Category: Middlesex County

Ocean State Job Lot Donates $200 to Plainfield Area Humane Society Through “Close to Our Heart” Non-Profit Program

August 5, 2022

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Ocean State Job Lot (OSJL), the region’s premier discount retail chain with 148 stores across the Northeast, is pleased to announce that its store located at 600 Trotters Way, Freehold, New Jersey has donated $200 to the Plainfield Area Humane Society as part of its “Close to Our Heart” program. 

Since the program’s inception in 2020, Close to Our Heart has empowered each OSJL store to choose  organizations to support each year that are meaningful to its associates and the local community. The Plainfield Area Humane Society provides veterinary care and shelter, and works to find the right home for all the animals in their care, including those with special needs or circumstances. 

“Ocean State Job Lot takes pride in our philanthropic work,” said David Sarlitto, Executive Director, Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation. “Through the ‘Close to Our Heart’ program, we make a donation to a local area non-profit that is ‘close to the heart’ of that community. We are grateful to have the opportunity to support those most in need in our local communities and bring awareness to organizations that are doing the hard work every day.”

The Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has consistently and actively invested in providing relief to the communities in which it operates. In March 2022, OSJL’s “Relief for Ukraine” program donated health and hygiene products, food, warm clothes and medical supplies for Ukrainian refugee efforts due to the ongoing war. OSJL’s “To The Rescue” program, which concluded this week, benefits animal welfare organizations, wildlife centers, rehabilitation farms and non-profit rescue organizations throughout the Northeast. Currently, OSJL’s “Building Brighter Futures” fundraising campaign is happening in-store and online to directly support organizations that assist children in need. 


Representatives from Plainfield Area Humane Society accept the organization’s “Close to Our Heart” donation.


Update: After 26 Hour Search Tractor-Trailer Located

August 4, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–At 5:10 p.m. today, South Brunswick Police were able to track down the woman, man, and tractor-trailer cab involved in the Wednesday afternoon incident. In that incident, a witness said a female was in a white tractor-trailer cab yelling for help and bleeding. The tractor-trailer cab left and headed Route 130 south as the witness approached. Police disseminated a video of the incident Wednesday evening.
 
South Brunswick detectives received tips from around the country after releasing the video and images on social media. The break in the case came from Gabrielli Truck Sales located on Route 130 near where the incident took place. Company staff recovered video which allowed detectives to identify the truck as well as the female. Detectives searched locations in Middlesex and Union Counties looking for the truck. Detectives observed a male matching the witness description exit the truck in question and approached him. Detectives also contacted the woman seen in the video at the same location. Both the man and woman agreed to come to police headquarters. Detectives are speaking with both this evening.
 
Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “This was a great team effort, from the community providing tips to detectives tracking down leads. It was an exhaustive 26 hours, but we were able to locate the woman and make sure she was safe.” Detectives will continue to evaluate exactly what happened Wednesday afternoon in the truck. “This case exemplifies the power of so many coming together. I want to thank the witness who first reported the incident, the dozen of tips, and Gabrielli Truck Sales staff for getting involved to find this woman,” said Hayducka.  
 
The South Brunswick Police have been assisted in the investigation by the FBI and the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office. 


South Brunswick Police Seek Information

August 3, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Police say that at 2:00 p.m. South Brunswick Police responded to Route 130 near Dayton Toyota for a woman yelling for help. A witness said a female was in a white tractor-trailer cab yelling for help. The witness said the female was bleeding from her face. The male truck driver pulled her back into the cab and the truck headed Route 130 south getting off at the Ridge Road ext.

Victim – White / Hispanic female, in her 20s, long brown hair, brown flannel shirt

Actor – White male, older, bald, white beard, blue shirt

Detectives have recovered videos showing the tractor-trailer cab on Route 130.

ANY INFO CALL SOUTH BRUNSWICK POLICE (732) 329-4646



Rotary Club of Plainsboro, North & South Brunswick Celebrates Changing of the Guard, Installation of Officers for the Rotary Year 2022-2023

August 1, 2022

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Rotary Club of Plainsboro, North & South Brunswick, held its Annual Changing of the Guard ceremony and inducted new office bearers for the rotary year 2022-2023.

Outgoing President of the club Blisse Vakkalagadda presented various projects that the club completed during her presidency. Blisse along with Sudharani Kankanala, had also played a pivotal role as mentors of the Interact club of North Brunswick and helped organize various meaningful service projects. During Blisse’s presidency, the club also did some impactful international service projects.

District Governor John Shockley, Past DG Dr. Tulsi Maharjan and Kalpana Patel, President, Rotary Club of Robbinsville-Hamilton, NJ, were in attendance for the changing of the guard ceremony.

DG John Shockley conducted the oath ceremony for the incoming President Vijay Garg and his team for the year 2022-2023. During his acceptance remarks, Vijay Garg said that he is looking forward to working with the team and continuing doing various community projects aligned with the Rotary International causes. “I am excited and honored to accept the role,” said Vijay.

Vijay is a successful Entrepreneur, Past North-East President of IT Serve, Board Member of TiE, GOPIO and other social organizations. Vijay with his community reach and leadership skills will help the club in taking up bigger projects and extending its reach.

The Executive Team 2022-23 consists of Sanjeev Dixit as Secretary, Sanjay Pagidimarri as Treasurer, Venkat Jagarlamudi as President-Elect, Ganesh Madda as the Foundation Chair, Jaydip Sen as PR Chair, Suresh Pannala as Membership Chair, Sudharani Kankanala as Service Project Chair, Srinivas Gattu as Fundraising Chair and Sunil Nambiar as International Projects Chair.

The changing of the guard ceremony was well attended by the Rotary Club members, Rotary Interact Club members, families, and prospective members. Representatives from organizations like ITServe, IBA, SMEC joined and discussed collaboration on future Community Service Projects.

The club which is also celebrating its 20th charter Anniversary this year, recognized six senior members, Suresh Pannala, Sunil Nambiar, Rajeev Mehta, Nishit Mehta, Mahalingam Narayanan and Darshan Doshi, who completed over twelve years of service as dedicated and passionate Rotarians. 

About Rotary Club of Plainsboro, North & South Brunswick, NJ

In 2002 a few prominent people from the Community, living in Plainsboro, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, and surrounding areas decided to charter a new Rotary Club in Central New Jersey with the intention of serving the local and international community. The club started out with three active members and rapidly grew to about more than 25 members living in various parts of the state. Although the club is open to people of all race, color, and religion, most of the current members are people of Indian Origin.

Since its inception, the Rotary Club of Plainsboro, North & South Brunswick has proudly sponsored several local and international charitable projects. For more information, visit PlainsboroRotary.org.



House Fire Extinguished In South Brunswick

July 29, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Just before 8:00 p.m., on Sunday, July 24th, the Monmouth Junction Fire Department, South Brunswick EMS, and South Brunswick Police Department were dispatched to Davids Court for a smoke condition in the residence and a possible basement fire. First arriving police officers and fire chiefs observed heavy smoke coming from one residence of the two-family dwelling. Firefighters entered the home and located a working fire in the basement, which was quickly extinguished. Firefighters remained on scene until just after 10 PM, extinguishing hot spots and ventilating smoke and carbon monoxide that had spread throughout both residences. Responding to the fire were the Monmouth Junction, Kingston & Kendall Park Fire Departments. Firefighters from Jamesburg and Plainsboro covered South Brunswick during the incident. EMS units from South Brunswick, Plainsboro, and North Brunswick responded to the scene to provide monitoring and rehab for firefighters. All residents escaped the home, and there were no injuries. The fire is currently under investigation by the South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau.

Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith said, “Basement fires are one of the most dangerous types of fires we can respond to. The firefighters did a great job advancing to the basement and quickly extinguishing the fire, under very hot and smokey conditions. The humid weather certainly added to the challenge for our firefighters with the amount of protective gear we have to wear.”

This fire also demonstrates the importance of keeping doors and windows closed in the event of a fire. Fortunately, the door at the top of the stairs to the basement, and the few basement windows, were all closed. This helped to limit the smoke spread and the amount of oxygen available to feed the fire. We must also remind residents to exit a home or building immediately in the event of smoke or fire, and call 9-1-1 right away once safely outside.


South Brunswick Police Issue Summons In Fatal Motorcycle Crash That Killed Beloved Helmetta Fire Chief

July 29, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The South Brunswick Police Department announced yesterday that motor vehicle tickets have been issued in connection to the July 11, 2022, fatal motorcycle crash on Georges Road. Investigators determined that at 3:20 P.M   Maheshkum Kuniyil, 48, of Dayton was driving a 2019 Honda Odyssey on Summerfield Boulevard and came to a stop at the Georges Road intersection. Mr. Kuniyil then attempted to make a left onto Georges Road and collided with a 1998 Harley Davidson motorcycle being driven by Christopher Acs, 47, of Jamesburg which was headed north on Georges Road.  Mr. Acs died at the scene of the crash.

Investigators determined that after Mr. Kuniyil came to a stop, he failed to make sure it was clear to proceed into the intersection. He was issued two motor vehicle summonses; one for failure to yield right of way at an intersection and one for obstructing the passage of other vehicles. Both motor vehicle tickets will be heard in Municipal Court.

The investigation was conducted by Patrolman First-Class Jason Gassman of the South Brunswick Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau in conjunction with Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.





U.S. News & World Report Names Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Among Best in New Jersey and New York Metropolitan Area

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Receives State’s Highest Score in Cancer Specialty

July 26, 2022

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), a RWJBarnabas Health facility, has been recognized as one of the top five hospitals in New Jersey and a top 20 Regional Best Hospital in the New York Metropolitan area by U.S. News & World Report in the annual Best Hospitals rankings. The hospital earned High Performing ratings in 12 adult specialties, common adult procedures and conditions.

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the only program in the state designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), received the highest score in New Jersey in the Adult Specialty category for cancer, earning a High Performing rating.  Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health is at the forefront of cancer research and care and will soon be home to the Jack and Sheryl Morris Cancer Center, New Jersey’s only freestanding cancer hospital, slated to open in 2024 in New Brunswick. Only 92 cancer programs nationwide achieved this rating in the 2022-23 US News & World Report Best Hospitals survey.

RWJUH earned a total of twelve High Performing ratings, including cancer, gastroenterology and GI surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colon cancer surgery, diabetes, heart attack, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, kidney failure, lung cancer surgery, and stroke. A High Performing rating recognizes care that was significantly better than the national average, as measured by factors such as patient outcomes. “High Performing” is the highest rating U.S. News & World Report awards for common adult conditions and procedures. 

The annual Adult Specialty and Adult Procedure and Condition ratings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care for challenging health conditions or elective procedures.

“RWJUH has earned a top spot on the Best Hospitals rankings in New Jersey and in the New York metropolitan area year after year due to our academic partnership with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Cancer Institute, as well as our stellar network of community physicians and our Magnet nursing program,” said Bill Arnold, President and Chief Executive Officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “As New Jersey’s premier academic medical center, RWJUH is committed to delivering access to the most advanced and equitable interventions and care designed to sustain and build healthier communities.”

“Our cancer program’s score and rating by U.S. News and World Report demonstrates the high quality, multidisciplinary care we provide, which is informed by innovative research and discoveries alongside exceptional patient experience,” stated Steven Libutti, MD, Director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health. “As New Jersey’s leading cancer program and the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health offers patients access to the most advanced treatment options including clinical trials, many of which are not available elsewhere.”

For the 2022-2023 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals across 15 specialties and 20 procedures and conditions. Fewer than half of all hospitals received any High Performing rating, and only four earned this rating in all procedures and conditions. State and metro area rankings reflect the highest performing hospitals in the area across multiple areas of care.

“When patients are considering their options for care, the Best Hospitals ratings are designed to help them identify hospitals that excel in the kind of care they may need,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News.  “A hospital that’s earned a High Performing rating in a service may be a good option for patients in need of that service and their medical professionals to consider.”

U.S. News evaluated each hospital’s performance using a variety of measures such as survival rates, complication rates, patient experience and level of nursing care. The Best Hospitals methodology factors in data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, American Hospital Association, professional organizations and medical specialists.

For more information, visit Best Hospitals and use #BestHospitals on Facebook and Twitter.




Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Formerly Of Edison, NJ, Guilty Of International Parental Kidnapping

The international parental kidnapping offense of which Patel stands convicted carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

July 25, 2022

CAMDEN, N.J. – A naturalized U.S. citizen who had been living in India was convicted of obstructing the parental rights of his child’s mother by kidnapping the child and failing to return the child to the United States when ordered to do so, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Amitkumar Kanubhai Patel, 38, of Vadodara, India, formerly of Edison, New Jersey, was convicted on July 22, 2022, of one count of international parental kidnapping following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

The child’s mother and Patel were in a relationship and resided together in New Jersey from August 2015 through July 2017. The two never married. In November 2016, Patel and the child’s mother had a child, who was born in Edison Township.

According to the child’s mother, Patel wanted to take the child to India to introduce him to Patel’s parents and obtain DNA testing, which Patel claimed was necessary for the child to claim property that Patel’s family owned in India. Patel also told the child’s mother that in order to obtain an Indian visa for the child, he would need to secure sole custody, which required them to go to court. Patel instructed the mother to tell the court that they had a mutual understanding regarding the custody of their child. Patel instructed the mother to state that she did not have a work permit, and since she was unemployed, she could not care for her child.

On May 1, 2017, Patel took the child’s mother to New Jersey Superior Court, Chancery Division Family Court, in order to obtain sole custody of the child. According to the mother, the majority of the hearing was conducted in English with no translator. At the time of the hearing, the mother spoke limited English. The mother answered the court’s questions as she had been instructed by Patel. The mother was not represented by an attorney during the hearing.

On May 2, 2017, the New Jersey Superior Court granted Patel sole legal custody of the child premised on the consent of the child’s mother to the arrangement, but specifically reserved for the mother the ability to file for joint legal custody if she so chose in future. Upon receiving the court order, Patel obtained visas to India for himself and the child, and booked air travel, telling the child’s mother that they would only be gone for two weeks to a month. Patel then took the child to India and after several days in India, called the mother and said that he was never bringing the child back to the United States. The child’s mother obtained legal counsel and returned to the New Jersey Superior Court. On Oct. 16, 2018, the New Jersey Superior Court entered an order directing Patel to return the child to the United States immediately.

On Oct. 19, 2018, the mother’s counsel emailed the October 16, 2018, family court order to Patel, who did not return the child to the United States. On Oct. 2, 2020, Patel and the child flew from India to the United Kingdom. Upon arrival, Patel was arrested based on a provisional arrest request submitted by the United States. After a custody hearing in London pursuant to the Hague Convention, the London Court ordered it was in the best interest of the child that the child be returned to his paternal grandparents in India. Patel was subsequently extradited to the United States to stand trial.

