacuation tones to evacuate firefighters from inside the building. The firefighters have several master streams operating at the fire. Flames could be seen though the roof.

This is an active story as more information becomes available the story will be updated.


5+ Alarm fire at the Life Center of Fountain of Life Church video by: BRIAN KELLY

Photos by: NJ Public Safety News Alerts


5+ Alarm fire at Life Center of Fountain of Life Church. Video by: Frank Hornyak




Maryland State Police Investigating Fatal Crash In Prince George’s County That Killed Burlington County, NJ Truck Driver

March 14, 2023

(BELTSVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal crash that occurred this morning in Prince George’s County involving three vehicles.

The deceased is identified as Delando Woody, 56, of Florence, New Jersey. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency medical service personnel. He was the driver and sole occupant of a tractor trailer involved in the crash. His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. He was an employee with Estes Express Lines.

The sole occupant of a Dodge Charger involved in the crash is identified as Troy Myers, 45, of Hanover, Maryland. He was transported by ambulance to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. for medical treatment.

The driver and passenger of a Toyota truck were also injured in the crash. They are identified as Carlos Diaz Agustin, 22, and Anner Ramundo, 43, both of Beltsville, Maryland. Both were transported by ambulance to Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring for treatment of their injuries.

Shortly after 5:30 a.m., troopers from the Maryland State Police College Park Barrack responded to a report of a multiple-vehicle crash on I-95 in the area of MD Route 212 in Beltsville. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of a Dodge Charger traveling southbound on I-95 struck the Toyota, causing the truck to overturn into the median. Investigators believe the Charger crossed over the median and was struck by a tractor trailer traveling northbound on I-95.

I-95 was partially closed in both directions for more than 7 hours. Personnel from the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration assisted with road closures. The Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division as well as the Motor Unit responded to the scene to assist. The Maryland Department of the Environment also responded to the scene to assist with the diesel fuel spill.

The Maryland State Police Crash team is leading the investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has information related to this crash, is asked to contact the Maryland State Police Crash Team at 301-669-8100.  

Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation and consultation with the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. The investigation continues.


WUSA9 video



AG Platkin, Division on Civil Rights Take Enforcement Action to Hold Municipalities Accountable for LGBTQIA+ Discrimination in Marriage Licensing

28 Municipalities Receive Notices of Violation for Publishing LGBTQIA+ Exclusionary Marriage License Application Forms On Their Websites


DCR has issued Notices of Violation to the following 28 municipalities: Audubon, Carney’s Point, Chester Township, Commercial, Delran, Fair Haven, Farmingdale, Hi-Nella, Lopatcong, Lumberton, Manasquan, Milltown, Morris Plains, Morristown, Ocean Gate, Oceanport, Old Bridge, Pemberton, Pennsauken, Pohatcong, Raritan Borough, Stockton, Sussex Borough, Vineland, West Cape May, Westhampton, Westville, and Woodlynne.


March 8, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) announced today that DCR has issued Notices of Violation to 28 municipalities across the state for allegedly violating the Law Against Discrimination by publishing marriage license application forms on their websites that exclude certain LGBTQIA+ individuals seeking to obtain marriage licenses.

The Notices of Violation announced today have been issued to 28 municipalities that have posted marriage license application forms on their websites that do not permit nonbinary people to apply for marriage licenses unless they misgender themselves, under oath, as either “m” (male) or “f” (female). That practice is inconsistent with the marriage license application currently published by the New Jersey Department of Health, which has included a third gender option for nonbinary applicants and other people with undesignated or unspecified gender identities since 2019.

DCR has issued Notices of Violation to the following 28 municipalities: Audubon, Carney’s Point, Chester Township, Commercial, Delran, Fair Haven, Farmingdale, Hi-Nella, Lopatcong, Lumberton, Manasquan, Milltown, Morris Plains, Morristown, Ocean Gate, Oceanport, Old Bridge, Pemberton, Pennsauken, Pohatcong, Raritan Borough, Stockton, Sussex Borough, Vineland, West Cape May, Westhampton, Westville, and Woodlynne.

In each case, the Notice of Violation advises that the exclusionary gender options in the municipality’s marriage application form violates New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The LAD prohibits places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of real or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. Under the LAD, it is also unlawful for a place of public accommodation to display or post any communication or notice indicating that any of their offerings are unavailable based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.

“Marriage equality is not just the law. It is a fundamental right,” said Attorney General Platkin. “The marriage equality enforcement actions we are announcing today reflect our continued commitment to ensuring that municipal governments do not discriminate against couples seeking marriage licenses on the basis of their gender, gender identity, or gender expression.”

“The law in New Jersey is crystal clear: No one can be denied the fundamental right to marry based on their gender identity,” said DCR Director Sundeep Iyer. “Municipalities have an obligation to ensure that they are not excluding LGBTQIA+ individuals from applying for marriage licenses. Today’s enforcement actions underscore our ongoing commitment to ensuring that marriage equality remains a reality for our State’s LGBTQIA+ residents.”

The Notices of Violation announced today are the latest enforcement actions taken as part of DCR’s Marriage Equality Enforcement Initiative, which was launched in October 2022. The Marriage Equality Enforcement Initiative seeks to ensure that municipal governments across New Jersey comply with the LAD by providing gender-inclusive and non-discriminatory marriage licensing applications and instructions to the general public.

The discriminatory language used by municipalities to describe marriage licensing requirements was first flagged in Marriage Equality in New Jersey: A Latina/o/x Perspective, a joint report issued in July 2022 by the Latino Action Network, Hudson P.R.I.D.E., and Garden State Equality. The report found that the websites of certain municipalities violated the LAD by expressly limiting marriage licenses to “opposite-sex couples.” DCR’s investigation identified other discriminatory language employed by municipalities, including the exclusionary gender options identified in the Notices of Violation announced today.

