Category: Hightstown

Robbinsville Township, Hightstown Borough Enter Into a Historic Shared Services Agreement to Build New Police & Court Building

October 14, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried and Hightstown Borough Mayor Lawrence D. Quattrone are proud to announce a historic shared services agreement to construct a new police station and court on the site of the current Robbinsville Township Municipal Complex at 1117 Route 130.

The new facility will house both the Robbinsville and Hightstown Police Department headquarters and each town’s municipal court. The existing and outdated Robbinsville/Hightstown Municipal Court trailer will be permanently closed and removed from the site.

“Making sure our respective police departments and shared municipal court have the best facilities and every tool possible to perform their duties to the best of their abilities is of paramount importance to both Mayor Quattrone and all of us here in Robbinsville,” Robbinsville Mayor and Director of Public Safety Dave Fried said. “This is a historic agreement between two neighbors which have the utmost respect for each other and their constituents.”

The shared services agreement is for an initial term of 50 years, with a mutual option to extend the agreement for an additional 50 years. Each municipality will pay its share of the costs to construct the facility (approximately $9.8 million) based upon each municipality’s proportional use of the facility’s square footage. The municipalities will share utility costs in the same proportion as the construction costs.

The Robbinsville and Hightstown Police Departments will each occupy their own dedicated space within the new facility and remain separate and distinct departments. Additionally, the Hightstown Police Department will operate a sub-station located in the new municipal complex building at 230 Mercer Street in Hightstown and will continue to maintain the same 24/7 police coverage within the Borough of Hightstown that it currently provides.

“We have shared our court and jail cells with Robbinsville for several years, so expanding the partnership further by sharing a police station is a natural fit,” Hightstown Mayor Quattrone said. “Not only do our hardworking police benefit from the new state-of-the-art facilities, but our residents will continue to receive the same response and dedicated service from the officers they respect and love.”

The Robbinsville and Hightstown Municipal Courts will continue to operate in the new facility under its existing agreement to share facilities, employees, equipment and supplies. This new shared services agreement will not change each municipality’s status as separate and distinct municipal courts.

Ground-breaking for the new police and court facility is scheduled for 2022 and construction is expected to take approximately 12 months.


Hightstown Man Convicted For 2018 Roadside Slaying Of Freehold Woman

October 12, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County jury has returned guilty verdicts on all charges against a Hightstown man who fatally shot a Freehold woman as she drove along on a state highway three years ago, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Tuesday.       

Kader Mustafa, 40, was convicted of first-degree Murder, second-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, two counts of second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and two counts of third-degree Endangering Another Person in connection with the killing of 24-year-old Sciasia Calhoun.    

Shortly before 11:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2018, members of the Freehold Township Police Department responded to a 911 call originating from a vehicle stopped along Route 33 West near the exit ramp for Halls Mill Road. At that location, officers found three occupants of the vehicle, a 1997 Mazda Protégé: Calhoun, having sustained a single gunshot wound to the head, and her boyfriend and her 1-year-old daughter, both of whom were not physically harmed.  

Calhoun was rushed by Freehold First Aid, with the assistance of Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC), to nearby CentraState Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead approximately one hour later.

An intensive investigation by the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau, greatly assisted by the Freehold Township and Manalapan police departments, revealed that Mustafa was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala when he fired a single shot at Calhoun, after several minutes of following her vehicle and flashing his high beams. Mustafa was apprehended in Manalapan in the area of Oakland Mills Road at approximately 8:10 a.m. the morning after the shooting, when two handguns were recovered from the vehicle.

Tuesday’s verdict was delivered following a multi-week trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano Jr. Representing the State during the proceedings was Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Investigation Division Director and Assistant Prosecutor John Loughrey.

“This was a chilling, senseless crime, committed against a total stranger in the dead of night, in front of the victim’s horrified boyfriend and young child,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We thank the jury for their service and are deeply gratified to know that while today’s verdict can’t bring Sciasia Calhoun back, this defendant will be kept off the streets and brought to justice for his actions.”  

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022. Mustafa is facing a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in state prison, with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility.  


