Category: Monroe Twp

UPDATE: Medical emergency results in four car crash in Hamilton Marketplace

February 13, 2021


See previous MidJersey.News article here: Serious accident in Hamilton Marketplace sends two to the hospital


By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– At about 2:59 pm, Hamilton police received a call for a motor vehicle crash with entrapment in front of the Party City in Hamilton Marketplace.

Hamilton Police say the driver of a 2005 Nissan Altima, Ernest Seubert, 91, of Monroe Township, suffered a serious medical episode, which resulted in a four car collision at the Hamilton Marketplace in front of the Party City store.

Seubert, along with his passenger, were transported by EMS to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton for their injuries. No other injuries were reported at the scene by the occupants of the other vehicles.

The crash investigation is ongoing and any witnesses are asked to contact Officer Christopher Clugsten of the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at (609)581-4000 or the Hamilton Police Crime
Tip Hotline at (609)581-4008.



New Brunswick Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide In Monroe

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Michael J. Biennas of the Monroe Township Police Department announced that a New Brunswick man has been arrested and charged with the killing of another man who he fatally struck with a vehicle yesterday afternoon.

Leovigildo Comisario-Salazar, 32, of New Brunswick was arrested and charged with Vehicular Homicide and Driving While Intoxicated following an investigation by Officer Daniel Mosakowski of the Monroe Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.  The investigation determined that, at approximately 4:08 P.M., Comisario-Salazar was operating a commercial truck at 433 Schoolhouse Road when he struck and killed his coworker Pedro Lopez Lopez, 33, of New Brunswick.  Comisario-Salazar was charged with being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. 

The investigation is active and continuing.  Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Mosakowski of the Monroe Police Department at (732) 521-0222 ext. 184 or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

Monroe Township Mourns Passing Of Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro

December 31, 2020

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of the honorable Mayor, Gerald W. Tamburro.  Mayor Tamburro passed away surrounded by his family.    

Always service-oriented and loyal to his community, Tamburro was elected as second-ward councilman in November 2001. He went on to serve as Township Council President for eight years before being elected Mayor in 2015.  He was a tireless and passionate advocate for Monroe Township residents and served the township with love and pride.    

A National Guard veteran, Mayor Tamburro valued and honored all veterans and made it a point to personally meet each Monroe veteran when possible.     

In both his public and private life, he was an extraordinary family-man, mentor and leader. Monroe Township administration and all staff members express their deepest condolences to the Tamburro family.  

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Demarco Funeral Home please visit https://demarcofuneralhome.com/tribute/details/4490/Gerald-Tamburro/obituary.html#tribute-start for information on COVID-safe drive through visitation.  Township flags will be flown at half-staff for seven days to honor Mayor Tamburro and his decades of service. 

Rest in peace, Mayor.  You will be missed.

State Law provides that the current Council President, Miriam Cohen, assumes the role of Acting Mayor during the process of filling the vacancy in the office of the Mayor.  Over the course of the next 30 days the Township Council will complete the process of appointing an interim Mayor to serve until a special election to be held in November of 2021.


Statement by Governor Murphy on the Passing of Monroe Mayor Gerald Tamburro

“Mayor Gerald Tamburro was an example of the right person going into public service for the right reasons. Instead of spending his retirement from the private sector in quiet pursuits, Jerry dedicated his last two decades to the people of Monroe, his adopted hometown, which responded by electing him to township council and twice as their mayor.

Jerry’s legacy of service will be his tireless work to protect Monroe’s taxpayers and their quality of life, and the pride he took in never having let a developer pull a fast one against the township.

More than anything, however, Jerry was a friend to many and a loving family man. He lost his wife of 60 years, Carole, last year and I take some solace in knowing he and Carole are now reunited. He was a good and unwavering personal friend, even in those early days when he didn’t have to be, and his support was always truly meaningful. Tammy and I send our most heartfelt condolences to his and Carole’s six children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”


Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro

Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro was elected in November 2015 and sworn-in as the Township’s new Mayor on January 1, 2016 for a term of four years. Tamburro resides in Greenbriar at Whittingham with his wife Carole with whom he shares six children and nine grandchildren.

A retired banker, he served as vice president of commercial lending for the National State Bank of Elizabeth and as president of a community bank in New Jersey. Tamburro earned his bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

Prior to taking on the duties of Mayor, Tamburro had been elected in November 2001 as the second ward Council representative, serving as council president for eight years.  He is currently a member of the Monroe Township Planning Board and previously served as chairman of the Affordable Housing Board, chairman of the Master Plan Review Committee, Council representative to the Americans with Disabilities Act Committee, vice chairman of the Middlesex County Planning Board and a member New Jersey Training School Citizens Review Committee.

Christmas Parade, Hospital Appreciation At UPenn Princeton Medical Center

December 18, 2020

Team coverage by: Dennis Symons, Tyler Eckel, and Brian McCarthy

PLAINSBORO, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Firefighters, EMS, and police with over 50 pieces of apparatus took part in a hospital worker appreciation event tonight at UPenn Princeton Medical Center. Hosted by Plainsboro Fire Department and Police, many agencies came through to show their support for hospital workers.

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and even the Grinch showed up to show their support riding in the fire department’s ladder towers and were able to see hospital employees though the windows of the hospital.