Among other things, the Notices of Violation issued by DCR warn each municipality that the marriage license application form published on their websites violates the LAD, and that such violations could result in financial penalties of up to $10,000.

The Notices of Violation also contain an offer of settlement. If the municipality does not contest the facts as set out by DCR, it can resolve the matter by entering into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance agreement. That agreement requires, among other things, that the municipality:

  • Update its websites to state that marriage licenses are available to qualifying couples of all gender compositions;
  • Ensure that its website does not contain gender-restrictive language regarding who may obtain a marriage license, and that the services the municipality offers will be open to all persons on an equal basis without regard to sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression;
  • Adopt a written policy prohibiting discrimination against persons using or seeking to use the municipality’s offerings and services;
  • Provide LAD training on compliance with the written anti-discrimination policy to all municipal employees involved in drafting website language and in issuing licenses; and
  • Remit to DCR a payment in lieu of penalty.

The Marriage Equality Enforcement Initiative will continue to investigate other possible violations related to the posting of marriage licensing information by municipalities across the State. The Initiative is being led by DCR’s Strategic Initiatives and Enforcement Unit, including Interim Chief Aarin Williams and Legal Specialist Iris Bromberg.

***

DCR is the state agency responsible for preventing and eliminating discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation (e.g., places open to the public like schools, businesses, hospitals, etc.). DCR enforces the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), the New Jersey Family Leave Act, and the Fair Chance in Housing Act (FCHA).

DCR has developed various fact sheets about the LAD’s protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression in housing, employment, and places open to the public. To learn more, visit https://www.njoag.gov/about/divisions-and-offices/division-on-civil-rights-home/division-on-civil-rights-resources/

***


Mercer County Homicide Task Force Investigation Leads to Arrest Of Burlington Man in Sunday Morning Homicide In Trenton

February 13, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Burlington man has been arrested and charged for the murder of Stephanie Vil yesterday in Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Jamar Leonard, 38, is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to possess a weapon. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Leonard pending trial.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department. At approximately 9:06 a.m. on Sunday, February 12, 2023, Trenton police responded to a ShotSpotter activation and Trenton Communications received calls for a female shot in the area of Prospect Street and W. Hanover Avenue. Patrol officers arrived and located a black female with a gunshot wound lying in the street next to a heavily damaged vehicle. She was pronounced deceased at the scene at 9:19 a.m. The victim has been identified as 34-year-old Stephanie Vil, of Burlington, New Jersey.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Jamar Leonard, 38, is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and certain persons not to possess a weapon. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Leonard pending trial.


Names of the 2023 Trenton Homicide Victims

  1. 1/16/2023 Donnell Williams, 29, Trenton, Shooting.
  2. 2/12/2023 Stephanie Vil, 34, of Burlington, Shooting.


Photos and video by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News




Trenton Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for 2019 Willingboro Murder

January 6, 2023

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a Trenton man was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting a 26-year-old woman three years ago inside a parked car on Baldwin Lane in the Buckingham Park section of Willingboro Township.

The sentence was handed down in Superior Court in Mount Holly by the Hon. Christopher J. Garrenger, J.S.C., to Devon Woods, 28, who was convicted in October of Felony Murder (First Degree) Murder (First Degree), Robbery (First Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Robbery (Second Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree) and Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons (Second Degree).

Woods was arrested along with Sam Gore of Willingboro and charged with killing Deasia Ayres of Willingboro in the early morning hours of September 18, 2019. The investigation revealed that Woods fired a handgun into her neck and head as she sat in her Dodge Durango. The motive was robbery.

“I commend everyone who was involved in the investigation and prosecution of this defendant,” Prosecutor Bradshaw said. “This case strongly demonstrates our determination to work closely with our law enforcement partners to combat gun violence and maintain safe neighborhoods for Burlington County residents.”

Gore, 28, faces similar charges to those lodged against Woods. They have been held in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly since being arrested a week after the shooting.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit, and Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Conte.

The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Willingboro Township Police Department, with assistance from the Burlington County Sheriff’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office and the Trenton Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Sgt. Tony Luyber and WTPD Detective Sgt. Jason Galiazzi.


Devon Woods, 28, who was convicted in October of Felony Murder (First Degree) Murder (First Degree), Robbery (First Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Robbery (Second Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree) and Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons (Second Degree) was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting a 26-year-old woman three years ago inside a parked car on Baldwin Lane in the Buckingham Park section of Willingboro Township.


Bordentown Township Police Bust Pair In $13K Catalytic Converter Thefts

January 6, 2023

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Police say that on the morning of December 7, 2022 Bordentown Township Officers responded to the Bordentown Regional School District’s school bus depot located on Dunns Mill Rd. for a report of catalytic converters that had been stolen overnight from five (5) school busses.

These items were altogether valued at $13,084 and a subsequent investigation undertaken by Det. Moloney led to criminal charges of criminal conspiracy, burglary, theft and criminal mischief being filed on January 4, 2023 against the below subjects for this incident:

Markel Davis, age – 25, Lakeshore Dr. Camden NJ 08104.

Khalil Davis, age – 23, Saunders St. Camden NJ 08105.

Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed across the nation because these items contain several types of recyclable materials that can be scrapped for a quick profit. Our Police Department has focused a lot of attention on this crime trend and cleared nine (9) incidents of catalytic converter thefts in 2022 with arrests.


What can you do to prevent this type of theft?

* Park your car in a garage or well-lit area.

* Install security cameras in the area where you normally park.

* Adjust the alarm on your vehicle to activate from vibrations. Thieves use a saw to cut out the catalytic converter so those vibrations would activate the alarm.

*Engrave your VIN number onto your catalytic converter to make it easier to identify in case it does get stolen.