Trenton And Hightstown Men Among 11 Indicted In Investigation That Uncovered Alleged “Hit Squad” Of Inmates Who Assaulted Other Inmates

September 22, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced the indictment of an alleged local leader of the Latin Kings street gang and 10 current and former inmates under his command who allegedly formed a “hit squad” within the prison system to commit assaults on behalf of the gang.

Frank Blake, aka “Lafay,” 33, of Hillside, N.J., an alleged leader of the Elizabeth, N.J., chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN) street gang, was initially charged in April 2021 along with eight other alleged members of ALKQN who allegedly conspired to carry out assaults on behalf of the gang in the state prison system. They were charged at that time with a brutal attack on an inmate in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton and a planned assault on another inmate in Northern State Prison in Newark that was prevented by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC).

The Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) obtained a state grand jury indictment on Tuesday, Sept. 14, charging defendants with four more vicious assaults in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. The indictment charges the nine original defendants plus two additional alleged ALKQN gang members. The indictment was sealed pending the arrest of defendant Maurice Diaz Young, 35, of Trenton, N.J., who was arrested today.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by members of the DOC Special Investigations Division (SID) and OPIA Corruption Central Squad. The investigation revealed that Blake and inmate Alexander Chludzinski, aka “D Noble,” 27, of Phillipsburg, N.J., allegedly discussed going to the homes of DOC-SID investigators leading this investigation to commit violence against them.

“We will not tolerate gang-related violence in our state prisons,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “This indictment reaffirms our commitment to ensuring the safety of both inmates and correctional officers behind the prison walls. I am especially grateful to our Office of Public Integrity & Accountability and DOC’s Special Investigations Division for their partnership on this investigation.”

“We will continue to work with the Department of Corrections to neutralize the dangerous and corrosive influence of gangs in our prisons and protect the people who are held in state custody,” said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher. “We will not allow gang leaders to orchestrate violence between inmates and undermine the security of our prison system.”

“Central to our mission is a commitment to operate safe and humane facilities,” said New Jersey Department of Corrections Acting Commissioner Victoria Kuhn, Esq. “We have zero tolerance for those that compromise the integrity of our efforts and applaud the work of the NJDOC’s Special Investigations Division and the OPIA in bringing these individuals to justice.”

The indictment is posted online at: Blake et al Indictment

The following 11 men are charged with second-degree conspiracy, and nine of them—Blake, Diaz Young, Lago, Garcia, Chludzinski, Washington, Reyes, Zarate, and Cardona—are charged with first-degree gang criminality. Blake is also charged with first-degree promoting organized street crime.

  1. Frank Blake, aka “Lafay,” 33, of Hillside N.J.
  2. Eduardo Lago, aka “King Bay Bay,” 28, of Newark, N.J.
  3. Roberto Garcia, aka “Taz,” 25, of Carteret, N.J.
  4. William Figueroa, aka “King Stitch,” 27, of Hightstown, N.J.
  5. Alexander Chludzinski, aka “D Noble,” 27, of Phillipsburg, N.J.
  6. Kevin Washington, aka “King Jafi,” 32, of Atlantic City, N.J.
  7. Andy Reyes, aka “Chango,” 25, of Somerset, N.J.
  8. James Zarate, aka “King Samurai,” 33, of Randolph, N.J.
  9. Larry Cardona, aka “King Legend,” 28, of Elizabeth, N.J.
  10. Maurice Diaz Young, aka “King Onyx,” 35, of Trenton, N.J.
  11. Juan Colon, 53, of Trenton, N.J.

The indictment alleges the following acts of violence and attempted acts of violence against inmates in the state prison system:

  • It is alleged that at Blake’s direction—and with Figueroa, Reyes and Diaz Young participating in planning the assault—Garcia and Lago assaulted an inmate in the prison yard of New Jersey State Prison in Trenton on Sept. 28, 2020, punching and kicking him in the head, and causing him to suffer respiratory failure and a traumatic brain injury.
  • Between December 2020 and April 2021, Blake allegedly conspired with and directed Chludzinski, Reyes, Washington, Zarate, and Cardona in planning an assault on an inmate at Northern State Prison in Newark. DOC-SID investigators learned of the alleged plot and placed the targeted inmate in protective custody to prevent the attempted assault.
  • It is alleged that on Oct. 18, 2019, Chludzinski attacked an inmate with a makeshift weapon known as a “shank” in a shower facility in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, causing the victim to suffer multiple puncture wounds.
  • In April 2020, Reyes, Garcia, and a member of a different street gang identified in the indictment as “Individual #1” allegedly planned that Garcia would attack an inmate in New Jersey State Prison in Trenton on behalf of Individual #1, in exchange for which Individual #1 would attack an inmate who was targeted by Reyes and Garcia. On April 5, 2020, Individual #1 allegedly carried out his attack in the prison yard, repeatedly punching and kicking the victim in the head, causing him to be hospitalized with head trauma. The next day, April 6, 2020, Garcia allegedly attacked the second victim in the prison yard, punching and kicking him in the head and upper body, resulting in bodily injury.
  • It is alleged that Zarate and Cardona attacked an inmate on April 21, 2021 in the prison yard of New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, repeatedly punching and kicking the victim in the head and body, resulting in significant bodily injury.

The indictment charges Diaz Young and Colon with the second-degree crime of solicitation or recruitment to join a criminal street gang for allegedly soliciting an inmate to join ALKQN and participate in criminal conduct on behalf of the gang in November and December 2020.

Blake and Chludzinski are charged with second-degree hindering apprehension or prosecution, third-degree terroristic threats, and fourth-degree obstruction for the alleged threats of violence against DOC-SID members investigating this case. Cardona, Chludzinski, Reyes, and Zarate are charged with possessing shanks, and Cardona is charged with possessing a cell phone in prison.

When Blake was arrested on April 22, 2021, investigators executed a search warrant at his home, seizing a .45-caliber pistol, a .357-caliber revolver loaded with hollow-point bullets, a 9mm pistol, an illegal large-capacity magazine, additional bullets, over one-half pound of methamphetamine, and two digital scales. For those items, he is charged with second-degree possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, second-degree possession of a weapon during commission of a drug offense, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and other drug and weapons offenses.

Deputy Attorneys General Colin J. Keiffer and Travis Miscia are prosecuting the case and presented the indictment to the state grand jury for the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of OPIA Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione. They were assisted by Deputy Attorney General Heather Hausleben and other members of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.

Acting Attorney General Bruck thanked all of the investigators and detectives who conducted the investigation for the DOC Special Investigations Division and the OPIA Corruption Central Squad. For security reasons, they are not being named individually. He also thanked the New Jersey State Police TEAMS North Unit, Division of Criminal Justice Cyber Crimes Unit, Union County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Division, and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Unit for their assistance in the investigation.

The first-degree charges of gang criminality carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years in state prison. The other first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. The sentences for gang criminality and promoting organized street crime must be served consecutively to the sentence for any underlying offense. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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

Defense Attorneys

For Blake: Thomas R. Ashley, Esq., Newark, N.J.

For Garcia: Robin Kay Lord, Esq., Trenton, N.J.

For Figueroa: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Matthew Mordas, Mercer County.

For Chludzinski: Peter V. Abatemarco, Esq., Lambertville, N.J.

For Washington: Tina M. Frost, Esq., West Windsor, N.J.

For Cardona: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Olivia J. Moorhead, Mercer County.

For Other Defendants: Undetermined.


Hughes Announces Opening Of FEMA/Mercer Disaster Recovery Center

Weekdays 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; weekends 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at Hollowbrook Center

September 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–

TRENTON – Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mercer County has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Hollowbrook Community Center, 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing Township, to assist any Mercer County residents or businesses whose property was damaged in the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The DRC is open starting today, Sept. 14 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday. Residents do not need to schedule an appointment to visit the center, nor must they be Mercer County residents.

The DRC will be staffed by FEMA representatives who can provide information on FEMA disaster aid and answer questions. Again, the DRC is open to residents and businesses from every municipality in Mercer County, and residents from any other county that received the FEMA “Disaster” declaration.

On Sept. 10, Mercer County residents were declared eligible to register for Individual Assistance with FEMA. Residents who previously registered for assistance via the Internet or by phone do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC. The eligibility for FEMA Individual Assistance means residents or business owners whose properties were directly damaged by the flooding or storm events on September 1-3 can apply to recoup their losses.

What is a Disaster Recovery Center?

A DRC is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to a specific case.