This is a partial list of those participated:

Plainsboro Fire, Plainsboro EMS, Plainsboro Police Department, West Windsor Police Department, Princeton University Pubic Safety, Kingston Fire Company, Monmouth Junction Fire Comapny, Kendal Park Fire Comapny, Hightstown Fire Department, Little Rocky Hill Fire Company, Griggstown Fire Company, Middlesex County Hazmat, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab Fire Department, South River Fire Department, Monroe Fire Company – 51, Lawrenceville Fire Company -23, North Brunswick Fire Company #1, North Brunswick Fire Comnpany #2, North Brunswick Fire Company #3, New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, NJSP Aviation Unit, East Windsor Rescue Squad, Princeton Rescue Squad, Mercer County Fire Coordinator, Hopewell Fire Department – 52





Above photos by: Tyler Eckel




Murphy USA To Acquire QuickChek Corporation for $645 Million

December 14, 2020

EL DORADO, Ark. and WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Murphy USA announced an agreement to acquire QuickChek Corporation (“QuickChek”) in an all-cash transaction for $645 million. The purchase price includes expected tax benefits valued at $20 million for a net after-tax purchase price of $625 million. The transaction will be financed with a combination of cash on hand, existing credit facilities and new debt, and Murphy USA has obtained committed financing from the Royal Bank of Canada.

QuickChek represents a truly distinctive business in a class shared by only a few comparable industry peers. Founded in 1967 as an extension of Durling Farms, a door-to-door milk and fresh dairy products delivery service that originally opened in 1888, it is a family-owned chain of 157 stores located in central and northern New Jersey and the New York metro area. It operates a best-in-class food and beverage (“F&B”) model with a strong regional brand and engaged customer following, offering quick-serve restaurant style food alongside convenience items; a high-volume fuel offer is included at 89 of its newest stores. Its industry leading economics are evidenced by robust per-store per-year merchandise sales of $3.5 million, combined merchandise margins of 38% with F&B representing over 50% of the mix, and per-store per-year fuel gallons of 3.8 million. Additionally, QuickChek has a proven history of same-store-sales growth and a rich real estate pipeline to sustain unit growth within its existing footprint.

The acquisition is consistent with Murphy USA’s updated capital allocation strategy as announced in October. It represents a continued commitment to deliver exceptional and sustained value to long-term shareholders and will complement other ongoing value creation mechanisms, including ongoing productivity improvement initiatives, organic growth, share repurchase and a dividend.

“In October we outlined an updated capital allocation strategy and committed to improving our food and beverage offer at existing and future sites,” said Murphy USA President and CEO Andrew Clyde. “This transaction greatly accelerates those efforts and benefits, and is expected to provide reverse synergies across our network, while enhancing future returns on new stores. The transaction is also expected to create direct synergies that leverage our enterprise scale and our distinctive capabilities in fuel, tobacco and loyalty. We are excited to join forces with an exceptional and highly engaged team at QuickChek who share Murphy USA’s passion for delivering excellence every day to all our stakeholders.”

“QuickChek and Murphy USA both reflect a family heritage and a strong people culture,” said QuickChek CEO and Chairman Dean Durling. “I am thrilled by Murphy USA’s commitment to honor our legacy and preserve our brand while learning from our business model. I am proud of what we have accomplished in making QuickChek what it is today and I am excited about the opportunities for continued growth and success in the next chapter in QuickChek’s journey. I know QuickChek’s dedicated employees and valued customers remain in good hands.”

The above considerations result in highly attractive deal economics. The net investment of $625 million represents a multiple of 13.2 times QuickChek’s estimated LTM October 2020 Adjusted EBITDA of $47 million. Annual run rate synergies of $28 million are expected to be achieved by the third year. When taking into account expected run-rate synergies and tax benefits, the acquisition reflects a multiple of 8.3 times estimated LTM Adjusted EBITDA. The acquisition is projected to be accretive to earnings in 2022, the first full year of combined operations.

The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as legal advisor to Murphy USA. BofA Securities, Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acted as legal advisor to QuickChek.

Webcast Information
Murphy USA will host a conference call to discuss the transaction at 8:00 a.m. CT on Monday, December 14, 2020. Interested parties may participate by dialing 1-833-968-2218 and referencing conference ID number 8192285. The call can also be accessed via webcast through the Investor Relations section of Murphy USA’s website at http://ir.corporate.murphyusa.com. The webcast will be available for replay one hour after the conference concludes and a transcript will be made available shortly thereafter.

About Murphy USA
Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) is a leading retailer of gasoline and convenience merchandise with nearly 1,500 sites located primarily in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest United States. The company and its team of nearly 10,000 employees serve an estimated 1.7 million customers each day through its network of retail gasoline stations in 25 states. The majority of Murphy USA’s sites are located in close proximity to Walmart stores. The company also markets gasoline and other products at standalone stores under the Murphy Express brand. Murphy USA ranks 262 among Fortune 500 companies.

About QuickChek
Continuing to redefine “fresh convenience,” QuickChek is a market leader in food service providing local one-stop shopping where consumers can enjoy delicious made-to-order subs and sandwiches, guaranteed fresh brewed coffee, healthy snacks and salads, hot breakfast and more. Looking to make a difference in people’s everyday lives, QuickChek enables consumers to choose their convenience: you can place a mobile order through the QuickChek Rewards app where you’ll earn rewards for future savings; have your order ready through Curbside Pickup; utilize in-store self-checkout counters to get you on your way safe and fast; or have your order delivered through DoorDash and Grub Hub. Based in Whitehouse Station, NJ, the family-owned company operates 157 fresh convenience market stores including 89 locations with fuel throughout New Jersey, New York’s Hudson Valley and Long Island.

