Category: Mercer County

BREAKING: Reports Of Man Stabbed On South Broad Street Near Liberty Street

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–There were reports of a stabbing tonight in the 1200 Block of South Broad Street near Liberty Street around 9:30 pm. Sources said a man was found stabbed in the side and a group of individuals were on scene trying to control the bleeding. Sources also said that the main was hit over the head and stabbed for $50.00 Trenton EMS and Trenton Police responded to the scene. The main was taken to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. No other information is available at this time. If official police information becomes available the story will be updated.

Hamilton Police seeking assistance in locating man missing since August

January 19, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Hamilton Police are seeking information in regards to a man that hasn’t been seen since August of 2020.

On January 14, 2021, Todd Dekis was reported missing by a family member. The family member told police that they have not seen Dekis since August of 2020. Dekis’ family also reported seeing anonymous Facebook posts suggesting that Dekis may be hospitalized. Police contacted all local hospitals, but Dekis was not located.

Dekis is described as a 35 year old white male, 6’0”, 140 lbs., blue eyes and black hair. It is unknown what Dekis is wearing and the family does not believe he has a cell phone. Dekis may be homeless at this time and may be in the Trenton area.

Anyone with any information regarding the missing person is asked to contact Detective Dan Inman of the Hamilton Police Criminal Investigation’s Section at 609-581-4035 or the the Hamilton Police Division Tip Line at 609-581-4008.

BREAKING: Serious Crash Involving Pedestrian In Lawrence Township

January 19, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A serious crash involving a Nissan Murano and a pedestrian occurred at the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Spruce Street sometime before 8:30 am. Lawrence Township Police, Lawrence EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded to the scene. The person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The Lawrence Township Fire Department responded to help clean up and wash down the accident scene.

Information contained in this story is breaking news and from on scene reporting, witnesses and radio traffic. An email was sent to Lawrence Township Police for official press information once received the story will be updated and any corrections and additions made.



65 Year Old Long Branch Teacher Arrested in Manalapan for Endangering the Welfare of a Child

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A 65-year-old science teacher at Long Branch Middle School was arrested this morning and charged with one count of third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported. 

Jesse Rosenbaum was taken into custody during a motor vehicle stop near his home in Manalapan by detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit and Special Victims Unit (SVU).  He is being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Rosenbaum was the subject of a recent ICAC investigation into the sexual exploitation of children online.  The investigation revealed he was soliciting underage males online to participate in sexual acts and also sexual conversation.  The complaint alleges Rosenbaum engaged in sexually explicit emails, text messages and phone conversations with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old male.

The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information on this investigation should contact Sgt. Joe Paglione of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at (609) 273-0065.


Robbinsville Board Of Education Seeks Applications For 2 Vacancies

January 18, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)— The Robbinsville Board of Education is seeking two (2) qualified candidates for membership to the Robbinsville School Board. The Board, within the powers delegated to it by law, is the policy-making legislative branch of the School District. These two positions to be filled will replace Shaina Ciaccio and Craig Heilman who resigned in December for personal reasons.

If appointed, the term will run through December 31, 2021. Both positions will be placed on the ballot for the annual election in November 2021; one for a full three-year term and the other for a one-year unexpired term.

Individuals considering applying, must meet the following qualifications:
• A citizen of the United States of America
• At least 18 years of age
• Able to read and write
• A resident of the Township of Robbinsville for at least one (1) year preceding the date of appointment
• Not directly/indirectly interested in a contract with a claim against the Board
• Registered to vote in the District
• Not disqualified as a voter pursuant to NJSA 19:4-1
• Has not been disqualified due to the conviction of a crime or offense listed in N.J.S.A. 18A:12-1

Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and resume by noon on February 3, 2021 to Nick Mackres Business Administrator/Board Secretary, Robbinsville Board of Education, 155 Robbinsville Edinburg Road, Robbinsville, NJ 08691 or via email: mackres.nick@robbinsville.k12.nj.us

The Board of Education will review all qualifying applicants at the February 3rd Special Board Meeting at 5:00 p.m.

The Robbinsville Board of Education is an organization of elected citizens and residents living in the district. Once a member has been elected to the Board, they gain the right to vote on proceedings concerning the school district. The Board of Education is responsible for a wide variety of transactions and decisions that are made in the district. Robbinsville Township School District is comprised of an elementary school, middle school and high school providing services to over 3,200 students.


After Massive Preparation For Armed Protest, 1 Anti-Protest Protester And A Few Skateboarders Seen In Trenton

January 17, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Several streets and bridges in downtown Trenton were closed off with concrete blocks weighing thousands of pounds on Sunday. State offices closed, NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Offices closed, and some businesses boarded their buildings for reports of a possible nationwide armed protest in all state capitals today.

Police were seen patrolling empty streets, while one anti-protest protester, seen wearing an Obama mask with a sign reading, “GO HOME,” and a few skateboarders were seen about in Trenton, NJ.

NJ State Police patrolled areas in front of City Hall and the NJ State House on mountain bikes. The closures stem from rumors and Internet chatter of a nationwide protest against the presidential election by right wing extremists that never materialized today. The armed insurrectionists were a no-show in Trenton.


Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News




Tractor Trailer Overturned On Turnpike And Serious Accident Perrineville Road This Morning

January 17, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE-EAST WINDSOR TOWNSHIPS, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Township firefighters responded to the 500 Block of Perrineville Road at 6:47 am for a car into a utility pole with injuries. Upon arrival of Robbinsville Police, fire and EMS the person was still in vehicle with wires one the vehicle. Jersey Central Power & Light JCP&L was notified and responded. The person was removed from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital.


At 8:28 am the Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Hightstown Fire Company, East Windsor First Aid, Robbinsville EMS responded to the New Jersey Turnpike for an overturned tractor trailer with reported entrapment. The accident happened in the north bound outer roadway (truck lanes) mile marker 66.0 about 1 mile prior to Exit 8 and blocked all the lanes of the outer roadway. When fire and EMS personnel arrived the driver was able to get out of the vehicle on their own power. Currently the roadway has reopened but one lane remains closed.




COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Planned At CURE Arena And MCCC

January 16, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County plans on opening an COVID-19 vaccination site at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton in partnership with Capital Health System. An additional vaccination site is planned at Mercer County Community College and will be managed by the County Health Officer’s Association. See full press rease below from Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes:

Dear Mercer County Community,

The State of New Jersey this week ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, and Mercer County is preparing to do the same. The County will open a vaccination site at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton in partnership with Capital Health System, which will manage the site. The opening date is dependent on vaccine supply but a soft opening is planned next week.

We had a successful partnership with Capital Health during the COVID-19 testing program we established last spring, and I can’t think of a more fitting partner for this next phase of the pandemic response – the vaccination phase. Like other vaccination locations, this site will be for those eligible under the state’s phasing plan that is designed to ensure that those most at risk are prioritized.

Mercer County also is working on opening a vaccination site  at Mercer County Community College that would be managed by the County Health Officers Association and utilize all of the resources and staffing available from the municipal and county health offices. The arena and MCCC vaccination locations will supplement, not replace, smaller sites including those currently being operated by municipal health departments and other health care facilities in Mercer County. If you have questions about the CURE Insurance Arena or MCCC vaccination sites, please email publichealth@mercercounty.org.

As of this morning, at least 7,342 vaccine doses had been administered in Mercer County, according to the state Department of Health. While we all want to see that number grow exponentially, we are simply not getting enough vaccine from the federal government, and we are using every single dose we receive. 

I ask that everyone be patient throughout what will be a months-long vaccination process and continue to take basic preventive measures to reduce the spread of the virus, which is still rampant in our community and seemingly everywhere else. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth; keep a least 6 feet away from other people; practice good hand hygiene; avoid large gatherings; and stay home if you are sick.

Anyone can – and everyone should – pre-register to receive a vaccination by visiting the state’s online portal at https://covidvaccine.nj.gov. The state expects to have a consumer call center up and running soon to assist people without Internet access in scheduling appointments, and to help answer general inquiries and questions. Those who have pre-registered will be notified when they are eligible to make a vaccination appointment. The state is compiling a list of designated vaccination locations for eligible recipients. That list will continue to grow.

For more information on who is eligible, and how to get vaccinated if you are eligible, please visit the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine website.

In addition to vaccinations, Mercer County continues to respond to the pandemic through testing, contact tracing and support. The County, in partnership with Vault Health Services, is offering a free COVID-19 saliva test on the next two Tuesdays – Jan. 19 and 26 – at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton. For details, please visit the COVID-19 Testing page on the County website, where you’ll also find information on the County’s at-home testing program.

These are trying times but we will get through them. Let’s continue to support each other and keep each other safe. Let’s continue to work together.

Brian M. Hughes

Mercer County Executive



Trenton Fire Responds To 3rd Serious Call All Within Hours, Another All Hands Fire Extinguished

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Fire Department’s third serious call in a matter of a couple of hours, this time 9-1-1 calls reported a fire in the 300 Block of Commonwealth Avenue around 1:45 pm. First arriving Trenton fire units reported heavy fire on the third floor. An “all hands” was called sending additional fire apparatus and personnel to the scene. The fire was brought under control in less than a half hour. No further details are available.

All this after firefighters responded to an 11:00 am fire on MLK Blvd near Calhoun Street and 12:10 pm rescued a man from a Trench. See other MidJersey.News stories at links below:

11:00 am All Hands Fire In Trenton

12:10 pm Man Rescued From Trench In Trenton

Trenton NJ MVC Closed Due To Heightened Security Measures

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission announces due to heightened security measures the Trenton Regional-Vehicle Center will close on Saturday January 16 and Wednesday January 20, 2021. Check the website for further details here: http://bit.ly/MVCLocations.

Due to the state’s heightened security measures, TRENTON REGIONAL/VEHICLE CENTER will CLOSE Saturday, Jan. 16 and Wednesday, Jan. 20. For the most up-to-date information on MVC facility closures and openings, check http://bit.ly/MVCLocations.