Some of the services that a DRC may provide:

  • Guidance regarding disaster recovery
  • Clarification of any written correspondence received
  • Housing Assistance and Rental Resource information
  • Answers to questions, resolution to problems and referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance
  • Status of applications being processed by FEMA.
  • SBA program information if there is a SBA Representative at the Disaster Recovery Center site.

Affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or registering by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time Monday through Sunday, and applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information such as their name, the name of the business, address, phone number, insurance coverage, and other information to help substantiate losses.

Individual Assistance, if awarded, can cover reimbursement for a variety of storm-related expenses.

These include, but are not limited to: rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are uninhabitable; grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance; low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance; loans for small businesses that suffered disaster-related cash flow problems; and loans for farmers and other agriculture operators to cover property loss.

Additionally, mall businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Mercer County are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration. For more information, visit https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/.

Residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold.

The hotline will remain open through Sept. 17


Hero Police Officers Locate And Rescue Man From Inferno In East Windsor

Witnesses could see smoke from 4 miles away

September 3, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel, Dennis Symons

EAST WINDSOR (MERCER)– On Friday, September 3, 2021 at approximately 2:50 p.m., patrol units responded to an abandoned building at 82 Hickory Corner Road Extension, between Route 130 and Mercer Street for a report of a structure fire. A passer by observed fire in the ceiling of the structure and called 911.  Upon the arrival of patrol officers shortly after, flames were observed from the exterior of the structure.  Patrol officers Robert Galvin and Michael Adelung quickly made entry and located a disoriented and injured individual.  The individual was immediately extracted from the building and assessed by emergency medical responders.  The individual was then transported by ambulance to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton for smoke inhalation and undetermined fire related injuries.  Fire personnel from East Windsor and several surrounding towns responded to extinguish the fire.  The structure sustained heavy fire and water damage.  The cause and source of the fire are currently unknown as the incident remains under investigation by the East Windsor Township Police Department. 

Responding Emergency Services

East Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #1, East Windsor Volunteer Fire Company #2, Hightstown Engine Company, Robbinsville Fire Department, West Windsor Fire Company, Plainsboro Fire Company, Millstone Fire Department, Cranbury Fire Company, Upper Freehold/Hope Fire Company (Allentown), Robert Wood Johnson EMS, Hightstown EMS, West Windsor EMS    


  East Windsor Police Officers who made the save:






Vehicle Crashes Overturns And Burst Into Flames On NJ Turnpike In East Windsor

August 24, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–At 8:30 p.m. last night August 23, the Robbinsville Township Fire Department and Hightstown Fire Department were dispatched to a vehicle fire at mile marker 65 north bound inner roadway. Radio reports say that a vehicle traveling north in the outer roadway crashed and overturned and ended up in the inner roadway and burst into flames. When firefighters arrived they found a vehicle fully involved at mile marker 65 and quickly extinguished the fire. Ambulances from Robbinsville Township and Hightstown First Aid Squad transported accident victims for what appeared to be minor injuries to local hospitals. No further information is available at this time.



Tropical Storm Henri Floods Area With Up To 8 Inches Of Rain, Rescues, Evacuations, Road Closures

August 22, 2021

Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Henri flooded the area overnight with up to eight inches of rain in the Central New Jersey area. Many people traveling on flooded roadways were trapped in the vehicles and needed to be rescued.

Hightstown Fire Company reported responding to at least 10 incidents with the majority being water rescues. Hightstown firefighters rescued eight civilians who were trapped in their vehicles or relocated to the roof of their vehicles due to flood waters.

The National Weather Service reported that 4 to 8 inches of rain fell from the storm and that Middlesex and Mercer Counties were particular hard hit.






Flooding in the area of Cranbury-South River Road and CR614 Dey Road, several cars were submerged and local fire departments made rescues earlier in the morning. A house and business was flooded near the location.



Flooding in Jamesburg, NJ at the Lake Manalapan dam at West Railroad Avenue.












Flooding in Cranbury, NJ from Heri on August 22, 2021





8th Annual Latino Festival of Hightstown-East Windsor Held Yesterday

August 22, 2021

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–The 8th Annual Latino Festival of Hightstown-East Windsor was held yesterday and even Governor Phil Murphy stopped by the event. The festival is a celebration of the arts and cultural traditions of Latin America and the Caribbean; raffle prizes, dance and musical performances, local artists displaying their work, lots of delicious Latin food and so much more was had.


