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.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Thirteen individuals were charged today with various drug trafficking and firearms offenses arising from an investigation targeting unlawful activities in a northeast neighborhood in the city of Trenton, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Jamal Wilson, aka “Vill,” and Theodore Meekins, aka “Meech,” both of Trenton, were among 12 defendants charged in a 16-count criminal complaint unsealed today. Ten of the defendants were arrested this morning as part of a takedown coordinated by federal and local law enforcement authorities. One defendant is currently detained on related charges. One defendant remains at large. A 13th defendant, Alterrick Livingston, 42, of Trenton, was arrested and charged today in a separate one-count complaint following law enforcement’s court-authorized search of his Trenton apartment and the recovery of five privately made firearms (PMFs), two fully drilled frames, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and numerous tools and accessories used for manufacturing and assembling firearms.
Wilson was charged with three counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, including 100 grams or more of heroin, 28 grams or more of cocaine base, and additional quantities of cocaine. Meekins was charged in three counts with distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, as well as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Livingston was charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. The remaining defendants were charged with varying counts of distribution or possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine. Those arrested today are scheduled to make their initial court appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni in Trenton federal court.
According to the two federal criminal complaints:
Beginning in July 2020, law enforcement agencies investigating drug trafficking in the area of Garfield, Cleveland, and Logan avenues in Trenton executed numerous controlled purchases of narcotics from multiple defendants, including Wilson and Meekins. On multiple occasions, law enforcement officers made multiple seizures of unlawfully trafficked narcotics, including, suspected heroin, cocaine base and a firearm from a vehicle driven by Meekins, a previously convicted felon. Communications that law enforcement intercepted revealed that Wilson was a significant drug trafficker of heroin, cocaine base, and cocaine in the area, specifically in the area of the Grand Court Villas apartment building, East State Street and South Olden Avenue; Garfield Avenue Playground; and other locations. In connection with today’s coordinated operation, law enforcement conducted a court-authorized search of Livingston’s Trenton apartment, and recovered multiple firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and numerous tools and accessories used for manufacturing and assembling firearms.
The charges of distribution and possession with intent to distribute 100 grams of heroin and/or 28 grams of cocaine base carry a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. The remaining narcotics charges carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $1 million. The firearm and ammunition counts with which Meekins and Livingston are charged each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The charges filed today are the result of an investigation by the Greater Trenton Safe Streets Task Force. Led by the FBI, the Task Force is comprised of various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and its mission is to combine the resources and intelligence of the participating agencies to enhance the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of individuals involved in gang-related activities, violent crime, and drug distribution in and around the greater Trenton area.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Satellite Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Director Steve Wilson; officers of the Burlington City Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Fine; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Bruce Painter; officers of the Willingboro Township Police Department, under the direction of Acting Public Safety Director Ian Bucs; and detectives with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Super Pitts and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Matthews of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
MOUNT HOLLY, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The National Weather Service has issued a TORNADO EMERGENCY for the following areas:
Severe Weather Statement
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
713 PM EDT Wed Sep 1 2021
Mercer NJ-Burlington NJ-Bucks PA-
713 PM EDT Wed Sep 1 2021
...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 730 PM EDT FOR CENTRAL
MERCER...NORTH CENTRAL BURLINGTON AND SOUTHEASTERN BUCKS COUNTIES...
At 712 PM EDT, a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado was
located over Tullytown, or near Trenton, moving northeast at 40 mph.
This is a PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION. TAKE COVER NOW!
SOURCE...NWS employee confirmed tornado.
IMPACT...You are in a life-threatening situation. Flying debris may
be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes
will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes,
businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction
Locations impacted include...
Trenton, Ewing, Florence, Bristol, Bordentown, Pennington, Yardley,
Tullytown, Edinburg, White Horse, Windsor, Florence-Roebling,
Mercerville-Hamilton Square, Levittown, Lawrenceville, Woodside,
Morrisville, Penndel, Langhorne Manor and Hulmeville.
This includes the following highways...
New Jersey Turnpike near exit 6A.
Pennsylvania Turnpike between mile markers 356 and 359.
Interstate 195 in New Jersey between mile markers 0 and 5.
Interstate 295 in New Jersey between mile markers 58 and 76.
