Category: Burlington

Multi Vehicle Accident on NJ Turnpike in Hamilton

January 14, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville and Bordentown Township Fire Departments and EMS were dispatched to Mile Post 57 for a multi vehicle accident in the outer roadway at 3:23 p.m. It appears that injuries were minor, and it was unclear if the person who reported non-life-threating injuries was transported. NJ State Police is investigating the crash. Traffic was backed up close to two miles until the vehicles were towed from the scene.

Mount Holly Man Charged with Leaving Scene of Fatal Accident

January 10, 2022

MOUNT HOLLY, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Mount Holly Township Police Chief Richard Spitler announced that a 41-year-old Mount Holly resident has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failing to seek medical treatment for an injured person after fatally striking a woman with his pickup truck in October 2020.

Angel Carrion, of Blue Jay Lane, was taken into custody January 6 by officers from the Mount Holly Township Police Department. He was lodged in the Burlington County Jail and released following a first appearance in Superior Court.

The criminal charges against Carrion include Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident (Second Degree) and Endangering an Injured Victim (Third Degree) by failing to seek medical assistance after he struck and drove over the victim at approximately 5:30 a.m. on October 16, 2020.

The investigation, which utilized surveillance footage from multiple businesses, revealed that Carrion turned onto Route 38 west from Pine Street in Mount Holly and immediately struck Cynthia Ann Rasinksi, 57, of Mount Holly, who was crossing the roadway.

The investigation further revealed that Carrion left the scene but then returned to the intersection, positioning his silver, lifted pickup truck so the headlights illuminated the area where the victim was lying in the roadway. He then drove off again without reporting the incident to police.

Officers from the Mount Holly Township Police Department were dispatched to the scene a short time later after another motorist reported a person being down in the roadway.

Rasinski was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined that Rasinksi died from multiple injuries.

The investigation was conducted by the Mount Holly Township Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigator is MHTPD Detective Nicholas Dell-Priscoli.

Carrion will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Dennis, supervisor of the BCPO Collision and Accident Reconstruction Unit, and Assistant Prosecutor Michael Sullivan, supervisor of the Civil Remedies Unit. 

Anyone with information about the collision, or who was traveling in the area of Route 38 and Pine Street in Mount Holly between 5:15 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. on October 16, 2020, is asked to contact the Mount Holly Township Police Department at 609-864-2231 or the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office at tips@co.burlington.nj.us.

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

2022-01 Motorist Charged in Mt. Holly Pedestrian Fatality


Second Former Inmate Admits Role in Scheme to Use Drones to Smuggle Contraband into Fort Dix Federal Prison

January 10, 2022

NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a scheme to use drones to smuggle contraband, including cell phones and tobacco, into the federal correctional facility at Fort Dix, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Johansel Moronta, 29, of Linden, New Jersey, a former inmate at Fort Dix, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with one count of possessing and obtaining contraband while in prison. Moronta, who had been released from custody several months after the offense occurred and was on federal supervised release thereafter, also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his supervised release.

Another former federal inmate, Jason Arteaga-Loayza, previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the scheme as well as to distributing narcotics and was sentenced in September 2021 to 43 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton. Two other men, Adrian Goolcharran, aka “Adrian Ahoda,” aka “Adrian Ajoda,” aka “Adrian Ajodha,” and Nicolo Denichilo, also have been charged with participating in the scheme to use drones to smuggle contraband into Fort Dix prison.

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

Moronta, an inmate at Fort Dix from April 2018 to March 2019, participated in multiple drone deliveries of contraband into Fort Dix while incarcerated. Between October 2018 and June 2019, Arteaga-Loayza arranged for Goolcharran, with Denichilo’s assistance, to fly drones over Fort Dix and drop packages of contraband into the prison, where Moronta took possession of the contraband and helped sell it to inmates for a profit. The packages that Moronta helped to smuggle in to FCI Fort Dix included cell phones, cell phone accessories, tobacco, weight loss supplements, eyeglasses, and various other items. Moronta, from inside the prison, helped coordinate inmate requests for specific items of contraband and assisted in the collection of payments.

Moronta’s conspirators took various steps to prevent BOP officials from detecting and intercepting the contraband. They planned drone drops during the late evening hours or overnight when it was dark and the drones were less likely to be seen. Goolcharran, the drone pilot, with Denichilo’s assistance, flew the drones from concealed positions in the woods surrounding the prison. The lights on the drones were covered with tape to make it more difficult for prison officials to spot the drones against the dark evening sky.

Moronta and his conspirators used cell phones, including contraband phones concealed within the prison, to coordinate the drone drops. A contraband cell phone used by Moronta while an inmate at Fort Dix contained text messages with Arteaga-Loayza about the collection of profits from the sale of the contraband inside of the prison. In one exchange, for instance, Moronta messaged Arteaga-Loayza about an inmate, “Ok so I am tell him 10 phones and 100 baco [i.e. tobacco] he has to pay 10 bands and 500 on each phone?” Arteaga-Loayza responded, “And well (sic) even give him an ounce of weed tell him.”

Moronta admitted in court that, on Oct. 30, 2018, he received a bag dropped by a drone onto the roof of a housing unit at FCI Fort Dix which contained contraband tobacco, cellphone chargers and charging cables. Prison officials recovered that bag which contained 127 bags of Bugler tobacco, 10 cell phone chargers and 10 USB charging cables. Moronta also admitted to possessing a contraband cell phone on that date, which he had used to coordinate the drone drop.

During a search of Arteaga-Loayza’s residence on June 27, 2019, agents found a kitchen closet containing packages of empty cell phone boxes, including a package with empty cell phone boxes that had been shipped to Arteaga-Loayza the day before the drone drop of Oct. 30, 2018, cell phone chargers, empty boxes of SIM cards, and several cell phones.

Moronta also admitted to physically assaulting his girlfriend in June of 2021 while at a gas station in Fort Lee, after his release from federal prison.