*Install a catalytic converter specific security device.

*Report suspicious activity. It only takes minutes for a thief to remove a catalytic converter.

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


File photos from the raid in North Hanover Burlington County on November 2, 2022 Catalytic Converter theft is a national problem due to the high value precious metals they contain.

10,000 Fentanyl Pills Worth $40K Seized During Mount Laurel Arrest

December 20, 2022

A joint investigation by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force, United States Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill Office, and the Mount Laurel Police Department culminated in the seizure yesterday of 10,000 fentanyl pills – worth $40,000 on the street – and the arrest of a 33-year-old Florida man.

Shane Smith, of Daytona Beach, was charged with two counts of Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Second Degree). He was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

Smith was arrested in the parking lot of the Walmart on Route 73. Details of investigation, which began earlier this month, are not being released at this time.

The seized pills are multicolored and informally known as rainbow fentanyl. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, this trend appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell highly addictive and potentially deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the DEA.  Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.

Fentanyl remains the deadliest illicit drug in the United States.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 107,622 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, with 66 percent of those deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.  Drug poisonings are the leading killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.

The fentanyl available in the United States is primarily supplied by two criminal drug networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) in Mexico, according to the DEA.

Smith will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force.

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


Shane Smith, of Daytona Beach, was charged with two counts of Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Second Degree). He was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.


Ex-Senior Correctional Officer at Youth Correctional Facility in Bordentown Pleads Guilty in Assault of Inmate and Cover-up

December 20, 2022

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that a former Senior Correctional Police Officer at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility in Bordentown has pleaded guilty after striking an inmate twice in the back of the head while the prisoner was handcuffed and restrained by other officers. After the assault, the officer attempted to cover up the incident by falsifying his report and convincing another guard to do the same.

Jason Parks, 43, of Gibbstown, N.J., appeared on Dec. 5 before the Honorable Terrance R. Cook, in Burlington County Superior Court and entered a guilty plea to second-degree conspiracy to commit official misconduct.

“Correctional Police Officers take an oath to maintain and secure the facilities where they are assigned,” said Attorney General Platkin. “The actions of the officer were not only unjustified and excessive, they were brutal and vicious. We will continue to hold law enforcement officers accountable to their promise to protect all New Jerseyans – including those in state custody.”

“Part of the Department of Corrections’ mission is running facilities that are not only secure but that also treat those in custody humanely, and this assaultive behavior will not be tolerated,” said Thomas Eicher, Executive Director of the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). “To make matters worse, Parks falsified documents and dragged a fellow correctional police officer into filing a false and misleading report.”

In entering the plea, Parks admitted that on Feb. 19, 2019, while he was on duty at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility, he struck an inmate in the head twice while that inmate was handcuffed with his arms behind him. The inmate was being held by two other correctional police officers and facing away from Parks at the time. The force of the blows knocked the inmate’s head against a wall. That use of force was in clear violation of the Department of Corrections’ Use of Force policy.

After the assault, Parks filed a report in which he claimed the inmate cursed at him and threatened to spit in his face. In his report, Parks stated that he struck the inmate in the mouth with an open hand to prevent him from spitting. Surveillance video from the facility and witness statements contradicted those claims. After the incident, Parks directed another officer to write a report that echoed his own false narrative. In his plea, Parks admitted to conspiring with that officer to commit Official Misconduct and violate the DOC’s rules and policies.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 9, 2023 before Judge Cook. The defendant faces up to a decade in prison.

Under the plea deal, Parks also agreed to permanently forfeit public employment in New Jersey.

Parks was charged in an investigation conducted by OPIA and the Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division. 

The case was prosecuted by former Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Gilmore and Deputy Attorneys General Andrew Wellbrock and Sherrod Smith, under the supervision of OPIA Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione.

Defense Attorney: Bonnie Geller-Gorman, Esq., Assistant Deputy Public Defender, Burlington County.



87 New Charges Accuse Former Mount Laurel Police Officer Of Illegally Accessing Social Media Accounts Of 18 Additional Women And Sharing The Nudes To Contacts

The investigation determined the commonality among all victims was that each one had a student email account through Rowan College of Burlington County. The investigation further determined that Taylor illegally accessed more than 2,800 RCBC email accounts. Some of this activity occurred while he was on duty and sitting in his patrol car, utilizing personal electronic devices.

December 2, 2022

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Evesham Township Police Chief Walt Miller announced that a former Mount Laurel police officer who was charged in October with hacking into the social media accounts of an Evesham woman and distributing her nude pictures has been charged with victimizing multiple other women in a similar manner.

Ayron Taylor, 22, of Delran, was taken into custody on Wednesday and released this afternoon following a first appearance in Superior Court in Mount Holly. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

Taylor faces 87 new charges that accuse him of illegally accessing the social media and email accounts of 18 additional women and in several instances distributing their nude photos to people on their contact lists. The complaints allege 28 counts of second-degree crimes that include Computer Criminal Activity and Distribution of Child Pornography, which was brought against him because some of the photos he accessed were taken before the victims became legal adults. The remaining 59 counts are third degree charges including Elements of Computer Theft and other cyber-related crimes.

The investigation began in September after the initial victim contacted Evesham Township police to report that her Snapchat and Facebook accounts had been hacked by an unknown person who then sent nude photos she had taken of herself to her Snapchat contacts, messaged them to her Facebook friends, and posted them on her Facebook wall.

The investigation determined the commonality among all victims was that each one had a student email account through Rowan College of Burlington County. The investigation further determined that Taylor illegally accessed more than 2,800 RCBC email accounts. Some of this activity occurred while he was on duty and sitting in his patrol car, utilizing personal electronic devices.

Taylor became a full-time officer in Mount Laurel after graduating from the police academy in October 2021. The department suspended him following the initial charges and began measures to terminate his employment. He has since resigned from the force.

