Category: Sayreville

Sayerville, NJ Man Arrested For Posting A Manifesto Containing Threats To Attack A Synagogue And Jewish People

November 10, 2022

A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was arrested today for transmitting via the internet a manifesto containing threats to attack a synagogue and Jewish people, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Omar Alkattoul, 18, of Sayreville, New Jersey, was arrested this morning and is charged by complaint with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce on or about Nov. 1, 2022. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen in Newark federal court.

“No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship,” U.S. Attorney Sellinger said. “According to the complaint, this defendant used social media to send a manifesto containing a threat to attack a synagogue based on his hatred of Jews. Along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we acted swiftly to respond to the alleged threat. There is nothing the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes more seriously than threats to our communities of faith and places of worship. Protection of these communities is core to this office’s mission, and this office will devote whatever resources are necessary to keep our Jewish community and all New Jersey residents safe.”

“When we learn of credible threats to our community – whether based in hate toward religion, race, sexual orientation, or gender – we call on law enforcement and community partners to assist in identifying and mitigating that threat,” Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “Thanks to the collaborative efforts among our Joint Terrorism Task Force Members, a potentially harmful situation was averted. I would like to commend and show our appreciation for the resources from the District of New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the Sayreville Police Department, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. Let it be known that when a threat of violence comes to our attention, the FBI and our partners will respond to keep the public safe.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Nov. 1, 2022, Alkattoul used a social media application to send an individual a link to a document entitled “When Swords Collide” and admitted to this individual that he wrote the document, stating: “It’s in the context of an attack on Jews.” According to a second individual, Alkattoul also sent the document to at least five other people using another social media application. In the document, Alkattoul wrote the following:

I am the attacker and I would like to introduce myself. . . I am a Muslim with so many regrets but I can assure you this attack is not one of them and Insha’Allah many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah and the pigs and monkeys will come.

I will discuss my motives in a bit but I did target a synagogue for a really good reason according to myself and a lot of Muslims who have a brain. Let’s be aware of the fact that the Jews promote the biggest hatred against Muslimeen even in the west. The Jews are in fact a very powerful group in the west which is why western countries today shill for them on top of the murtadeen in Saudi Arabia and every Arab country.

This attack was just to remind the Jews that as long as 1 Muslim remains in this world they will never live a pleasant life until the Muslims in Palestine, Syria, West Africa, and South Asia are living a pleasant life. The Jews support terror against the muslimeen and they always have . . . . So the motive of this attack is hatred towards Jews and their heinous acts and I don’t want anyone to tell me for a second that “not all Jews support terror against Muslims” yes they do! They have since day one. Their Torah justifies their acts and let’s keep in mind it was a Jew that tried to kill the nebi SAW.

The charge of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI and task force officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked agents of the FBI Field Office in Tampa, Florida, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge David Walker; the FBI Field Office in New York, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; and the FBI Washington Field Office, under the direction of Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono; as well as the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, under the direction of Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin; the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone; and officers of the Sayreville Police Department, under the direction of Chief Daniel Plumacker.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Peck, Christopher Amore, and Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Defense counsel: Timothy Donahue Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark






Juvenile Taken into Custody for Sayreville Aggravated Sexual Assault On 68-Year-Old Woman

An act of juvenile delinquency for offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute as Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, Burglary, and Theft.

October 31, 2022

SAYERVILLE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Acting Chief Daniel Plumacker of the Sayreville Police Department announced today that a juvenile male has been taken into custody and charged with an act of juvenile delinquency for offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute as Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, Burglary, and Theft.

Today, October 31, 2022, between Midnight and 12:30 A.M., a 68- year-old female victim was sexually assaulted in her residence. The suspect entered the victim’s apartment located on Swider Drive in Parlin, New Jersey, woke her, sexually assaulted, and deprived her of belongings before fleeing the scene.

This is an active and ongoing investigation anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area is asked to call Detective Lauren Leyva of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit 732-745-4499 or Detective Jeff Taylor of the Sayreville Police Department at 732-525-5450.


Head of Sayreville Democratic Party Charged with Bribery

September 2, 2022

SAYREVILLE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced today that Thomas V. Pollando, the Sayreville Borough Democratic Chairman, has been arrested and charged with accepting bribes.

Over a several week period in July and August 2022, Detectives from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office were conducting electronic surveillance of a business in Sayreville. While conducting surveillance, detectives observed Pollando accept several thousands of dollars in cash, and state that he would attempt to use his political clout to influence an ongoing criminal case.