Moronta faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and maximum fine of $100,000 for the plea to possession of contraband while being a federal inmate. Moronta also agreed to a term of imprisonment of 14 months for violating the terms of his supervised release by assaulting his girlfriend, a term which will be served consecutively to whatever term of imprisonment he receives for the contraband charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited agents of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Cyber Investigations Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Keith A. Bonanno; the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 307, under the direction of Superintendent Nicholas Kaplan; and the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Joseph Harris, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

He also thanked Federal Bureau of Prisons personnel at Fort Dix; special agents of the FBI; special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and officers with the Pemberton Borough Police Department; the Pemberton Township Police Department; and Chesterfield Township Police Department, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. McCarren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the criminal complaints issued against the remaining defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

22-014

Defense counsel: Kristen Santillo Esq., New York


After Nearly 95 Years, Mastoris in Bordentown Announces Permanent Closing

January 1, 2022

BORDENTOWN, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Mastoris restaurant that was founded in 1927 announced their permanent closing today on Facebook after operating for nearly 95 years. This was announced on their Facebook page earlier today:

It is with great sadness that we announce the permanent closing of Mastoris at 144 US-130, Bordentown, NJ.

As background, Mastoris Diner & Restaurant was sold in early 2020 to Foggia Restaurant Group, LLC, a group of local investors, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The decision to close is, in part, due to the ongoing pandemic’s impact on the restaurant industry, as well as a strategic decision among investors with an eye toward the future of the bar/restaurant in its current location.

We know this news will be difficult to many in the community who considered Mastoris to be so much more than just their local diner; it was a place to gather with friends and neighbors, to visit your favorite server or bartender, share a meal with loved ones, celebrate life’s big moments, or bring home a cake for a family milestone celebration. Like us, we hope your memories at Mastoris will bring you much comfort in the days ahead.

We are so grateful to all of our wonderful employees, patrons, and friends for supporting us over these past years. The good people of Bordentown and the surrounding regions are amazing, and it has been our pleasure to serve you.

Please stay connected to this page to follow news and updates about the restaurant and bar as the business owners evaluate options for the future and consider the best path forward.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy #2022 and thank you again for your loyal patronage.




Car Fire Quickly Extinguished on NJ Turnpike

December 27, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 6:00 p.m. the Robbinsville Township and Bordentown Township Fire Departments were dispatched to the area of mile post 58 south bound for a car fire. Robbinsville firefighters found the car on fire on the right shoulder of the outer lanes at mile post 57.5 on the Crosswicks-Hamilton Square Road Bridge. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire with a 1 3/4″ hose line. Firefighters were on scene for a short time until the vehicle was towed from the scene. No further information is available at this time.

Multiple Crashes Reported on New Jersey Turnpike Between Exits 7, 7A and 8

December 23, 2021

BORDENTOWN-HAMILTON-ROBBINSVILLE, (MERCER-BURLINGTON)–There were multiple crashes on the New Jersey Turnpike this afternoon and evening creating traffic delays and shutting down the outer roadway.

At 3:36 p.m. Bordentown Township and Robbinsville Township firefighters responded to the area of Mile Post 55 for a tractor trailer into a bridge at mile post 55.08 south bound and another vehicle on the right shoulder also involved in the crash. Robbinsville EMS, Florence EMS, Virtua Paramedics also responded to the scene. Robbinsville EMS and Paramedics transported the truck driver to the Trauma Center at Captial Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. It was unclear where Florence EMS transported their patient.

At 4:22 p.m. a vehicle rear ended a box truck on the New Jersey Turnpike Outer Roadway in the area of Mile Post 59 in front of the Richard Stockton, 6S Service Area. Robbinsville Township and Bordentown Township firefighters also responded to that scene. It appeared the traffic backup from the first accident was quite possibly a contributing factor. Allentown EMS, Captial Health Paramedics responded to the scene, Captial Health-Allentown EMS transported to RWJ at Hamilton Hospital with an injury from that accident.

At 5:46 p.m. Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Hightstown Fire Department, Hightstown First Aid Squad, Capital Health Paramedics and Robbinsville EMS responded to a crash at Mile Post 63.3 South Bound on the inner roadway. One injury was reported in that crash. A private ambulance that was already on the Turnpike stopped to help with Captial Health Paramedics, the private ambulance transported the patient to the local hospital for treatment with minor injuries.


At 3:36 p.m. Bordentown Township and Robbinsville Township firefighters responded to the area of Mile Post 55 for a tractor trailer into a bridge at mile post 55.08 south bound and another vehicle on the right shoulder also involved in the crash. Robbinsville EMS, Florence EMS, Virtua Paramedics also responded to the scene. Robbinsville EMS and Paramedics transported the truck driver to the Trauma Center at Captial Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. It was unclear where Florence EMS transported their patient.





Shooting Investigation: 35-Year-Old Male Shot in Pemberton

December 23, 2021

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP-BROWNS MILLS, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Yesterday on December 22, 2021 at approximately 9:10 p.m., the Pemberton Township Police Department was dispatched to a residence on Begonia Street in Browns Mills for a report of a shooting. Officers arriving at the scene found a 35-year-old male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to Cooper Hospital for treatment. The investigation into the incident is on-going. At this time we do not believe that there is any danger to the general public. The Pemberton Township Police Department is conducting the investigation jointly with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. Anyone with information about this incident or other crimes occurring in Pemberton Township is asked to contact the Pemberton Township Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 609-894-3310 or the Confidential Tip-Line at 609-894-3352


Reports of Two Injuries in NJ Turnpike Crash

December 22, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Bordentown Township and Robbinsville Township Firefighters as well as EMS were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike at 7:21 p.m. for an overturned vehicle in the area of Mile Post 57.9 inner roadway. There were initial reports of entrapment, but victims were out of the vehicle upon arrival of the fire departments and EMS. There were initial reports of two injuries that were evaluated by EMS but it was unclear if there was anyone transported from the scene to a local hospital. It appeared that there were no life-threating injuries in the crash. The New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash.


Six Members of Sunbury Village-based, Pemberton Street Gang, Gotti Boy Movement (GBM), Charged with Racketeering, Multiple Shootings, Two Homicides, PPP Fraud and More

December 21, 2021

PEMBERTON, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Pemberton Township Police Chief David King announced that six members of a Sunbury Village-based street gang have been charged with operating a criminal enterprise that is accused of carrying out multiple shootings – including two homicides – along with committing burglary, intimidating witnesses, possessing numerous firearms and fraudulently obtaining more than $125,000 in pandemic relief funds from the federal government.

Eight others have been charged for their role in helping the organization, known as the Gotti Boy Movement (GBM), perpetrate the COVID-related financial scam.