The international parental kidnapping offense of which Patel stands convicted carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 22, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline McGuire in Philadelphia, with the investigation leading to the guilty verdict. U.S. Attorney Sellinger also thanked members of the Department’s Office of International Affairs, the U.K. Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police for their assistance in the extradition.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney Andrew Carey and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

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Defense counsel: Lori Koch Esq. and Christopher O’Malley Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defenders, Camden


Suspect Charged In Zoom Attack Of Virtual Memorial Service Of 17-Year-Old High School Student

July 14, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka announced today a suspect has been identified and charged in a Zoom attack on a virtual memorial service for a South Brunswick High School student in February of 2021. The memorial service was being held for 17 year old Emily Murillo who tragically died in January of 2021. Due to Covid, the memorial service was broadcasted virtually. During the service, an unknown person entered the Zoom and threatened to blow up the funeral home and make the casket turn to ashes. “It was unspeakable to us that while family and friends were mourning the loss of this young girl, someone would look to threaten them,” said Chief Hayducka. Investigators never gave up in their search for the suspect. The case required numerous court orders, interaction with a variety of social media platforms, and partnering with state and federal law enforcement. “I told all the officers involved that we will never stop until we track down every lead. It took almost 18 months, but we got him,” said Chief Hayducka.

The suspect is a juvenile from North Jersey. He faces a 2nd degree charge of terroristic threats, a 3rd degree charge of false public alarm, and a 4th degree charge of cyber harassment. The charges were elevated because the threat was made during the state of emergency from the Covid pandemic.

South Brunswick Police thanked the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office, the New Jersey State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and law enforcement agencies in Connecticut and North Jersey for their assistance in the investigation.


The memorial service was being held for 17 year old Emily Murillo who tragically died in January of 2021.

A Gofundme page says:

On January 29th, our dear friends lost their beautiful 17-year-old daughter, Emily Murillo, in a tragic car accident. For those fortunate enough to have really known Emmy, you know how deeply we will miss her bright smile and sweet, sweet soul.

From chasing frogs near the creek when she attended Brunswick Acres Elementary to her two dogs and two geckos, Emmy always had a way with, and a love for, animals. She was determined to find a job working with them after graduating from South Brunswick High School this June, but she’s been taken from us far too soon.

Emily was a lifelong resident of South Brunswick and will be missed most deeply by her sister Kaylee, step brothers Dominic and Vincent, mom and stepfather Erin and Joe Popolo and her father, Oscar Murillo. Kaylee graduated from SBHS in 2017. Erin worked for years for the South Brunswick Board of Ed, and Oscar currently works at Deans Elementary School. Joe is a retired firefighter and is now a fire subcode official. They are the kind of people who help make this community great.

We know her family’s pain too well, and we know how much the kindness of friends, family, the community and even strangers have helped us, so we’re creating this GoFundMe page in the hope that Emmy’s wonderful family can know this comfort.


Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, August 11-14, 2022, is Cancelled Due To Industry Supply Chain And Labor Issues

Next show in NJ will be: Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, Winter Show January 12-15, 2023

July 14, 2022

EDISON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The Outdoor Sports Group (OSG) each January is proud to produce The Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, bringing together the outdoor community to experience a fishing & hunting spectacular.   Due to COVID 19 and health concerns we were unable to produce the 2022 January event and were forced to re-scheduled it to August 11-14,2022.

We had high hopes that an August event on the verge of hunting season would provide a forum for outdoor enthusiast to shop for amazing deals, meet the experts and create enjoyable family memories. While we would prefer to be giving you an update today on joining us at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center in Edison, NJ; we unfortunately must cancel the August event.

As events are assembling around the country and we recover from the effects of COVID 19, we find the outdoor industry in a peculiar situation. Our industry has never been so alive with individuals participating in outdoor activities, purchasing hunting & fishing licenses, taking part in conservation awareness, having a desire to travel and much more. The challenge currently is the outdoor industry is still suffering from supply chain and labor shortages making it hard to book a trip, purchase fishing tackle, boats, ATV’s and many of the products that complement the perfect outdoor adventure.

We are passionate about delivering sports shows that showcase the latest products, services, travel destination, ATV’s, RV’s, boats, powersports, fishing tackle, outfitters, wildlife art, hunting supplies, charters, paddle boards, knives and much more. Based on the supply chain and labor issue we would not be able to deliver the quality of show that the outdoor community deserves. As disappointing as it is to cancel an event is in the

best interest of our loyal vendors and attendees Outdoor Sports Group is going to focus its efforts on producing a successful show January 12-15, 2023, that showcases 150-200 + exhibitor booths and delivers 12,500-15,000 + attendees.

The January 2023 show will feature the New Jersey Deer Classic with an impressive display of trophy heads from the previous three hunting seasons, the 9th Annual Garden State 3D Archery Tournament, The Hawg Trough, Fishing & Hunting Seminars and co-located with Safe Con, New Jersey 2nd Amendment Firearms Education Conference. Outdoor enthusiast will have the opportunity to book future fishing trips, buy a boat or RV, and gear up for hunting season, plus much more.

The Outdoor Sports Group staff will be connecting directly with exhibiting companies with more information regarding the postponing of the event, including options to receive a full refund or apply booth deposit to the 2023 events.

Our exhibitor profiles, guest speaker announcements and other information will be available at www.gsoss.com Outdoor Sports Group is schedule to hold these future events:

2023 Show Schedule:

  • Garden State Outdoor Sports Show, Winter Show January 12-15, 2023
  • Northern Illinois Sports Show, January 19-22, 2023
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 9-12, 2023

About Outdoor Sports Group

Outdoor Sports Group (OSG) is the producer of the finest outdoor sports show on the East Coast and in the Midwest dedicated to the consumer sports enthusiast. The Outdoor Sports Group team is dedicated to producing sports shows with quality exhibitors, seminars and attractions that speak to sportsmen and women of all ages with a focus on activities that the whole family will enjoy.



Beloved, Helmetta Fire Chief, Identified As Victim Of Motorcycle Crash In South Brunswick


Helmetta Fire Chief Christopher Acts was a 28 year veteran of the department and also served as a Deputy Warden with the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, B – Division, Section 10.

He was a devoted, dedicated member who worked tirelessly on the apparatus and the building throughout the years. His efforts on behalf of the Borough of Helmetta will be sorely missed.


July 12, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that a fatal crash occurred on July 11, 2022, on Georges Road in South Brunswick Township.

An investigation by Patrolman First-Class Jason Gassman of the South Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on July 11, 2022, at 3:21 P.M., authorities responded to the intersection of Georges Road and Summerfield Boulevard following the report of a crash. Upon their arrival, authorities determined a motorcycle driven by Christopher Acs, 47, of Jamesburg, was traveling northbound on Georges Road when it was struck by a 2019 Honda Odyssey. Acs succumbed to his injuries and was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Patrolman First-Class Gassman of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000 X 7432 or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.


It is with the deepest regret that the officers and members of the Helmetta Fire Department announce the untimely passing of our current Fire Chief, Christopher Acs.

Chief Acs was a 28 year veteran of the department and also served as a Deputy Warden with the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, B – Division, Section 10.

