NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On Saturday, September 26th, at approximately 10:03 pm, a 9-1-1 call was received from a caller that located an injured unresponsive male on Corporate Road. Units arrived moments later and discovered that severely injured male in the roadway. Despite all efforts, the male was later pronounced dead at the scene from those injuries. The man’s four wheeler/ATV was located in brush a short distance away by Officers. The incident is under investigation by our Department’s Traffic Safety Bureau, and appears at this time to be a tragic single vehicle (ATV) event leading to the drivers death. The victim has been identified as Charlie Madera, 31, of North Brunswick. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Traffic Officer Jason Vallese at 732-247-0922 x318
Excellent crime scene processing and modern-day forensics helped solve this case that led to the arrest
September 28, 2020
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond J. Hayducka announced the arrest of Jeuri Vargas, 23 year-old male of New Brunswick, from an occupied burglary investigation that occurred in 2015.
On December 5, 2015 at 9:05pm, Officers responded to a residence on Joann Court in Monmouth Junction for a reported occupied burglary. The residents advised Officers at scene that they were upstairs in their bedrooms when they heard noises coming from outside of their rooms. One of the residents walked out of their bedroom and observed two males standing on their upstairs landing. The two male suspects immediately fled down the stairs and exited the residence through a rear sliding door. An inventory of the home was conducted and it was discovered that a X Box game console, laptop computer and two bottles of wine were stolen from the residence.
Officer Sean Roberts, a Department Evidence Technician, processed the scene and was able to recover evidence including latent fingerprints from the rear sliding door and an I Pod case. The latent fingerprints were submitted off to the New Jersey State Police Lab for further examination.
In December of 2019 a fingerprint from this investigation was matched to Jeuri Vargas. The burglary case was then re-opened by Detective Bryan Sites. Detective Sites continued the investigation and conducting additional interviews. On September 23, 2020 Detective Sites located Vargas near his residence in New Brunswick and he was arrested in connection to this investigation.
Detective Sites charged Vargas with burglary, theft of movable property, and conspiracy to commit burglary. Vargas was lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center pending his first court appearance
Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “The excellent crime scene processing of Officer Roberts and continued efforts by Detective Sites played a crucial part in this investigation. Good modern-day forensics helped solve this case and led to the arrest of Vargas.”
KENDALL PARK – SOUTH BRUNWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Daniel Mark Anderl had just celebrated his 20th birthday.
A lifelong Catholic and the only child of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas and defense attorney Mark Anderl, Daniel Anderl gave his life to protect his mother and father, taking the shooter’s first bullet directly to the chest, when a man holding a package on their front door step opened fire into the family’s home on July 19.
“All of us here remember when we heard of the horrific news of Danny’s death and how he died,” said Father Robert G. Lynam, pastor of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish, Kendall Park, where the family are parishioners. “Jesus said ‘there is no greater love, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn. 15:13) – Danny did that. There is no question in my mind, from Mark’s testimony to me, that Daniel offered his life for his father and his mother.”
Speaking during his homily to those gathered in the church and those watching the private livestream of the Sept. 26 funeral Mass from a nearby tent, set up in order to respect social distancing measures and situated just steps away from the parochial Catholic school where Daniel Anderl spent eight years of his childhood, the pastor said that “faith is a gift.”
Since the day of their son’s death, “it has been the gift of faith that has sustained Esther and Mark. It has been the shining example of Daniel’s faith and selfless love that has sustained all of us,” he said.
As he arrived at the hospital that day, as Mark was in the operating room, the pastor said that he saw Daniel’s mother become “Mary at the foot of the cross.”
“In the blessing of Daniel’s body that night, in that room, it was Jesus being taken down from the cross,” he said. “On that night, I shared with Esther, ‘there is a woman here with us. Her name is Mary, the mother of Jesus. She knows your pain. She knows your sorrow,’” he said.
Reassuring the mourners present, Father Lynam said, “Mary is here with us. She knows faith; she knows sorrow; she knows pain, but she always knows Easter joy. Allow Mary to embrace you, as a mother, with a gift of love and the gift of her faith.”
The day after his death, Daniel Anderl’s school friends, together with Father Lynam, gathered to pray in the church, in the place where he was baptized into the Catholic faith as an infant and would later go on to celebrate his other sacraments.
Together, they shared stories about the life and friendships they had with Daniel Anderl and lit a candle in his memory, which burned on the altar for weeks until a funeral Mass could take place.
Looking toward the back of the church and then glancing again at the candle, Father Lynam said he would often see the candle’s reflection in the glass at the back of the church as he celebrated Mass and remember, “that is the light of Danny that is burning brightly now in heaven – there’s no question about that.”
As Daniel Anderl’s friends were praying in the church that day, the day after his death, his parents were in the hospital and “Esther received communion along with her family who were in her room,” said Father Lynam.
“Mark, who was in intensive care, was able to receive a small piece of the host and then he shared those powerful words to me: ‘I have forgiven the shooter,’” he said, echoing the wounded father’s words to those present.
In the past weeks, St. Peter was in the Gospels. The pastor shared how Jesus asked Peter the same question three times: do you love me? The question came as a gift of absolution for Peter, after he had already denied Jesus three times.
“Esther shared, when we had a moment at one of the Masses to quietly, privately bring an intention for the Mass, that as Jesus forgave Peter three times, she said to me, ‘I have forgiven the shooter three times and many more times since then,” he said. “Mark and Esther, there by the grace of God, you were and are able to say those powerful words.”
With a distant gaze of past reflection, Father Lynam fondly remembered his interactions with the family at parish Masses.
“Esther is a great listener when I preach. She is there with me, as is Mark, and Daniel would be walking around doing ushering and greeting people. Constantly walking, walking, walking,” he said, gesturing around the church and drawing laughter from the mourners.
The weekly Masses since with his family and friends “have truly been the Road to Emmaus,” he said, referencing the passage in the Gospel of Luke in which Jesus walks with two disciples, mourning the loss of Jesus, as they journey down the road to Emmaus.
“They were filled with sorrow, doubt, and questions. They were depressed. Has that not been our experience over the past weeks and even now as we gather today in prayer?” said Father Lynam. “He comes to them in their time of need. He comes to us now in our time of need.”