Those accused of running GBM were charged with Racketeering, a first-degree crime that alleges they conspired to commit violent crimes to further their criminal enterprise. They are:

  • Tayron Brown, 25, of Heather Street in Pemberton Township
  • Kavon Carter, 24, of Rancocas Road in Mount Holly
  • Brandon Clifton, 23, of White Pine Court in Pemberton Township
  • Javon Forman, 21, of Delap Court in Pemberton Township
  • Kyree Weathers, 24, of Lawrence Drive in Pemberton Township
  • Sylas Young, 19, of Cornell Avenue in Pemberton Township

The criminal actions identified in support of the racketeering charge began in September 2014, when shots were fired at a Pemberton Township police officer who was sitting in a cruiser in Sunbury Village. Brown and Carter are alleged to have participated in the shooting.

Clifton is waiting to be tried on murder charges for the March 2017 fatal shooting of Shaquille Williams in Sunbury Village. Clifton’s co-defendant in that case, Douglas Lewis, was found guilty in September 2021 and sentenced to 58 years in New Jersey state prison.

Weathers is awaiting trial on a 2020 firearms charge. Forman was found guilty that same year of burglary and a weapons violation, and was charged in February 2021 with possession of an assault weapon with a 40-round magazine containing armor-piercing rounds.

More recently, violent acts allegedly committed by GBM members have occurred in other communities, not just Pemberton Township.

Carter and Young have been charged in connection with the slaying of 18-year-old Yahsinn Robinson in April in Willingboro. Young was charged with Murder (First Degree), and both he and Carter were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder (First Degree) and Gang Criminality (First Degree).

The investigation into Robinson’s death revealed that GBM had a long-running dispute with certain residents of the Buckingham Park section of Willingboro, where Robinson lived. Robinson, a Willingboro High School student who was returning home from his part-time job when killed, was not involved in the conflict.

A week later, in the same section of Willingboro, a woman was hit in the leg and a toddler was grazed across his backside by shots fired into their home. Young has been charged with both shootings.

Carter and Young have also been indicted on firearms charges from a separate incident earlier this year, and Forman was charged in October 2021 with witness tampering for making multiple threatening phone calls from the Burlington County Jail.

“The substantial charges we have brought against these members of the Gotti Boy Movement and their associates should make clear that we will not allow anyone to engage in indiscriminate gun violence and run roughshod over innocent people in Pemberton Township or any other part of Burlington County,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “Yahsinn Robinson’s family should be celebrating Christmas with him right now instead of mourning him, and babies should never be exposed to gunfire coming into their homes. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep families safe throughout the County, and bring to justice those who put our neighborhoods at risk.”

Carter, Clifton and Weathers have also been charged with Promoting Organized Street Crime, as has Brianna Scott, 28, of White Pine Court in Pemberton Township. Scott and other defendants are alleged to be responsible for filing multiple fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications. The PPP is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act of 2020, which is designed to provide economic assistance to small businesses that suffered a financial hardship due to the pandemic.

The investigation revealed that the scam yielded $124,996 in funds from PPP applications that were filed in the name of GBM members and their affiliates. Carter submitted an application claiming he was a barber with an annual income of more than $105,000 in 2019, even though Carter was incarcerated throughout 2019. He received a check for nearly $21,000, as did five of his associates.

Scott was additionally charged with Conspiracy to Commit Computer Criminal Activity (Second Degree). Others charged in connection with the PPP scam include:

Wanya Anderson, 25, of Jarvis Street in Pemberton Township, who was charged with Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing Under Oath (Fourth Degree).

Chad Boone, 30, of Grant Street in Camden, who was charged with Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing Under Oath (Fourth Degree).

Adam Clark, 28 of Atsion Road in Shamong, who was charged with Conspiracy, Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing Under Oath (Fourth Degree).

Jaquan Crawley-Pitts, 25, of Garden Street in Mount Holly, who was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Computer Crime (Second Degree), Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing (Fourth Degree).

Altauron Jean, 27, of Press Avenue in Pemberton Township, who was charged with Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing (Fourth Degree).

Shalaiyha Jean, 20, of East Lakeshore Drive in Pemberton Township, who was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Computer Crime (Second Degree), Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing (Fourth Degree).

Zion Powe, 22, of Ashton Street in Pemberton Township, who was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Computer Crime (Second Degree), Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing (Fourth Degree).

Clifton and Carter were also charged with Conspiracy to Commit Computer Crime (Second Degree), and additional charges against Carter include Computer Crimes with the Purpose to Defraud (Second Degree), Forgery (Third Degree), Theft by Unlawful Taking (Third Degree) and False Swearing Under Oath (Fourth Degree).

“This financial scheme by the defendants to obtain small business relief funds by ‘inventing’ fake businesses, phantom income and fraudulent loan applications, is merely further evidence of this group’s belief that the rules of society simply don’t apply to them,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “They are wrong, and will be held accountable.”

The cases will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment. The defendants will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutors Michael Angermeier, Jamie Hutchinson and Joseph Remy. The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Pemberton Township Police Department and the Willingboro Township Police Department.

The majority of the defendants were apprehended during a December 16 sweep that involved the BCPO, Burlington County Sheriff’s Department, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Special Response Team, Mount Holly Township Police Department, New Jersey Division of Taxation – Office of Criminal Investigation, New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Special Response Team, Pemberton Borough Police Department, Pemberton Township Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, and Westampton Township Police Department.

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

An indictment is an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.

2021-106 Pemberton Township Racketeering Arrests



Former Bordentown Physician Indicted for Narcotics Distribution and Fraud

December 14, 2021

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a former physician has been indicted on 21 counts of narcotics distribution and fraud charges for illegally prescribing thousands of highly-addictive opioid pills out of his Bordentown Township practice while simultaneously engaging in an unlawful medical billing scheme over a three-year period.

Morris “Moishe” Starkman, 62, of Yellowstone Road in Cinnaminson, was indicted by a grand jury on fifteen counts of Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Second Degree), five counts of Health Care Claims Fraud (Second Degree) and one count of Insurance Fraud (Third Degree). The indictment was returned November 19 and signed by First Assistant Prosecutor Philip S. Aronow. An arraignment will be held soon in Superior Court.