He was a devoted, dedicated member who worked tirelessly on the apparatus and the building throughout the years. His efforts on behalf of the Borough of Helmetta will be sorely missed.


It is with deep regret that the officers and members of the Helmetta Fire Department report the untimely passing of current Fire Chief Christopher Acs.

Services for Chief Acs have been finalized and we will be providing full fire department honors. It is requested that any agency who wish to pay their respects please note the following:

Viewing:

Viewing will be held on 07/15/22 at 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Lester Funeral Home (16 West Church Street). Parking may be limited, please follow all directions from Jamesburg Police Department on placement of any apparatus. Helmetta Fire Department service will be conducted at 7:00pm.

Funeral:

Funeral Services will be held on 07/16/22 at 11:00 am at the Lester Funeral Home (16 West Church Street).

Staging area will be designated, please follow all directions of the Jamesburg Police Department.

Final Alarm:

At the conclusion of the Funeral Services, Fire Department Procession will proceed from Lester Funeral Home to the Helmetta Fire Department for Chief Acs’ final alarm.




Slap On The Wrist: 16-Year-Old Woodbridge Teen Gets Of 2-Years Of Probation For Bringing Loaded Handgun To JFK High School

Woodbridge Teen Spared Jail Time by the Court in Case Involving Loaded Handgun Brought School

July 12, 2022

WOODBRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A Woodbridge Teen was spared jail time in case involving loaded handgun brought school

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Robert Hubner of the Woodbridge Police Department announced today that Malachi Parcells, 16, of Woodbridge has been sentenced to a two-year term of probation for bringing a loaded handgun to a school.

On March 28, 2022, Woodbridge Police officers responded to JFK High School after receiving a report that a student was in possession of a handgun. Upon arrival, officers were informed that the JFK High School staff received a tip stating that Malachi Parcells was carrying a gun to school in his fanny pack. Parcells was stopped and questioned by school staff upon his arrival that morning. During a search of Parcells, a loaded 9mm handgun was found.

A subsequent investigation conducted by Detective Ryan Hoppock of the Woodbridge Police department resulted in Parcells being charged with acts of juvenile delinquency for offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute third-degree Possession of a Weapon in an Educational Institution, second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and second­ degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose.

On June 24, 2022, Parcells pled guilty to Unlawful Possession of a Weapon before the Honorable Deborah Venezia, P.J.F.P. On June 30, 2022, the State argued for a two-year term of incarceration, however Parcells was sentenced instead to two years of probation by the Court.


Man Sentenced To 7-Years In NJ State Prison For Distributing 11.5 Pounds Of Marijuana And Other Narcotics On Long Beach Island

July 11, 2022

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 8, 2022, Michael Klimowicz, 32, of North Brunswick, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P, to seven years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Possession of Marijuana in a Quantity Greater than Five Pounds but Less than Twenty-Five Pounds with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10), in connection with an arrest that occurred in Long Beach Township on January 27, 2019. Klimowicz pled guilty to the charge before Judge Ryan on April 12, 2022.

An investigation by the Long Beach Township Police Department revealed that a residence in the Holgate section of Long Beach Township was being utilized by Klimowicz to store and distribute narcotics. In furtherance of the investigation, Detectives executed a court-authorized search warrant on the subject residence on January 27, 2019. As a result, Detectives seized roughly 11.5 pounds of Marijuana, additional quantities of other illegal narcotics, and approximately $9,300 in United States currency. Klimowicz was arrested at the residence without incident; he was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Long Beach Township Police Department Patrol Division, Long Beach Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Long Beach Township Police Department K-9 Unit, and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, for their collective assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Klimowicz’s apprehension and now his state prison sentence.



Woman Charged in Connection with South Brunswick Fatal Crash

July 8, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that a woman was charged in connection with a fatal crash that occurred on June 15, 2022, on Georges Road in South Brunswick Township.

An investigation by Officer Jesse Blake of the South Brunswick Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on June 15, 2022, at approximately 10:31 A.M., authorities responded to the southbound lane of Georges Road near Crossroads North Middle School following the report of a crash. Upon their arrival, authorities determined a vehicle driven by Shamantha Bolla, 18, of Monmouth Junction, struck Dean Battaglia, 53, of South Brunswick. Battaglia succumbed to his injuries and was ultimately pronounced dead on scene.

On July 7, 2022, Bolla was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree reckless death by auto.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Blake of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000 X 7474 or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Bolla are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.



Fire Quickly Extinguished In South Brunswick

July 7, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On Tuesday, July 5, 2022, at 8:44 a.m., the Monmouth Junction Fire Department and South Brunswick Police were dispatched to 404 Samuel Court in Dayton Center for a report of smoke coming from a barbecue on a balcony. Police officers arrived within minutes and observed smoke coming from the roof line of a one-story section of the 4-unit building and immediately started evacuating the residents. Chief Scott Smith of the Monmouth Junction Fire Department arrived and immediately requested the first alarm, bringing the Kingston and Kendall Park Fire Departments to the scene to assist. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes but remained on location until 10:30 a.m. extinguishing hot spots.

“This was a challenging fire as we had to use saws and hand tools to open the decking of the second-floor balcony, as well as the walls and ceiling of the unit below the balcony in order to expose and extinguish the fire, which must have been smoldering unnoticed for some time. We are fortunate that the fire was relatively contained and discovered during the day, and not when residents were sleeping,” said Chief Smith.

Six fire trucks and 30 firefighters responded to the fire. South Brunswick EMS responded, and there were no injuries.

Preliminary indications are the fire was caused by old charcoals from a barbecue the night before. The fire is under investigation by the South Brunswick Township Fire Safety Bureau.


Photo: South Brunswick PD


South River, NJ Man Found Guilty On Child Several Pornography Charges After Throwing iPhone And iPad In Bay

June 28, 2022

TRENTON, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was convicted of several counts involving images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Charles F. Browne, 52, of South River, New Jersey, was found guilty on June 27, 2022, following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court of receiving child pornography, soliciting child pornography, possessing prepubescent child pornography, and concealing objects to impede the FBI’s investigation.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

In September 2017, a cloud-based file service noticed that apparent child sex abuse material had been uploaded to, and maintained in, an account with the screen name “Charles Browne” and an email address containing the term “cbrowne.” The FBI obtained the files that were uploaded to the online account, which included prepubescent child pornography and two copies of Browne’s resume.

On April 8, 2019, law enforcement officers stopped Browne’s vehicle as he left his residence. Brown was given a Miranda warning and interviewed by law enforcement officers about the FBI’s ongoing child exploitation investigation. Browne initially denied having an iPad and then, in response to the agent’s question at the conclusion of the interview asking where his iPad was, responded that it was at home, which was approximately one mile away. Law enforcement officers told Browne that an online file account contained two images of prepubescent child sexual abuse created by an Apple iPhone Model 5C camera. Browne denied knowledge of the child pornography. At the conclusion of the interview, Browne was dropped off at his vehicle, which was locked.

At trial, Browne confessed that he broke into his vehicle after the FBI interview, removed an iPad and his iPhone, and then walked to a local private beach club. Browne was observed by a neighbor as he walked to the end of the dock and threw his iPad and iPhone into the bay.

After Browne returned to his residence without his electronic devices, the FBI conducted a canvass of the area and located the neighbor who had observed Browne throwing his iPad into the bay. The FBI sent in a dive team, which recovered Browne’s iPad and iPhone – an Apple Model 5C – from the bay.