To repeat, a large, extremely dangerous and potentially deadly
tornado is occurring. To protect your life, TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a
basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy
building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in
a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect
yourself from flying debris.
LAT...LON 4009 7480 4014 7492 4037 7482 4025 7454
TIME...MOT...LOC 2312Z 213DEG 35KT 4016 7481
TORNADO DAMAGE THREAT...CONSIDERABLE
MAX HAIL SIZE...<.75 IN
MOUNT HOLLY, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Yesterday, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that seven Burlington County residents have been arrested since mid-July on charges related to the possession and distribution of child pornography, which is now more commonly referred to as child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
The investigations, conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit, led to charges against the following individuals:
Matthew Reiss, 38, of Maple Shade, charged July 16 with Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Third Degree). He is accused of downloading child sexual abuse material from a website in another country. The lead investigator was Evesham Township Detective Christopher DeFrancesco, who is presently assigned as a Task Force Officer with the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit.
Daksh Patel, 25, of Maple Shade, charged July 29 with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree and Third Degree). He is accused of uploading CSAM videos. The lead investigator was United States Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jennifer Miller, who is presently assigned as a Task Force Officer with the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit.
Jamie Adamson, 50, of Burlington City, charged August 2 with Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Third Degree). He is accused of uploading images of child sexual abuse material. The lead investigator was BCPO Det. Jennifer Appelmann.
Daniel Ricci, 45, of Medford, charged August 5 with Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree). He is accused of downloading and viewing child sexual abuse material. The lead investigator was BPCO Det. Andrew Ridolfi.
Dexter Manansala, 55, of Bordentown Township, charged August 6 with three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (two Second Degree and one Third Degree). He is accused of using Facebook to distribute child sexual abuse material. The lead investigator was BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit Sgt. Dave Kohler.
The names of two defendants are being withheld because they are juveniles. The adult offenders were released from custody following first appearances in Superior Court.
They join a growing list of people apprehended for similar crimes.
Over a 12-month period ending in May, 46 people were arrested on CSAM-related charges as part of the BCPO’s Operation Safe Quarantine, which pursued those engaged in the online exploitation of children.
Prosecutor Coffina noted that the charges announced today were not part of any special operation.
“These arrests were the result of investigators doing their jobs day in, day out,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “The pervasiveness of this criminal behavior is sickening and concerning, and catching these offenders remains a priority for our Office and our law enforcement partners.”
The investigations involved the assistance of the Bordentown Township Police Department, the City of Burlington Police Department, the Evesham Township Police Department, the Maple Shade Police Department, the Medford Township Police Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and United States Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill Office.
The cases are being prepared for presentation to a grand jury by Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Weiler.
The Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit and HSI – Cherry Hill are members of the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The BCPO also belongs to the New Jersey State Police Cyber Terrorism Task Force.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced that 10 alleged Trenton gang members and associates were indicted today on weapons charges stemming from their arrest last year, when the New Jersey State Police led an operation to halt anticipated gang violence and seized six guns—including an illegal “ghost gun”—and outlawed large-capacity ammunition magazines.
The Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau today obtained a state grand jury indictment charging 10 alleged members and associates of the Garfield/Cleveland/Logan or “GCL” gang and the associated “the Section” gang with second-degree weapons offenses, which carry a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison with mandatory periods of parole ineligibility.
The defendants were arrested late last year as the result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit (“CSCU”). Through the investigation, detectives developed information that members of the GCL/Section gang were attending a large house party on Tyrell Avenue in Trenton on the night of Nov. 24, 2020, and many of them were armed with handguns. Detectives learned that rival gangs knew of the party and that there was a high chance of a shooting.
Based on this intelligence, the New Jersey State Police obtained a search warrant which they executed after midnight, seizing weapons and drugs, and arresting the 10 defendants who are charged in today’s indictment. Members of the CSCU executed the search warrant with assistance from the State Police T.E.A.M.S., K-9, and Aviation Units, and members of the Trenton Police Department, Hamilton Township Police Division, and Ewing Township Police Department.
During execution of the search warrant, authorities seized:
Six semi-automatic handguns, including a 9mm polymer “ghost gun” and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a defaced serial number;
Four illegal large-capacity ammunition magazines;
Nine bricks of heroin and fentanyl— or roughly 450 individually packaged doses;
Eight vials of suspected crack cocaine.