Starkman was charged November 22, 2019, following the execution of a search warrant at his home during which multiple electronic devices were seized, along with business, financial and medical records.

The investigation determined that between January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2018, Starkman issued prescriptions through his Bordentown Family Practice for nearly 1,400,000 total doses of opioids, including Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone, Endocet), Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lorcet, Lortab), Oxymorphone (Opana), Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), morphine and fentanyl.

The eight patients outlined in the criminal charges filed against Starkman received 11 doses of opioids per day on average during that period. One patient alone was prescribed 17,460 doses, which equates to more than 15 per day. They each received anywhere from four to 10 times the maximum dose recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The investigation revealed that Starkman would perform – at most – cursory examinations on patients before prescribing large amounts of opioids without medical justification, consideration of whether his patients were benefitting from the prescription painkillers he routinely and repeatedly prescribed, or exploration of the underlying causes for their pain.

Starkman maintained inadequate records on his patients which failed to document treatment plans for pain management or opioid use, or provide a legitimate medical purpose for prescribing such high quantities for an extended period of time. The reliance of his patients on the highly-addictive opioids he was prescribing insured they would frequently return to the practice for refills and be charged for an office visit.

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from overdoses and millions more struggle with Substance Use Disorder,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “In a great many of these cases, the person’s addiction began with prescribed opioids. Physicians who violated their oaths and patients’ trust by indiscriminately prescribing opioid medication without monitoring how their patients were doing on the drugs and whether they were becoming addicted must be held accountable for criminal conduct that has contributed to the destruction of lives and the relentless crisis of addiction so many are still dealing with.”

The investigation also revealed that Starkman, during that same time, submitted fraudulent health care claims to insurance companies for over $50,000 for services that were unauthorized, not eligible for reimbursement, not provided as represented or not rendered.

Starkman first came to the attention of law enforcement officials in late 2016 after an insurance company contacted authorities with a suspicion of illegal activity at his practice due to the high volume of opioid prescriptions he was writing.

The State Board of Medical Examiners temporarily suspended Starkman’s license in August 2017. Under a consent order reached in April 2018, Starkman agreed to permanently surrender his license to practice medicine in New Jersey.

Records seized from Starkman’s practice revealed that one of his patients fatally overdosed in May 2015, two months after his last visit to the Bordentown office.

The records indicated that during a visit in December 2014, Starkman continued to prescribe Oxycontin to the patient, despite noting that he was “slurring and falling asleep” during the visit. The following month, when the patient visited the office because he was “sick” and “ran out of all meds early again,” Starkman wrote him a prescription for a higher dosage of Oxycodone. During the patient’s final visit in March 2015, Starkman prescribed him 120 additional Oxycodone pills, despite noting that three days earlier he had been discharged from week-long stay at a mental health and addiction treatment facility where he had sought help for anxiety and panic attacks.

Due to insufficient evidence connecting his prescriptions to the patient’s fatal overdose, Starkman was not criminally charged in connection with the patient’s death.

Starkman is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, Supervisor of the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force and First Assistant Prosecutor Philip S. Aronow.

The case was investigated by the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Control Division, with assistance from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Enforcement Bureau, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Special Investigations, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

An indictment is an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.

2021-104 Former Physician Indicted on Drug, Fraud Charges

BREAKING: Serious Crash Just on NJ Turnpike, North of Exit 7 Bordentown

December 10, 2021

10:00 a.m. UPDATE: According New Jersey State Police, Troopers responded to a two vehicle crash at 12:17 a.m. on the New Jersey Turnpike northbound on the inner roadway at milepost 54.1, Bordentown, Burlington County.  Preliminary investigation reveals that a silver Acura RDX and a silver Toyota 4 Runner were traveling northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike northbound inner roadway when the Acura struck the rear of the Toyota.   The Toyota struck a guardrail and came to an uncontrolled final rest on the northbound outer lane of travel.  As a result of the crash, the passenger of the Toyota was ejected, sustaining life threatening injuries and transported to Cooper Hospital for treatment.  This is an active investigation.  

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Around 12:15 a.m. the Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Bordentown Township Fire Department, Burlington EMS, Robbinsville EMS and Paramedics were dispatched to mile marker 54.2 north bound inner roadway for a serious accident. There were several reports of an overturned vehicle with at least two people ejected and CPR in progress. A medical helicopter from Jefferson University Hospital known as JeffSTAT-1 was called and the New Jersey State Police closed the Turnpike to land the helicopter to transport one person by air to the trauma center.

The helicopter landed at 1:00 a.m. on the Turnpike and will transport one person to the trauma center by air. Robbinsville EMS along with Burlington Paramedics transported an injured person to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton at 1:00 a.m. and called a “Trauma Alert”

The JeffSTAT-1 helicopter left the scene at 1:11 a.m. and was taking one person to the Trauma Center at Cooper Medical Center in Camden.

Two injured parties did not seek transport to the hospital.

Avoid the NJ Turnpike in the area of Exit 7 due to this crash. There is a 1 to 2 mile delay northbound prior to the accident scene.

As of 1:30 a.m. a 3 mile delay exists

This is a breaking news report check back the story will be updated as details come in.




Multi-Vehicle Accident on NJ Turnpike Sends Two to Hospital

December 9, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department along with Allentown-Capital Health EMS responded to the NJ Turnpike south bound inner roadway at mile marker 59.2 for a multi-vehicle accident with injuries at 8:06 p.m. Upon arrival firefighters reported that multiple vehicles were involved and checking for injuries. At least four cars were involved, and it appears that two people were sent to local hospitals with non-life-threating injuries. Bordentown Township EMS also responded to the scene. New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.

Mount Holly Man Sentenced 3.5 Years in Prison for Role in Fraud Scheme

December 9, 2021

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for stealing more than $350,000 from a special needs trust, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Eugene Young, 70, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud. Judge Rodriguez imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.

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

A special needs trust was established to provide for the supplemental care, maintenance, support, and education of a disabled individual and, in December 2017, had more than $1 million in assets in two bank accounts. In December 2017, Young caused the trust’s trustee, a senior citizen, to execute a power of attorney appointing him as the trustee’s agent.