Photos and video provided by: Keith Magill




20th Anniversary America’s 911 Ride Passes Through Hightstown

August 22, 2021

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–America’s 911 Ride came though Hightstown yesterday afternoon on their way to New York City. This year the motorcycle ride is remembering the 20th anniversary of 911. The ride starts at the Pentagon in Arlington-Washington, D.C., proceeds to the memorial at Shanksville, PA and ends in New York City at the World Trade Center site.




Severe Flooding From Thunderstorms And Possible Tornados Hit Area

July 29, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–MidJersey.News was able to capture possible tornadic activity in the area of Old York Road and the NJ Turnpike. The clouds with rotation indicating a possible tornado was spotted behind the Field Of Terror off of Windsor Prineville Road as it moved toward Millstone Township. Further down the road the tornadic activity crossed Winsor Prineville Road towards Roosevelt and Clarksburg.

Just prior to the possible tornado spotting there were reports of damage to a building on Route 130 in Robbinsville and wires down near Gordon Road, Perrineville Road and Allen’s Road.

Several people were stuck in vehicles around the area including Mercer Street Hightstown, Main Street Hightstown, One Mile Road East Windsor, Route 571 East and West Windsor.

MidJersey.News will be out in the morning to check for damage in the areas where the possible tornado was spotted. This is the same area where the NWS reported the rotation.











Developing: 9-1-1 Call Sparks Massive Search Of Peddie Lake In Hightstown

July 21, 2021

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–Hightstown Police were investigating a 9-1-1 call earlier for a missing teenager. It escalated around 5:50 p.m. when the Hightstown Fire Company was dispatched to the Peddie Lake in the area of Main Street for a “water rescue” due to the nature of the call mutual aid was dispatched from several area fire departments and rescue squads.

The search concentrated around the Peddie Lake Bridge on East Ward Street. Hightstown Police and Peddie Security searched the area and the banks of the lake and the school campus. Fire Departments deployed boats to search the area of the bridge. The Mercer County Sherriff’s Office searched with their drone.

After approximately a two hour search with boats, divers, drones and by foot along the lake nothing was found at the lake. The search was called off just before dark.

Responding departments include: Hightstown Fire Company, Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Plainsboro Fire Department, Trenton Fire Department, Hamilton Township Fire Department, West Windsor Fire Company, East Windsor Fire Company, Hightstown EMS, Robbinsville EMS, East Windsor EMS, Signal 22 and others.

Hightstown Police are continuing the investigation.

Update: Hightstown Police say they are investigating this as a false call. The investigation is still active and when more information becomes available they will let us know.


Driver Extricated On NJ Turnpike In East Windsor

July 9, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:20 a.m. an accident was reported on the NJ Turnpike south bound inner roadway at mile post 70 with reported entrapment. The Hightstown Fire Company, Monroe Township Fire Department, Cranbury First Aid Squad, Hightstown First Aid Squad and Capital Paramedics were sent to the scene.

Monroe Township Fire reported “going in service with the tools” to cut the driver of one of the vehicles out of the car.

The injured were transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threating injuries.

NJ State Police is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.

Just south of this accident Robbinsville Township Fire Department and EMS and East Windsor Rescue Squad were sent to mile marker 67 north bound inner roadway for another crash. It was unclear if anyone in that accident was transported to the hospital.

Heavy rains were moving though the area at the time of the crashes from Tropical Storm Elsa.


Well Involved NJDOT Tractor Fire on Route 33/Mercer Street In East Windsor

June 28, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–East Windsor Fire Company and Hightstown Fire Company were dispatched to Mercer Street / Route 33 across from Home Depot for a tractor on fire around 2:18 p.m. Responding units reported a large column of smoke in the area and upon arrival found a well involved NJ DOT tractor on fire. Firefighters used water and firefighting foam to put the fire out. There was a small diesel spill on the side of the roadway and the NJ Department of Environmental protection was called. The roadway was shut down and a detour was set up in the area until the situation could be resolved.