Ghost guns are not registered and do not have serial numbers, making them difficult to trace and making it harder for law enforcement to solve gun crimes.
“We’re working hard to stop the gun violence committed by rival gang members, who put residents and children at risk in our communities,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “Through their quick response, the New Jersey State Police likely stopped a shootout in a residential section of Trenton and saved lives. This indictment is an important step by the Division of Criminal Justice to prosecute these defendants for allegedly arming themselves with illegal guns.”
“This case is an excellent example of law enforcement cooperating to address the threat posed by armed gang members,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to collaborate with the State Police and our other law enforcement partners in Trenton and throughout New Jersey to improve safety and quality of life for our residents.”
“How and where the illegal guns seized in this operation were going to be used thankfully remains an untold story, but what is certain is that it would have ended in tragedy,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The prompt response by the detectives in our State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit and our law enforcement partners undoubtedly saved lives. We remain committed to working shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement partners, community leaders, and city residents to build and maintain safer neighborhoods in Trenton.”
The state grand jury indictment is posted online at:
The indictment charges the following 10 men with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon in connection with five of the handguns seized at the residence where the party was held (each man is charged in connection with all five guns); third-degree possession of a firearm without a serial number (ghost gun); fourth-degree possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number; fourth-degree possession of illegal large-capacity magazines; and third-degree possession of cocaine:
Samuel Vincent, 26, Trenton, N.J.
Antwan Tootle, 22, Trenton, N.J.
Jaheim Myles, 20, Trenton, N.J.
Jerome Bennett, 20, Burlington City, N.J.
Terron Bazemore, 21, Trenton, N.J.
Stafford Knowles, 19, Hamilton (Mercer County), N.J.
Quameir Billups-Taylor, 23, Trenton, N.J.
Anthony Robbins Jr., 20, Trenton, N.J.
Jahad Blackshear, 20, Trenton, N.J.
Domtrell Wilkins, 21, Trenton, N.J.
Tootle, Bennett, Myles, Vincent, and Knowles are also charged with second-degree possession, receipt or transfer of a “community gun”—a gun allegedly shared by a criminal group—in connection with those five guns. Bazemore is charged separately with unlawful possession of a sixth handgun, a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol he allegedly had on his person when arrested.
Vincent, Tootle, and Billups-Taylor are charged with second-degree possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, and because he has a prior conviction for second-degree aggravated assault, Vincent is also charged with first-degree unlawful possession of a weapon. Vincent also faces third-degree charges of possession of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
After their initial arrests, Vincent, Myles, Knowles, Robbins, and Bennett were ordered detained in jail pending trial. The other defendants were released subject to conditions.
Deputy Attorney General Karen Braciszewski presented the indictment to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cassandra Montalto, Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart.
Acting Attorney General Bruck commended the members of the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit for their investigation. He thanked the State Police T.E.A.M.S., K-9, and Aviation Units, as well as the Trenton Police Department, Hamilton Township Police Division, and Ewing Township Police Department for their assistance in execution of the search warrant.
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 prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The charge of possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years, and unlawful possession of a handgun carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed or 3 ½ years, whichever is greater. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
This investigation is another step towards reducing gun violence in New Jersey, one of Acting Attorney General Bruck’s key priority areas. In addition to long-term enforcement actions, the Attorney General’s Office and local, state, and federal law enforcement partners are holding a series of gun buyback programs around the state, as well as performing targeted sweeps of fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants for violent offenses, as part of a comprehensive strategy to combat gun violence.
For Samuel Vincent: Jarred Freeman, Esq.
For Antwan Tootle: Edward J. Hesketh, Esq.
For Jaheim Myles: Kelly A. Smith, Esq.
For Jerome Bennett: Undetermined.
For Terron Bazemore: Kevin Hewitt, Esq.
For Stafford Knowles: Melissa D. Karabulut, Esq.
For Quameir Billups: Taylor: Rukiya Blackwell, Esq.