The funeral Mass for Daniel Anderl came just days after the New Jersey State Assembly unanimously passed A.B. 1649 on Thursday, legislation known as “Daniel’s Law,” that would bar the online posting of judges’ and prosecutors’ home addresses or phone numbers.
The church and outdoor tent were filled with family and friends, dignitaries and Church leaders, among them Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York; Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, who celebrated the Mass; New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez; New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal; and President John Garvey of Catholic University of America, along with countless others.
Addressing Daniel Anderl’s parents, Cardinal Dolan said, “how often have we heard you say, since that Good Friday through which you traveled, that ‘we couldn’t have done it without our faith. Our faith is what has seen us through.’”
“We know one of the essentials of that faith is that God brings good out of evil and this is an unmitigated evil, but the Lord can bring good from evil,” said Cardinal Dolan. “Esther and Mark, the whole world bowed its head in prayer when they heard the sad news about Danny and the whole country has been inspired by his selfless act of sacrifice as he reminded them of Jesus on the cross. So, you see, God has already brought some good out of this.”
Daniel Anderl was remembered for having “lived his Catholic faith,” his life a witness of selfless love and steadfast faith. He was known to spend time in prayer in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, receive the gift of God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, and attend daily Mass at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he would have been a junior this year.
It is his “great gift of faith” that leaves his loved ones behind both heartbroken and inspired, said Bishop Checchio.
“Esther and Mark, you raised such a lovely young man and the whole world can see what was in his heart by his actions,” said the bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen. “We’re so indebted to you and the good work you did, the love you brought him up with in your home, and the good work and cooperation of this parish, St. Augustine of Canterbury School, Saint Joseph High School and Catholic University of America.”
After sharing his own words of sorrow, Bishop Checchio read a letter sent to him by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio, or liaison between the Holy Father and the United States, on behalf of Pope Francis.
In the letter, Archbishop Pierre said he wished to express the spiritual closeness and paternal affection of the Holy Father and “convey his profound solidarity and assurances of prayer to Daniel’s parents and all those affected by this tragedy.”
“Conscious of the wound inflicted on your entire community, His Holiness also prays that all will be affirmed in their resolve to bring an end to senseless violence and to work for justice, healing and peace,” the letter read. “Upon Daniel’s family, his friends and all who mourn him, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Risen Lord.”
Also adding his own sentiments in the letter, Archbishop Pierre said he joined those in mourning “in giving thanks to Almighty God for young Daniel’s outstanding witness of faith and exemplary Christian life. Commending his soul to the infinite mercy of God, I also renew my fervent prayer that the faithful may be confirmed in charity, consoling one another with the hope in the Lord’s promise of the Resurrection.”
Once finished reading the letter, Bishop Checchio addressed those present, often seen comforting one another and wiping away their tears, one last time by saying, “Indeed, Esther, Mark and dear friends, it is only being gathered here around the altar of the Lord, being near the Lord and near our Mother, who experienced such violence in their own lives too, that we can work for that same healing, peace and justice of which the Holy Father wrote.”
HELMETTA, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A vehicle fire with explosion was reported just after 3:00 am this morning in the first block of High Street. Helmetta Fire Department responded and brought the blaze quickly under control within 15 minutes of dispatch. The explosion was from propane tanks that were on a trailer. See additional details from Helmetta OEM below:
From Helmetta Office Of Emergency Management:
At 3:02 this morning the Helmetta Volunteer Fire Dept. was dispatched to a report of an explosion on High Street. The explosion and related fire were quickly brought under control by the responding fire fighters. Thank you to Helmetta Vol Fire Dept., Helmetta’s Fire Marshal’s Office, Helmetta DPW, Spotswood PD, Spotswood EMS, Spotswood OEM, Middlesex County Hazmat, and Sayreville Building dept. for all the help. There were no injuries reported to any responders or residents, however a few homes sustained damage from the explosion.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Chief Raymond J. Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that arrests had been made in two recent cases of criminal mischief and thefts around the Township. “The damage to the high school may be over $10,000 and the thefts of items right off homeowners’ front lawns left many feeling uneasy. These cases impacted our community and with help from the community and good police work, arrests were made,” said Chief Hayducka.
Police Arrest Driver in Damage to South Brunswick High School
On Wednesday, September 23rd, South Brunswick Police sought the assistance of the public and our surrounding law enforcement agencies in identifying the individual who drove his truck on the sports fields at South Brunswick High School, causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Several residents along with surrounding law enforcement agencies provided tips on the identity of the suspect responsible for the damage. On Thursday, September 24th, in collaboration with surrounding police agencies, a lead was developed. A suspect was identified and the pickup truck was located at a North Brunswick location. Detectives took David E. French age 20 of North Brunswick into custody.
The investigation determined that French had no connection to the high school and was going off roading with his truck when he drove across the fields. French was charged with Criminal Mischief, a 3rd degree crime due to the amount of damage done to the fields. He was processed and released on a summons with a court date scheduled.
Overnight Landscaping Thieves Apprehended
South Brunswick Police announced that they have brought to an end the overnight landscaping thefts that had targeted the Kendall Park neighborhoods for the past three weeks. At least eight township residents called police to report that during evening or overnight hours, thieves entered their yards and stole solar landscaping lights, potted flowers, a bird feeder, and lawn decorations.
As these incidents unfolded, several victims took to social media to warn others about the thieves, which, in turn, prompted additional victims to come forward. As police began to investigate these thefts, video of the actors was obtained from multiple sources, including numerous video doorbells. A description of the actors, a white male and a white female driving a white Ford Explorer Sport Track Pickup, was developed, and suspects identified.
South Brunswick Detective Brady Shelcusky realized the vehicle described one he had seen on a previous case. He went to the suspect’s address in Franklin Township and observed several items that had been stolen from South Brunswick lawns adorning the suspect’s front lawn. Detective Shelcusky linked the homes occupants -Danielle Viszneki, age 35 years and her fiancé James Baker age 51, to all of the thefts. The investigation uncovered that the two would drive around different neighborhoods and steal lighting, flowers, and other landscaping to spruce up their own front lawns. Detective Shelcusky collected all the stolen items and returned them to different homeowners.