All Hands Fire In Trenton

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Around 11:00 am., the Trenton Fire Department responded to 1200 Block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard near Calhoun Street for a fire in a two-story building. First arriving crews reported heavy smoke and fire on the second floor and called for an “all hands” sending additional equipment and personnel to the scene. The fire was located next to the old Jo Jo’s Steak House on MLK Blvd. The building appeared vacant and the fire was quickly brought under control.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Man Rescued From Trench In Trenton

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—At 12:10 pm., Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Paramedics responded to a reported man stuck in trench at 61 Hobart Avenue. Trenton Fire Department quickly pulled the man out of the trench. The man was treated by Trenton Fire, Trenton EMS and Capital Paramedics on scene. No further information is available.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

NJ State Police Mounted Unit Patrols State House Area On Horses

January 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Members of the New Jersey State Police Mounted Unit were seen around noon patrolling West State Street near the Governor’s Office and the State House. A few children got to meet the members of the mounted patrol and pet the horses. Today’s weather was cloudy with a high of 51F in the area.

Photos by: Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

Hamilton Township Celebrates Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Scholarship Awards

January 15, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On Wednesday, January 13th Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin presented three Hamilton Township School District students with the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service and Scholarships Awards. These students each received a $450 scholarship and were selected by the Tribute Committee based on their dedication to public service and clear commitment to academic excellence.

“While we are not able to gather in person for our Annual Tribute Ceremony this year due to COVID-19, I am happy that we as a Township have still found a way to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and present three deserving Hamilton Township School District students with a scholarship award that both commemorates their dedication to service and sets them up to further their educational careers,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “I wish Olena, Ryan and Lauren the best of luck in all of their future endeavors. I am proud of the strong spirit of community service we have here in Hamilton”

Lauren McCarthy, one of the 2021 awardees, is a Senior at Steinert High School, maintaining a 4.56 GPA.   Lauren participates on the Steinert Lacrosse and Cheerleading Teams.  She is a member of the German Club and German Honor Society, Student Government President, Hamilton News, and Key Club.  Lauren volunteers in the community through Girl Scouts, and has been awarded Gold Award recipient which is awarded to less than 6% of Girl Scouts.  Lauren has also volunteered for the Miracle League of Mercer County, which is a baseball league for children with disabilities, and as a result of her contributions was named the Hamilton YMCA Volunteer of the Year!

“Annually, the Hamilton Township community pauses to remember the life, leadership, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I have been honored to be a part of that celebration for more than a decade.  In addition, I have been humbled to be the keynote speaker twice.  It is most fitting that we pause each year to celebrate both the dream and the dreamer.  In a world where nightmares seem to be the norm, we need to reflect upon a dream that speaks of light, hope, justice, equality, and equity,” said Dr. Joseph E. Woods, Pastor of Saint Phillips Baptist Church.  “Today, I join our beloved mayor, the MLK committee, and the entire community of Hamilton Township to lift up the ministry and model of Dr. King as motivation to cast a vision in our day to empower and position people to overcome injustice and inequity in our world.  Much has changed since Dr. King walked this earth, yet much remains the same and more still needs to be done.  So as we look back at what Dr. King did in the past, may we all be encouraged to do something different today so that tomorrow will be better for us all.”

The second Scholarship recipient, Olena Mykhaylyshyn is a Senior at Hamilton High School West. With a GPA of 4.89 (second in her class), Olena serves as a Peer Leader, and is a four-year member of the Swim and Tennis Teams.  She is a member of the Science League, Spanish Club, HEY Club, CASCADE, a cultural awareness and education club, and Unified Programs.  Olena is also an active participant in the Ukrainian Church and the Ukrainian National Home, and volunteers for the Hamilton Rotary Club.

“So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?” said Pastor Lance Walker of Faith Baptist Church.  “In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.  This is the kind of extremist we need!”

The third Scholarship Award was given to Ryan Hardiman, a senior at Steinert High School. Ryan is a Senior at Steinert High with a GPA of 4.51, serves as a Peer Leader and is a member of the Varsity football and baseball teams.  His community service includes several years of involvement at the CYO Bromley Center community events including Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Part, Easter Egg Hunt, Spring Clean Up Day, Halloween Parade, and volunteering in the food pantry.  Ryan works at CYO Yardville as a Summer Camp and Remote Learning Counselor, and a basketball clinician. His teachers describe him as mature, dependable, and a critical thinker.

The Tribute Committee looks forward to honoring Dr. King and additional scholarship recipients in person again in 2022.

UPDATE: Bomb scare shuts down part of South Olden Avenue in Hamilton

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel


Click here to see MidJersey.News’ previous story: BREAKING: Hamilton Police investigating possible bomb situation


HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): On January 14, 2021, at approximately 2:00 PM, Hamilton Police Officers were detailed to a residence on the 800 block of S. Olden Avenue on a suspicious item located in the residence.  Responding officers observed a cell phone picture from the owner of the residence, of what appeared to be an explosive device in their tenants’ bedroom.  