During the course of the investigation, detectives located video depicting the four individuals entering the Mansion property off of East Pearl Boulevard and then returning after the fires were set. A resident’s home camera captured a suspect vehicle and persons of interest which was released publicly. A citizen tip led to the discovery of the vehicle in Gloucester Township, Camden County. During the interviews and further investigation, it was determined that the four (4) subjects depicted in the video were in fact the ones who started the fires. The individuals charged are as follows:
Gabriel Vance, Age 20, Berlin, NJ, Charged with Arson (2 counts), Criminal Mischief (2 counts) and Criminal Trespassing (2 counts). Lodged in Burlington County Jail pending court appearance.
Summer Wisor, Age 20, Sicklerville, NJ, Charged with Criminal Mischief (2 counts) and Criminal Trespassing (2 counts). Released pending a court appearance in compliance with N.J. Bail Reform Laws.
Daniel Badecki, Age 18, Audubon, NJ, Charged with Criminal Mischief (1 count) and Criminal Trespassing (1 count). Released pending a court appearance in compliance with N.J. Bail Reform Laws.
Ryan Gibbs, Age 19, Blackwood, NJ, Charged with Criminal Mischief (1 count) and Criminal Trespassing (1 count). Released pending a court appearance in compliance with N.J. Bail Reform Laws.
The motive behind the fires is still being investigated as well if they were involved in any other fires in the region. If someone has more information, they are urged to contact the lead investigator, Detective Jamie Lambing at 609-386-0262 Ext. 270.
Assisting agencies include the City of Burlington, County of Burlington, and New Jersey State Fire Marshall’s Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester Township Police Department, Runnemede Borough Police Department, Philadelphia Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
BURLINGTON CITY, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The City of Burlington Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying four (4) persons of interest in reference to an Arson Investigation that occurred on Monday, June 7, 2021.
On June 7, 2021, at approximately 3:30am, the City of Burlington Police Department and several fire departments responded to the 800 Block of East Pearl Street for a structure fire. It was found that two buildings were fully engulfed, and two other smaller fires were found in two other buildings. No firefighters or emergency personnel were injured during the response.
While reviewing surrounding videos, a white or light-colored vehicle, believed to be a Nissan Murano, with a dark colored hood and front bumper, occupied with three males and one female parked in the area of the McNeal/U.S. Pipe Foundry Property. Approximately one hour later, the individuals were observed returning to the vehicle, with one of them taking photos, and then they leave the area prior to emergency personnel arriving on scene.
This was the second arson on the McNeal Mansion/U.S. Pipe Property in 6 weeks and investigators are concerned that an emergency responder will be injured or killed if these individuals are not identified and in the event of another incident.
Any person with information regarding this investigation is urged to call the Criminal Investigation Division, Det. Jamie Lambing, at 609-847-9280, or City of Burlington Fire Marshall’s Office, Ross Kownatsky, at 609-386-0200, Ext. 171. Confidential Tips can be received through a message on Facebook or www.burlingtonpolicenj.com.
Agencies assisting with the investigation include the City of Burlington, Burlington County, and NJ State Fire Marshall’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–One New Jersey Lottery ticket matched five of the five white balls drawn for the Wednesday, April 28, drawing winning the $1,000,000 second-tier prize. The ticket was sold at Township News Center, 2506 Mount Holly Rd., Burlington in Burlington County.
The winning numbers for the Wednesday, April 28, drawing were: 16, 18, 35, 39, and 53. The Red Power Ball number was 21. The Multipliernumber was 03. 22,815 New Jersey players took home an estimated $132,316 in prizes ranging from $4 to $300. The Powerball jackpot rolls to $129,000,000 for the next drawing to be held Saturday, May 1, at 10:59 pm.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced yesterday that the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) has issued a Finding of Probable Cause against national retailer America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Inc. for allegedly subjecting a former employee to discrimination based on her pregnancy and for failing to provide her with a suitable place to express breast milk.
A Finding of Probable Cause means that DCR has concluded its preliminary investigation of a civil rights complaint and determined there is sufficient evidence to support a claim that a state anti-discrimination law has been violated.
America’s Best is a discount provider of eye examinations, eyeglasses and contact lenses with 700 stores nationally, including 15 branch locations in New Jersey.