RCBC officials have been cooperative with law enforcement throughout the investigation. The college released the following statement from President Dr. Michael A. Cioce:

“This is a repugnant cyber intrusion of privacy against the college and, especially, many of our students. Rowan College at Burlington County immediately strengthened network security upon the first report of the incident. Although there was no systemic failure of the college’s technology infrastructure, there is always opportunity for stronger security measures. The college’s Office of Student Support can provide assistance to victims who are impacted.”

Individuals who have an RCBC email account and suspect that their private photos were shared without authorization are asked to contact investigators at bcpohtc@co.burlington.nj.us.

The investigation, which is ongoing, is being conducted by the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit and the Evesham Township Police Department, with assistance from the Delran Police Department and the Riverside Police Department. The lead investigator is ETPD Detective Christopher DeFrancesco, who is assigned to the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit as a Task Force Officer.

Taylor will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the BCPO Insurance Fraud Unit.

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


Ayron Taylor, 22, of Delran, was taken into custody on Wednesday and released this afternoon following a first appearance in Superior Court in Mount Holly. The case will now be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

Taylor faces 87 new charges that accuse him of illegally accessing the social media and email accounts of 18 additional women and in several instances distributing their nude photos to people on their contact lists. The complaints allege 28 counts of second-degree crimes that include Computer Criminal Activity and Distribution of Child Pornography, which was brought against him because some of the photos he accessed were taken before the victims became legal adults. The remaining 59 counts are third degree charges including Elements of Computer Theft and other cyber-related crimes.


Ayron Taylor, 22, of Delran


Agway Grain Storage Silos Torn Down For Redevelopment; Makes Way For Team North Housing In Zoned Affordable Housing District

November 22, 2022

BORDENTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Demolition has started on the old grain silos along Route 130 South in Bordentown Township. The silos were used years ago by Agway where grain was processed and stored then shipped out on the historic Camden Amboy Railroad.

According to documents available from the Township website the area will be part of an Affordable Housing District of the Team Campus. The project is part of the Agway (Growmark)/Yates Redevelopment Plan.

Visit the Team Campus website here

The plan for Team Campus contains 351 apartments, 40,000 square feet of apartment amenities, 170,000 square feet of office and retail space and a 140,000 square foot health club in a mixed-use planned development.

According to the Team Campus Website project is Wellness Community Living and states “If home is where the heart is, it stands to reason that it should be healthy and happy. Welcome Home! Team Campus offers luxurious living through thoughtfully appointed apartments centered in a carefully constructed community comprised of everything needed to Live Work Play and Thrive.”


Bordentown Agway back in its heyday. © Bruzek, Wayne


Agway grain silos being torn down on 11/22/2022







Florence Township Resident Killed And Another Seriously Injured On I-295 In Burlington

November 20, 2022

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Sgt. Alejandro Goez of the New Jersey State Police Public Information Unit told Midjersey.News that a fatal accident was reported at 3:27 a.m. on I-295 north bound at mile post 46.6 in Burlington.

Preliminary investigation indicates a Freightliner M2 was traveling north in the right lane and a Chevrolet Equinox was traveling behind the M2. In the area of MP 46.6, the Equinox struck the rear of the M2.

The driver of the Equinox, Stanley Altidor, 31, of Florence Township, NJ sustained serious injuries and was taken to Virtua Mount Holly Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. The passenger, a 27-year-old female of Hampton, VA sustained serious injuries and was taken to Cooper Trauma Center.

The driver of the Freightliner M2, a 59-year-old male of Gloucester City, NJ did not sustain any injuries.



Grand Opening Of Happy Head Smoke Shop And Glass Gallery In Bordentown, NJ

November 19, 2022

BORDENTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)–This afternoon at 1:00 p.m. the Happy Head Smoke Shop and Glass Gallery opened for business at 178 Route 130 in Bordentown. TikTok Star, Sally Slices of Marcellos Pizza Grill in Hamilton, provided a pizza party and a pizza eating contest of 420 infused pizza. DJ Nebbs Entertainment provided the hits to keep the party rolling.

The Happy Head Smoke Shop contains a high-end glass gallery of various works of art, which is incredibly unique to the area. Even cannabis connoisseurs would be impressed with the amount and quality of the glass contained in the gallery.

Besides glass and other items, the shop also stocks CBD edibles.

If you are looking to take your smoking collection to the next level check out Happy Head Smoke Shop in Bordentown, New Jersey








Samples of some of the glass artwork that you will find in the glass gallery. Some of the high-end glass art is one of a kind depending on the artist.


Sample function test

Stratford, NJ Man Killed On I-295 In Mount Laurel

November 16, 2022

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Sgt. Alejandro Goez from the New Jersey State Police, Public Information Unit told MidJersey.News that an accident was reported at 10:20 p.m., on I-295 south bound at mile post 39.2 in Mount Laurel, Burlington County.

Preliminary investigation indicates that a Mercedes Benz E320 was stopped in the right shoulder and a Nissan Altima was traveling south. In the area of MP 39.2, the Altima entered the right shoulder and struck the Mercedes Benz as the driver was exiting the parked vehicle. The driver, William Scully, 49, of Stratford, NJ was transported to Jefferson memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

The driver of the Altima, a 19-year-old male of Sicklerville, NJ sustained minor injuries.

The accident is under investigation by the New Jersey State Police.