The New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit and a Mercer County Sheriffs’ Bomb Detection Dog was dispatched to the seen, as well as detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutors Office. The residence was then cleared of the suspicious device.  Upon further inspection of the item, it was determined that it was an imitation explosive device.   

No criminal charges were filed in this case.

Hamilton Police Detective Nicholas Schulte, of the Criminal Investigations Section, was assigned this investigation.  Detective Schulte can be contacted at (609) 689-5825 or via email at nschulte@hamiltonpd.org




BREAKING: Hamilton Police investigating possible bomb situation

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel


Click here to see MidJersey.News’ updated story: UPDATE: Bomb scare shuts down part of South Olden Avenue in Hamilton


BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news story from on scene and radio reports. Once official information is available, the story will be updated and corrections will be made


HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Hamilton Police along with New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad responded to the area of South Olden Avenue and Liberty Street around 2:00pm.

A source close to the investigation told MidJersey.News that police received a call for some sort of bomb threat in the vicinity, which called for an explosive response incident.

Police have evacuated the area and roads have been shut down until they figure out further. Hamilton Fire Police also assisted in shutting down the roads.

Police were also seen investigating two individuals at South Olden Avenue and Ellwood Street after they rolled up to the scene on bicycles, however it is unknown at this time if they are related to the situation.

The area is still shut down as of 4:45 pm.


BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news story from on scene and radio reports. Once official information is available, the story will be updated and corrections will be made.




BREAKING: Inmate Suffers Chemical Burns At Mercer County Correctional Center

January 14, 20221

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 1:00 pm, Hopewell EMS and Hopewell Fire Departments were detailed to the Mercer County Correctional Center at 1750 River Road for a victim with chemical burns to the face. A New Jersey State Police helicopter was requested to fly an inmate with chemical burns to a trauma center. NJSP North Star helicopter responded and picked up the patient for transpor.

A Mercer County spokes person told MidJersey.News this afternoon that they could confirm an incident took place a short while ago involving an inmate scalded from an unknown substance. The victim suffered burns and is being airlifted to a hospital. The matter is under investigation.

This is a breaking news story check back for further details when released.

Hamilton Township Free Virtual Job Fair Announced for March 16

January 14, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Jeffrey Martin and the Hamilton Township Economic Development Advisory Commission (HTEDAC) will offer a FREE Virtual Job Fair for residents seeking employment in the greater Hamilton Township area. The Virtual Job Fair will showcase job openings from a range of employers in various fields and skillsets, including representatives from Amazon, UPS, FedEx, local labor unions, and area small businesses. The Virtual Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, March 16, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

“In these challenging economic times, we are thankful to the Commission for finding an innovative way to help residents learn about local employment opportunities as well as provide an outlet for our businesses and vendors to fill their vacancies,” said Mayor Martin. “Hamilton is a vibrant community with businesses large and small and an eager workforce. I look forward to welcoming all to this Job Fair.”

The Virtual Job Fair will be held using Hop-in, a virtual meeting platform accessible in your internet browser without additional software. Job Seekers will log-in to full-group sessions, then select from Company Showcase sessions with career opportunities in Healthcare, Construction, Professional Services, Information Technologies, Project Management, Courier, and Customer Services.

“Mayor Martin, the HTEDAC, and our partners are working diligently to build a thriving workforce for Hamilton Township. Offering a Virtual Job Fair allows Hamilton Township residents access to numerous job opportunities in a safe and easy way,” said HTEDAC Chairperson Lori Danko.

Represented companies will be available to discuss their open positions and answer questions in a face-to-face video environment, as well as collect resumes from prospective employees.

HTEDAC is currently seeking additional companies interested in participating and has available event sponsorship opportunities. Questions and sponsorship inquiries can be directed to HTEDAC Vice-Chairperson Gretchen DiMarco at htedac@gmail.com.

Further information registration for the Virtual Job Fair can be found online at: https://hopin.com/events/hamilton-township-job-fair

The Virtual Job Fair is part of the Hamilton Township Economic Development Advisory Commission’s work to support economic development across the community. HTEDAC is an official municipal government commission comprised of volunteers, serving as an advisory body to the Mayor and Township Council through interaction with the Department of Economic Development.


Man arrested after burglary of Trent Jewelers in Hamilton

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): On January 14, 2021 at approximately 1:57 AM, Officers were detailed to Trent Jewelers located at 16 Edinburg Road on a report of a burglary in progress.  Witnesses had heard a loud bang and saw a suspect crawl through the bottom of a smashed out front glass door.  They then saw the suspect exit the business and followed the suspect to the area of Brighton Avenue where he entered a vehicle.  Officers arrived on scene and located a black Honda Accord on Corson Avenue leaving the area.  They conducted a motor vehicle stop and found the driver to have six watches in his pocket and seven watches in his vehicle all with the Trent Jeweler price tags on them.  He was placed under arrest.

The male was identified as Kevin Baksany, 35, of Hamilton.  He was charged with Burglary, Theft, Criminal Mischief, Possession of Burglar’s Tools and Obstruction.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Brian Davis of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-689-5823 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.