Young used the power of attorney to gain access to the trust’s bank accounts and, between December 2017 and June 2019, used a variety of means to divert funds from the trust. Young used a debit card associated with the bank accounts to make more than 650 purchases and approximately 200 ATM withdrawals. He also wrote checks from the accounts to himself, made other withdrawals from the accounts, and cashed portions of annuity checks that were the property of the trust. The funds were not used for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiary, as required by the terms of the trust, but rather for Young’s personal use. Young misappropriated more than $350,000 from the trust before his scheme was discovered.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Young to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $359,560.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; special agents of the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty; and special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Friedman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.

21-571

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


Trenton Drug Dealer Charged with Death of Eastampton Customer

December 9, 2021

EASTAMPTON, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Eastampton Township Police Chief Joseph Iacovitti announced that a 35-year-old Trenton drug dealer has been charged with causing the death of an Eastampton man who fatally overdosed on fentanyl last year at his residence.

Robert Rentas, of the 100 block of Calhoun Street in Trenton, was charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (First Degree) and Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree).

He was lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly after being arrested on December 1. A detention hearing will be held tomorrow in Superior Court. The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began on November 12, 2020, after Emergency Medical Services personnel and officers from the Eastampton Township Police Department were dispatched to a residence for a report of a 34-year-old unresponsive male. Narcan was administered and chest compressions were performed, but it was determined by EMS workers on the scene that he was deceased and beyond resuscitative efforts.

An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined the death was caused by fentanyl toxicity.

The investigation revealed that the drugs that led to the fatal overdose had been purchased from Rentas.

The case was investigated by the Eastampton Township Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force, with assistance from the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit and the New Jersey State Police.

Rentas will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Laura Heisman.

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

2021-103 Eastampton Drug-Induced Death Arrest


Trenton Drug Dealer Sentenced to Eight Years in NJ State Prison for Overdose Death of Customer

December 7, 2021

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Trenton drug dealer has been sentenced to eight years in New Jersey state prison for the death of a Burlington Township customer who fatally overdosed on fentanyl-laced heroin he sold to her in 2018.

Daquan Marshall, 30, who pled guilty in September to Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death (First Degree), must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. The sentence was handed down December 2 by the Hon. John J. Burke III, J.S.C.

Marshall had been lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly since his arrest in April 2019. He originally faced drug distribution charges, but the offense was upgraded after the victim died and the investigation traced the drugs back to him.

“Our Office, and our local law enforcement partners, will continue to make the prosecution of fatal overdoses as a first-degree crime a top priority throughout Burlington County,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “Drug dealers know that selling fentanyl can be deadly to any given customer from any given dose, and we intend to hold them accountable for their reckless conduct.”

The investigation began on October 30, 2018, when officers from the Burlington Township Police Department were dispatched to Central Avenue for a report of a possible overdose. Upon arrival, officers discovered the victim in a bedroom with a hypodermic needle near her body.

The decedent, Alexandra Kohfeldt, 22, of Springfield, was transported to Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, where she died November 4 without ever having regained consciousness. An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined her death was due to fentanyl toxicity.

The investigation was conducted by the Burlington Township Police Department, the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force, and the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit.

Marshall was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO GGNTF.

2021-100 Trenton Drug Dealer Sentenced for Customer’s Death

2nd Alarm Fatal Fire in Florence Township

December 7, 2021

FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)—Police say that last night December 6, 2021, around 5:50 p.m. police, fire and EMS responded to a house fire at 120 Coachmans Drive. Upon their arrival they observed fire through second floor roof. The 73-year-old resident Linda Jensen was found deceased as firefighters were extinguishing the fire. The fire is currently being investigated by the Florence Township Fire Marshal’s Office, the Florence Township Police Department’s Fire Investigation Team, the Burlington County Fire Marshal’s Office, New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. Police say that the fire does not appear to be suspicious. The fire is still under investigation to find the cause and origin.



62-Year-Old Cyclist Struck and Killed in Chesterfield

December 6, 2021

CHESTERFIELD, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Chesterfield Township Police Department Acting Officer-in-Charge Sgt. Mike Davison announced that a 62-year-old woman died over the weekend after being struck by a pickup truck while she was riding along Sykesville Road with a group of cyclists.

Julie Galezniak, of Stratford, died after being airlifted to a Trenton hospital following the December 4 incident, which occurred at approximately 12:15 p.m.

The investigation revealed that she was riding southbound on Sykesville Road with other cyclists when she was struck by a pickup truck heading in the same direction.

The name of the driver, who remained on the scene, is being withheld at this time because no traffic summons have been issued and no criminal charges have been filed.

The investigation is being conducted by the Chesterfield Township Police Department, the Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey State Police.

This is the second fatality recently along the same stretch of Sykesville Road. On October 20, Mary Broderick, 71, of Chesterfield, was fatally struck by a vehicle being driven by Valentina Golya, 86, of Chesterfield, as she was walking along the road.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Golya was issued a summons for Careless Driving.

2021-99 Cyclist Killed in Chesterfield Collision


Ten, 9-1-1 Commnications Personnel Sent to Hospital; Burlington County Activates Central Communications 9-1-1 Backup Center

December 3, 2021

WESTAMPTON, NJ (BURLINGTON) – Burlington County Central Communications operations were temporarily shifted to the County’s backup center in Mount Laurel Thursday evening due to an investigation at Central’s primary site in the Burlington County Public Safety Center. The investigation was launched at around 8:30 PM Thursday after Central Communications telecommunicators reported feeling ill. The Communications Center is in the Public Safety Building at 1 Academy Drive, Westampton, NJ 08060.

Carbon monoxide alarms inside the building did not activate and a fire personnel check of the air was also negative, however, as a precaution the building was evacuated and the Burlington County Health Department was notified.

All Central Communications operations, including 911 service and police, fire and emergency medical dispatch, were transferred to the backup center within the Burlington County Engineering and Highway Department building on Briggs Road in Mount Laurel. Central Communications training was occurring at the backup center at the time so the transfer of operations was completely seamless with no loss of service.

The Mount Laurel center is equipped with all radio and computer equipment needed for 911 calls and dispatching. It was created in 2018 while the County renovated the Central Communications Center space in the Public Safety Center and upgraded its equipment. The backup center also functions as a training location and as an auxiliary dispatching location during major incidents.

The Burlington County Health Department and Burlington County Fire Marshal did a complete investigation into the air quality inside the building and found nothing hazardous or abnormal conditions. A second inspection was performed Friday morning and was also negative for hazards. Central Communications telecommunicators were permitted to return into the building for the morning shift and all operations are functioning normally.