Yesterday’s Catalytic Converter Raid Nets 200 Pallets Of Catalytic Converters, $2Million in Exotic Autos, $1Million Currency, 29 Ounces Of Gold Bars, Jewlery And High-Value Handbags, In Operation Heavy Metal

November 3, 2022

NEWARK, NJ AND NORTH HANOVER, NJ (BURLINGTON)–In an update to story MidJersey.News from yesterday, Homeland Security Investigations Newark Field Office and the FBI announced that the HSI Newark -led task force executed a targeted operation on Wednesday November 2, 2022 though Monmouth and Burlington Counties in New Jersey and New York, as part of a nation-wide operation to take down a transnational catalytic converter theft ring. The HSI enforcement operation which included the Newark Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), the HSI Tulsa field office, Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Newark field office, and others from numerous state and local law enforcement partners, resulted in the apprehension of 6 individuals in Newark, 2 individuals in New York and confiscated more than 200 pallets of catalytic converters, more than $2 Million worth of exotic automobiles, and more than $1 Million in U.S. currency, 29 ounces of gold bars, jewelry, and several high-value handbags.

“This criminal enterprise involved multiple suspects across the country culminating with principal defendants residing and operating within the State of New Jersey and investigated by HSI.” said Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel of HSI Newark. “This Coordinated investigation and operation among several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies illustrates our commitment to stopping thefts, specifically catalytic converters being stolen, and ending the subsequent profit gained when they are sold within this State and around the globe. HSI will continue to follow the proceeds of these crimes, identify any perpetrators and their ill-gotten assets, and work collaboratively with our prosecutors to bring all co-conspirators to justice.”

The operation was part of a nationwide, coordinated takedown of leaders and associates of a national network of thieves, dealers, and processors for their roles in conspiracies involving stolen catalytic converters sold to a metal refinery for tens of mi9llions of dollars and often exported from the United States. Arrests, searches, and seizures took place in New Jersey, New York California, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia. In total, 21 individuals in five states have been arrested and/or charged for their roles in the conspiracy.

Catalytic converters are a component of an automotive vehicle’s exhaust device that reduce the toxic gas and pollutants from a vehicle’s internal combustion engine into safe emissions. Catalytic converters use precious metals in their center, or “core” and are regularly targeted for theft due to teh high value of these metals, especially the precious metals palladium, platinum, and rhodium. Some of these precious metals are more valuable per ounce than gold and their value has been increasing in recent years. The black-market price for catalytic converters can be above $1,000 each, depending on the type of vehicle and what state it comes from. Catalytic converters can be stolen in less than a minute and often lack unique serial numbers, VIN information, or other distinctive identification features, making them difficult to trace to their lawful owner. Thus, the theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly popular because of their value, relative ease to steal, and their lack of identifying markings.

HSI Newark BEST is comprised of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Port Authority of New York and New Jesey Police Department, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris Township Police Department and the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.

HSI the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure though which international trade, trave, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cites throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law.


Yesterday’s MidJersey.News story here:


Numerous signs around the property announcing that “We Buy Catalytic Converters! Paying The Highest Price

The scene yesterday at Blacey’s U-Pick Auto Parts “We Buy Scrap” on Route 537 in North Hanover Township just outside of New Egypt, a neighbor told Midjersey.news that a new company purchased the business three months ago and complained to the Township and local police about noise, traffic and fumes coming from the operation.






Photos by: Newark FBI and Homeland Security Investigations


Homeland Security Investigations photo


The scene yesterday at Blacey’s U-Pick Auto Parts “We Buy Scrap” on Route 537 in North Hanover Township just outside of New Egypt, a neighbor told Midjersey.news that a new company purchased the business three months ago and complained to the Township and local police about noise, traffic and fumes coming from the operation.


Justice Department Announces Takedown of Nationwide Catalytic Converter Theft Ring

The United States is seeking forfeiture of over $545 million in connection with this case

Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners from across the United States executed a nationwide, coordinated takedown today of leaders and associates of a national network of thieves, dealers, and processors for their roles in conspiracies involving stolen catalytic converters sold to a metal refinery for tens of millions of dollars.

Arrests, searches, and seizures took place in California, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia. In total, 21 individuals in five states have been arrested and/or charged for their roles in the conspiracy.

The 21 defendants are charged in two separate indictments that were unsealed today in the Eastern District of California and the Northern District of Oklahoma following extensive law enforcement arrest and search operations. In addition to the indictments, over 32 search warrants were executed, and law enforcement seized millions of dollars in assets, including homes, bank accounts, cash, and luxury vehicles.

“Amidst a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the country, the Justice Department has today carried out an operation arresting 21 defendants and executing 32 search warrants in a nation-wide takedown of a multimillion-dollar catalytic converter theft network,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “We will continue to work alongside our state and local partners to disrupt criminal conspiracies like this one that target the American people.”

“This national network of criminals hurt victims across the country,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “They made hundreds of millions of dollars in the process—on the backs of thousands of innocent car owners. Today’s charges showcase how the FBI and its partners act together to stop crimes that hurt all too many Americans.”

“With California’s higher emission standards, our community has become a hot bed for catalytic converter theft,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California. “Last year approximately 1,600 catalytic converters were reportedly stolen in California each month, and California accounts for 37% of all catalytic converter theft claims nationwide. I am proud to announce that we have indicted nine people who are at the core of catalytic theft in our community and nationwide.”

“In Tulsa alone, more than 2,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the past year,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson for the Northern District of Oklahoma. “Organized criminal activity, including the large-scale theft of catalytic converters, is costly to victims and too often places citizens and law enforcement in danger. The collective work conducted by federal prosecutors and more than 10 different law enforcement agencies led to the filing of charges in the Northern District of Oklahoma against 13 defendants operating an alleged catalytic converter theft operation.”

“The success of this national takedown highlights the importance and necessity of dynamic law enforcement partnerships that we foster at DHS every single day,” said Deputy Secretary John K. Tien of the Department of Homeland Security. “This calculated, cooperative whole-of-government approach across multiple states illustrates our commitment to protecting the homeland from those who seek to profit from sophisticated schemes. Homeland Security Investigations [HSI] will continue to focus its efforts on keeping these types of criminal elements off our streets while dismantling the groups behind these and other thefts.”