Jalaia Hill, a former employee at an America’s Best store in Burlington, filed a complaint with DCR alleging unlawful pregnancy-based discrimination by the company after returning from maternity leave to learn her hours had been cut from full-time to part-time. The reduction to part-time status also eliminated her from eligibility for employer-provided healthcare coverage.
Hill also alleged that America’s Best failed to reasonably accommodate her request for a place to express breast milk. Specifically, Hill told DCR, she was forced to use an oft-accessed utility room that did not have a lock on the door and that was filled with boxes of supplies. She alleged that while expressing milk she was forced to lean up against the unlocked door in an attempt to ensure privacy, yet she would still be periodically interrupted by workers who walked in to obtain supplies. She also alleged that she was frequently ordered by her manager to “hurry up and finish” because there were customers waiting.
“New Jersey is committed to protecting the equal rights of pregnant employees and breastfeeding employees,” said Attorney General Grewal. “New Jersey law goes farther than federal law when it comes to protecting pregnant and breastfeeding employees and employers must ensure they know what state law, as opposed to federal law, requires.”
“Employers cannot punish employees for having children or taking parental leave, and being forced to express breastmilk in a room without a lock on the door, with colleagues walking in and out, while being reprimanded to ‘hurry up and finish,’ would be a clear violation of the LAD,” said DCR Director Rachel Wainer Apter.
Hill began her employment with America’s Best as a full-time sales associate in May 2018, earning an hourly wage plus sales commissions. Because she worked more than 30 hours per week she was considered full-time, and received healthcare benefits for herself and her children.
Hill took maternity leave beginning on November 19, 2018 and returned to work on March 4, 2019.
In her complaint, Hill alleged that in February 2019 – only days before she was scheduled to return to her full-time sales associate position – she had a telephone conversation with her manager in which he informed her that only part-time hours were available because another employee had taken over her hours while she was out on leave.
According to Hill, she was never restored to full-time hours, despite also informing the company’s district manager of her situation, and despite an alleged promise from that same district manager to arrange additional work hours for Hill at the Audubon store to qualify Hill as a full-time employee.
Three of Hill’s Burlington store co-workers corroborated Hill’s assertion that she was a full-time employee before she went on maternity leave, but that her hours were reduced upon her return. (Time sheets obtained by DCR showed that Hill worked an average of 34 hours per week prior to her maternity leave, but worked an average of only 28 hours a week after returning.)
As to the failure to provide her an adequate place to express breastmilk, DCR’s investigation showed that America’s Best eventually installed a lock on the utility room door where Hill was forced to express milk on May 29, 2019 – nearly three months after Hill’s return to work from pregnancy leave.
In its response to Hill’s complaint, America’s Best denied having discriminated against Hill.
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights enforces the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the New Jersey Family Leave Act, and works to prevent, eliminate, and remedy discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation throughout New Jersey. To view a fact sheet on pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination, go to https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/downloads/fact_BRST.pdf. To find out more information, go to http://www.njcivilrights.gov.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced enforcement actions from the past week, including coughing and spitting assaults and noteworthy violations of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders. The Attorney General also announced enforcement actions targeting price-gouging, consumer fraud violations, and alcoholic beverage control violations. “We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.” “Although law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19, we are ultimately winning the war because of the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action.”
Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order, and Ordinance:
Antwan Strickland, 20, of Roebling, Jemir Jones, 21, of Mount Laurel, and Rashaun Turner, 33, of Burlington Township were charged May 14 with violating the emergency orders after Burlington Police responded to a report of a dozen people gathered in the back yard of an abandoned home in Burlington city. Strickland, Jones and Turner were previously warned by police in connection with several similar incidents involving large gatherings. In addition, Strickland and Jones were among four people charged with violating the emergency orders and other disorderly persons offenses in Burlington city on May 10.
Chan Kwon, 49, of Perth Amboy, N.J., was charged on May 13 with violating the emergency orders by operating a non-essential business. Kwon owns a beauty supply store in Perth Amboy. The May 13 incident was the second time Kwon has been charged with violating the emergency orders. He received a summons on May 5 under similar circumstances.