A total of 10 Central Communications employees went to an area hospital for precautionary examinations. None were admitted.


Update: 58-Year-Old, Pemberton Man Killed in Route 130 Motor Vehicle Crash Last Night in Bordentown Twp.

November 30, 2021

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The Bordentown Township Police Department is investigating a fatal motor vehicle collision which occurred on November 29, 2021 that resulted in the death of a 58-year-old male from Pemberton Township, NJ.

Preliminary investigation has determined that the victim, David Jenkins – age 58 of 3rd Ave. Pemberton NJ, was traveling northbound on Rt. 130 in the area of Taconic Rd. at approximately 8:08 pm when his 2005 Dodge Caravan collided with a tractor trailer being operated by Eugene Mercer Jr., age – 58, of West Ave. Bridgeport CT.  Jenkins sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision.

Township Police continue to investigate the cause of this collision and anyone who witnessed or who has information regarding this incident is requested to contact Det. Anthony Nagle at 609-298-4300, ext. 2142.




BREAKING: Serious Crash Investigation on Route 130 in Bordentown Township

UPDATE from Bordentown Township Police:

The Bordentown Township Police Department is investigating a fatal motor vehicle collision which occurred on November 29, 2021 that resulted in the death of a 58-year-old male from Pemberton Township, NJ.

Preliminary investigation has determined that the victim, David Jenkins – age 58 of 3rd Ave. Pemberton NJ, was traveling northbound on Rt. 130 in the area of Taconic Rd. at approximately 8:08 pm when his 2005 Dodge Caravan collided with a tractor trailer being operated by Eugene Mercer Jr., age – 58, of West Ave. Bridgeport CT.  Jenkins sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision.

Township Police continue to investigate the cause of this collision and anyone who witnessed or who has information regarding this incident is requested to contact Det. Anthony Nagle at 609-298-4300, ext. 2142.

November 29, 2021

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Sometime around 8:15 p.m. the Bordentown Township Police Department, Bordentown Fire Departments and EMS responded to Route 130 and Taconic Road for a serious accident. From the scene it appeared that a tractor-trailer was either making a U-turn or left turn from south bound Route 130 to north bound route 130 and a vehicle collided with the box section of the tractor-trailer. There were unconfirmed reports of possible fatalities. The U-turn/left turn is marked “Trucks Over 4 Tons No U-Turn”

This is a breaking news report once official information becomes available from authorities, corrections and updates will be made.


130 NB @ Taconic Rd. closed due to motor vehicle collision.

Be advised that Rt. 130 northbound at the intersection of Taconic Rd. is currently closed due to a motor vehicle collision investigation. Traffic is being detoured and we ask motorists to seek an alternate route at this time.


Former Bordentown Man Pleads Guilty In $400K GoFundMe Scheme

November 22, 2021

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a GoFundMe scheme that collected money from donors on the internet, purportedly to benefit a homeless man, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Mark D’Amico, 42, formerly of Bordentown, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to Count One of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

On March 6, 2019, two conspirators – Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt Jr. – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, respectively, in connection with the same scheme. They are both awaiting sentencing.

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

In November 2017, D’Amico and McClure created a crowd-source funding page on GoFundMe’s website, titled: “Paying It Forward.” The campaign solicited donations from the public, purportedly for the benefit of homeless veteran Bobbitt. D’Amico and McClure posted a story that McClure was driving home from Philadelphia on Interstate 95 and ran out of gas. Bobbitt acted as a good Samaritan and rescued McClure by using his last $20 to buy gasoline for her. The website stated that funds were being solicited, with a goal of $10,000, to get Bobbitt off the streets and provide living expenses for him.

The story told by D’Amico and McClure was not true. McClure never ran out of gas and Bobbitt never spent his last $20 for her. D’Amico and McClure conspired to create the false story to obtain money from donors based on false information. The false story was quickly picked up by local and national news outlets. The fraudulent campaign raised approximately $400,000 from more than 14,000 donors throughout the country in less than one month.


The donated funds were transferred by D’Amico and McClure from GoFundMe into accounts that they controlled. The majority of the money was quickly spent by D’Amico and McClure on personal expenses over the next three months, including significant amounts by D’Amico for gambling, as well as for vacations, a BMW automobile, clothing, handbags and other personal items and expenses.

In mid-November 2017, when the donations had reached approximately $1,700, D’Amico and McClure told Bobbitt about the campaign and the false story. In December 2017, after D’Amico helped open a bank account for Bobbitt, D’Amico and McClure deposited $25,000 of proceeds of the scheme into Bobbitt’s account.
The charge of wire fraud conspiracy carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for March 28, 2022.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott Coffina; and officers of the Florence Township Police Department for their work on the case.

The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Jason M. Richardson and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey B. Bender and Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

21-538 

Defense counsel: Mark G. Davis Esq., Hamilton, New Jersey


Update: Road Rage Handgun Incident in Bridgewater Leads to Muli-Jurisdiction Pursuit on Interstates 78, 287, CR 622, Rt. 18 and NJ Turnpike Ending in Mansfield, Burlington County

November 13, 2021

State Police Arrest Man Who Brandished Handgun at Motorist After Road Rage Incident

Suspect Led Troopers on Multi-County Motor Vehicle Pursuit

Bridgewater Twp., N.J. – The New Jersey State Police have arrested Russell T. Brown, 62, of Shallotte, N.C., after he allegedly pointed a handgun at another motorist and led troopers on a motor vehicle pursuit that spanned multiple counties.

On Friday, November 12, at approximately 4:18 p.m., Operational Dispatch Unit North advised troopers that they were on the phone with a caller who stated a man driving a white Chrysler Town and Country exited his vehicle and pointed a handgun at him after a road rage incident. The victim stated that the incident occurred on Interstate 287 southbound at milepost 35 in Morris Township, Morris County. Troopers responded to the area and observed the Chrysler traveling southbound on I-287 at milepost 23 and continued to follow the minivan onto Interstate 78 eastbound.

In the area of milepost 32.2, in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, troopers attempted to conduct a high-risk motor vehicle stop on the Chrysler. With emergency lights activated, troopers stopped the Chrysler and provided verbal commands to the driver to exit the vehicle via the State Police vehicle public address (PA) system. The driver exited his vehicle, but after several minutes of refusing the trooper’s commands, he got back into the minivan and fled the scene.