“Just like the precious metal inside every catalytic converter, there’s a money trail at the core of every criminal scheme,” said Chief Jim Lee of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “Our IRS-CI special agents and partners are incredibly well-versed at unraveling financial trails, and this case is not unique. There are real victims here – friends, neighbors, and businesses – and our hope is that today’s arrests will deter similar criminal activity.” 

Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are a component of an automotive vehicle’s exhaust device that reduce the toxic gas and pollutants from a vehicle’s internal combustion engine into safe emissions. Catalytic converters use precious metals in their center, or “core”, and are regularly targeted for theft due to the high value of these metals, especially the precious metals palladium, platinum, and rhodium. Some of these precious metals are more valuable per ounce than gold and their value has been increasing in recent years. The black-market price for catalytic converters can be above $1,000 each, depending on the type of vehicle and what state it is from. They can be stolen in less than a minute. Additionally, catalytic converters often lack unique serial numbers, VIN information, or other distinctive identification features, making them difficult to trace to their lawful owner. Thus, the theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly popular because of their value, relative ease to steal, and their lack of identifying markings.

Eastern District of California Case

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of California returned a 40‑count indictment charging nine defendants with conspiracy to transport stolen catalytic converters, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and other related charges.

According to court documents, brothers Tou Sue Vang, 31, and Andrew Vang, 27, and Monica Moua, 51, all of Sacramento, California, allegedly operated an unlicensed business from their personal residence in Sacramento where they bought stolen catalytic converters from local thieves and shipped them to DG Auto Parts LLC (DG Auto) in New Jersey for processing. The Vang family allegedly sold over $38 million in stolen catalytic converters to DG Auto.

Defendants Navin Khanna, aka Lovin Khanna, 39; Tinu Khanna, aka Gagan Khanna, 35; Daniel Dolan, 44; Chi Mo, aka David Mo, 37; Wright Louis Mosley, 50; and Ishu Lakra, 24, all of New Jersey, operated DG Auto in multiple locations in New Jersey. They knowingly purchased stolen catalytic converters and, through a “de-canning” process, extracted the precious metal powders from the catalytic core. DG Auto sold the precious metal powders it processed from California and elsewhere to a metal refinery for over $545 million.

Northern District of Oklahoma Case

A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Oklahomareturned a 40‑count indictment charging 13 defendants with conspiracy to receive stolen catalytic converters, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and other related charges.

According to court documents, together the defendants bought stolen catalytic converters from thieves on the street, then re-sold and shipped them to DG Auto in New Jersey for processing. Over the course of the conspiracy, defendant Tyler James Curtis received over $13 million in wired funds from DG Auto for the shipment of catalytic converters and received over $500,000 from Capital Cores for catalytic converters. Defendant Adam G. Sharkey received over $45 million in wired funds from DG Auto. And defendant Martynas Macerauskas received over $6 million in payments from DG Auto for catalytic converters. In all these incidents, most of the catalytic converters sold to DG Auto were stolen, and DG Auto knew or should have known that when they paid for them. 

The 13 defendants are Navin Khanna, 39, of Holmdel, New Jersey; Adam Sharkey, 26, of West Islip, New York; Robert Gary Sharkey, 57, of Babylon, New York; Tyler James Curtis, 26, of Wagoner, Oklahoma; Benjamin Robert Mansour, 24, of Bixby, Oklahoma; Reiss Nicole Biby, 24, of Wagoner, Oklahoma; Martynas Macerauskas, 28, of Leila Lake, Texas; Kristina McKay Macerauskas, 21, of Leila Lake, Texas; Parker Star Weavel, 25, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Shane Allen Minnick, 26, of Haskell, Oklahoma; Ryan David LaRue 29, of Broken Bow, Oklahoma; Brian Pate Thomas, 25, of Choteau, Oklahoma; and Michael Anthony Rhoden, 26, of Keifer, Oklahoma.

Trial Attorney Danbee C. Kim of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica M.A. Alegría for the Eastern District of California, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Reagan Reininger and David Nasar for the Northern District of Oklahoma are prosecuting the cases.

The FBI Sacramento, IRS-CI Sacramento, HSI Tulsa, and IRS-CI Tulsa are investigating the cases.

FBI Las Vegas (NV), FBI Richmond (VA), FBI Charlotte (NC), FBI Newark (NJ), FBI Dallas (TX), HSI Dallas (TX), HSI Houston (TX), HSI Amarillo (TX), HSI St. Paul (MN), HSI Long Island (NY), HSI Newark (NJ), IRS-CI Chicago Field Office (IL), IRS-CI Oakland Field Office (CA), IRS-CI Dallas Field Office (TX), IRS-CI Newark Field Office (NJ), Tulsa Police Department (OK), Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (OK), Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OK), Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office (OK), Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office (OK), Houston Police Department (TX), Amarillo Police Department (TX), Broken Arrow Police Department (OK), Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (CA), Sacramento Police Department (CA), Davis Police Department (CA), Auburn Police Department (CA), Livermore Police Department (CA), San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Department (CA), Customs and Border Protection (NJ), Port Authority Police Department of New York and New Jersey (NY; NJ), Hudson County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Morris Township Police Department (NJ), Springfield Police Department (NJ), New Jersey State Police (NJ), Union County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), Port Authority of NY & NJ (NY; NJ), Howell Police Department (NJ), Warren Township Police Department (NJ), Freehold Borough Police Department (NJ), Middletown Police Department (NJ), Marlboro Police Department (NJ), Manalapan Police Department (NJ), Ocean County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Burlington Police Department (NJ), Willingboro Police Department (NJ), Waterfront Commission of NY Harbor (NY), Nassau County Police Department (NY), Suffolk County Police Department (NY), Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (NV), Greensville County Sheriff’s Office (VA), Emporia Police Department (VA), Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office (VA), Halifax County Sheriff’s Office (NC), Saint Paul Police Department (MN), Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau (MN), Blaine Police Department (MN), McLeod County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Anoka County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Carver County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Roseville Police Department (MN), Plymouth Police Department (MN), Bloomington Police Department (MN), Eagan Police Department (MN), Woodbury Police Department (MN), Brown County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Brooklyn Park Police Department (MN), Fridley Police Department (MN), Mendota Heights Police Department (MN), Chaska Police Department (MN), and Coon Rapids Police Department (MN) provided assistance.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Raids In New Jersey As Law Enforcement Takes Down Nationwide Network Of Catalytic Converter Thieves, Dealers And Processors For Roles In Conspiracies Involving Stolen Catalytic Converters Sold For Tens Of Millions Of Dollars