Yisrael Knopfler, 44,of Lakewood, N.J. was charged with violating the emergency orders and other disorderly persons offenses on May 11 in connection with an incident that began when police found him hosting a gathering of more than 10 people in his back yard, where a tent was set up. Upon the officers’ arrival, a group of approximately 20 men approached and began yelling at them. Host Knopfler allegedly became verbally aggressive and uncooperative with the police and, at one point, made physical contact with an officer.
Chaim Oestreicher, 52 and Sarah Oestreicher, 49, of Lakewood, were cited on May 11 after police arrived at their home to find approximately 15-to-20 people gathered in the back yard next to an uncontained fire.
Chaim Gutman, 37, was cited on May 11 with violating the emergency orders after police responded to a report of loud music and found a band playing on the deck at his home before a crowd of between 50 and 100 people.
Miran Lee, 45, of Passaic, N.J., was charged on May 12 with violating the emergency orders and risking/causing widespread injury (4th degree) after police found her massage business – New Asian Massage – open and serving customers. On two prior occasions, Lee was issued summonses for violating the emergency orders by operating the same non-essential business and failing to practice social distancing.
Mohammad Bahar, 42, of Cliffside Park, N.J., was charged on May 12 with violating the emergency orders by operating a non-essential retail business — S&S Furniture Gallery in Irvington. Bahar, the store manager, was cited after police observed the store open and operating with customers inside.
Diana Ron, 38, of Union, N.J. and Dunia Mora, 59, of Irvington, N.J. were both cited for violating the orders on May 11. Ron owns Antojito’s Restaurant in Irvington, while Mora is the restaurant’s manager. Both received a summons after police observed that the bar/restaurant was open for business on May 11 and serving alcoholic drinks to customers inside the establishment.
James Robyn, 69, of Chester, N.J., was charged with violating the orders on May 11 after police found his retail pool and hot tub store open for business, with multiple customers shopping inside. Robyn was reportedly warned two weeks ago that the store could not be open. He was charged with violating the emergency orders by operating a non-essential business
Rami Jabara, 45, of Little Ferry, N.J., was charged by the Paterson Police Department on May 10 with violating the emergency orders for opening the jewelry store he owns, Jerusalem Jewelry on Main Street. Officers found the store open with customers inside shopping, despite the fact that Jabara was warned by police the day before for opening the non-essential business.
Sergio J. Moya Jr., 27, of Jersey City, was charged by the Port Authority Police Department on the night of May 8 with resisting arrest (disorderly persons offense), disorderly conduct (petty disorderly persons offense), and violating the emergency orders. Moya allegedly harassed ticket agents at Newark Airport and refused to leave.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Three members of a Burlington County drug-trafficking organization have admitted their roles in a conspiracy to distribute a variety of illegal substances, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Jerrod Epps, 35, of Medford, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Senior District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Teron Huggins, 42, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on May 14, 2020, to an information charging him with two counts of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Talib Conway, 39, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty on May 8, 2020, to an information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Between July 2019 and September 2019, the defendants engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated primarily in municipalities throughout Burlington County – including Willingboro, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Bordentown Township, Edgewater Park, Pemberton and Mount Laurel – and which sought to profit from the distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that defendants obtained regular supplies of cocaine and other substances from conspirators in the Burlington County and Philadelphia areas and then redistributed cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin, to other conspirators, distributors, sub-dealers, and end users. Law enforcement officers intercepted numerous communications by and between the conspirators regarding such issues as cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin quality and availability, pricing, packaging, quantity, and customer satisfaction.
The counts of conspiracy to distribute at least 28 grams of crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin to which Conway pleaded guilty each carry a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $5 million. The count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine to which Conway pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. The counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine to which Huggins pleaded guilty each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. The count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine to which Epps pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled for Sept. 30, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; special agents of ATF Newark Field Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott Coffina; officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Bruce Painter; officers of the Willingboro Police Department, under the direction of Director of Public Safety Kinamo Lomon; officers of the Burlington City Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Fine; officers of the Florence Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Brian Boldizar; officers of the Bordentown Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Brian Pesche; officers of the Edgewater Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Robert Hess; officers of the Mount Laurel Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stephen Reidener; officers of the Ewing Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Stemler; officers of the Westampton Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Stephen Ent; and officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Director Sheilah Coley with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha K. Nye of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew B. Johns of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Conway: Teri Lodge Esq., Marlton, New Jersey Huggins: David Oakley Esq., Princeton, New Jersey Epps: Edward Borden Esq., Cherry Hill, New Jersey
BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ — The 514th Air Mobility Wing including a C-17 Globemaster III Aircraft and a KC-10 Extender Aircraft flew over the following hospitals in a salute to healthcare workers and first responders today:
BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ — The Air Force 514th Air Mobility Wing announced a flyover for tomorrow in Burlington and Camden Counties.