Troopers continued to pursue the Chrysler with emergency lights and sirens activated as it traveled through multiple jurisdictions on various roadways including I-78, I-287, County Route 622, State Highway 18, and ultimately the New Jersey Turnpike. During the pursuit, the suspect intentionally struck a State Police marked vehicle on State Highway 18.

At approximately 5:52 p.m., troopers successfully stopped the Chrysler on the New Jersey Turnpike southbound at milepost 52 in Mansfield Township, Burlington County. Once stopped, troopers ordered the driver out of the vehicle, but he refused to exit. Troopers then physically removed the driver from the vehicle and arrested him. A female passenger in the vehicle was arrested without incident. During the investigation, troopers discovered a 9mm handgun in the Chrysler. The driver and passenger were relayed to State Police Somerville Station for processing. Troopers later determined that the female passenger was an unwilling participant during the pursuit and was not charged.

Russell T. Brown was charged with possession of a firearm without a permit, possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose, aggravated assault (pointing a firearm), aggravated assault against a trooper, resisting arrest, eluding arrest, and obstruction of justice. He was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

This case is being prosecuted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

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


BRIDGEWATER, NJ (SOMERSET)–According to SFC Lawrence Peele at the New Jersey State Police, Public Information Unit, at approximately 4:19 p.m., troopers responded to Interstate 78 in Bridgewater for the report of a driver pointing a handgun at another motorist.  The driver of a Dodge Ram Pickup advised that the driver of a Chrysler Town and Country pointed a gun at him during an alleged road rage incident.  

In the area of milepost 32.2, troopers observed the Chrysler and attempted to stop the vehicle.  The driver refused to stop and continued traveling eastbound on I-78.  Troopers continued to pursue the vehicle with emergency lights and sirens activated as it traveled through multiple jurisdictions on various roadways including I-78, I-287, County Route 622, State Highway 18, and ultimately the New Jersey Turnpike.  

At approximately 5:52 p.m., troopers stopped the Chrysler on the New Jersey Turnpike southbound prior to Interchange 6 in Burlington County.  The male driver and female passenger were both placed under arrest and are currently facing multiple charges.  There were no injuries reported and both suspects were relayed to State Police Somerville Station for processing.


Yesterday’s MidJersey.News story:



NJ Turnpike Pursuit Ends in Mansfield, Burlington County

Update:

November 12, 2021

MANSFIELD, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Around 5:30 p.m. New Jersey State Police was in pursuit of a vehicle South Bound on the New Jersey Turnpike. There were unconfirmed reports that the pursuit started due to brandishing a firearm at an off-duty police officer. NJ State Police reportedly deployed stop sticks at certain locations on the turnpike but were unsuccessful. Eventually a NJ State Police Major that the vehicle could be stopped using a “Box In” maneuver. The maneuver worked and the vehicle was stopped in Mansfield Township around the 51-mile marker south of Exit 7 but just before the change for the PA Turnpike Extension. Once the vehicle was stopped the two occupants were taken into custody.

This is a breaking news report from witnesses, sources, and radio traffic. Once official information becomes available from the NJ State Police the story will be updated and any corrections made. (See link above for update)


Trenton Man Charged With Selling Drugs In Bordentown Township; Police Discover “Brick” Of Heroin Wedged In His Buttocks

November 9, 2021

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Bordentown Township Police Chief Brian Pesce announced that a 25-year-old Trenton man has been charged with selling narcotics after an investigation led to the discovery of a brick of heroin, which is more than 50 doses, wedged in his buttocks.

Johmir Harris, of the 100 block of Hancock Street, was charged with Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (First Degree), Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree), Conspiracy (Third Degree) and Failure to Surrender a Controlled Dangerous Substance to Police (Disorderly Persons).

He was taken into custody November 4 in Bordentown Township and lodged in the Burlington County Jail pending a detention hearing in Superior Court. The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The arrest resulted from an investigation into the death of a 29-year-old Bordentown Township woman who fatally overdosed last week. The investigation is focused primarily on whether charges are appropriate under New Jersey’s Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death statute.

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

The investigation is being conducted by detectives from the Bordentown Township Police Department and the BCPO GGNTF.

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

2021-94 Trenton Man Charged with Selling Drugs in Bordentown Township


Browns Mills Man Found Guilty Of House Fire That Claimed 2 Lives

November 6, 2021

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, BROWNS MILLS, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a 62-year-old man was found guilty of causing the deaths of his elderly mother and her companion who perished in a house fire in October 2018 in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township.

Kurt Smith, who lived at the residence in the 500 block of Willow Boulevard, was convicted by a jury on two counts of Reckless Manslaughter (Second Degree). The verdict was returned October 26 following approximately 10 hours of deliberation over two days.

The Hon. Christopher J. Garrenger, J.S.C., scheduled sentencing for January 7. Smith has been lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly since his arrest a few days after the fire.

Smith was accused of igniting flammable material with a cigarette lighter in the garage of the residence, then unsuccessfully attempting to extinguish the blaze.

In addition to the homicides, Smith was charged with arson. The jury was unable to come to a verdict on the arson charge.

The fire killed his mother, Lore Smith, 92, who was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Her companion, George Pikunis, also 92, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Autopsies performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood concluded the cause of death in each instance was smoke and soot inhalation, along with thermal burns.

Smith was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy and Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit, Violent Crimes Section. The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, the Pemberton Township Police Department, and the Burlington County Fire Marshal’s Office. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Erica Ridge and Pemberton Township Detective Tom Lucas.

2021-93 Pemberton Fire Homicide Conviction


Delanco Volunteer Fire Chief Charged With Inappropriate Touching

November 6, 2021

DELANCO, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Delanco Township Police Chief Jesse DeSanto announced that the volunteer chief of the Delanco Fire Department has been charged with touching the breasts of a woman from another local emergency services agency who had come to the fire house for work purposes.

Todd R. Johnsen, 45, of Center Avenue, was charged with one count of Criminal Sexual Contact (Fourth Degree) in connection with the June 19 incident inside the Delanco Fire House. He is scheduled for a hearing in Central Judicial Processing Court on December 6.