FBI and HSI Police swarmed Blacey’s U-Pick Auto Parts “We Buy Scrap” at 242 Monmouth Rd, in North Hanover Township, Burlington County, just outside of New Egypt, NJ today. Multiple pallets of what appeared to be catalytic converters marked as evidence and hauled away.

Navin Khanna, 39, of Holmdel, New Jersey charged in connection with Oklahoma Case.

Navin Khanna, aka Lovin Khanna, 39; Tinu Khanna, aka Gagan Khanna, 35; Daniel Dolan, 44; Chi Mo, aka David Mo, 37; Wright Louis Mosley, 50; and Ishu Lakra, 24, all of New Jersey, charged in California Case.


Midjersey.News Update Here:


November 2, 2022

Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners from across the United States executed a nationwide, coordinated takedown today of leaders and associates of a national network of thieves, dealers, and processors for their roles in conspiracies involving stolen catalytic converters sold to a metal refinery for tens of millions of dollars.

Arrests, searches, and seizures took place in California, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia. In total, 21 individuals in five states have been arrested and/or charged for their roles in the conspiracy.

The 21 defendants are charged in two separate indictments that were unsealed today in the Eastern District of California and the Northern District of Oklahoma following extensive law enforcement arrest and search operations. In addition to the indictments, over 32 search warrants were executed, and law enforcement seized millions of dollars in assets, including homes, bank accounts, cash, and luxury vehicles.

“Amidst a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the country, the Justice Department has today carried out an operation arresting 21 defendants and executing 32 search warrants in a nation-wide takedown of a multimillion-dollar catalytic converter theft network,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “We will continue to work alongside our state and local partners to disrupt criminal conspiracies like this one that target the American people.”

“This national network of criminals hurt victims across the country,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “They made hundreds of millions of dollars in the process—on the backs of thousands of innocent car owners. Today’s charges showcase how the FBI and its partners act together to stop crimes that hurt all too many Americans.”

“With California’s higher emission standards, our community has become a hot bed for catalytic converter theft,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California. “Last year approximately 1,600 catalytic converters were reportedly stolen in California each month, and California accounts for 37% of all catalytic converter theft claims nationwide. I am proud to announce that we have indicted nine people who are at the core of catalytic theft in our community and nationwide.”

“In Tulsa alone, more than 2,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the past year,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson for the Northern District of Oklahoma. “Organized criminal activity, including the large-scale theft of catalytic converters, is costly to victims and too often places citizens and law enforcement in danger. The collective work conducted by federal prosecutors and more than 10 different law enforcement agencies led to the filing of charges in the Northern District of Oklahoma against 13 defendants operating an alleged catalytic converter theft operation.”

“The success of this national takedown highlights the importance and necessity of dynamic law enforcement partnerships that we foster at DHS every single day,” said Deputy Secretary John K. Tien of the Department of Homeland Security. “This calculated, cooperative whole-of-government approach across multiple states illustrates our commitment to protecting the homeland from those who seek to profit from sophisticated schemes. Homeland Security Investigations [HSI] will continue to focus its efforts on keeping these types of criminal elements off our streets while dismantling the groups behind these and other thefts.”

“Just like the precious metal inside every catalytic converter, there’s a money trail at the core of every criminal scheme,” said Chief Jim Lee of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “Our IRS-CI special agents and partners are incredibly well-versed at unraveling financial trails, and this case is not unique. There are real victims here – friends, neighbors, and businesses – and our hope is that today’s arrests will deter similar criminal activity.” 



Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are a component of an automotive vehicle’s exhaust device that reduce the toxic gas and pollutants from a vehicle’s internal combustion engine into safe emissions. Catalytic converters use precious metals in their center, or “core,” and are regularly targeted for theft due to the high value of these metals, especially the precious metals palladium, platinum, and rhodium. Some of these precious metals are more valuable per ounce than gold and their value has been increasing in recent years. The black-market price for catalytic converters can be above $1,000 each, depending on the type of vehicle and what state it is from. They can be stolen in less than a minute. Additionally, catalytic converters often lack unique serial numbers, VIN information, or other distinctive identification features, making them difficult to trace to their lawful owner. Thus, the theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly popular because of their value, relative ease to steal, and their lack of identifying markings.


Photos of “Operation Heavy Metal” provided by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)


Eastern District of California Case

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of California returned a 40‑count indictment charging nine defendants with conspiracy to transport stolen catalytic converters, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and other related charges.

According to court documents, Tou Sue Vang, 31, and Andrew Vang, 27, and Monica Moua, 51, all of Sacramento, California, allegedly operated an unlicensed business from their personal residence in Sacramento where they bought stolen catalytic converters from local thieves and shipped them to DG Auto Parts LLC (DG Auto) in New Jersey for processing. The defendants allegedly sold over $38 million in stolen catalytic converters to DG Auto.