Certain statements in this news release contain or may suggest “forward-looking” information (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) that involve risk and uncertainties, including, but not limited to anticipated store openings, fuel margins, merchandise margins, sales of RINs and trends in our operations. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual future results may differ materially from historical results or current expectations depending upon factors including, but not limited to: our ability to consummate our acquisition of QuickChek on the stated terms or at all; our ability to realize projected synergies from the acquisition of QuickChek and successfully expand our food and beverage offerings; our ability to finance the acquisition of QuickChek on acceptable terms; our ability to continue to maintain a good business relationship with Walmart; successful execution of our growth strategy, including our ability to realize the anticipated benefits from such growth initiatives, and the timely completion of construction associated with our newly planned stores which may be impacted by the financial health of third parties; our ability to effectively manage our inventory, disruptions in our supply chain and our ability to control costs; the impact of severe weather events, such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes; the impact of a global health pandemic, such as COVID-19 including the impact on our fuel volumes if the gradual recoveries experienced in Q2 2020 stall or reverse as a result of any resurgence in COVID-19 infection rates and government reaction in response thereof; the impact of any systems failures, cybersecurity and/or security breaches, including any security breach that results in theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or company information or our compliance with information security and privacy laws and regulations in the event of such an incident; successful execution of our information technology strategy; future tobacco or e-cigarette legislation and any other efforts that make purchasing tobacco products more costly or difficult could hurt our revenues and impact gross margins; changes to the company’s capital allocation, including the timing, declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends or levels of the company’s share repurchases, or management of operating cash; the market price of the Company’s stock prevailing from time to time, the nature of other investment opportunities presented to the Company from time to time, the Company’s cash flows from operations, and general economic conditions; compliance with debt covenants; availability and cost of credit; and changes in interest rates. Our SEC reports, including our most recent annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q, contain other information on these and other factors that could affect our financial results and cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking information we may provide. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events, new information or future circumstances.

Supplemental Disclosure Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Information

The reconciliation of estimated LTM October 2020 Adjusted EBITDA to estimated GAAP net income for QuickChek is as follows:

(Millions of dollars)LTM Oct 2020
Estimated net income$8
  
Income tax expense$3
Interest expense$5
Depreciation and amortization$29
Other$2
  
Estimated Adjusted EBITDA$47

Consistent with Murphy USA’s historical presentation of non-GAAP metrics, Adjusted EBITDA for QuickChek is provided as it is a key metric used in the Company’s operational and financial decision-making. The Company believes that some investors may find it a useful indicator of ongoing operating performance and ability to generate cash flows from operations. Non-GAAP measures are not a substitute for GAAP disclosures and Adjusted EBITDA may be prepared differently by us than by other companies using similarly titled non-GAAP metrics. The above amounts are estimated based on preliminary data for QuickChek’s fiscal year ended October 30, 2020 and are subject to change based on the finalization of the financial statements for such fiscal year.


Monroe Twp. Police Officer Rescues Driver Out Of An Overturned Burning Vehicle

November 28, 2020

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On Thanksgiving night at approximately 8:38pm Monroe Twp. Police Officers, Monroe Twp. First Aid Squad, and Monroe Twp. Fire Department were dispatched to Pergola Ave. near the intersection with Namsan Dr. for a report of an overturned vehicle in the middle of the roadway, fully engulfed in flames, and the driver was trapped inside the vehicle.

Officer Douglas Perrone arrived on scene minutes later and attempted to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher. Officer Perrone then put his own life at risk and climbed inside of the burning vehicle and was able to pull the driver from the vehicle. At this time Monroe Twp. Volunteer Fire Company #1 Deputy Chief Lonnie Pipero arrived on scene and assisted Officer Perrone with the rescue. The 30-year-old male driver was then transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital by Monroe Twp. First Aid Squad in serious condition due to internal injuries. Officer Perrone was also taken to the hospital due to smoke inhalation. Officer Perrone was treated and released. Monroe Twp. Volunteer Fire Company #1 was able to quickly extinguish the fire.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Vehicle 1 (2013 Ford Fusion) operated by the 30-year-old male driver was traveling Eastbound on Pergola Ave. approaching the intersection with Namsan Dr. Vehicle 2 (2018 Kia Optima) operated by a 74-year-old male driver was traveling Westbound on Pergola Ave. just West of the intersection with Namsan Dr. For an unknown reason vehicle 1 crossed over the double yellow center line and left the roadway to the left. Vehicle 1 then struck a tree, overturned, and came to the position of final rest on its roof with the vehicle on fire in the center of Pergola Ave. Driver of vehicle 2 was unable to avoid vehicle 1 and struck it while it was on its roof in the middle of the roadway. Driver #2 was uninjured.

This accident is being investigated by Sergeant Anthony Trohalides and Officer Daniel Mosakowski of the Monroe Twp. Traffic Safety Division. Anyone who might have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Monroe Township Police Traffic Safety Division at 732-521-0222 Ext. 126.