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

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Detectives Arrest Trenton’s H-Block in Operation Eight-Ball

January 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Six-Month Investigation Yields 18 Arrests, Guns, $228,000 in Drugs

TRENTON (MERCER): Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri today announced that a six month, multi-jurisdictional investigation of narcotics distribution and violent crime in the  Mercer County area has culminated with the arrest of 18 individuals and the seizure of  approximately 1,000 grams of heroin, 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of  marijuana, 11 guns, six vehicles and more than $22,000 in cash.  

“Operation Eight-Ball was an enormous investigative endeavor and as a result, many  violent offenders have been taken off of the street,” said Prosecutor Onofri. “I cannot  thank our many law enforcement partners enough for their dedication and assistance in  providing safer neighborhoods for the residents of Trenton and Mercer County.” 

“Our law enforcement challenges this year required a coordinated plan, and I’m thankful  for the city, county, state, and federal officers who stepped up to make Trenton a safer  place to live,” said Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley. “In just this operation alone,  their hard work yielded multiple firearms, high-capacity magazines, kilograms of  narcotics, and more than 15 arrests, six of which are connected to several homicides.  This multi-tiered response awaits any criminal group that seeks to plague our streets with  drugs and violence.”

“This investigation makes clear the violence associated with drug trafficking,” said Susan  A. Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey  Division. “Those targeted in this investigation brought violence and misery to the residents  of Mercer County. Their arrests have made the community safer, and DEA will continue  to work with our partners to pursue those who violate the law.” 

“In the spring of 2020, as the number of shootings and homicides in Trenton began  increasing at an alarming rate, we set out to expose trends and connections that might  be responsible for triggering the uptick in violence,” said Prosecutor Onofri. 

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and  the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, along with the Drug Enforcement  Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation,  and many state, county and local police agencies, began their hard-hitting investigation  a short time later and dubbed the job “Operation Eight-Ball,” representing the eight-ball  logo used by Trenton’s H-Block, a violent criminal street gang responsible for numerous  shootings and murders in the city. According to Prosecutor Onofri, the initial investigation  focused on the alleged drug activities of H-Block, and through informant information,  controlled buys, surveillances and intelligence, authorities were able to obtain and  execute more than 40 warrants of individuals, vehicles and locations in New Jersey and  Pennsylvania.  

On November 4, 2020, search warrants were executed and arrests were made as this  investigation progressed. On this day, an undercover officer made arrangements to  purchase a quantity of heroin from Joseph Kaite. After conducting the narcotics  transaction with the undercover detective at a gas station on North Olden Avenue in  Trenton, detectives attempted to arrest Kaite, however, he fled in his vehicle. When  detectives attempted to stop Kaite, he collided with a police vehicle causing heavy  damage to both vehicles. He then attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended after a  brief struggle. Also arrested inside the vehicle were Vincent Bowman and Zaire Jones.  Search warrants related to the investigation were subsequently executed and detectives  located 30 bricks of heroin and a shotgun. At an apartment on Beakes Street in Trenton,  detectives located evidence related to murder of Derek Colley that resulted in homicide  charges being filed against Kaite and Tabika Hale. 

The investigation continued into 2021 and last week, search warrants were executed at  locations in Trenton and Ewing, New Jersey, and Bristol and Morrisville, Pennsylvania.  Prior to the execution of these warrants, surveillance officers followed Deshawn Abner as  he traveled by cab from Bond Street in Trenton to the Extended Stay Motel on Route 1 in  West Windsor where Abner and a second individual, identified as Aziz Stroman, were

observed searching a wooded area around the hotel. After searching the area for about  30 minutes, Abner was seen retrieving a box containing 210 bricks of heroin from the  bushes in the hotel parking lot. After retrieving the package, Abner entered the Mercedes  Benz Stroman had arrived in, and the two men departed the area. Arrest teams converged  on the area and both Abner and Stroman were eventually detained after attempting to  flee. A search warrant for Stroman’s Mercedes Benz was obtained and detectives located  210 bricks of heroin on the front passenger floor. Both Abner and Stroman were charged  with first-degree narcotic offenses. 

After Abner and Stroman were taken into custody, detectives contacted officers in Pennsylvania who had an individual identified as Ricardo Moise under observation.  Through the investigation, authorities had pinpointed Moise as the supplier of heroin to  North Trenton. At that time, Moise was seen moving items out of his apartment on Beaver  Street in Bristol Township, and detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bristol Borough  Police Department, arrested him for outstanding warrants as a result of distributing 75  bricks of heroin to an undercover officer in the spring of 2020. Search warrants were  subsequently executed at related locations. 

According to Prosecutor Onofri, the total retail value of the confiscated drugs is $228,000.  The heroin is valued at $60,000; the methamphetamine is valued at $100,000; and the  marijuana at $68,000. 

In addition to the narcotics, authorities also seized 11 guns, six vehicles and  approximately $22,000 in cash. Approximately 24 bank accounts in connection to the investigation were frozen and continue to be investigated by the Mercer County  Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit. 