NJ Turnpike Crash Results In Fully Involved Vehicle Fire; Non-Life-Threating Injuries Reported

June 8, 2021

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 8:46 p.m. the Hightstown Fire Company, Cranbury Fire Company, and EMS were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike for a vehicle fire on the inner roadway at mile marker 69. When the fire chief arrived he found a vehicle well involved in fire as the result of an accident. Hightstown and Cranbury firefighters extinguished the fire. It was reported that the injures were non-life-threating and a second ambulance was called to the scene. It was unclear if anyone was transported from the scene to the hospital.

The NJ State Police is investigating the crash.


Serious Accident On NJ Turnpike Prior To Exit 8 Injures Two

June 1, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department and Hightstown Fire Company were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike inner roadway at mile post 65.6 north bound for two vehicle accident with roll over and entrapment at 11:42 a.m. Robbinsville EMS, Capital Health EMS, Cranbury First Aid Squad and Capital Health Paramedics responded and treated patients on scene. One person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and a “trauma alert” was called. Another person was transported to RWJ at Hamilton Hospital with non-life threating injures. Robbinsville firefighters help get patients out of vehicles for transport and stood by until vehicle could be removed by the George’s Garage.

New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.


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AG Grewal Announces Charges Against Alleged “Hit Squad” Of Inmates Who Assaulted Other Inmate; Plotted Violence Against Correctional Officers

Defendants Include Alleged Leader of Latin Kings Street Gang and Eight Inmates Currently Incarcerated in State Prisons, Including New Jersey State Prison in Trenton

April 29, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that an alleged local leader of the Latin Kings street gang and eight inmates allegedly under his command in various correctional facilities—including Northern State Prison in Newark and New Jersey State Prison in Trenton—have been charged with forming a “hit squad” within the prison system to commit assaults on behalf of the gang. They are specifically charged with engaging in conduct including a brutal attack on one inmate in New Jersey State Prison, a planned assault on another inmate in Northern State Prison that was prevented by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC), and possession of makeshift blades called “shanks.”

The charges were filed by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) as the result of an investigation by members of the DOC Special Investigations Division (SID) and OPIA Corruption Central Squad.

Frank Blake, aka “Lafay,” 33, of Hillside, N.J., an alleged leader of the Elizabeth, N.J., chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN) street gang, allegedly created and directed a “hit squad” in the state prison system to carry out assaults on behalf of ALKQN. Blake and inmate Alexander Chludzinski, aka “D Noble,” 27, of Phillipsburg, N.J., allegedly discussed going to the homes of DOC-SID investigators leading this investigation to commit violence against them.

It is further alleged that, at the request of inmates William Figueroa, aka “King Stitch,” 27, of Hightstown, N.J., and Andy Reyes, aka “Chango,” 25, of Somerset, N.J.—and at the direction of Blake—inmates Roberto Garcia, aka “Taz,” 25, of Carteret, N.J., and Eduardo Lago, aka “King Bay Bay,” 27, of Newark, N.J., brutally assaulted an inmate in the prison yard of New Jersey State Prison in Trenton on Sept. 28, 2020, causing the victim to suffer a traumatic brain injury.

Between December 2020 and February 2021, Blake allegedly conspired with and directed alleged ALKQN members Chludzinski, Reyes, Kevin Washington, aka “King Jafi,” 32, of Atlantic City, N.J., James Zarate, aka “King Samurai,” 33, of Randolph, N.J., and Larry Cardona, aka “King Legend,” 28, of Elizabeth, N.J., in planning an assault on an inmate at Northern State Prison in Newark. DOC-SID investigators learned of the alleged plot and placed the targeted inmate in protective custody to prevent the attempted assault.

“We allege that Blake and the Latin Kings gang members he commanded in the state prison system not only conspired to assault and seriously injure inmates, but went so far as to plot violence against members of the Department of Corrections who were investigating them,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Gang violence is always a danger in our state prisons, but we charge that these defendants and their so-called ‘hit squad’ posed a special threat to the safety and security of inmates and correctional police officers. I commend the DOC Special Investigations Division and OPIA for their outstanding work to neutralize this threat and bring these alleged gang members to justice.”

“As a result of the thorough investigation conducted by the DOC Special Investigations Division and our detectives and attorneys, eight of these nine defendants now face a charge of first-degree gang criminality carrying a sentence of up to 20 years in prison,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “This investigation is ongoing. We charge that these members of the Latin Kings sought to hold sway in prison through violence and fear as if they were out on the street, but we have stopped their alleged reign of terror. We’re committed to protecting people in custody.”