Defendants Navin Khanna, aka Lovin Khanna, 39; Tinu Khanna, aka Gagan Khanna, 35; Daniel Dolan, 44; Chi Mo, aka David Mo, 37; Wright Louis Mosley, 50; and Ishu Lakra, 24, all of New Jersey, operated DG Auto in multiple locations in New Jersey. They knowingly purchased stolen catalytic converters and, through a “de-canning” process, extracted the precious metal powders from the catalytic core. DG Auto sold the precious metal powders it processed from California and elsewhere to a metal refinery for over $545 million.

“This national takedown exemplifies the complexities of organized criminal operations and stresses the importance of law enforcement collaboration to identify and disrupt all facets of a criminal enterprise,” explained Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “This case demonstrates how investigations often evolve to expose the higher level organizations that fuel street-level crime.  While catalytic converter thefts are a significant and pervasive challenge for local law enforcement agencies, these street-level crimes often benefit larger criminal networks.  Organized crime must be addressed comprehensively and collaboratively to disrupt these networks and reduce crime in our communities.  We are grateful for the commitment and partnership of our local, state, and federal law enforcement colleagues who worked tirelessly to ensure this criminal enterprise was effectively disrupted.”

Northern District of Oklahoma Case

A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Oklahomareturned a 40‑count indictment charging 13 defendants with conspiracy to receive stolen catalytic converters, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and other related charges.

According to court documents, together the defendants bought stolen catalytic converters from thieves on the street, then re-sold and shipped them to DG Auto in New Jersey for processing. Over the course of the conspiracy, defendant Tyler James Curtis received over $13 million in wired funds from DG Auto for the shipment of catalytic converters and received over $500,000 from Capital Cores for catalytic converters. Defendant Adam G. Sharkey received over $45 million in wired funds from DG Auto. And defendant Martynas Macerauskas received over $6 million in payments from DG Auto for catalytic converters. In all these incidents, most of the catalytic converters sold to DG Auto were stolen, and DG Auto knew or should have known that when they paid for them. 

The 13 defendants are Navin Khanna, 39, of Holmdel, New Jersey; Adam Sharkey, 26, of West Islip, New York; Robert Gary Sharkey, 57, of Babylon, New York; Tyler James Curtis, 26, of Wagoner, Oklahoma; Benjamin Robert Mansour, 24, of Bixby, Oklahoma; Reiss Nicole Biby, 24, of Wagoner, Oklahoma; Martynas Macerauskas, 28, of Leila Lake, Texas; Kristina McKay Macerauskas, 21, of Leila Lake, Texas; Parker Star Weavel, 25, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Shane Allen Minnick, 26, of Haskell, Oklahoma; Ryan David LaRue 29, of Broken Bow, Oklahoma; Brian Pate Thomas, 25, of Choteau, Oklahoma; and Michael Anthony Rhoden, 26, of Keifer, Oklahoma.

Trial Attorney Danbee C. Kim of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica M.A. Alegría for the Eastern District of California, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Reagan Reininger and David Nasar for the Northern District of Oklahoma are prosecuting the cases.

The FBI Sacramento, IRS-CI Sacramento, HSI Tulsa, and IRS-CI Tulsa are investigating the cases.

FBI Las Vegas (NV), FBI Richmond (VA), FBI Charlotte (NC), FBI Newark (NJ), FBI Dallas (TX), HSI Dallas (TX), HSI Houston (TX), HSI Amarillo (TX), HSI St. Paul (MN), HSI Long Island (NY), HSI Newark (NJ), IRS-CI Chicago Field Office (IL), IRS-CI Oakland Field Office (CA), IRS-CI Dallas Field Office (TX), IRS-CI Newark Field Office (NJ), Tulsa Police Department (OK), Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (OK), Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OK), Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office (OK), Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office (OK), Houston Police Department (TX), Amarillo Police Department (TX), Broken Arrow Police Department (OK), Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (CA), Sacramento Police Department (CA), Davis Police Department (CA), Auburn Police Department (CA), Livermore Police Department (CA), San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Department (CA), Customs and Border Protection (NJ), Port Authority Police Department of New York and New Jersey (NY; NJ), Hudson County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Morris Township Police Department (NJ), Springfield Police Department (NJ), New Jersey State Police (NJ), Union County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), Port Authority of NY & NJ (NY; NJ), Howell Police Department (NJ), Warren Township Police Department (NJ), Freehold Borough Police Department (NJ), Middletown Police Department (NJ), Marlboro Police Department (NJ), Manalapan Police Department (NJ), Ocean County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Burlington Police Department (NJ), Willingboro Police Department (NJ), Waterfront Commission of NY Harbor (NY), Nassau County Police Department (NY), Suffolk County Police Department (NY), Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (NV), Greensville County Sheriff’s Office (VA), Emporia Police Department (VA), Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office (VA), Halifax County Sheriff’s Office (NC), Saint Paul Police Department (MN), Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau (MN), Blaine Police Department (MN), McLeod County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Anoka County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Carver County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Roseville Police Department (MN), Plymouth Police Department (MN), Bloomington Police Department (MN), Eagan Police Department (MN), Woodbury Police Department (MN), Brown County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Brooklyn Park Police Department (MN), Fridley Police Department (MN), Mendota Heights Police Department (MN), Chaska Police Department (MN), and Coon Rapids Police Department (MN) provided assistance.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


The scene this afternoon at Blacey’s U-Pick Auto Parts “We Buy Scrap” at 242 Monmouth Rd, in North Hanover Township. Evidence technicians from the FBI and HSI Police (Homeland Security Police) can be seen removing many pallets of what appeared to be catalectic converters and placed them in multiple panel trucks before being hauled away. It is unclear if or how Blacey’s is connected to any of the above cases all we know for sure is that FBI Agents and HSI Pollice were seen swarming the building today.