As a result of this cooperative investigation, the following arrests were made with the  listed charges:  

Ricardo Moise, 31, Bristol, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Deshawn Abner, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses

Daishawn Dickerson, 30, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Aziz Stroman, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses

Zaire Jones, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy 

Vincent Bowman, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy 

Kashawn Batts, 33, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses

Jaquane Leonard, 32, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses

Joseph Kaite, 19, Trenton – Homicide, numerous narcotic and weapons offenses

Tabika Hale, 26, Trenton – Homicide and weapons offenses 

Aniyah Boone, 20, Bensalem, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Casimer Phillips, 22, Newtonville – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Kevonte Bivens, 23, Montgomery, Alabama – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Aleque Williams-Dixon, 21, Blackwood – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Prince Attoh, 20, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses 

Additionally, information obtained during Operation Eight-Ball directly linked Tyzir Hamilton, 19, Treizon Thompson, 20, and Darnell Davis, 19, to the murders of William  Irizarry and Julius Vargas. Arrest warrants for the three defendants were obtained in  October 2020 and search warrants were also executed at several locations, which led to  the recovery of several weapons. 

Operation Eight-Ball developed over six months of investigation. It initiated with the  Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, and received support and resources  from 16 additional agencies including: 

  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Homeland Security Investigations
  • New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central
  • Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bucks County District Attorney’s Office (PA)
  • Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ewing Police Department
  • Hamilton Police Department
  • Lawrence Police Department
  • Princeton Police Department
  • Robbinsville Police Department
  • Trenton Police Department
  • West Windsor Police Department
  • Bristol Borough Police Department (PA)
  • The College of New Jersey Police Department

In the interest of investigative security and pursuant to established court requirements,  the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is limited in discussing specific details regarding  the ongoing investigation and the alleged conspiracies. Despite having been charged, all  persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court  of law. 


Mayor Fried Swears In New Councilwoman Deborah Blakely

January 13, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Dave Fried presided over the swearing-in of new Township Councilwoman Deborah Blakely today inside the Municipal Public Meeting Room. Mrs. Blakely, accompanied on the dais by daughters Maggie and Brielle, was selected by Council on January 7 to fill the unexpired seat of Dan Schuberth. Her first meeting as a member of the governing body will be January 28.


Police investigating “explosive device detonation” at Hamilton auto body shop

January 13, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): On January 11, 2021, at approximately 9:00 PM, Hamilton Police were detailed to 336 Rt. 130 (Absolute Auto Solutions), on an explosive device that detonated in the parking lot. Responding officers located two vehicles damaged in the lot towards the entrance of the business. Officers determined that a large explosive device, possibly a fireworks type device, detonated on the ground between two vehicles for sale. Both vehicles sustained damage from the detonation.

Police also received a few reports of a “loud bang” in the area.

Hamilton Police Detectives are asking for help from the public, with any information relating to a suspect(s) involved in this incident. Anyone with information may contact Detective Patrick Quick of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4111 or via email at pquick@hamiltonpd.org, or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

BREAKING: 2nd Alarm In Trenton

January 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Sometime before 10:30 am the Trenton Fire Department received a call for a house fire at 824 South Clinton Avenue. First units responding reported a “column of smoke in the air” and upon arrival found heavy fire conditions. Shortly after a 2nd alarm was called calling more city units to the scene and additional firefighters from Hamilton Township Fire Department to the scene. Also multiple cover companies were also dispatched to the City to handle other calls during the firefight.

Firefighters and investigators are still on scene at the time of this report.

Trenton Police Department, Public Information Officer, Captain Peter Weremijenko, told MidJersey.news this afternoon: The fire was in a vacant building and there is no indication that there are any victims. A dog was called to the scene to help locate evidence during the investigation.

Further details and video to follow.





Hamilton Man Charged With Three Counts Of Robbery

January 13, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On January 13, 2021 at approximately 3:45 AM, Officers P Piromalli and A Lucidi were in the area of South Broad Street and West Park Avenue conducting passing attention due to two previous robberies at the 7-11 located at 2200 South Broad Street.  The previous robberies were reported on January 8, 2021 at 4:18 AM and January 12, 2021 at 5:12 AM where a male approached the employee at the counter and indicated he had a weapon in his jacket pocket.  He would tell the employee to go into the office and then go around the counter and take money out of the register.  The Officers saw a male approach the store that matched the description of the suspect in the previous robberies.  The male entered the store and walked towards the counter.  The Officers saw the male then go behind the counter.  They entered the parking lot, exited their vehicles and approached the store.  As the male exited the store the Officers were able to place him under arrest.  Officers located a black plastic tube in his jacket pocket and $105.00 dollars in assorted US currency that was taken from the register.

The male was identified as Frank Stephens, 42, of Hamilton.  He was charged with three counts of Robbery.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Pat Quick of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4111 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.

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


National Tree Company Opens New Facility In East Windsor

January 12, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov, surrounded by Council Members and Company Executives, announced that National Tree Company is opening a new facility in East Windsor Township, after signing a lease with property owner Dermody Properties to occupy the entire existing 608,442 square foot building at 150 Milford Road.  National Tree Company, a national leader in the seasonal décor industry based in New Jersey, will begin to occupy their new East Windsor facility this month.    