Both actors were charged with Theft of Movable Property, a 4th degree offense. They were processed and released on summonses.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Chief Raymond J. Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced Wednesday afternoon the department was looking for the public’s assistance with identifying the people who damaged South Brunswick High School early Tuesday morning. At 12:02 am drove onto the school grounds and rode all over the baseball, softball, and soccer field causing damage. Police released images of the truck today looking for the public’s help in identifying the driver. “The fields that were damaged just had several thousand dollars’ worth of upgrades. Our high school baseball team never got to use the new fields because of Covid and now this. We are following several leads, but are asking anyone with information to come forward, “said Chief Hayducka.
In addition to tips on the owner of the vehicle, police are looking for anyone in and around the high school who may have video surveillance between 11:55 pm on Monday and 12:10 am on Tuesday.
TRUCK DESCRIPTION: Black or Blue Pickup with an extended bed with a possible lift kit.
Two images of the truck on school property are being released. One image shows the coming off Stouts Lane and driving at the rear of the property near the tennis courts. The second image is the truck further past the tennis courts at the back of the annex gym.
Anyone with information is asked to contact South Brunswick Police School Resource Detective Robert Marrese at (732) 329-4646 or (732) 329-4000 ext. 7496.
Tip information may be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County at 1-800-939-9600 or submitted online at www.middlesextips.com. Tips may also be sent by text messaging 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword: “midtip” followed by the tip information.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced today that a former Long Branch police officer was sentenced today to county jail as part of his sentence for striking and killing a pedestrian on September 22, 2017.
Jake Pascucci, 31, of Long Branch was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Michael A. Toto to 8 months in the county jail.
Pascucci was originally sentenced on June 28, 2018 to serve 364 days in the county jail as a condition of 5-years of probation to be served upon his release. He was also sentenced to 30 days for driving while intoxicated which was to run concurrent to the county jail time. He forfeited his public employment with the Long Branch Police Department and lost his driving privilege for three months.
That sentence was imposed after Pascucci pleaded guilty on April 3, 2018 in accordance with an agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Keith Abrams, to strict liability vehicular homicide in the third degree and driving while intoxicated in the death of Karen Borkowski, 66 of Stanhope.
The June 28, 2018 sentence was appealed, and the Judge stayed the custodial portion of the sentencing pending that appeal. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court remanded the case back to Superior Court for resentencing.
Jake Pascucci is due to surrender to the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, September 25, 2020.
Pascucci was charged after an investigation by Detective Donald Heck of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office which determined that on September 22, 2017, the pedestrian was struck and killed by a car driven by the off-duty police officer as she attempted to cross Ocean Boulevard. Karen Borkowski was pronounced dead at the scene following the crash.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man today admitted that he conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin as part of a conspiracy responsible for distributing significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Daniel McHugh, 50, of Sayreville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti via videoconference to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. McHugh also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine.
Today’s guilty plea follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty, including supplier Gregory Gillens and lead defendant Guy Jackson. Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020, to 10 years in prison. Jackson is awaiting sentencing.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From May 2017 to November 2018, McHugh and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that McHugh regularly obtained heroin and cocaine for further distribution from Jackson. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.
On the date of his arrest, McHugh gave consent to search his residence. During that search, law enforcement recovered quantities of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine intended for further distribution.
The heroin conspiracy count to which McHugh pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2021.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited Special Agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; Special Agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco, Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief James K. Pigott; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip Meehan; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard A. Derechailo, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations against the two remaining defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: James R. Murphy Esq., Princeton, New Jersey
“Thank a Police Officer Day” is a national observance honoring law enforcement on the third Saturday in September. If you happen to see a police officer in your travels today, thank them for their service.
Months Long Investigation Leads to Drug and Child Endangerment Charges
September 18, 2020
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Chief Raymond J. Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that a three month long joint investigation into drug distribution in the Kendall Park section of the Township has led to charges against a 36 year old South Brunswick man. The joint investigation between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and South Brunswick Police Department was the result of complaints from community members about unusual activity on New Road and complaints of hypodermic needles being discarded on the side of the road. In response to the complaints detectives began monitoring the area of Benson Road and determined the activity centered on a home at 12 Benson Road. Investigators developed probable cause that methamphetamine and heroin were being dealt from the residence. Detectives obtained a search warrant from a Superior Court judge with the assistance of the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office.
Early Thursday morning, detectives executed a knock-first search warrant at 12 Benson Road. After being granted entry into the residence, the team located Michael Mcgarty hiding behind a dryer in the residence. Mcgarty was taken into custody for a probation violation warrant for previously spitting on officers. During the search, detectives recovered narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and weapons. Mcgarty was charged with unlawful of a possession of a weapon, possession of a prohibited weapon, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of unlawful possession of various narcotics, and endangering the welfare of a child. Mcgarty was lodged at the Middlesex County Correction Center pending his bail hearing.
Chief Hayducka credited the community and the other law enforcement agencies for their assistance. “Clearly the neighborhood was suffering from the impact of the drug activity. It was brought to an end by the community members who came forward along with the assistance of the DEA and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. I want to also recognize the work of Detective Tim Hoover who pursued all the investigative leads to bring this operation to an end,” said Chief Hayducka.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The South Brunswick Police Department is investigating cases of stolen flowers from front lawns within the township. A Ring camera video was provided and if your recognize the person in the video contact South Brunswick Police Department.
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey State Police is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying two men who physically assaulted a man during a road rage incident on the New Jersey Turnpike.
On Saturday, August 15, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the victim and the suspects were allegedly involved in a road rage incident and pulled over on the shoulder of the New Jersey Turnpike northbound on the inner roadway at milepost 82.0, East Brunswick Township, Middlesex County.
The two men pictured below exited their vehicle and approached the victim before striking him in the face with an unknown object. The suspects then fled the scene in a black Mercedes Benz SUV with an unknown New York license plate. The suspects are described as Hispanic males.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Cranbury Station Criminal Investigation Office at 609-860-9000 ext. 4424.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A man was arrested shortly after 9 am Sunday morning for possession of marijuana and a large amount of Xanax following a single car crash attributed to the man driving while under the influence.