UPDATE: Stolen Vehicle Pursuit On NJ Turnpike Between Exits 10 and 8A, Leads Host Of Charges Including: DUI, Aggravated Assault, Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia And More

November 25, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Sgt. Philip Curry of the New Jersey State Police Public Information Bureau told MidJersey.News that yesterday at approximately 9:51 p.m., NJ State Troopers attempted to stop a Chevrolet Tahoe, later discovered to be stolen from New York, for a traffic violation on the New Jersey Turnpike inside of Interchange 10, Edison Twp., Middlesex County. 

The driver refused to stop and fled onto the Turnpike southbound inner roadway at a high rate of speed.  The vehicle continued south before exiting the Turnpike at Interchange 8A and proceeded to intentionally strike a NJ State Police vehicle before becoming disabled on Cranbury South River Road in South Brunswick, N.J. 

Troopers removed the two occupants from the vehicle and placed them under arrest.  There were no serious injuries reported. 

The driver, Ryan Williams, 25, of Bronx, N.Y., was charged with receiving stolen property, eluding, possession of marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a distributable amount of drug paraphernalia, money laundering, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, aggravated assault, and driving under the influence.  The passenger, Twinkle Murray, 29, of Bronx, N.Y., was charged with receiving stolen property.  Williams was lodged in the Middlesex County Jail pending a detention hearing, and Murray was released pending a court appearance, according to NJ State Police.

Last night’s MidJersey.News story here: Developing: Pursuit Off NJ Turnpike Ends Off Exit 8A

Developing: Pursuit Off NJ Turnpike Ends Off Exit 8A

Updated MidJersey.News story here: UPDATE: Stolen Vehicle Pursuit On NJ Turnpike Between Exits 10 and 8A, Leads Host Of Charges Including: DUI, Aggravated Assault, Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia And More

November 24, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A pursuit for an unknown reason started on the New Jersey Turnpike south bound prior to the 80 mile marker. The vehicle being pursued exited Exit 8A in Monroe Township, the pursuit ended in the driveway of 1100 Cranbury-South River Road in South Brunswick Township about a 1/2 Mile from Exit 8A. Sources say that two suspects were in custody. No further information is available tonight, this is a developing story so check back for further information once it is released. (according to mapping software 1100 Cranbury-South River Road is South Brunswick Township 300 feet from the Monroe Twp. border but street address is listed as Monroe Twp.)


Salute To The Great Cities Of The American Revolution As Seen In Transit Though Mercer County

July 4, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, EAST WINDSOR, HAMILTON, NJ (MERCER)–If you were lucky enough to be outside this afternoon around 5:15 you would have seen a military fly over called “Salute To The Great Cities Of The American Revolution” en route from New York City to Philadelphia.

Trenton, NJ the home of the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area where just north of there General George Washington crossed the Delaware on December 25, 1776 was not on the official list of the “Great Cities”

Still the region from the Monmouth Battlefield, extending though Cranbury, Hightstown, Robbinsville, Hamilton and turning at Trenton towards Philadelphia was still able to see the fly over even though it was not officially on the program.

Spectators were able to see a variety of aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps including: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, followed by B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15 and F-22 fighters and U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighters in transit from New York City to Philadelphia.


Secretary Esper approved a Department of the Interior request for DOD support to the 2020 Salute to America. DOD will provide aerial, musical and ceremonial support to this year’s celebration in Washington, D.C. This year’s support will also include a flyover of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, as well an aerial salute to several cities that played roles in the American Revolution.
 
The highlight of this year’s celebration will be our salute to the Great Cities of the American Revolution. The flyovers will begin in Boston and proceed to New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. From there they will join other Department of Defense and heritage aircraft in the Salute to America over our nation’s capital. In all, roughly 1,700 service members will support the celebrations.

The aircraft are scheduled to overfly each of the cities, beginning at approximately 4:00 pm, then fly on to the next city. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps jets will fly over in five waves. The flyovers will be led by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, followed by B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15 and F-22 fighters and U.S. Marine Corps F-35 fighters.  

BOSTON:  The aircraft are scheduled to overfly the center of the city at approximately 4:00 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground.  Multiple aircraft will overfly the U.S.S. Constitution and then proceed over Fenway Park before departing the city. 

NEW YORK:  The aircraft are scheduled to fly down the Hudson River at approximately 5:00 pm and pass just east of the Statue of Liberty.  

PHILADELPHIA:  The aircraft are scheduled to overfly the center of the city at approximately 5:15 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground.  Multiple aircraft will fly over Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and then proceed southwest out of the city.

BALTIMORE: The aircraft are scheduled to overfly Fort McHenry at approximately 5:30 pm approaching from the northeast at 1,000 feet above the ground.  Multiple aircraft will overfly Fort McHenry before turning south out of the city.

The flyovers provide an opportunity for DOD to demonstrate the capabilities and professionalism of the United States Armed Forces. Flying hours are a sunk cost for the Department of Defense, and these aircraft and crews would be using these hours for proficiency and training at other locations if they were not conducting these flyovers.
 
DOD is proud to help celebrate the nation’s 244th birthday. We are grateful for our nation’s support as we defend our country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Photos below by: Dennis Symons from East Windsor looking towards Hightstown and Robbinsville


Photos below by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News from the Scenic Overlook on I-295 in Hamilton Township

UPDATED: Fatal Accident Investigation In Monroe Township

July 1, 2020

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Monroe Township Police are investigating a fatal accident that occurred on Route 33 around 1:15 pm. The accident happened in the 900 Block of NJ Rt 33 which is east of Bently Road.