Mayor Janice S. Mironov said, “East Windsor is excited to welcome National Tree Company, a sixty year family operated company, to a prime Township commercial site, just minutes away from the New Jersey Turnpike and major transportation networks.  Their decision to relocate to East Windsor, especially in this difficult financial atmosphere, exhibits a strong confidence in the attractiveness and economic vitality of East Windsor for business.  East Windsor also is excited that the National Tree new facility is anticipated to generate up to 150 to 200 new jobs, an exceptionally important plus at a time when local jobs are especially valued.” 

National Tree Company, for sixty years, has been a leading importer and wholesaler of artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, holiday decorations and fiber optics products.  The company recently has expanded their product line to include a seasonal category featuring decorative pieces for display during all seasons indoor or outdoor and includes items for Easter, Independence Day and Halloween.  National Tree Company, which has an e-commerce presence fulfilling orders from its warehouse, sells their products to major retailers including Wayfair, Target, Macy’s, Home Depot and Lowes.  This new East Windsor operation is expected to create up to 150 to 200 new jobs.    

Mayor Mironov added, “East Windsor has successfully attracted another national company due to our strategic central location, excellent access to transportation, highly skilled workforce and a business friendly hands-on local government environment that responds to the needs of the business community.  East Windsor has demonstrated tremendous value to commercial users looking for an unbeatable strategic location minutes off of the NJ Turnpike and major transportation networks as Routes 133, 33 and 130, as well as mid-way between major New York and Philadelphia transport options and markets.” 

            “This year, we’ve seen consistent uptrends in e-commerce in many areas of the country, and New Jersey is no exception,” said Gene Preston, East Region Partner at Dermody Properties.  “We worked collaboratively with East Windsor Township to upgrade and improve the building’s functionality, making it ideal for this customer’s robust operations that will serve its national customer base.”

            “This property at 150 Milford Road presented the opportunity for us to consolidate our three smaller New Jersey warehouse locations into one in East Windsor,” said Don Kelley, Chief Executive Officer at National Tree Company.  “This is a critical move in allowing us to expand our operations with improved efficiency.”

            The existing facility at 150 Milford Road recently was purchased by Dermody Properties, a national private equity real estate investment, development and management company.  The 608,443 square foot facility has been enhanced with upgrades to the sprinkler system, new LED warehouse lighting and a repaved truck area, in anticipation of National Tree Company occupying the space commencing this month. 

RWJ University Hospital Administers 2nd Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine To High-Risk Frontline Employees

January 12, 2021

See previous related MidJersey.news story here: RWJ University Hospital Hamilton Administers First COVID-19 Vaccinations This Morning To Healthcare Workers

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Twenty-one days after the first COVID-19 vaccines were given to front-line staff, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton, NJ, administered the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to the first high-risk employees to receive it on December 20, 2020. The hospital has taken diligent measures to ensure staff receive plenty of notification to schedule and receive their second dose.

After her second dose was administered, Victoria Bradeis, a respiratory therapist and the first RWJUH Hamilton employee to receive the vaccine, said, “I’m feeling great and I’m so thankful to everyone who contributed to making this vaccine happen.”

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton’s employee vaccine clinic has been running daily since the first doses were administered on December 21, 2020. In the past week, the hospital began vaccinating their non-frontline team workers. Employees continue to wear masks, practice proper hand hygiene and practice social distancing, even after receiving their vaccinations, as advised by the CDC.

About Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Hamilton

Located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, serves communities within a five-county area and includes an acute care hospital, cancer center, affiliated medical group, Lakeview Child Centers and the RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center. RWJBarnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. For more information, visit us at www.RWJBH.org/Hamilton.



BREAKING: Truck Fire On NJ Turnpike

January 12, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–At 6:41 am the Robbinsville Township Fire Department along with the Hamilton Township Fire Department were dispatched to a truck fire on the NJ Turnpike. The truck was fully engulfed and on the south bound side of the highway just prior to the Exit 7 A ramp. Firefighters called for additional mutual aid tankers to bring water to the scene from East Windsor and Monroe Township. Firefighting foam was also applied to bring the fire under control. Firefighters had the fire knocked down just after 8:00 am but were still on scene at the time of this report. This is a preliminary breaking news report, check back for further details.



NJ Parole Board Appoints Hamilton Resident David Wolfsgruber To Executive Director

David Wolfsgruber of Hamilton to lead agency that serves important reentry mission throughout the State of NJ

January 11, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey State Parole Board announced today the promotion of David Wolfsgruber, who will lead the agency’s day-to-day operations as Executive Director. In this role, Mr. Wolfsgruber will oversee and manage a critical state agency with a total of just over 600 sworn law enforcement and civilian staff who are charged with processing and supervising more than 16,000 offenders currently under state parole supervision.