At 9:01am, Sunday, September 13th, police dispatchers received a call about a single car crash on Route 1 southbound at Sandhill Road.
Upon arrival, Officer Gerald Sarno found that a 1999 Lexus had crashed head-on into the concrete divider at the intersection. Officer Sarno also observed the driver, identified as Daniel Saladyga, 24 years old, of Ewing, NJ, sitting on the grassy shoulder of the roadway, uninjured.
On speaking with Mr. Saladyga about the crash, Officer Sarno noted that Saladyga’s eyes were glassy with pinpoint pupils, his diction slow, and his hands fumbling. Suspecting that Saladyga was under the influence, Officer Sarno gave Saladyga several field-side sobriety tests, which Saladyga failed. Saladyga was placed under arrest for DUI, and was searched incident to arrest, at which time he was found to possess a small amount of marijuana, as well as 112 bars of Xanax.
Mr. Saladyga was transported to Police Headquarters, where Detective Tim Hoover, a certified Drug Recognition Expert, performed a series of tests on Saladyga, ultimately determining that Saladyga was under the influence of a central nervous system depressant, in keeping with Saladyga’s statement that he had ingested Xanax earlier that morning.
Saladyga was charged with Possession of CDS with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Under 50g Marijuana, Unlawful Possession of Xanax, Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, and other motor vehicle offenses. Saladyga was lodged in the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center pending his bail hearing.
Chief Raymond J. Hayducka said, “Impaired driving can happen at any time of the day. This driver was on Route 1, impaired, and struck the concrete median at 9 am Sunday morning. Officer Sarno’s detailed investigation discovered the drugs and took this driver off the road. With thousands of cars and trucks using Route 1 daily, we are just lucky this crash wasn’t much worse.”
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Anthony A. Caputo of the New Brunswick Police Department announced today that authorities have identified the two men who died in the shooting which took place yesterday in the City.
Lionel Macauley, 28, of Somerset, and Anthony Robinson 23, of New Brunswick, have been identified as the two male victims who were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and died from the injuries they sustained in the shooting.
The Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office performed the autopsies today and determined the manner of death for both victims, Lionel Macauley and Anthony Robinson, to be homicide. The cause of death being a gunshot wound.
An additional victim in the shooting has come forward, bringing the total to nine victims. During the shooting this victim received minor injuries which did not require hospitalization.
Four victims remain hospitalized, three in stable condition and one in serious/critical condition.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Erika DiMarcello of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5200, or Detective Julissa Alvarado of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (732) 745-3848.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County, Inc., a non-profit organization that partners with law enforcement to enable the public to anonymously submit crime information and will pay a cash reward should it lead to an arrest.
Tip information may be provided anonymously by calling 1-800-939-9600 or submitted online at www.middlesextips.com. Tips may also be sent by text messaging 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword: “midtip” followed by the tip information.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service has been sending equipment and manpower to the west coast to help fight many wildfires. San Francisco Fire Department reports that units from Section B-10 have landed safely at the airport. Three additional engines and ten crew members were sent to California to help.
Section B-10 provides wildland fire suppression for the State of New Jersey covering Middlesex and Monmouth Counties in Central New Jersey primary response areas include: East Brunswick Twp, Englishtown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Twp, Helmetta, Holmdel Twp, Jamesburg, Manalapan Twp, Marlboro Twp, Monroe Twp, Old Bridge Twp, Plainsboro, Sayreville, South Amboy, South Brunswick Twp, South River, Spotswood and surrounding towns as requested.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Anthony A. Caputo of the New Brunswick Police Department announced today that authorities are investigating a shooting which took place early this morning in the City.
Two victims have died, and six others were injured in the shooting.
The New Brunswick Police responded to the area of 32 Delafield Street in New Brunswick at approximately 1:18 am this morning and found eight people suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The victims were taken to various hospitals in the area. Two male victims were pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
Thus far the investigation has determined that there is no affiliation with Rutgers University or its students.
The shooting is being investigated by the New Brunswick Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Erika DiMarcello of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5200, or Detective Julissa Alvarado of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (732) 745-3848.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy today signed legislation (A4486) which authorizes the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to use stored driver’s license or identification card photos for longer than eight years and limits certain appointment times at MVC locations to senior citizens and persons with certain medical conditions during COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor also signed A4520, which temporarily extends deadlines to register vehicles and obtain driver’s licenses for new State residents during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“The temporary, but necessary closure of our MVC facilities earlier this year has resulted in an undeniable burden on many residents,” said Governor Murphy. “Under the leadership of Chief Administrator Sue Fulton, the MVC has made great progress in providing residents with the services that they need, under unprecedented circumstances. This legislation will reduce wait times and allow our vulnerable populations to have the access they need to obtain critical services.”
“Over the past year we’ve more than doubled our online transactions; A4486 will allow even more New Jerseyans to ‘Skip the Trip’ to Motor Vehicle Centers,” said MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. We continue to work collaboratively with our legislative partners and the Governor’s office to overcome the obstacles posed by COVID-19, reduce wait times, and keep New Jerseyans on the road.”
Primary Sponsors of A4486 include Assemblymembers Daniel R. Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Aura K. Dunn, and Senators Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., and Nicholas P. Scutari.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, businesses across the nation have designated seniors-only hours for elderly residents. I am pleased the MVC will now do the same,” said Assemblyman Benson. “With designated appointment times, seniors will be able to access MVC services while largely avoiding crowds. Additionally, extending the time the MVC can use stored photos to update driver’s licenses will limit the number of times seniors need to visit the MVC amid this public health crisis.”
“Seniors are at a higher risk of experiencing complications from COVID-19. As a result, many are exercising an abundance of caution when it comes to going out in public,” said Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle. “Allowing seniors to use stored photos to update their licenses will reduce the amount of trips they need to make to the MVC, and designating specific ‘senior hours’ at agencies will limit their exposure to the public during the pandemic.”