The devices were repaired; review of the data recovered from the devices revealed videos and images of child sexual abuse. Web history from the iPad reflected that Browne had sought out images of child sexual abuse on the iPad the day before law enforcement officers interviewed Browne. Evidence from Browne’s iPad and iPhone reflected that Browne sent emails to others seeking child pornography “vids.”

The counts of receipt of child pornography and solicitation of child pornography each carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and fine of $250,000. The count of possession of prepubescent child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The count of concealing objects to impede a federal investigation count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 9, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jesse Levine of the Newark Division, Assistant Director Michael Driscoll of the New York Division, and Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr., of the Birmingham Division; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey; the Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Shaun Golden; the Ocean County Sherriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy; the Tom’s River Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Mitchell A. Little; the South River Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Mark Tinitigan; and the Manalapan Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Edward Niesz, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie L. Hoxie and Jonathan Fayer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.

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Defense counsel: Carlos Diaz-Cobo Esq., New Brunswick, New Jersey


Five Employees Arrested at Club XXXV On Prostitution Charges And Money Laundering

June 22, 2022

SAYREVILLE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)-Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief John Zebrowski of the Sayreville Police Department announced today that a joint investigation with The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Office of Criminal Investigations of the New Jersey Treasury Department, has led to the arrests of five individuals who are employed at Club XXXV in Sayreville, New Jersey.

In May of 2021, a search warrant was executed at Club XXXV and evidence of prostitution was uncovered. During that search, employees of Club XXXV Jeannine Nichols and Jason Portes were arrested for promoting prostitution and Jennifer Hecker was arrested for promoting prostitution and the solicitation of prostitution as well as money laundering.

On Tuesday, June 14, 2022, as a result of the ongoing joint investigation, several search warrants were executed on residences and businesses associated with the investigation with the assistance of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Anthony Acciardi Sr, 58, of Freehold, Anthony Acciardi Jr, 29, of Old Bridge and Doreen Acciardi, 55, of Freehold were charged with first-degree money laundering, second-degree promoting organized street crime, third- degree promoting prostitution and other criminal offenses. Angela Mancini, 32, of Colts Neck, was charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy and Jennifer Hecker was charged with third-degree promoting prostitution and a disorderly person’s offense of solicitation of prostitution.

The defendants have been released from the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center as the result of their pre-trial detention hearing that took place on June 21, 2022, in Superior Court.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Sergeant Jason Mader of the Sayreville Police Department at (732) 727-4444, Detective Shadi Zaiton of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4263.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against the defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Photos below from 35 XXXV Gentlemen’s Club Facebook Page:





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Car Fire Extinguished In South Brunswick

June 17, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Kendall Park Fire Department and South Brunswick on scene of a car fire on Kory Drive around 9:55 a.m. The fire was quickly extinguished. South Brunswick Police reported no injuries.


SBPD Photos


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Worker Rescued From Machine In South Brunswick

June 17, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police say just after 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2022, the Monmouth Junction Fire Department, Monmouth Junction First Aid Squad, and South Brunswick Police were dispatched to Loving Pets at 110 Melrich Road for a worker trapped in a machine. First responders arrived to find a 54-year-old female employee with her forearm impaled and trapped in a machine in the production area of the business. The worker was standing on a portable stair when she put her arm into the top of the machine, apparently to clear material inside when a rotating bar moved and she was impaled through her forearm.
 
EMTs and paramedics stabilized the patient while firefighters worked to free her arm. Firefighters first secured the power, then used hand tools to disassemble the section of the machine where the worker’s arm was trapped. After disabling the rotating bar, firefighters used several different powered cutters to remove the bar from the machine to free the worker, which took approximately 45 minutes. EMTs and firefighters placed the employee on a backboard to lower her from the stairs. She was then placed on a stretcher where her arm was packaged for transport to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where the mixing bar that impaled her arm could be safely removed.
 
Monmouth Junction Fire Chief Scott Smith said, “This was a challenging rescue for first responders. The worker was in an elevated position, so firefighters had to work from ladders to access the top of the machine where her arm was trapped. Due to the construction of the machine and limited access, we had to develop several plans and use a number of different manual and powered tools to free her arm. Everyone did a great job under tough conditions.”


SBPD Photos


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Jamesburg Woman Charged with Death of Her Baby

June 10, 2022

JAMESBURG, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Jamesburg Police Chief James Craparotta announced today that a 19-year-old Jamesburg woman has been charged with killing her newborn.

On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at approximately 10:15 PM Jamesburg Police Department was called out on a welfare check for 19-year-old Jamesburg resident, Jessica Farag. Farag and her daughter were transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital where the infant was pronounced dead.

An initial investigation by Sergeant Jason Muller of the Jamesburg Police Department and Detective Ryan Tighe of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Farag gave birth to the infant earlier that day.

Farag has been charged with one count of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, one count of second-degree desecration of human remains and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Farag is currently being housed at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center pending a detention hearing.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Sergeant Jason Muller of the Jamesburg Police Department at (732) 521-0011 or Detective Ryan Tighe of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4335.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Jessica Farag are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Jamesburg man found Guilty by Jury of Double Murder and Aggravated Arson

June 6, 2022

JAMESBURG, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced that a Jamesburg man was found guilty by a Jury on June 1, 2022, after a two-week trial for the killing of two men in the borough of Jamesburg for a crime that occurred on November 4, 2019.

Jaree Kitchen, 24, was convicted of the murder of his father, Clifford Kitchen Jr., 53 and Gregory Fisher, 53, both from Jamesburg. Kitchen was also found guilty of aggravated arson, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of desecrating human remains and tampering with evidence related to the murders.

During a 2-week trial that began on May 16, 2022, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Amber Gibbs and Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Caitlin Lavery presented evidence and testimony showing that Kitchen had recently returned to Jamesburg from Georgia to live with his father, Clifford Kitchen Jr., but soon after his arrival the father and son began having significant issues. This erupted into a physical altercation that resulted in Jaree Kitchen fatally stabbing both his father and another resident of the home, Gregory Fisher to death on November 4, 2019. On November 6, 2019, in an effort to destroy and cover up the murders that occurred within the home, Jaree Kitchen set the residence of 7 Sheridan Street on fire.

The investigation was led by Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Sergeant Deon McCall and Sergeant Kevin Wilson, Detective Sergeant Jason Muller and Detective Jim Dennis of the Jamesburg Police Department.

Sentencing is currently scheduled in New Brunswick, on October 28, 2022, before Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Buck.


Jaree Kitchen, 24, was convicted of the murder of his father, Clifford Kitchen Jr., 53 and Gregory Fisher, 53, both from Jamesburg. Kitchen was also found guilty of aggravated arson, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of desecrating human remains and tampering with evidence related to the murders.


21 Men Arrested in Undercover Operation Targeting Child Predators Using Social Media to Lure Children for Sex

Charges Stem from “Operation Risky Business,” a Collaborative Investigation Led by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations

May 26, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri today announced the arrests of 21 alleged child predators in “Operation Risky Business,” a multi-agency undercover operation targeting individuals who allegedly were using social medial in an attempt to lure underage girls and boys for sexual activity.  The defendants will be prosecuted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Division of Criminal Justice.  