Police said, a 2019 Hyundai Tuscon driven by 72 year old, Marc A. Mandelkorn of Monroe Township was traveling West bound on Route 33 just East of the intersection of Bentley Road. The Hyundai Tuscon left the roadway for an unknown reason then struck a NJ State DOT tractor that was mowing the median. The vehicle then crossed over the Eastbound lane and came to rest in the shoulder of Route 33 East.

Upon arrival of first responders the driver was found unconscious and medical aid was rendered. The driver was transported to CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, NJ and was later pronounced deceased, police said.

The crash is being investigated by Sergeant Anthony Trohalides and Officer Daniel Mosakowski of the Monroe Township Police Traffic Safety Division. Anyone who might have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Traffic Safety Division at 732-521-0222 Ext: 126


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Monroe Township Woman Killed In South Brunswick Crash

June 22, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–At 10:47am on Friday, June 19th, Theresa Dowling, 81 y.o. from Monroe Township, was driving a 2017 Lexus westbound on Henderson Road when she failed to stop for a red light at Route 1. The Lexus entered the intersection and was struck by a 2013 Hyundai, driven by Maria Melendez, 61 y.o. from Somerset, which had been traveling northbound in the left lane of Route 1. The Lexus then continued across Route 1, striking a 2016 Chevrolet, driven by Michael Mitchell, 56 y.o. from Ridgefield Park, which had been traveling southbound in the left lane, before coming to rest in the intersection.
 
Ms. Dowling was transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries on June 21st. The two other drivers and two additional passengers suffered minor injuries.
 
Route 1 southbound was closed to traffic for approximately 4 hours while the investigation was conducted and debris removed. 
 
No criminal or motor vehicle charges are anticipated at this time, but the crash is still under investigation.
 
Anyone with information on this crash is asked to contact Ptl. Merkler at (732)329-4000 ext. 7412.

Howell Twp. Couple Charged With Animal Cruelty In Deaths Of 4 Stolen German Shepherd Puppies, Remains Found Burned and Buried

The investigation further revealed McDonald was in possession of a generator reported stolen out of South Brunswick, and a John Deere front end loader reported stolen out of Monroe.  

June 17, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A couple is facing charges of animal cruelty after four German Shepard puppies in their care died due to neglect, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Daniel McDonald, 25, and Tricia Jaccoma, 24, are charged with four counts of third degree animal cruelty with respect to the deaths of four German Shepherd puppies found deceased on a property in Howell where they were temporarily residing.

The remains of two deceased German Shepherd puppies were found in a fire pit on the property in Howell on Monday, May 18, 2020.  The Howell Township Police Department and Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division, conducted an investigation, which led to the discovery of the remains of two more deceased puppies which had been buried on the property. 

The joint investigation revealed the puppies were stolen from a farm in Somerset County on or about May 12, when the puppies were only approximately three weeks old.  Investigators learned McDonald and Jaccoma were staying at the Somerset County farm prior to the time the puppies went missing and were in possession of the puppies while residing in a camper on the property in Howell.  Investigators also learned the puppies were ill, in distress, and were struggling to breathe prior to their deaths, and that the pair did not get the puppies medical attention because of the costs associated with the care. The investigation further revealed McDonald disposed of the bodies of the deceased puppies by burying two of them and tossing the other two into the fire pit on or about May 16.  A necropsy performed on the two buried puppies revealed the puppies suffered from parasites and also were severely emaciated and malnourished with “no indications of recent nutritional ingestion.” 

In addition to the animal cruelty charges for failing to provide the puppies with the necessary care, both McDonald and Jaccoma were additionally charged with multiple counts of third degree Receiving Stolen Property, for being in possession of the stolen puppies in Monmouth County.  McDonald was further charged with four counts of Hindering Apprehension of oneself, disorderly persons offenses, for disposing of the deceased puppies bodies.

The investigation further revealed McDonald was in possession of a generator reported stolen out of South Brunswick, and a John Deere front end loader reported stolen out of Monroe.   McDonald was charged with additional counts of third degree and second degree Receiving Stolen Property, respectively, for being in possession of these stolen items.  

McDonald was ordered detained at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon on June 10, 2020. 

Jaccoma is currently a fugitive.  If you have any information about her whereabouts, please contact Humane Law Enforcement Officer Michael Magliozzo of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 732 995-0329, or Patrolwoman Heather Scherbinski of the Howell Township Police Department at 732-938-4111.

If convicted of the second-degree charge, McDonald faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison.

If convicted of any of the third degree charges, they each face a sentence of three to five years in in a New Jersey state prison on each count. 

This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit, and liaison to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Law Enforcement Division. 

McDonald is represented by Paul Zager, Esq. of Red Bank. McDonald is scheduled for a Pre-Indictment Conference on July 6, 2020.

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

BREAKING: Turnpike Horror, 10 Horses Died In Horse Trailer Fire, 1 Person Inhalation Burns, 1 Other Injured

Breaking News, some reports from official sources and some reports from on scene and radio traffic, reported as accurately as possible

Updated at 9:40 am. with what we know

Updated at 1:00 pm with some details from social media

June 7, 2020

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey State Police confirmed that 10 horses died in a horse transport truck accident with fire early this morning on the New Jersey Turnpike. The truck was a very large tractor trailer style horse transport.

One Facebook witness said they were passing the area at the time and saw flames 20 feet in the air coming from the wreckage.