“As we work through these unprecedented times it is important that we mitigate the need to be physically present at MVC locations,” said Senator Diegnan. “These laws will help MVC locations function more efficiently, reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and accommodate our seniors and immunocompromised so they are not forced to risk their health over a visit to the MVC.”
“As we continue to work through this public health crisis, it is imperative we take an agency-wide look at the MVC’s operations to ensure all possible steps are being taken to protect the public, especially our most vulnerable residents,” said Senator Scutari. “It is vital that we provide relief by loosening regulations in order to achieve maximum efficiency during these tough times, extending deadlines is a simple way to aid our residents and cut down lines.”
A4486 extends the validity of all driver’s license and identification card photographs from a maximum of eight years to a maximum of 12 years. The bill further allows residents 65 years of age or older to be eligible to use a stored photograph for each standard driver’s license or standard identification card renewal. The legislation also requires the chief administrator, during the COVID-19 public health emergency, to reserve one day per week or a certain time each day or each week, to be determined by the chief administrator, at certain commission agency locations to offer appointments exclusively to the following individuals to register a newly purchased, newly acquired, or transferred motor vehicle: (1) senior citizens, and (2) customers who, due to a medical condition diagnosed by a licensed medical doctor or osteopathic physician and evidenced by proof, in a form prescribed by the chief administrator, cannot wear masks or face coverings.
Primary sponsors of A4520 include Assemblymembers Daniel R. Benson, Anthony S. Verelli, and Ralph R. Caputo, and Senators Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., and Shirley K. Turner.
“While the pandemic put many things on hold, we still need the ability to get new driver’s licenses or register vehicles during this crisis,” said Assemblyman Benson. “We have to do whatever it takes to fix the MVC, so you don’t have to camp out overnight or wait all day at an agency just to get these simple tasks done. This law will give many drivers relief, while helping the MVC eliminate its backlog.”
“New residents who’ve just moved to New Jersey cannot update their documentation online,” said Assemblyman Verrelli. “With only two months to register vehicles and get new licenses, new residents are rushing to MVC agencies to get their new information squared away. By doubling the amount of time they’ll have to visit the MVC, we’ll make the process easier on the agency and residents alike during these difficult times.”
“The MVC won’t be able to clear its backlog overnight,” said Assemblyman Caputo. “One way we can help alleviate this burden is by staggering when new residents need to visit the MVC. This law will grant this flexibility to new residents, which in turn will give the MVC some much-needed relief.”
“It has been two months since the MVC offices reopened and they are still struggling to overcome the backlog that accumulated during their closure,” said Senator Turner. “This extension will provide greater leeway for new residents of the state, allowing them to avoid the long lines and postpone registering their vehicle and obtaining a New Jersey license.”
A4520 provides that a person who is allowed to operate a motor vehicle as a non-resident has 120 days (up from 60 days) to obtain a New Jersey driver’s license and to register a motor vehicle upon becoming a resident of the State, if that person becomes a resident during the Coronavirus 2019 public health emergency, which is defined as the period of time during which Executive Order No. 103 of 2020, and any subsequent executive order extending the public health emergency, is in effect.
Contractor Allegedly Billed UMDNJ, Successor Entities for Prevailing Wage Work But Failed to Pay Prevailing Wage Rates, Denying Workers at Least $392,000 in Wages Owed
September 10, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Seeking to hold accountable a company that allegedly defrauded the State while denying workers hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today filed court papers to intervene in a lawsuit being pressed against the company by a former employee.
In a motion to intervene and proposed complaint filed in New Jersey Superior Court, the State alleges that Adalex Enterprises Corp. (which does business as Adalex Communications) and its affiliate, Advance Telecom Resources, Inc., (together, “Adalex”) committed multiple violations of the New Jersey False Claims Act between 2010 and 2017, while contracted to perform telecommunications work for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (“UMDNJ”) and UMDNJ’s successor entities (collectively, “State Entities”). UMDNJ was restructured in 2013, with most of its units being integrated into Rutgers University.
The complaint alleges that Adalex submitted nearly 1,400 false claims to the State Entities in invoices for work subject to prevailing wage laws. According to the State, Adalex impliedly represented that its workers were being paid in accordance with the prevailing wage laws, while, in fact, the company paid its workers only a fraction of the required rates, shorting them by at least $392,046 in the aggregate.
“Through this action, we seek to hold accountable a company that allegedly pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars that should have been paid to its workers,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We are committed to protecting New Jersey workers by ensuring they receive the wages they’re due under the law, and we will take action against any contractor who tries to defraud the State – and take advantage of New Jersey taxpayers – with falsehoods about its costs.”
Among the categories of telecommunications services that Adalex provided to the State Entities between 2010 and 2017 were infrastructure work, such as cable installation and repair; day-to-day operational support; and other work based on purchase orders.
Each of these categories included work to be performed by either a “journeyman” electrician or a “foreman,” with workers required by law to be paid the prevailing wage for work they performed.
The State’s complaint notes that UMDNJ’s Request for Proposal (RFP) on the contract included language indicating the winning bidder must pay its workers prevailing wages for prevailing wage work. The complaint also asserts that, as early as November 2010, UMDNJ’s manager of purchasing sent a letter to Adalex making plain that prevailing wage laws applied under the contract.
Nevertheless, today’s court filings allege that, throughout the course of the contract, Adalex paid its employees well below prevailing wages for their prevailing wage work.
The complaint includes multiple examples illustrating how Adalex paid workers at an effective rate of less than $30 per hour, including benefits, while billing the State Entities in excess of $100 per hour for their labor. Under prevailing wage laws, the employees should have been paid more than twice as much.
The alleged fraud came to light after former Adalex employee Russell Mollica, who served as a project manager on the UMDNJ contract, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Adalex in 2016. Mollica alleges that he was terminated in June 2015, shortly after advising his employer in writing that it was not in compliance with prevailing wage laws governing the UMDNJ contract.
The State initially declined to join Mollica’s lawsuit, but with today’s filing seeks permission to participate in the wake of intervening developments, including an attempt by Adalex to settle Mollica’s lawsuit without compensating the State for its fraud.