The underage “children” were, in fact, undercover officers.  Most of the defendants in Operation Risky Business were arrested at either the undercover residence in Hamilton Township or another meet-up location, including the Hamilton Train Station. Those who went to the undercover house allegedly expected to find their victims home alone. Instead, they found law enforcement officers prepared to arrest them and process any evidence seized.  Those arrested include four Megan’s Law registrants, an injury lawyer from Georgia, an information technology worker, a dump truck driver, and a pastry chef from the Pocono Mountains region. One defendant was arrested and charged in two cases because he was chatting online with two separate undercover officers.

The operation was led by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau, and the New Jersey State Police, in collaboration with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and additional federal, state and county law enforcement agencies listed below.

“Operation Risky Business is a great example of how successful law enforcement agencies can be when they collaborate across all levels like they did here by proactively investigating and arresting predators who sought to sexually exploit children,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “We are committed to working collaboratively in order to aggressively investigate and prosecute sex offenders. But we also need parents to talk to their children about the dangers of social media and let them know not everyone who they encounter online is who they initially claim to be.”

“Not in Mercer.  Not our children.  Not under my watch.  That’s the message we are sending to sexual predators with collaborative efforts like Operation Risky Business,” said Prosecutor Onofri.  “Social media sites have become hunting grounds for individuals looking to exploit children.  Law enforcement will continue to use every investigative tool at our disposal to aggressively pursue and prosecute these predators that attempt to exploit our most innocent victims, but we can’t do it alone.  Parents and guardians can do their part by remaining vigilant.  Talk to your children about the dangers that exist on social media and gaming apps, and monitor their online activity.”

“Through collaborative efforts like this, we are sending a strong message to parents that we must remain vigilant and do our part to protect children by keeping communication open and warning them about the dangers of the Internet,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners across all levels to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute offenders who attempt to sexually exploit children. There is no higher priority than keeping our children safe.”

“Operation Risky Business was a complete success; however, it is also a sobering reminder that there is no shortage of online predators willing to exploit children.” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We remain committed to seeking out these criminals but remind parents and guardians that they need to be aware of the dangers that exist online and do their part to actively monitor and safeguard their children’s activity.”

“HSI is committed to supporting coordinated operations, helping ensure the children of our communities are protected from dangerous predators,” said Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina of HSI Newark.

About half of the arrests in Operation Risky Business were made over a four-day period from April 7 through April 10.  The defendants were from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and one from Georgia.  They are variously charged with offenses including second-degree attempted luring, second-degree attempted sexual assault, third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, and fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual contact.  Arrest warrants for the remainder of the suspects were forwarded to the U.S. Marshals Service, who tracked down the rest of the alleged predators over the last few weeks.

The undercover law enforcement members who conducted the chats with the defendants were specially trained members of the New Jersey ICAC Task Force. The defendants typically initiated contact based on profiles posted on social media platforms by the undercover detectives and agents. The social platforms that were used in these encounters included Kik, Skout, Whisper, Grindr, GROWLr, and MeetMe.  Once chatting began, the undercover officers clearly identified themselves as underage girls or boys.  Despite that information, the defendants allegedly engaged the purported “children” in conversations about sex, and all 21 defendants are alleged to have made arrangements to meet the “children” for sex.  Some of the chats were conducted over a period of several weeks leading up to the “meet-up” week when arrests were made.

Prosecutor Onofri advised parents to familiarize themselves with the apps their children use, as well as signs that their children may be targets of online exploitation.  “Spending an increasing amount of time online, becoming secretive about their online conduct, switching screens or closing tabs or windows whenever a parent is close, using sexual language they would not be expected to know and becoming emotionally volatile, these are all red flags,” he said.

The undercover house was staffed with dozens of law enforcement officers, analysts and attorneys.  Attorneys and detectives drafted search warrants for electronic devices that were seized from the defendants.  These devices were taken to the forensic computer laboratory at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for full forensic examinations.  These examinations, which are ongoing, will enable investigators to determine if the devices contain evidence of any prior encounters by the defendants with underage victims, which might constitute additional cases of luring, sexual assault or child endangerment.

The defendants were lodged in the Mercer County Correction Center until detention hearings were held.  Three defendants – Gregory Barger (who is a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania), Justin Wann, and James Hendryx – were ordered detained in jail pending trial.  The other defendants were released subject to stringent pre-trial monitoring conditions, including at a minimum reporting regularly to Pre-Trial Services staff and prohibitions from using the internet except for work or having any unsupervised contact with children under 18.

The following 21 men were arrested in Operation Risky Business and are charged as indicated.  They allegedly believed they were communicating with a minor as described in parentheses.  The prosecuting agency is also specified.


  1. Laurentiu Tonea, 41, East Windsor, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Tonea is an information technology worker in Edison, NJ.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted criminal sexual contact, attempted luring.  The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) is prosecuting.

  2. Richard Parsons, 42, Cumming, GA.  (Girl, 14)  Parsons is an injury lawyer.  Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted criminal sexual contact.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  3. Michael Kramer, 52, Philadelphia, PA.  (Girl, 15)  Kramer is a dump truck driver. Charges: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted sexual assault, attempted possession of child pornography, attempted manufacturing of child pornography.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  4. Robert Franklin, Gloucester City, NJ.  (Girl, 13)  Charge: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child. MCPO is prosecuting.

  5. Jesus Clavel Villa, 49, Trenton, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Villa is a cook in Trenton.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child.  The Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) is prosecuting.

  6. Moises Cortes Diaz, 35, New Brunswick, NJ.  (Girl, 13)  Diaz is a self-employed painter.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography.  DCJ is prosecuting.

  7. Joseph Roman, 31, Denville, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Roman is unemployed and a registered sex offender.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  8. Emanuel Rodriguez, 25, Trenton, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography. MCPO is prosecuting.

  9. Gregory Barger, 37, Morrisville, PA.  (Girl, 14)  Barger is a self-employed painter and a registered sex offender in Pennsylvania.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted kidnapping.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  10. Justin Wann, 35, Paulsboro, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Wann is a self-employed painter.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted kidnapping, attempted criminal sexual contact, attempted endangering the welfare of a child.  MCPO is prosecuting. (Also see # 16 for second case)

  11. Frank Duggan, 54, Bordentown, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Duggan is unemployed.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography.  DCJ is prosecuting.

  12. Nestor Alonso Chappuis, 37, Hamilton, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Chappuis is unemployed and a registered sex offender.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  13. Evan Sluka, 27, Blakeslee, PA.  (Girl, 14)  Sluka is a chef in Stroudsburg, PA.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted criminal sexual contact.  DCJ is prosecuting.


  14. James Hendryx, 26, Hamilton, NJ.  (Boy, 14)  Hendryx is unemployed.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  15. Kyle Zang, 31, Stewartstown, PA.  (Girl, 14)  Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  16. Justin Wann, 35, Paulsboro.  (Girl, 14)  Wann is a self-employed painter.  Charges: Four counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child.  MCPO is prosecuting.  This second case is based on an additional chat with another undercover officer.

  17. Christopher Baez, 36, New York, NY.  (Girl, 14)  Baez is a restaurant worker.  Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  18. Joseph Zekas, 49, Williamstown, NJ.  (Girl, 13)  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted criminal sexual contact, attempted endangering the welfare of a child.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  19. Taylor Picillo, 29, Hamilton, NJ.  (Boy, 14).  Picillo is employed by a solar energy equipment supplier in Rocklin, CA.  Charges: Attempted sexual assault, attempted luring, attempted endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  20. William Oldham, 45, Williamstown, NJ.  (Girl, 14)  Oldham is a fence installer. Charges: Two counts of attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted manufacturing of child pornography.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  21. Charles Amer, 50, Maple Shade, NJ.  (Girl, 13)  Amer is a warehouse laborer and a registered sex offender.  Charges: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child, attempted luring.  MCPO is prosecuting.