Blake—the only defendant not currently incarcerated—allegedly commanded the gang members inside the prison through phone calls as well as letters. Blake was arrested on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The eight inmates were charged yesterday. All of the defendants except Cardona are charged with first-degree gang criminality and second-degree conspiracy. In addition, Blake is charged with first-degree promoting organized street crime.

Blake, Figueroa, Reyes, Lago, and Garcia are charged with second-degree aggravated assault in the assault on the inmate at New Jersey State Prison who suffered a brain injury. Blake, Chludzinski, Washington, Reyes, Zarate, and Cardona are charged with second-degree attempted aggravated assault for allegedly planning the assault at Northern State Prison that was thwarted when DOC placed the targeted inmate in protective custody.

Blake and Chludzinski are charged with second-degree hindering apprehension or prosecution, third-degree terroristic threats, and fourth-degree obstruction for the alleged threats of violence against DOC-SID members investigating this case. Cardona, Chludzinski, Reyes, and Zarate are charged with possessing shanks, and Cardona is charged with possessing a cell phone in prison.

When Blake was arrested, investigators executed a search warrant at his home, seizing a .45-caliber pistol, a .357-caliber revolver loaded with hollow-point bullets, a 9mm pistol, an illegal large-capacity magazine, additional bullets including hollow-point rounds, numerous suspected methamphetamine pills, and two digital scales. For those items, he is charged with second-degree possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, second-degree possession of a weapon during commission of a drug offense, third-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in a school zone, and fourth-degree possession of a large-capacity magazine, among other charges.

The criminal complaints against the nine defendants are posted with this press release at:

www.njoag.gov/ag-grewal-announces-charges-against-alleged-hit-squad-of-inmates-who-assaulted-other-inmate-plotted-violence-against-correctional-officers/

Deputy Attorney General Colin Keiffer is prosecuting the case for the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of OPIA Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione. They were assisted by Deputy Attorney General Heather Hausleben and other members of the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.

Attorney General Grewal thanked all of the investigators and detectives who conducted the investigation for the DOC Special Investigations Division and the OPIA Corruption Central Squad. For security reasons, they are not being named individually.

Attorney General Grewal also thanked the New Jersey State Police TEAMS North Unit, Division of Criminal Justice Cyber Crimes Unit, Union County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Division, and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Unit for their assistance in the investigation.

First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. The sentences for gang criminality and promoting organized street crime must be consecutive to the sentence for any underlying offense. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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

Defense Attorneys

For Blake: Thomas R. Ashley, Esq., Newark, N.J.

For the other defendants: undetermined.

Three vaccine mini-clinics for eligible teens 16 and 17 Who Attend Robbinsville, West Windsor or Hightstown

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Pfizer Vaccination for Eligible Teens April 27-29 The West Windsor Health Department is partnering with Hamilton Township, Princeton and Olden Pharmacy to offer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals 16 and 17 years of age who live, work or attend school in West Windsor, Robbinsville or Hightstown.

These mini clinics will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, Wednesday, April 28 and Thursday, April 29. Appointments are required and parents or guardians must attend the clinic. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the Health Department at 609-936-8400 or email vaccine@westwindsortwp.com


Man Wanted For Stealing Items In East Windsor Township

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey State Police and the East Windsor Township Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance with identifying a man who allegedly broke into three Sea Box freight storage containers and stole several items.

On Sunday, April 11, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the suspect cut the padlocks on three storage containers located in the township and removed a pallet of LED parking lot lights.  The suspect also stole a Honda generator, two jumping jack power tools, a rotary laser, a concrete saw, two rolls of copper, a trash pump, an impact drill, and a plastic blower. 

Prior to departing, the suspect removed a security camera from the scene and placed it in his vehicle while it was still recording.  He then fled in a Ford van, pickup truck, or box truck with a circular-shaped sticker in the driver’s side corner of the windshield.

Detectives with the State Police Forensic Imaging Unit completed a detailed sketch of the suspect based on surveillance images.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective McCandrew of the East Windsor Police Department at 609-448-5678, ext. 230 or email mccandrew@ewpd.com.

Anonymous tips are welcome.



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