The State is represented in this matter by Assistant Attorney General Janine Matton of the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group and Deputy Attorney General and Section Chief Lara Fogel, Deputy Attorney General and Assistant Section Chief Kenneth Levine, Deputy Attorney General Carla Pereira, Deputy Attorney General Dana Vasers, and Attorney Jedediah Pencinger, all of the Government and Healthcare Fraud Section.
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–NJ State Police spokesperson Trooper Alejandro Goez told MidJersey.News that an accident was reported at 4:28 am on the south bound inner roadway at milepost 80.2 in East Brunswick.
There were multiple vehicles involved and one fatality.
State Police reported that the inner roadway remains closed for the accident investigation. All traffic has been diverted to the outer roadway.
O’Scanlon and DiMaso requested legislation Monday to ensure that NJAC 19.9-1.13 undeniably permits the American flag to be attached to a highway overpass or any other state-owned property so long as it is safely secure and respectfully maintained.
Don’t forget the Robbinsville Township Police PBA will be replacing flags in Robbinsville on Friday, September 11, 2020 at noon. Please bring your flags to show support.
For all those attending the event this Friday, remember to bring your American Flags and patriotic spirit! We are hoping for a field of red, white, and blue!
We will be meeting at Community Park, where I invite anyone who wishes to speak to say what the American flag means to them. After that, we will all take a short walk up the West Manor Way overpass together and re-post the flags.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy said Tuesday he’s asked the Turnpike Authority to suspend taking down the flags. “I didn’t like what I heard. We are the greatest nation on earth even though we are far from perfect, and our flag represents that nation,” Murphy said. “At least for the time being the Turnpike Authority has suspended doing that until we can find a good way forward.” The governor didn’t say under what conditions or when the practice might resume.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Turnpike Authority would choose to remove dozens of American flags under the guise of a regulation for advertising material — it is unpatriotic and completely unacceptable,” said O’Scanlon. “While the NJTA claims they are unable to monitor all of the flags affixed to bridges, we clearly have a massive group of private citizens, veterans and police officers dedicated to ensuring that those flags are safely and securely hung, and respectfully maintained. This is an instance where government oversight obviously is not needed. We have requested legislation to undo this arbitrary, unnecessary, offensively unpatriotic action immediately.”
O’Scanlon and DiMaso requested legislation Monday to ensure that NJAC 19.9-1.13 undeniably permits the American flag to be attached to a highway overpass or any other state-owned property so long as it is safely secure and respectfully maintained.
“It Is unfortunate, actually ridiculous, that we even need to pass legislation to allow for the display of the American flag, the symbol of freedom and democracy, at these locations,” DiMaso continued. “Our local police, residents, and veterans will not simply drive by tattered and unsecured flags. They already make efforts to ensure the flags are respectfully maintained and regularly replaced. Sadly, this is what our state has evolved into. We hope that the Governor will override the NJTA’s faulty logic and decision here. If not, we call on our colleagues in the legislature to stand behind our bill and prove that we as New Jerseyans love and respect our country.”
After 19 years the NJ Turnpike Authority has a sudden change of heart and ripped American Flags from the bridges. Robbinsville PBA releases statement. Protest held in Searen, NJ Woodbridge Township over removed flags
UPDATE Robbinsville Township PBA is hosting a replace the flags event at 12 noon September 11, 2020 see link below. The NJ Turnpike Authority has been removing flags placed and replaced on bridges by the local PBA
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)- WOODBRIDGE – SEWAREN, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has removed American Flags from bridges along the highway recently. The flags were replaced with signage that reads, “Placement of signage or items of any nature on this structure is strictly prohibited.” Many American Flags have been placed on bridges after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Many people including veterans, police and other organizations have been maintaining these flags on bridges since the attacks.
After 19 years the NJ Turnpike Authority has a sudden change of heart and ripped American Flags from the bridges citing a “distraction”
Statement by the NJ Turnpike Authority on the flags:
Turnpike Authority Statement on Posting of Flags, Posters, and Signs on Turnpike and Parkway Bridges:
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority appreciates and applauds patriotism. We try to express patriotism ourselves every day by maintaining dozens of American flags at properties in our right of way — office buildings, toll plazas, service areas, maintenance facilities, State Police buildings, warehouses. Those flags are treated with the utmost respect by Turnpike Authority personnel. They are flown on suitable staffs. They are illuminated at night. They are lowered to half-staff when the state is in mourning. They are removed, properly destroyed, and promptly replaced when they become faded or worn and are no longer suitable symbols of our national ideals.
The long-standing policy of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has been to prohibit the display of any flags, signs, or banners by private parties on Turnpike Authority property. While we appreciate the desire of some New Jersey residents to express their patriotism in these turbulent times by displaying flags on Turnpike and Parkway overpasses, Turnpike Authority regulations do not allow it, and for good reason. The Turnpike and Parkway run through more than 100 municipalities and include more than 1,100 bridges and other structures. The NJTA cannot adequately monitor flags mounted by private citizens to make sure they are safely and securely hung, properly displayed, and respectfully maintained. While we hope that everyone who wants to display the American flag finds a suitable location to do so, we believe that limiting the flags displayed on Turnpike Authority property to ones hung and maintained by Turnpike Authority staff is the best way to assure that all flags in the Turnpike and Parkway right of way are treated with the respect they deserve.
Several Facebook users have posted their dissatisfaction with the removal of the flags on the NJ Turnpike Facebook Page below:
Statement from Robbinsville PBA Local #344:
Last month, Robbinsville P.B.A. Local 344 purchased over a dozen American flags to replace those that were either missing or tattered on the overpasses covering the New Jersey Turnpike and I-195. The amount of support we received via social media and throughout town was incredible, and our post reached nearly 8,000 viewers. The reason we decided to replace the flags was to continue the tradition of honoring our veterans and those lost in service for our country. American flags have been flown on overpasses throughout the state and throughout the nation since 9/11.
Now, as we approach the anniversary of that horrific day, we are extremely disappointed to announce that the NJ Turnpike Authority saw fit to remove all flags on overpasses covering the N.J.T.P. last week, replacing them with signs citing N.J.A.C. 19:9-1.13. This is a code which is meant to apply to advertisement material or improper road signage. We cannot understand why the N.J.T.P.A. has suddenly decided to abandon a tradition of patriotism and respect for our veterans. It is not known what happened to the brand new flags that we put up, but we truly hope they were respectfully disposed of, if not displayed elsewhere.