The transport vehicle traveling north lost control and struck a concrete divider in the area of the bridge support for an emergency U-Turn on the highway then caught fire.

NJSP did not confirm that two persons were injured including one with inhalation burns to the lungs. The injured people were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick trauma center.

The accident and fire occurred around 3:00 am this morning on the New Jersey Turnpike “truck lanes” outer roadway near mile marker 68.6 north bound which is between Wycoff Mills Road and Brick Yard Road, approximately 1 mile north of Exit 8 Hightstown

Multiple fire departments and ambulance crews responded to the scene including units from Hightstown, East Windsor 1 & 2, Cranbury, Plainsboro and Monroe. Hightstown First Aid Squad transported 2 to RWJ, New Brunswick.

It was reported the horse transport was coming from Florida.

No further information is available at this time. NJSP would not give name of carrier or farm that horses belonged to.

One unconfirmed source stated that the horse trailer may have been en route from Ocala, Florida to Sarasota, NY carrying race horses for a race today and training at Saratoga Springs.


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Bicyclist In Fatal Accident in Monroe Identified As Army Reservist

May 5, 2020

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet and Chief Michael J. Biennas of the Monroe Police Department announced today that a 19-year-old bicyclist died in a fatal accident on May 2, 2020.

 The deceased bicyclist was identified as Christopher Pina, 19, of Spotswood. He was pronounced at the scene due to the injuries he sustained in the accident.

During the investigation it was determined that on May 2, 2020,  the victim left a residence at Avenue J in Monroe and proceeded to the Avenue K Park in Monroe.  Pina, who was on his bicycle latched onto the open passenger window of an acquaintance’s car. The victim lost control of his bicycle, fell to the ground, and hit the concrete which caused his fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 11:23 pm.

Anyone with information is asked to call Traffic Officer Daniel Mosakowski of the Monroe Police Department at (732) 521-0222 , or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3927.

No charges have been filed, but the investigation is active and is continuing.


Obituary

Christopher John Alexander Pina was a 20 year old man who tried every moment to live his life to the fullest. When he wasn’t competing in basketball or video games there was nothing that he enjoyed more than making his friends and family laugh. He would do anything for the people that he loved, and with his enormous heart he had the capacity to love a great many people. Last June he finished his basic training and joined the Army Reserves, so that he could love and protect his country the same way he did his friends and family.

Christopher will be kept alive by all the many people whose lives he was able to touch, even in so short a time. He is survived by a loving mother and father, Debbie and Fidel, and two sisters, Amanda and Ashley, who adored him. His memory will also live on with his grandmother, Christine Lavell, and aunt and uncle, Linda and Tim Hagerty, and their four sons, David, Daniel, Dylan, and Douglas on his mom’s side. On his father’s side he will be remembered lovingly by his aunts Yolanda and Fior, his uncles, Chelo, Bienvenido, and Manuel, his cousins, Stephanie, Kevin, and Kelsey.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, funeral services were private under the direction of Spotswood Funeral Home.

To send the family a message of condolence, please visit http://www.spotswoodfh.com.

Police Seek Help Locating Missing Monroe Township Man

May 2, 2020 at 10:28 am. UPDATE: Relative reports that “Herb” has been found. Waiting on official information from NJSP or Monroe to confirm.

May 1, 2020

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–State Police and Monroe Township Police Seek Public’s Assistance with Locating Missing Man

The New Jersey State Police and Monroe Township Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance with locating Herbert Warner, Jr., 80, of Monroe Township, N.J.

Mr. Warner left his Tumberry Drive residence at approximately 3:30 p.m. this afternoon riding a silver 12-speed bicycle.

He is described as a white male, 5’06”, 140 pounds, with green eyes, grey hair, and an olive complexion. He was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt, which read “Wags and Tails,” blue jeans, and possibly wearing glasses. He also suffers from dementia.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000 ext. 2554 or the Monroe Township Police Department at 732-521-0222. Anonymous tips are welcome.

NJ’s COVID-19 Violations Update For April 17, 2020

April 17, 2020

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced the following recent enforcement actions related to COVID-19, including those involving individuals in violation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107: Cases Involving Additional Offenses

  • Megan Murray, 28, of Monroe Township, was charged on Tuesday, April 14, by the South Brunswick Police Department with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, DWI, numerous motor vehicle violations, and violating the emergency orders.  Shortly after midnight, a vehicle operated by Murray was found stopped in a lane of travel on Georges Road.  Murray was found intoxicated and sleeping in the vehicle with two young children inside.
  • Alexander C. Bross, 30, of Ocean View, was charged early this morning by the Upper Township Police Department with DWI and violating the emergency orders.