  22. Yohann Rigogne, 41, Philadelphia, PA.  (Girl, 14)  Rigogne is unemployed.  Charge: Attempted endangering the welfare of a child.  MCPO is prosecuting.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.  Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Prosecutor Onofri commended all of the individuals and agencies who conducted Operation Risky Business.  He thanked the members of the ICAC Unit who led and coordinated the operation for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, particularly Sergeants Joe Paglione and Michael Castaldo, under the direction of Chief of Detectives Jessica Plumeri.  He also thanked Assistant Prosecutor Alycia Beyrouty, chief of ICAC, and Chief Jillian Carpenter of the state Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau.

He further commended all of the members of the New Jersey State Police who worked on Operation Risky Business, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, particularly Lieutenant Stephen Urbanski and Detective Sergeant Paul Sciortino, and all of the special agents of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, particularly Supervisory Special Agent John Fitch.

Prosecutor Onofri also thanked the following federal, state and county agencies that assisted in Operation Risky Business:

  • New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau
  • New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Mercer County Central Motor Pool

The charges against the defendants in Operation Risky Business are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Because they are indictable offenses, they will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.



Scenes from Trenton Navy Week 2022

May 9, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Sailors of the U.S. Navy visited the Greater Trenton Area as part of Trenton Navy Week. The Navy sent 100 sailors into the area last week, to met with students to talk about the importance of STEM education, volunteering at local non-profits, and holding community events. Trenton was chosen as one of 14 cities to host Navy Week across the country this year and that took place May 2-8, 2022. This was the first time a Navy Week has been held in the state of New Jersey in the history of the program. A planned Trenton Navy Week in 2020 which had to be scrapped due to COVID.



Fire Controlman (Aegis) 2nd Class Jacob Gagliardi from Trenton, NJ attached to USS Gettysburg (CG-64) greets the crowd at TD Bank Ballpark, home field of the Somerset Patriots, as part of Navy Week Trenton.


Trenton Central High School:


Steinert High School:


Salvation Army:


Crockett Middle School:


Trenton Thunder:



TRENTON, N.J. — (MAY 5, 2022) U.S. Navy Religious Programs Specialist Michael Declaro from San Leandro, Calif. sends a shout out to his ship, USS Princeton, (CG-59) for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Roger S. Duncan

Boys and Girls Club:


Community Middle School Plainsboro:




Two Firefighters Injured Battling 2-Alarm Fire in Perth Amboy

May 7, 2022

PERTH AMBOY (Middlesex County) – Two firefighters were injured battling a stubborn two-alarm blaze that destroyed one home and damaged another on Saturday (May 7).

The following details were released by the Perth Amboy Fire Department on their Facebook page:

On 5/07/22 at 1255 hours, the PAFD was dispatched to 189 William Street for a reported fire. Upon arrival, heavy smoke was found coming from all floors of the 2.5 story residential two-family dwelling and a second alarm was transmitted. Crews found heavy fire in the basement which had extended up to the attic via the balloon frame bays. Multiple hoselines were stretched to attack the fire while searches were completed and all occupants were accounted for. Due to the heavy fire conditions, all crews were withdrawn and operations went defensive. Truck 2’s platform operated on the fire building as the B Exposure was protected. Once the fire was knocked down, crews re-entered to overhaul and put out all remaining hot spots. There were no civilian injuries and there were two non-life threatening firefighter injuries. Both were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Six occupants were displaced by the fire, which is under investigation by the PAFD Fire Investigation Unit. The fire building was a total loss and there was minor damage to 187 William St. City units on scene were E-1, E-2, E-3, T-2, T-3, R-1, C-1, C-2, C-4, C-5, C-9 & C-11. Mutual aid units that assisted on scene were Hopelawn R-8, Sayreville E-3 and Woodbridge Truck 1-2-6. Keasbey Truck 4-2-4 and South Amboy E-9 covered the city during the incident.



Million Dollar Replay Grand Prize Winner from Lawrenceville, NJ, Hamilton Man Wins 100K

$1,000,000  Ronald Demura Lawrenceville 

$100,000 Christopher Croux Hamilton 

April 29, 2022

New Jersey Lottery’s Million Dollar Replay Grand Prize Drawing was held today at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, where more than $1,500,000 in prizes were awarded to our lucky players. Today’s top prize winner was Ronald Demura of Lawrenceville in Mercer County. The winner stood up in shock as his name was called out as New Jersey Lottery’s newest millionaire. Fourteen other Lottery players also received prizes ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 as part of the Grand Prize Drawing.

Throughout 2021, New Jersey Lottery players from all over the state submitted their non-winning instant tickets online for a second chance to win big prizes. Each quarter, 100 names were selected and awarded a $250 prize, as well as entry into today’s Grand Prize Drawing. An additional 19 raffle prizes were awarded to Million Dollar Replay finalists in attendance at the event today: seven $1,000 drawings, seven $300 Scratch-Offs drawings, and five gift basket drawings (containing $200 in Scratch-Offs plus Lottery swag). In addition to these drawings, there were 16 prizes drawn for the livestream sweepstakes open to the public, including one gift basket and 15 $200 Scratch-Off prizes. Guests also enjoyed the photo booth and prize wheels that provided many other opportunities to win.

New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey, who assisted in the drawing, said, “I am thrilled to hold our 11th annual Million Dollar Replay.  After last year’s event was virtual due to the pandemic, we are excited to be back in-person.  Being able to add the excitement of minting a new millionaire makes it even better.”

Master of Ceremonies Steve Trevelise of NJ101.5 entertained the audience with jokes and witty banter throughout the event by interacting with the guests and prizewinners. Host Lauren Berman, conducted the drawing for the semi-finalists with the help of Lottery staff. The entire drawing process was completed under the observation of Mercadien, P.C. Certified Public Accountants.

The excitement of winning was already in the air when after Host Lauren Berman directed attention to the Big Spin wheel located next to the stage. The Big Spin game is New Jersey Lottery’s revolutionary new Scratch-Off that  allows  players  the  opportunity  to  extend  their  play  beyond  the  paper  ticket  to online for a chance to spin a large mechanical wheel to win up to $300,000. Two players won an opportunity to spin the wheel. Both contestants won $50,000 each. For information on The Big Spin Scratch-Off ticket and jackpot, visit our website at: https://www.njlottery.com/en-us/scratch-offs/01728.html

Grand Prize Winner Story:

Ronald Demura is a regular Lottery player, who plays consistently at the same two retailers near his home. He came to the Million Dollar Replay hoping to win something and was in shock when his name was called to win the million dollar prize. His wife and the rest of the room cheered as he began walking toward the winners’ table. Saying that he was ecstatic is an understatement. Ronald has been retired for a few years, enjoying life with his family. Now he will get to pay off his house and, hopefully, his wife can join him in retirement.