The investigation began after the victim reported the contact to Delanco police. The investigation revealed that Johnsen entered the room where the victim was seated at a table, then leaned over and wrapped his arms around her. It is alleged that Johnsen placed an arm under her breasts and pushed them up as he put his head down on top of her breasts, leaving it there for several seconds before removing himself from her and walking away.

Johnsen is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit – Special Victims Section. The investigation was conducted by the Delanco Township Police Department. The lead investigator was DTPD Det. Vince Epifano.

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

2021-92 Delanco Fire Chief Arrested for Inappropriate Touching


Accident On Route 206 In Bordentown By Mastoris Restaurant

October 30, 2021

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–At 7:22 p.m. a traffic collision was reported on Route 206 north bound in front of Mastoris Restaurant that left one vehicle with front end damage and another on its side. Initial reports that there was one person with a leg injury, it was unclear if that person was transported to the hospital. Bordentown Township Fire Department was on scene providing lighting. Bordentown Township Police Department is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.


Four Willingboro Residents Charged In Burlington Township Fatal Double Shooting

October 26, 2021

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Burlington Township Public Safety Director James Sullivan announced that four Willingboro residents have been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old male and the wounding of his father in the Walmart parking lot on Route 541 in Burlington Township earlier this month.

Those charged include:

  • Kayhree Simmons, 19, of Windsor Lane in Willingboro, with Felony Murder (First Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), Conspiracy to Commit Robbery (Second Degree), Hindering (Third Degree) and Obstruction (Fourth Degree).
  • Jayviyohn J. Earley, 19, of Echohill Lane in Willingboro, with Felony Murder (First Degree) and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery (Second Degree). Earley also was charged on October 13, 2021, with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Third Degree) and Possession of a Firearm in Relation to a Drug Offense (Second Degree) based on evidence uncovered in the course of the investigation of the Walmart shooting incident.
  • Kweli L. McCants, 20, of Evergreen Drive in Willingboro, with Conspiracy to Commit Robbery (Second Degree) and Hindering (Third Degree). McCants also was charged on October 14, 2021, with Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (Fourth Degree) and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (Third Degree) based on evidence uncovered in the course of the investigation of the Walmart shooting incident.
  • Azza Kamnaksh, 19, of Echohill Lane, Willingboro, with Hindering (Third Degree) and Obstruction (Fourth Degree). Kamnaksh also was charged on October 13, 2021 with Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Third Degree) and Possession of a Firearm in Relation to a Drug Offense (Second Degree) based on evidence uncovered in the course of the investigation of the Walmart shooting incident.

Simmons, Earley and McCants are being held in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. Kamnaksh is lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing. Earley was detained pending trial during a hearing today in Superior Court. The other defendants are awaiting detention hearings.

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

The investigation began the night of October 7, after officers from the Burlington Township Police Department responded to a report of shots fired in the Walmart parking lot at approximately 10:15 p.m.

Upon arrival, they discovered Dion E. Williams Sr., 44, and his son Albert, 17, both of Hammonton, suffering from gunshot wounds. Both victims were transported to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where Albert Williams, who was struck in the chest, was pronounced dead. Dion E. Williams Sr. was treated and released.

The investigation, which is continuing, revealed that the parties involved had previously planned to meet in the Walmart parking lot. Upon arrival, there was an argument, followed by gunfire.

The investigation is being conducted by detectives from the Burlington Township Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Willingboro Township Police Department, FBI Trenton – Greater Safe Streets Task Force, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Police Department, Willingboro SWAT Team (Members of Willingboro Police Department and Burlington County Sheriff’s Department), Mount Holly Police Department, and City of Burlington Police Department.

The lead investigators are Prosecutor’s Office Detectives Brian Cunningham and Sean Tait and Burlington Township Detective Steven Cosmo.

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



Pemberton Township Man Arrested In Fatal Double Shooting In Browns Mills

October 26, 2021

PEMBERTON, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Pemberton Township Police Chief David King announced that an 18-year-old man has been charged with fatally shooting a 17-year-old male and wounding a 17-year-old female last week in the 100 block of Snow Avenue in Browns Mills.

Kai Johnson, of Kinsley Road in Pemberton, was charged with Murder (First Degree), Attempted Murder (First Degree), Aggravated Assault (First Degree), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Second Degree), Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree), and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Third Degree).

Johnson turned himself in at the Pemberton Township Police Department late Friday afternoon and is lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly. He had a first appearance Saturday afternoon in Superior Court, and is awaiting a hearing on the Prosecutor’s Office’s motion to detain him. The case will be presented to a grand jury for possible indictment.

The investigation began the night of October 18, after officers from the Pemberton Township Police Department responded to a report of a shooting at approximately 11:35 p.m.

Upon arrival, they discovered Malachi Treherne, 17, of Pemberton, lying in the doorway of the residence he was visiting on Snow Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police also located the 17-year-old female, who had been shot in the chest. She was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, and has since been released.

The investigation revealed that Johnson and the decedent were having an argument inside the house when Johnson pulled out a gun and shot both victims. An autopsy determined that Malachi Treherne died as a result of two gunshot wounds to his head.

Other people present in the home at the time of the shooting, including a two-year-old boy, were not injured in the incident.

The investigation is being conducted by detectives from the Pemberton Township Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigators are Prosecutor’s Office Detective Erica Ridge and Pemberton Township Detective Anthony Luster.

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

Teenager is Killed in Double Shooting Outside Burlington Township Walmart

October 8, 2021

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Burlington Township Acting Public Safety Director James Sullivan announced that a 17-year-old male was fatally shot last night in the parking lot of the Walmart on Route 541 in Burlington Township.

The victim’s father was also struck by gunfire. The preliminary investigation indicated this was not a random shooting.

The investigation began after officers from the Burlington Township Police Department were called to the store at approximately 10:15 p.m. for a report of a shooting.

Upon arrival, they discovered Dione Williams Sr., 44, and his son Albert, 17, both of Hammonton, suffering from gunshot wounds. They were taken by ambulance to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where Albert was pronounced dead. Dione Williams Sr. was treated and released.

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information that might be helpful to investigators is asked to call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113.

The investigation is being conducted by detectives from the Burlington Township Police Department and Prosecutor’s Office. The lead investigators are Prosecutor’s Office Detective Sean Tait and Burlington Township Detective Steven Cosmo.