Other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order

  • Newark Enforcement.  The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 90 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered seven non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions yesterday, April 16
  • Kim Pagan of Toms River was charged by the New Jersey State Police with violating the emergency orders by organizing a prohibited event today in Trenton in which protesters gathered outside the State House and at other locations in Trenton to demonstrate against the Governor’s Executive Orders.
  • Jeffrey Hernandez, 32, of Paterson, was charged on Wednesday, April 15, by the Paterson Police Department with violating the emergency orders at the carwash he owns on East 27th Street, BWT Shine 4 Less, where officers found employees washing cars by hand.
  • Antoni Moore, 31, Gary Smith, 19, and Onir Ritzie, 26, all of Morristown, were charged last night, April 16, by the Morristown Police with violating the emergency orders. Officers responded at 10 p.m. to a report of a fight outside an apartment on Clyde Potts Drive.  About 12 people were gathered outside, but most of them dispersed when police arrived.  The apartment door was open and the three defendants, who do not reside in the apartment, were inside.
  • Paterson Police charged seven individuals at various times yesterday with violating the emergency orders for continuing to loiter at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Bond Street after police warned each of them about violating the Executive Order.  Police charged Larhonda Burgess, 57, Kevin Lewis, 65,  Pearl Moore, 54, James Williams, 55, Syrenner Frazier, 51, Carolyn Dixon, 58,  and Herman Kuc, 53.  Burgess received three summonses, and Moore received two summonses.  The other individuals each received one summons.

 The defendants who were charged strictly with violating the emergency orders and who do not face more serious charges were charged by summons— they were not arrested.  Those cases will be adjudicated in municipal court.  “Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis.  Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” said Attorney General Grewal.  “Staying home and maintaining social distance isn’t just the best advice to stay healthy, it’s the law.  Make no mistake, we will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators.”    “Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Because lives are at stake, enforcement action will be taken without hesitation against those who are blatantly placing the lives of others at risk.” Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  However, violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses. Police have charged a number of persons with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency for claiming to have COVID-19 and threatening to infect law enforcement officers or others by coughing, spitting, or otherwise exposing them.  Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here https://covid19.nj.gov/violation The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior. No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.  Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.

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Congressman Smith Working to Bring Home Americans Trapped in Peru

March 24, 2020

In an urgent phone conversation Saturday, March 21st with U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Krishna Urs, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Ambassador to reach out to U.S. citizens and reassure those spread-out across Peru that they have not been forgotten nor abandoned.

There are reportedly 5,000 Americans trapped in Peru needing the immediate assistance of the U.S. government in order to get home,” said Smith, who has been contacted by more than a dozen travelers with New Jersey roots.

The Administration has been working on some limited options, but we are asking the State Department to raise the bar and expand their efforts to include chartering planes or using military aircraft.”

Seven hundred Americans, including some from my district, are stuck in parts of Peru, such as Cusco, which is 11,000 feet above sea level where air quality is thin and a strict curfew is enforced.  It’s time to let these Americans and their worried families in the U.S. know that their country will employ more resources to bring them home safely,” Smith said.

In addition to speaking with the Ambassador, Smith has been working with State Department officials for several days. A human rights leader in the Congress, Smith has written three letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlining the location and needs of the New Jersey residents and others desperate for assistance to come home.

 “I ask your assistance in prioritizing the evacuation from Peru of these and other Americans by any appropriate, practicable and timely manner, including the chartering of private or commercial aircraft or the utilization of military planes,” Smith said in his March 20th letter in which he named specific Americans needing assistance.

Smith also led a letter cosigned by two additional members of the Foreign Affairs Committee which said in part “Amid the press of so many concerns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, we appreciate the efforts undertaken thus far on behalf of our citizens abroad, but nonetheless ask that you reassure trapped Americans and their families that their needs are being prioritized.”

Americans in Peru and elsewhere around the globe should know that we are doing everything we can to reunite them with their loved ones,” he said.

According to news reports, on March 15 the Peruvian government abruptly announced it would close

all borders, effective March 16, subsequently issuing a 15-day quarantine. It later announced that March 22 would be the final day the country would allow official flights to repatriate foreign visitors before the country closed all borders, effectively trapping many Americans and other international visitors in the South American nation. Further repatriation efforts require diplomatic intervention, something Rep. Smith is urging our Ambassador and State Department to prioritize.

COVID-19 Spreading In Area Take CDC Advice Keep Social Distances And Stay Home If Possible

March 18, 2020

As of 12:33 am. John Hopkins coronavirus COVID-19 tracker has reported 6,362 cases of coronavirus in the United States and close to 200,000 worldwide. There are 267 cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey alone. We are aware of a case in Hightstown, another case in Monroe, a case in the UFT School District, among others in the area. We are going to report less on individual cases since it is predicted many more cases will be in our area soon.

Another COVID-19 tracker is here and also seems accurate.

Since the spread is most likely in every town please use “universal precautions” as in treat almost everyone as they could possibly be infected.

Follow the CDC advice, practice social distancing and try and stay home as much as possible over the next few weeks. We know many still need to work but avoid contact at work, do not shake hands, keep a distance, if you get sick stay home and do not contaminate others. If you have a thermometer take your temperature you may not even know you are sick and spreading the virus. Wash hands, don’t touch your face, clean your phone and other items, cough or sneeze into your elbow and other good hygiene items until we get though this.

Another good idea is when you go food shopping is wipe down the cart handles with a sanitizing wipe and wear gloves while shopping as seen in a video from Italy.

If you have taxes, court, local government business contact your local officials via their websites or phone prior to heading to local municipal buildings. Most government buildings are locked and have drop boxes out side for pickup and deliveries. Try and pay by mail or use credit card via websites for business. There are too many agencies to list in our area so use Google or other search engine to find your local government.

Governor Murphy, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Lamont Announce Regional Approach to Combatting COVID-19

March 16, 2020

The three States will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people – effective by 8 PM tonight 

Restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery only effective 8 PM tonight

Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close effective 8 PM tonight

Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area

PRESS RELEASE FROM GOV. MURPHY’S OFFICE: TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combatting the novel coronavirus – or COVID-19 – throughout the tri-state area.