PrizeNameCity/State
$1,000,000 Ronald DemuraLawrenceville 
$100,000 Christopher CrouxHamilton 
$100,000 Thach HieuCamden 
$50,000 Rick Bunnell Rockaway
$50,000 Kevin LindholmWoodbridge 
$50,000 Richard San AndresFreehold 
$25,000 Daniel DesantoIselin 
$25,000 Mike SeminaraLedgewood 
$25,000 Patrick SweeneyRahway 
$25,000 James WelshmanBayville 
$10,000Andrea Giedosh Pitman 
$10,000 Dwayne AngleroCream Ridge 
$10,000 Kenneth OliverRoselle 
$10,000 Michelle SperberBeachwood 
$10,000Linda Handel Clifton 


Man Crushed to Death in South Brunswick

April 23, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police say that a 37-year-old worker at Empire Marble and Granite was struck and killed by a slab of granite that fell on him Thursday afternoon April 21, 2022 at 3:28 p.m. South Brunswick Police, South Brunswick EMS, and Monmouth Junction Fire Department responded to 5 Chris Ct. First arriving Officers found the man’s coworkers had removed much of the slab off of him. The man died at the scene. Investigators determined workers were moving the slab when it fell backwards onto the man. The victim was from Marlton. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident.


Three Men Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault at Marlboro Residence

April 11, 2022

FREEHOLDThree men have been arrested and criminally charged in connection with a sexual assault that took place earlier this month at a residence in Marlboro Township, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Monday.

Andrew J. Gallucci, of Marlboro, Richard S. Gathy, of Manalapan, and Ronald W. Hondo, of Monroe Township (Middlesex County), each 24 years of age, are all charged with first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, second-degree Sexual Assault, and third-degree Criminal Restraint.   

An investigation by members of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Bureau and the Marlboro Township Police Department revealed that on the night of Saturday, April 2, the three defendants gathered at a Marlboro Township bar, where they met the victim, an adult female, for the first time. Later on in the evening, the investigation revealed, the defendants brought the victim back to Gallucci’s residence, where they allegedly restrained her against her will in a bedroom and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.    

All three men were taken into custody on Friday, April 8 and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) in Freehold Township pending detention hearings to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

“This was a disturbingly coordinated and predatory attack,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We commend the courage of the victim in coming forward to report what happened to her, and we look forward to bringing those responsible to justice.”

Investigators are actively seeking additional information about the activities of these three defendants, and photos of each are being distributed along with this press release. Anyone with any information is urged to please contact Detective Kayla Santiago of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau at 732-431-7160, Ext. 3588, or Marlboro Township Police Department Detective Ed Ungrady at 732-536-0100.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can submit a tip to the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tipline at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182), by calling 800-671-4400, or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.

This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Cummings of the Office’s Special Victims Bureau. Gallucci is being represented by Yan Katsnelson, Esq., while Gathy and Hondo are being represented by Mario Gallucci, Esq., both attorneys with offices on Staten Island.

If convicted, these defendants would face up to 20 years imprisonment on the Aggravated Sexual Assault charges, up to 10 years on the Sexual Assault charges, and up to 5 years on the Criminal Restraint charges. In addition, the defendants would be subject to Parole Supervision for Life and required to register under Megan’s Law. 

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.



Andrew J. Gallucci, of Marlboro, Richard S. Gathy, of Manalapan, and Ronald W. Hondo, of Monroe Township (Middlesex County), each 24 years of age, are all charged with first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, second-degree Sexual Assault, and third-degree Criminal Restraint.   


Commuter Van and Uber Driver Crash Injures 6, 1 Critically in South Brunswick

April 5, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 10:43 p.m., a crash on Route 130 at Route 522 involving a commuter van and a Honda CRV left several people injured, one critically. The commuter van, a 2022 Chevy Express was transporting workers from nearby LaserShip warehouse to their homes when the crash took place. The van was crossing from Fresh Ponds Road onto Route 522 when it was struck by the Honda being used as an Uber. The Honda was headed south on Route 130 and failed to stop for a red signal. The Honda struck the side of the commuter van and the impact ejected one of the van’s passengers.

The people injured in the commuter van included a 26-year-old male, 42-year-old male, 30-year-old female and 32-year-old male all from Trenton. The two passengers in the Uber, a 49-year-old female and 57-year-old male from Robbinsville were also injured. Multiple EMS units responded to the crash including two ambulances from Kendall Park First Aid, Monroe, Cranbury, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital paramedics and ambulance, and North Brunswick First Aid Squad. The injured were transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Princeton Medical Center.

Portions of the highway were closed for three hours as traffic officers investigated. New Jersey State Department of Transportation set up detours around the crash and assisted with the extensive roadway cleanup.

No charges have been filed as South Brunswick Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau continues to investigate. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call police at (732) 329-4646.


AG’s Office Releases Video Footage Related to Fatal Police-Involved Shooting in Plainsboro on February 16, 2022

March 24, 2022

PLAINSBORO, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The Attorney General’s Office today released video footage from four body-worn cameras, two mobile video recorders (MVRs) in law enforcement vehicles, and two Taser cameras related to a fatal police-involved shooting that occurred on Feb. 16, 2022, in Plainsboro, N.J. The decedent has been identified as Atiba Lewis, 45, of Plainsboro. The officer who fired at Mr. Lewis has been identified as Officer Phillip Nguyen of the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office.

The fatal shooting remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The recordings are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Investigators met today with Mr. Lewis’ family to review the recordings.

According to the preliminary investigation, the shooting occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 16. A civil order for possession (eviction/ejection) had been authorized to remove Mr. Lewis from an apartment on Ravens Crest Drive in Plainsboro. The Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office executed the order with assistance from other law enforcement agencies on the morning of Feb. 16.  Later that same morning, law enforcement officers sought and executed a search warrant for an unlawful firearm at Mr. Lewis’ residence.

Law enforcement executed the order and search warrant while Mr. Lewis was out of the apartment.

At approximately 11:30 a.m., after Mr. Lewis had arrived back at the apartment complex, law enforcement officers attempted to arrest him for unlawful possession of the firearm.

When the officers approached Mr. Lewis, he pulled out a knife and ran away from them. He continued to threaten the officers with the knife. Four officers deployed Tasers in an attempt to disarm Mr. Lewis, but the Tasers were ineffective. Mr. Lewis was agitated and lunged at officers several times. At approximately 11:35 a.m., with a knife in his hand, Mr. Lewis advanced directly toward Officer Nguyen, who then fired his weapon, fatally wounding Mr. Lewis.

Officers and emergency medical personnel rendered first aid to Mr. Lewis, who was transported to Princeton Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at 12:10 p.m.

The recordings are posted online: Click here for recordings.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed.

A copy of the Directive is available at this link:

https://www.nj.gov/oag/excellence/docs/2019-4_Independent_Prosecutor_Directive.pdf

and a summary of that 10-step process is available at this link:



Firefighters Combat Stubborn Brush Fire in East Windsor and Monroe Townships

March 21, 2022

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)-MONROE TOWNSHIP (MIDDLESEX)–Firefighters were dispatched to a brush fire behind the 700 block of Twin Rivers Drive North around 4:48 p.m. near the East Windsor and Monroe Township border. East Windsor Fire Company called for Monroe Township Fire Departments and the New Jersey Forrest Fire Service for additional manpower. Additional apparatus from other departments were also dispatched to the scene including East Windsor 42 and Hightstown 41. It appears that the fire extended from Twin Rivers Drive in an easterly direction across 500 feet of woodland behind Krackerjacks Farm Market. A truck refil site was established on Twin Rivers Drive North. Firefighters remained on scene for an extended time mopping up deep seated hot spots. No further information is available at this time.