The Freedom Wing is flying high bringing our support through your towns!
Tomorrow between 1-1:20 P.M. keep your eyes to the sky as aircraft from the 514th Air Mobility Wing including a C-17 Globemaster III Aircraft and a KC-10 Extender Aircraft conduct operations in your backyard airspace!
TRENTON AND MERCER COUNTY, NJ–The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, honored frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia today.
Rye, NY – On April 24, 2020, at approximately 12:35 p.m., State Police stopped a vehicle on I-95 in the city of Rye for a vehicle and traffic violation. Before Troopers could approach the vehicle, the operator sped off and a brief pursuit ensued, during which time it was determined that the 1996 Dodge Ram pick-up truck was stolen out of New Jersey. The vehicle exited the Thruway and the pursuit ended when the driver struck an earth embankment in the area of Hillside Road and Ridge Street, in the city of Rye.
Once treated and released, Grandmaison was transported to SP Tarrytown where he was processed as a Fugitive from Justice (out of State) and subsequently charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 3rd degree; a Class D Felony, Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle 3rd degree and Reckless Endangerment 2nd degree; both Class A Misdemeanors, and Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 3rd degree; all Unclassified Misdemeanors.
Grandmaison was arraigned and remanded to Westchester County Jail. He is due back in the City of Rye Court at a later date.
NAS PENSACOLA, Fla. – The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, Newark, Trenton and Philadelphia April 28. The flight plans have been released to the public this morning and can be viewed below.
BURLINGTON CITY, BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON), TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–This incident originated on 4/22/2020 at approximately 4:28 pm in front of the Grab & Go Mart located at 420 Keim Blvd. in Burlington City.
A witness contacted police and reported that a female located outside the store was being assaulted by a male by punching her and “head-butted” the victim. The victim had visible injuries and advised the witness that her male acquaintance had been “beating her all day”. Burlington City officers responded and observed the couple enter a Burgundy Chevy Truck and attempted to effectuate a stop of the vehicle to investigate the domestic assault allegations. The vehicle operator then fled from officers at a high rate of speed and Burlington City PD immediately issued an alert requesting assistance in locating the vehicle and occupants.
The vehicle was then observed by Bordentown Township Police at approximately 5:35 pm pulling into the Petro Truck Stop located at 402 Rising Sun Rd. in Bordentown Township. A stop was attempted and the operator again fled at a high rate of speed which resulted in a police pursuit. During this pursuit the operator of the Chevy Truck struck a gray Toyota Tacoma on Rt. 130 in the area of Ward Ave. and continued fleeing from police. The operator of the Toyota was uninjured and Bordentown Township officers continued to pursue the vehicle as it entered Interstate 195 west and then continued into the City of Trenton. The vehicle was then able to elude police and the pursuit was terminated.
As officers continued to search for the vehicle the Trenton Police Department received a call complaining that it was operating “aggressively” and subsequently located it disabled as a result of a collision in the area of Calhoun and West Hanover streets. The female victim, 34 years old from Portland, ME was rescued by officers at this time and the male suspect fled on foot. The vehicle was determined to have been stolen in Portland, ME and its license plate was also recently reported stolen in Philadelphia.
An extensive search ensued for the suspect with assistance from the New Jersey State Police along with their aviation unit, Trenton Police Department, NJ Transit Police and Mercer County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit. Despite these efforts the suspect was unable to be located and is identified as Paul Grandmaison, age 41, of Portland, ME. Burlington City PD has issued a warrant charging Grandmaison with domestic violence aggravated assault, eluding and receiving stolen property. Bordentown Township Police will file similar eluding and receiving stolen property offenses.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Grandmaison should contact the Burlington City PD at 609-386-3300 or Bordentown Township PD at 609-298-4300. All tips will remain confidential.
All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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