The flags that we placed on the overpasses were firmly secured, and it was the P.B.A.’s full intention to continue maintaining them, to ensure proper respect was given. They did not impede traffic and did not obstruct visibility for passing motorists. The placement of the flags was done in the same manner that has been done for nearly twenty years.
I have written to the Director of Relations at the N.J.T.P.A. and hope to have a reason for the unexplained action soon. If any share in our disappointment at the removal of the flags, please feel free to write/call their office (firstname.lastname@example.org / (732)750-5300).
We hope this matter is resolved soon, and we will continue to fly the American flag proudly. Have a great Labor Day.
President – Robbinsville P.B.A. Local #344
A peaceful protest was held in Sewaren, Woodbridge Township, NJ today protesting the removal of American Flags from bridges on the New Jersey Turnpike.
NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The entire Township of North Brunswick is mourning today the death of Police Director Kenneth McCormick. Ken’s quick smile, sharp wit, intense integrity, unwavering compassion and dedication to family, friends, coworkers and officers made him a hero to those he knew and those he led.
Director McCormick was hired in September 1982 and graduated with the 38th Police Basic Training Class of the Middlesex County Police Academy. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1995 and then to Lieutenant in 2003. In 2004, while still a lieutenant, Ken was named the Director of Public Safety. He retired in 2008 but returned in 2009 to continue his public service as the Director of the Department of Public Safety.
The hallmarks of Ken’s tenure as Police Director were foresight, compassion and caring for the men and women of the department, and a dedication toward justice. Director McCormick leaves a legacy of ingenuity and integrity and his imprint upon our Township will be felt for generations to come.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 8th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Peace Church on Route 130 Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, September 9th at 11:00 a.m. on the Great Lawn at Community Park on Route 130. Interment will be at Van Liew Cemetery on Georges Road.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The Monmouth Mobile Home Park has created a garden to help provide nutritious food to help families who are struggling during COVID-19.
According to a recent Monmouth University Poll, “the coronavirus outbreak has made a major impact on the lives of 7 in 10 New Jersians.” As New Jersey residents grapple with the economic fallout from the coronavirus due to layoffs and furloughs, many families are unable to access safe, nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables.
“The staff at Monmouth Mobile Home Park will be harvesting fresh vegetables and delivering ‘farm baskets’ to residents free of charge,” said Dan Mandell, manager of Monmouth Mobile Home Park. “Our focus is on feeding families and encouraging healthy eating during these uncertain times.”
Monmouth Mobile Home Park started the community garden program last year and it was a huge success. “We want to do everything we can to give back to the community and we really thought that providing nutritious food was a great way to do this,” Mandell said. In light of what was going on in N.J. and the country, the program was expanded this year to try to feed as many people as possible. The Park has also worked in conjunction with the South Brunswick Food Pantry and also Patel Brothers Market to get food to anyone who might need it.
It can be difficult for families to cope with the stress of being quarantined, out of a job, while taking care of their loved ones. This drastic change in our daily routines often increases anxiety and disrupts health eating habits. It’s easier to reach for a favorite salty snack or raid the cookie jar because of boredom or feeling on edge, however processed foods lack much nutritional value and can leave us feeling worse.
According to a recent article published by the Harvard Medical School, “certain nutrients in foods have been shown to reduce anxiety or spur the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin or dopamine” which increases our moods. When people are stressed out it actually worsens feelings of depression or anxiety and it suppresses our immune system. Therefore, eating more vegetables may have a dual effect – it will increase our mood and boost our immunity.
Monmouth Mobile Home Park prides itself on its strong feelings of community spirit and its engaging staff are immersed in community events and are active members of township activities. The MMHP enjoys a convenient location located near the flourishing commercial district, which offers both entertainment and job opportunities.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The South Brunswick Police Department identified the driver of Monday night’s fatal crash on Corn Road as Edward Snider age 62 of Browns Mills, NJ. The South Brunswick Police Department is still investigating the crash.
On Monday night at 9:17 pm the South Brunswick Police Department received a 911 call reporting the accident on Corn Road. When officers arrived on the lightly traveled industrial road they found a tractor trailer cab entangled with a flatbed tractor. The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded and began extrication efforts. The truck driver was heavily entrapped and required extensive efforts. A dozen firefighters used cutting tools and other extrication equipment in efforts to free the driver.
Many gyms reopened this morning, check with your local gym prior to working out.
September 1, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy has allowed gyms to reopen today with a 25% capacity, you also have to wear a mask and follow other rules while working out.
In Robbinsville the crowds were light during lunch hour for the reopening of the gyms visit Jersey Stong’s web page for modified hours, cleaning schedules and other club information. It is highly recommended to download the Jersey Strong App to see what the club capacity is prior to visiting the gym. The application gives you an exact number of how many are working out in the club at one time.
The crowd was also light at Planet Fitness in Hamilton during lunch hour. Planet Fitness also has modified hours and is using a Crowd Meter available on the Planet Fitness App to give you a heads up how busy the gym is prior to arrival. There were not many cars in the parking lot at Planet Fitness during lunch hour and nothing was registering on the Crowd Meter.
Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Imposes Record-High $4 Million Penalties on Wholesalers Allied Beverage Group & Fedway Associates Following Two-Year Investigation into Their Misuse of Rebate Programs.
September 1, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) today announced that New Jersey’s two largest wine and spirits wholesalers will pay $4 million each to resolve findings that they engaged in discriminatory trade practices that unfairly favored their largest retail customers. In addition, twenty retailers statewide will pay a total of $2.3 million for their part in the unlawful scheme.
In separate Consent Orders with ABC, wholesalers Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates agreed to pay record-high monetary penalties and change their business practices to resolve trade violations uncovered during a sweeping two-year investigation by ABC’s Enforcement and Investigations Bureaus.
The investigation found that the wholesalers – which together account for approximately 70% of all wine and 80% of all spirits sold at wholesale in the State – unfairly favored 20 of the State’s largest wine and spirits retailers and put smaller retailers at a competitive disadvantage by manipulating the retailer incentive program (RIP), granting credit extensions and interest-free loans, and engaging in other discriminatory practices.