New Jersey State Parole Board Chairman Samuel J. Plumeri, Jr. said, “David is a true leader in every sense of the word and his strong knowledge of criminal justice will undoubtedly be an asset to the State Parole Board. As a dedicated public servant, David has seen many changes within the complex world of parole which makes him the obvious choice to lead this agency as we continue to meet our two-fold mission of ensuring public safety while reducing the state’s overall recidivism rate through our supervision efforts.”

“I am very fortunate to have spent my entire professional career at the State Parole Board and am eager to help lead this agency during a time where New Jersey’s criminal justice system is undergoing transformative changes,” said Mr. Wolfsgruber. “The determined commitment of dedicated agency employees who consistently work to advance public safety measures and successful community reintegration is both inspiring and impressive.”

Prior to his new position, Mr. Wolfsgruber held the position of Assistant Director of the Community Programs Division. In that role he oversaw the development and administration of statewide community programming for parolees at 18 individual contracted residential and community resource center program locations.

Mr. Wolfsgruber oversaw the significant expansion of licensed substance abuse and co-occurring mental health outpatient and residential substance abuse treatment services for parolees within the Mutual Agreement Program, in partnership with the Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Community programming, which plays a significant role in the reentry process, assists individuals in their community reintegration process.

Mr. Wolfsgruber also held several diverse positions within the State Parole Board including coordinator of specialized programs and chief of the Parole Revocation Hearing Unit. Additionally, he is a certified public manager, a title that he received following the successful completion of the comprehensive State Certified Public Manager Program. A graduate of Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), Mr. Wolfsgruber is a lifelong New Jersey resident. He resides in Hamilton Square with his wife and two children.

The New Jersey State Parole Board is committed to promoting public safety, utilizing effective methods to aid supervised offenders in reentering society, and in reducing the state’s recidivism of offenders while addressing the needs of crime victims. As required by law, appointed parole board members and staff conduct approximately 13,500 hearings per year, solicit input from victims, and decide upon parole matters. Approximately 400 sworn parole officers supervise more than 16,000 offenders and act as New Jersey’s primary law enforcement agency responsible for sex offender supervision. Additionally, state parole officers are also active partners with a variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces. The agency’s Community Programs Division partners with government, non-profit, and private agencies to connect former inmates with vocational, mental health, addiction services, and related services.


RWJ University Hospital Presented With Healthcare Heroes Painting From Artist Joe Lamattina

January 11, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton, New Jersey, was presented with the donation of a piece of multimedia artwork, “Healthcare Angels,” by its creator, New Jersey-based artist Joe LaMattina. This original piece, an homage to front line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be placed on display throughout the hospital units for all staff and patients to enjoy before it finds its permanent home in a place of honor in the hospital’s main building.

During the COVID-19 quarantine in early 2020, LaMattina felt compelled to create something to thank healthcare workers. He says, “I, like most people, found the commitment, dedication to service, and bravery of our first responders and all healthcare workers to be extraordinary. While some people clapped every night in their honor, and some people put up signs and lights, I decided that the very least I could do was to create a piece of art in their honor.”

“Healthcare Angels” was the artwork that came from this desire to recognize those bravely caring for COVID-19 patients. Richard Freeman, Chief Executive Officer and President of RWJUH Hamilton stated, “This artwork is more than paint and materials. It is a reflection of the dedication and hard work put forth by our employees during this pandemic. It will inspire our staff for years to come.”

About Joe La Mattina
Joe LaMattina is a prize-winning American painter who has exhibited his work internationally. For 36 years, he was employed as an art educator with the Hackensack Public School System and P.I. Art Center in New Jersey. Upon retirement, Joe decided to continue his journey through art. Numerous pieces of his have been exhibited at venues around the world, one being represented by Agora Gallery in New York City. Learn more about Joe LaMattina at http://www.JoeLaMattina.com

About Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Hamilton
Located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, serves communities within a five-county area and includes an acute care hospital, cancer center, affiliated medical group, Lakeview Child Centers and the RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center. RWJBarnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. For more information, visit www.RWJBH.org/Hamilton

Governor Murphy Directs U.S. and New Jersey Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick

January 9, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities on Monday, January 11, 2021, in honor of United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, a former resident of South River, who died following injuries sustained while defending the Capitol during the violent insurrection on January 6th. 

In a statement, Governor Murphy said: 

“United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick embodied the selfless spirit of his native state. Officer Sicknick was a product of South River and a graduate of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. 

“Before joining the Capitol Police, he was Staff Sergeant Sicknick with the New Jersey Air National Guard. He was a Fire Team Member and Leader with the 108th Security Force Squadron, 108th Wing, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and his six years of service included overseas deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. 

“Tammy and I send our deepest condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends, as well as to his United States Capitol Police colleagues and the Guardsmen and Guardswomen he served alongside. We thank him for his service to our nation. 

“Officer Sicknick gave his life protecting the United States Capitol, and by extension, our very democracy, from violent insurrection. His needless murder at the hands of a mob bent on overthrowing the Constitution he had dedicated his life to upholding is shocking. It is my fervent hope that the rioters whose actions directly contributed to his death are quickly identified and brought to justice.” 

Copy of Executive Order #212