These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 PM tonight. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued yesterday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.

The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 PM tonight.

Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 PM tonight. 

This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. 

Governor Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our healthcare system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa. I have called on the federal government to implement nationwide protocols but in their absence we are taking this on ourselves.”

Governor Lamont said, “The only way to effectively fight the spread of COVID-19 is by working together as states. We have shared interests, and a patchwork of closures and restrictions is not the best way forward. I know that because of this collaboration, we will save lives.” 

Census 2020 Survey Is Arriving By Mail

March 13, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—The 2020 Census count is underway and I received my invitation by mail today. As per the instructions I logged onto My2020census.gov and entered my code Census ID Code. There were some very basic questions of who was living in the home and birthdays. It was one of the easiest census forms I have ever completed and took less than two minutes to complete from start to finish, even though it says it could take an average of 10 minutes to complete.

The Census is counted every 10 years and many things from voting districts, financial aid, Federal, State and Local government services and more use this government data. A response is required by law and should be very easy to complete if you have received the invitation from United States Census Bureau.

Frequently asked questions of the Census Bureau:

  1. What is the 2020 Census?The goal of the census is to count every person living in the United States, once, only once and in the right place. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this population and housing count occur every 10 years. Census data guide how more than $675 billion of federal funding is distributed to states and communities each year.
  2. Am I required to respond to the 2020 Census?Yes, you are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We are conducting the 2020 Census under the authority of Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141, 193 and 221. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The eight-digit OMB approval number is 0607-1006. If this number were not displayed, we could not conduct the census.
  3. Are my answers confidential and private?Yes. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy.Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information. Violating the confidentiality of a respondent is a federal crime with serious penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Only authorized individuals have access to the stored data, and the information you provide to the Census Bureau may only be used by a restricted number of authorized individuals who are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of your individual responses. Your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.For more information about how we protect your information, please visit our website at census.gov and click on “Data Protection and Privacy Policy” at the bottom of the home page. This page also includes information about the collection, storage, and use of these records. Click on “System of Records Notices (SORN)” and look for Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/CENSUS-5, Decennial Census Program.
  4. Who should complete the 2020 Census questionnaire?This 2020 Census questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household.
  5. How do I change my answers?For questions where you must choose a single response from a list, clicking another response will change your answer to that response.If it is a “select all that apply” question, you may click on a selected check box to unselect the box and remove it as one of your answers.
  6. How long will the 2020 Census questionnaire take?The Census Bureau estimates that completing the questionnaire will take 10 minutes on average.
  7. How will the Census Bureau use the information I provide?By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics.
  8. Is it safe to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online?Yes. For each online questionnaire, we are required to provide an explanation to respondents about the confidentiality of the data and the laws that protect those data (e.g., Title 13, U.S. Code Section 9 (a)).Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data. All web data submissions are encrypted in order to protect your privacy, even in the remote chance that your responses are intercepted.More information on this topic can be found on the Data Protection and Privacy Policy webpage (http://www.census.gov/privacy/).
  9. Will the results be published?Yes. By law, the Census Bureau can only use your responses to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. The Census Bureau plans to make results of this study available to the general public. Results will be presented in aggregate form and no personally identifiable information will be published.Information quality is an integral part of the pre-dissemination review of the information disseminated by the Census Bureau (fully described in the Census Bureau’s Information Quality Guidelines at https://www.census.gov/about/policies/quality/guidelines.html). Information quality is also integral to the information collection conducted by the Census Bureau and is incorporated into the clearance process by the Paperwork Reduction Act.
  10. Do I have to complete the 2020 Census questionnaire for my household members?Yes, you will be asked to provide information for each household member.

$7,500 in LSD Seized by the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force

February 27, 2020

The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded a three-month investigation last week with one arrest and the seizure of almost $8,000 in drugs, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Onofri stated that, on Friday evening, February 21, 2020, detectives with the MCNTF initiated surveillance of the investigation’s target, Viktor Drobyshevskiy, as well as his Monroe Township residence on Fernhead Avenue.  A motor vehicle stop of Drobyshevskiy was conducted at Meadow Road and the Route 1 bypass in West Windsor, NJ, and he was taken into custody without incident.  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Sergeant Joe Angarone utilized his K9 partner Bela to conduct a narcotics search of Drobyshevskiy’s 2011 Mazda and Bela indicated positive to locating narcotics within the vehicle.  A search warrant for the vehicle was obtained and detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, five tabs of LSD and eight grams of marijuana.  The investigation revealed that Drobyshevskiy was transporting the LSD to sell at a party in West Windsor.

Detectives with the MCNTF, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Monroe Township Police Department executed a search warrant for Drobyshevskiy’s residence after he was taken into custody.  During the search, detectives located liquid LSD in a clear jar, approximately 10 grams of psilocybin, 232 grams of marijuana, a .22 caliber rifle, a 9mm handgun and $505 in cash.

Onofri stated that the total amount of LSD seized was about one and a half ounces with an approximate street value of $7,500.  The psilocybin and marijuana have approximate street values of $200 and $250, respectively.

Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Officers with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Monroe Township Police Department, and the Hamilton and Princeton police, under the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, assisted with the investigation.

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

Viktor Drobyshevskiy, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree narcotics offenses.  He is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.