“Simply put, Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates rigged the market in favor of a handpicked group of powerful retailers, leaving smaller businesses struggling to compete. The unprecedented monetary penalties imposed reflect the egregiousness of this conduct and the widespread negative impact it had on New Jersey consumers and retailers,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “This settlement sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this manipulative and anticompetitive behavior.”
The RIPs provide cash rebates payed to retailers by wholesalers for purchasing certain quantities of alcoholic beverages. ABC regulations control the program by making RIPs available to all retailers on a non-discriminatory basis, by keeping the RIP payments to retailers relatively small, and by not allowing wholesalers to substitute RIPs for interest-free loans.
The investigation found that Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates were giving chosen retailers a financial advantage by issuing rebates more often and in greater amounts than allowed. They also failed to wait the required 30 days before issuing rebates, thus allowing those retailers to use that money to pay for the orders for which the rebates were issued, which is against ABC regulations. Retailers who do not pay for orders within 30 days are put on an industry-wide cash-only delivery status, so the early rebates ensured that the larger retailers would have a ready cash flow to pay for their orders on time, giving them an unfair edge over smaller retailers who had to use their own money to pay for their wine and spirits orders within the required 30-day window. The investigation also found that Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates falsified records related to RIPs and/or used undocumented gift cards to make cash payments to chosen retailers that were not accounted for.
“Retail incentives are a legitimate marketing tool as long they are above board and available equally to all retailers. Discriminatory practices like these foster instability in the market by harming smaller retailers,” said James Graziano, Acting Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. “If left unchecked, the ability of small retailers to remain in business may have been jeopardized and consumers would have less access to retail stores and the specialized product selections that they offer. We will continue to monitor industry practices to ensure an equal playing field in New Jersey’s alcoholic beverage retail industry and hold violators accountable for noncompliance.”
The monetary payments from Allied and Fedway are the largest in ABC’s history, and in addition, both entities each agreed to adopt a corrective action plan; employ a compliance monitor for two years; make upgrades to their computer systems; and facilitate the retirement, resignation and/or termination of certain employees.
The following retailers were charged with ABC violations that included accepting the delivery of alcoholic beverages from Allied and/or Fenway upon terms that violated ABC regulations; accepting a loan from a wholesaler to pay a wholesaler and/or avoid being placed on cash-on-delivery status; receiving a RIP before paying the invoice, receiving a RIP in excess of allowed maximum on a product. Each retailer entered a Consent Order with ABC to resolve the charges, with the following settlement terms:
Updated September 2, 2020 with additional information.
The truck driver who passed away in the Monday night crash on Corn Road has been identified as Edward Snider age 62 of Browns Mills, NJ. South Brunswick Police Traffic Safety Bureau continues to investigate the cause of the crash.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Last night at 9:17 pm South Brunswick Police recieved a 911 call of a tractor trailer crash on Corn Road. When officers arrived on the lightly traveled industrial road they found a tractor trailer cab entangled with a flatbed tractor. The Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded and began extrication efforts. The truck driver was heavily entrapped and required extensive efforts. A dozen firefighters used cutting tools and other extrication equipment in efforts to free the driver.
Firefighters called a heavy duty tow truck from Georges Garage to help separate the cab roof. Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad, paramedics and a emergency room doctor from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, along with a medical helicopter from Hackensack University Hospital worked on scene attempting to provide life saving measures.
The truck driver, from Burlington County, succumbed to his injuries on scene. Police are withholding his name pending notification of next of kin.
The Jamesburg Fire Department assisted in the extrication.
The crash remains under investigation by South Brunswick Traffic Safety Bureau Officer Jesse Blake. Anyone with information may call (732) 329-4000 ext. 7474.
Currently at 9:15 am the traffic is backed up from the accident scene to well past Newark Airport and at least 12 miles according to a Google Traffic measurement. The South Bound traffic backup starts in the area of Exit 15E as the outer roadway is closed for the investigation. Google traffic map shows dark red delays. Seek alternate routes if possible.
August 31, 2020
WOODBRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey State Police report, a crash occurred this morning at approximately 5:51 a.m. southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike outer roadway in Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County. Preliminary information indicates that in the area of milepost 94.6, a Mercedes and a Ford van were involved in a crash. A female occupant of the Merecedes was pronounced dead at the scene, and a male occupant was airlifted to Robert Wood Johnson in New Brunswick. Outer roadway remains closed and cause of the crash remains under investigation.
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The East Brunswick Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying a juvenile male suspected of stealing a package.
On 8/27/20 a juvenile male was utilized in the theft of a package, located on the front porch of a residence. After retrieving the package, the juvenile male enters a tan vehicle, possibly a Lexus or Toyota.
If anyone can identify the suspect or has any information regarding this incident or similar incidents, please contact Det. Alexander Danese (732-390-6990 x7118 or email@example.com). Anonymous confidential tips are accepted by dialing 732-4EBTIPS (328477) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On August 25th, 2020, following an extensive investigation by the South Brunswick Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, an arrest was made relating to numerous cases of cyber harassment committed between January 15th and April 9th, 2020.
Sudeep Khetani, 34, of Kendall Park, made several hundred calls to numerous local restaurants using false phone numbers, ordered thousands of dollars worth of food without intent to pay for or pick up the food, and used harassing, threatening, sexually explicit, and biased comments against employees who answered the phone. In addition, Khetani is a suspect in similar incidents in several surrounding townships.
South Brunswick Police Department Chief Raymond J. Hayducka praised Detective Tim Hoover’s tenacity in the case. “Detective Hoover filed many subpoenas, conducted numerous interviews, and exhausted all investigative means to bring this case to a successful conclusion. His hard work put an end to Khetani’s alarming actions.”
Khetani’s actions came at the height of the pandemic when many local restaurants were struggling to stay afloat, causing additional hardship to their owners.
Khetani was also charged with Promoting Prostitution stemming from an unrelated 2019 incident.
After Khetani was arrested, he was lodged in the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center pending his first court appearance.