An investigation conducted by Sergeant Joseph Celantano and Detective Shadi Zaiton of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined Pollando, has influence and strong ties to the community. Pollando was a former Sayreville Borough council president, current vice- chairman of the Middlesex County Planning Board, long-time president of the Sayreville Athletic Association. Pollando also holds a seat on the Sayreville Economic & Redevelopment Authority and is currently employed with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Pollando, 72, of Parlin, was subsequently arrested after leaving the business and was found in possession of the cash payment. Pollando was charged with second-degree bribery in official matters, and second-degree receipt of unlawful benefit by public servant for official behavior. Pollando was charged on a summons and released the day of the arrest.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Zaiton of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4263.

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


A statement from Middlesex County Board of Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios

regarding the allegations against Middlesex County Planning Board Member Thomas Pollando

“We are deeply troubled by the allegations against Planning Board Member Thomas Pollando. Actions like those alleged are fully unbecoming of anyone in public service. We urge him to resign as soon as possible to give the boards he is currently affiliated with time to regroup and rebuild.”



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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Middlesex County Man Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison for Paycheck Protection Program Fraud Scheme and Obtaining Funds from Stolen and Altered U.S. Treasury Check

December 9, 2021

TRENTON, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for fraudulently receiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds and depositing a stolen and altered U.S. Treasury check, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Bernard Lopez, 40, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an information charging him with one count each of bank fraud and theft of government funds. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today by videoconference.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Lopez devised a scheme to commit bank fraud through which a stolen and altered U.S. Treasury check was deposited into a corporate bank account Lopez created in the name of Pezlo Management LLC. The check was altered to be made payable to Pezlo in the amount of $211,886 and was then deposited into Pezlo’s corporate bank account. Lopez later withdrew or transferred the stolen proceeds from Pezlo’s bank account before the bank could detect the fraud.

On June 24, 2020, Lopez caused to be submitted a fraudulent PPP loan application to a lender on behalf of Company-1, a purported business that Lopez controlled. The Small Business Administration oversees the PPP, which is designed to provide forgivable loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants for PPP loans apply directly to banks or financial institutions participating in the program; in those applications, applicants make affirmative certifications about their average monthly payroll expenses and number of employees. Applicants also certify their intent to spend PPP proceeds on permissible business expenses, such as payroll costs, rent, utilities, and interest on mortgages. PPP loans may be entirely forgiven if the recipient spends the loan proceeds on these permissible expenses within a designated period after receiving the proceeds.

Lopez’s PPP application falsely represented that Company-1 employed 25 employees, had a monthly payroll expense of approximately $192,000, and had mortgage/lease and utilities expenses. Company-1 did not, in fact, employ any employees, nor did it incur payroll or utility expenses. Based on Lopez’s misrepresentations, the lender approved Lopez’s PPP loan application and provided Lopez’s purported business with $481,502 in federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds meant for distressed small businesses. Lopez then converted a portion of the proceeds for his own use.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Lopez to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $137,000 and forfeiture of $481,502.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and task force officers of the U.S. Department of the Treasury-OIG, under the direction of Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Sally D. Luttrell, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark, and special agents of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patricia Tarasca for assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry Farhat of the Government Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.

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Defense counsel: Nicole Westmoreland Esq. Marietta, Georgia

Barnegat, NJ Man Indicted And Arrested For 22-year-old Cold Case Murder

August 31, 2021

SAYREVILLE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief John Zebrowski of the Sayreville Police Department announce a Barnegat man has been arrested after being indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury for the 1999 murder of Nancy Noga, 17, of Sayreville.

On January 7, 1999, Ms. Noga, who was then a senior in high school, was reported missing after she did not return home from work. Five days later, on January 12, 1999, at approximately 8:57 A.M., Ms. Noga’s body was discovered in a wooded area behind what was then Mini-Mall Plaza Shopping Center on Ernston Road. An autopsy later determined Noga died from blunt force trauma after being struck with a blunt object. For more than two decades, the case remained open and active as investigators continued to investigate Ms. Noga’s death.

Today, Bruce A. Cymanski, 49, of Barnegat was indicted for first- degree murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with the killing of Nancy Noga. Assistant Prosecutor Scott Lamountain, who serves as the section chief of the Major Crimes Unit, presented the case to the Grand Jury.

Following the return of the indictment by a Middlesex County Grand Jury, Cymanski was arrested near his home by members of the Sayreville Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Barnegat Police Department after a brief foot pursuit. Cymanski is presently lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center where he is detained pending a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.

The arrest was made possible by a joint investigation conducted by Detective Mark Morris and Sergeant Deon McCall, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with Sergeant Daniel Ellmyer of the Sayreville Police Department and retired Detective Sergeant Richard Sloan, formerly of the Sayreville Police Department.

Cymanski was in-part identified through the use of genetic genealogy conducted by the Chief Genetic Genealogist of Parabon NanoLabs, Ms. CeCe Moore.

“In the decades since Nancy Noga’s death, law enforcement has relentlessly pursued justice on her behalf. The advancement of modern scientific tools has allowed that endeavor to enter a new chapter,” said Prosecutor Ciccone.

“This arrest is the result of decades of hard work by so many detectives and officers. We never stopped following up on leads, and today with the arrest of Bruce Cymanski, we are one step closer to bringing a degree of justice and closure to the family. I want to thank Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and her office for their tireless efforts and partnership in bringing justice to the family of this young girl,” said Chief Zebrowski.

This investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Morris at (732)745-3702 or Sergeant Ellmyer at (732)525-5406.

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



LODD: Firefighter Succumbs To Cardiac Arrest During Fire Training at Middlesex Fire Academy

June 26, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – KINGSTON, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–It is with deep sadness that we report that Dennis B. Shennard a firefighter of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company # 1 has succumbed to cardiac arrest during live fire training at the Middlesex County Fire Academy this morning.

South Brunswick OEM Director and Police Chief Raymond Hayducka extends the Township’s deepest sympathy to Kingston Volunteer Fire Company #1 Firefighter Dennis B. Shennard family and friends. Shennard died in the line of duty during a drill today.

This evening firefighters and apparatus lined the streets around the hospital as they brought their “brother” home.

Shennard joined the department in 1969 and had given 52 years of dedicated service to the community.

Further details to follow.

See message below from the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company #1:

It is with deep sorrow the Officers and Members of Kingston Volunteer Fire Company #1 mourn the Line Of Duty Death of Firefighter Dennis B. Shennard. FF Shennard succumbed to cardiac arrest during a Live Burn at the Fire Academy while training with fellow Kingston firefighters. FF Shennard joined the fire company in 1969 and during his years of active membership he served as a line officer, executive officer, and was currently serving as a Trustee. As details of services become available, updates will be provided.




Eight arrests made by Internet Crimes Against Children Unit

May 14, 2021

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced today that six County residents have been arrested for their possession of material depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of children.

          On May 13, 2021, officers of the East Brunswick, Edison, Highland Park, Monroe, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Perth Amboy, and Sayreville Police Departments along with detectives of the New Jersey State Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office executed search warrants at six residences across the County. 

          The investigation resulted in the following arrests:

  • Edison was arrested and charged for  second-degree Using a File-sharing Program to Store Items Depicting the Sexual Exploitation or Abuse of Children, second-degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute Child Pornography, and first-degree Possession of Child Pornography after having been found to be in possession of 100,000 items of material depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of children.
  • Hongpeng Zheng, 24, of New Brunswick was arrested and charged for  second-degree Distribution of Child Pornography, third-degree Possession of Child Pornography, and second-degree Using a File-sharing Program to Store Items Depicting the Sexual Exploitation or Abuse of Children. 
  • Ali Armas-Iriarte, 58, of Highland Park was arrested and charged for third-degree Possession of Child Pornography, second-degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute Child Pornography, and second-degree Using a File-sharing Program to Store Items Depicting the Sexual Exploitation or Abuse of Children. 
  • Jeff Caramella, 21, of the Parlin section of Sayreville was arrested and charged for third-degree Possession of Child Pornography.
  • James Walden, 50, of North Brunswick was arrested and charged for third-degree Possession of Child Pornography. 
  • A juvenile, 17, of Monroe was charged for third-degree Possession of Child Pornography. 

          Additionally, on May 6, 2021, Kenneth Godfrey, 41, of Woodbridge Township was also arrested and charged with third-degree Possession of Child Pornography. 

          On May 10, 2021, a juvenile, 14, of Edison was also charged for second-degree Possession of Child Pornography.     

          All of the aforementioned individuals were arrested and charged following separate investigations by Detective Daniel Lojek and Detective Stephanie Redline of the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, which revealed the individuals possessed material depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of children.  Presently, the investigations appear to be unconnected and the individuals are unknown to one another.

          Nie is presently lodged at the Middlesex Adult Correction Center pending a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.  The remaining defendants individuals are likewise lodged at the Middlesex Adult Correction Center pending their initial appearances in Superior Court this afternoon. 

The investigations are active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lojek at (732) 745-5924 or Detective Redline at (732) 867-1496 .

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Zheng, Nie, Armas-Iriarte, Caramella, Walden, Godfrey, and the juveniles are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty or, as in the case of the juveniles, adjudicated delinquent.

BPU Sets March 16 Hearing in Optimum/ Altice Investigation

ROBBINSVILLE-HAMILTON TOWNSHIPS, NJ (MERCER)–In response to a wave of complaints regarding poor service and unfair consumer pricing by Optimum/Altice USA, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has found sufficient cause to investigate Optimum/Altice USA and convene a public hearing on March 16, 2021.

The BPU said in a February 17 order it had:

“reviewed the various complaints, municipal government official resolutions and requests for Board investigation and intervention in this matter, and HEREBY FINDS that there is sufficient cause to convene a proceeding to afford the municipal officials and Altice customers the opportunity to voice their concerns about the services received from Altice; as well as afford the company the opportunity to respond to these concerns before determining what corrective action may be warranted and should be taken in this matter.”


The Board designated Commissioner Mary-Anna Holden as the Presiding Officer. Holden “is authorized to rule on all motions that arise during the proceedings and modify any schedules that may be set as necessary to secure a just and expeditious determination of the issues.”

The public hearing will be held virtually. Information concerning participation in the public hearing will be posted on the BPU website. Attorneys for the Townships of Robbinsville and Hamilton filed dual letters to Lawanda Gilbert, Director of the BPU Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications, requesting an investigation into the under performing utility in August, 2020.

In addition to Hamilton and Robbinsville, the order lists the boroughs of Dunellen and Sayreville, along with the Townships of Green Brook, Howell, Jackson, Montville, North Brunswick and Piscataway. The BPU received complaints and resolutions from at least 10 municipalities and several state legislators concerning various issues their residents and constituents cited alleging inadequacy and lack of service provided by Altice USA. In the complaints, the municipal and legislative officials cited: “Frequent and lengthy service disruptions (across all services), inconsistent connections and fluctuating Internet speeds, long telephone wait times, poor customer service, and an inability to get a satisfactory response to these issues from the company both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”


READ THE ROBBINSVILLE HAMILTON LETTERS TO BPU 

The letters detail just 11 examples from the hundreds of complaints received by the respective municipal offices at Robbinsville and Hamilton over the past several months citing poor customer service, unstable Internet connections, insufficient network capacity and allegations of price-gouging.

“It is the duty of Optimum (Altice USA) as a utility to furnish safe, adequate and proper service for its customers … and they have failed in that duty,” Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried said last summer. “We should not have to continuously pressure this provider to do its job.”

Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin also received a flood of complaints regarding Optimum/Altice USA (formerly Cablevision) and requested the BPU immediately commence an investigation into the services being provided to both Robbinsville and Hamilton pursuant to powers vested in the Board.


“Having reliable cable and internet service has never been more of a necessity than this year has proved it to be,” Martin said. “Both municipalities’ residents have experienced similar, unacceptable issues and a lack of timely remediation from Optimum. Mayor Fried and I will fight for our residents by partnering together on this issue and hope that by doing so it will provide for a stronger likelihood of these concerns being taken seriously by the State. “

Related MidJersey.news stories here:

Mayors Testify At NJ Senate Committee On Law And Public Safety About Utility Company Problems

Hamilton and Robbinsville Request BPU Investigation Into Optimum/Altice







Sayreville Man Admits Role In Area Heroin Conspiracy Distribution In Monmouth and Middlesex Counties

September 22, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man today admitted that he conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin as part of a conspiracy responsible for distributing significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Daniel McHugh, 50, of Sayreville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti via videoconference to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. McHugh also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine.

Today’s guilty plea follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty, including supplier Gregory Gillens and lead defendant Guy Jackson. Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020, to 10 years in prison. Jackson is awaiting sentencing.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2017 to November 2018, McHugh and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that McHugh regularly obtained heroin and cocaine for further distribution from Jackson. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.

On the date of his arrest, McHugh gave consent to search his residence. During that search, law enforcement recovered quantities of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine intended for further distribution.

The heroin conspiracy count to which McHugh pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited Special Agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; Special Agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco, Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief James K. Pigott; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip Meehan; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard A. Derechailo, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations against the two remaining defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Defense counsel: James R. Murphy Esq., Princeton, New Jersey