Category: Monmouth County

Tractor Trailer Hauling Municipal Waste Catches Fire On I-195 In Upper Freehold Township

November 25, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Firefighters from Hope Fire Company of Allentown were dispatched to I-195 west bound near mile post 9.6 for a tractor trailer smoking at 3:57 p.m. Upon arrival firefighters found a trailer on fire that was disconnected from the tractor and the vehicle was full of municipal waste. Firefighters initially started working on the fire using a 1 3/4 hand line then once the cover over the burning materials was removed switched to deck gun operations. Millstone Township Fire Department brought an engine and a tanker to the scene for additional water and manpower.






Visit Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop In Allentown, NJ

November 24, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Keris Tree Farm and Christmas Shop is celebrating over 33 years growing, cutting, and selling trees on a 24-acre farm just outside Allentown at 848 Route 524 also known as New Canton Stone Tavern Road. Keris Tree Farm is family owned and operated since 1977 and the first trees were harvested in 1990. The farm has choose-and-cut trees by the foot, balled trees, fresh pre-cut Canadian Balsam and Fraser Fir, wreaths, roping and seasonal greenery.

The Christmas shop is where the magic happens, a winter wonderland of artisan made crafts, decorations and holiday gifts. Maggie has hand curated merchandise from artisans to antiques for over thirty years… her eye for design and vintage holiday decor makes it such a special holiday shopping experience.

2022 Event List:

The Allentown High School Choir will be singing Christmas carols! December 4th 12:30

Backyard Brews will be set up with hot beverages and snacks for sale on 11/26-11/27, 12/3-12/4, and 12/10-12/11. @backyard_brews_

Hours:

Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Saturday and Sunday 9-5, CLOSED MONDAYS

​Closed Thanksgiving Day

Facebook: Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop


On the porch you’ll find bundles of greenery for sale, including winterberry, holly, magnolia, branches and many types of evergreen cuttings stocked fresh.




The Christmas shop is where the magic happens! Maggie has hand curated merchandise from artisans to antiques for over thirty years… her eye for design and vintage holiday decor makes it such a special holiday shopping experience. If you’ve never entered the shop you don’t know what you’re missing! The exterior is unassuming but the inside is glowing with many treasures to find.



Choose and cut a tree, or tag a tree to cut later in the season. Visit the Christmas shop! The farm has a selection of white pine roping, Fraser Fir wreaths, Noble Fir wreaths, greenery, magnolia, winterberry and holly branches. Also live balled Christmas trees!



Photos of the Keris Farm and Christmas Tree Shop showing overall quantity of trees in different stages of growth. As the trees get older and sold room is made to plant new trees for future years.


Commercial Building Fire In The Oakhurst Section Of Ocean Township

November 23, 2022

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 3:28 p.m. on Tuesday November 22, 2022, firefighters were dispatched to 9 Cindy Lane for a commercial building fire. Responding units reported a column of smoke in the area and filled out the full first alarm. The first arriving crews found heavy fire in the roof areas extending through the roof. The fire attack was made with ladder pipe and several 1 3/4″ hose lines. The fire was quickly knocked down and contained to the fire area without spreading further throughout the building. No further details are available about the incident.

Photos and video by: Jersey Shore Fire Response



Monmouth County Correctional Institution Officer Pleads Guilty In Connection With Distribution Of Narcotics

November 23, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County Correctional Institution Officer has pled guilty in connection with the distribution of narcotics to inmates within the jail, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated on Wednesday.

Bryant Mack, 54, of Shamong, New Jersey, pled guilty on Friday November 18, 2022, in front of Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Jill G. O’Malley, to second-degree Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS).  At the time of his plea, Judge O’Malley entered an order forfeiting Mack’s job at MCCI and prohibiting him from holding public office again in the State of New Jersey.

A cooperative investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Bureau and the MCCI Special Investigations Divisionrevealed that Mack, who had been a corrections officer for 18 years, would smuggle CDS and other contraband into the facility hidden in potato chip bags.  He would provide the items to an inmate, who would then facilitate the distribution of the items throughout the jail.  Mack’s criminal activity came to light on September 4, 2021, when officers caught two inmates with CDS and other contraband in their cells, and traced the items back to Mack. During his plea, Mack admitted that heentered into an agreement with an inmate to bring CDS and other contraband into the jail, in exchange for payment and that he brought a schedule 1 CDS into the facility on September 4, 2021.

“Mr. Mack violated his sworn duty to protect and serve when he brought contraband into the jail for his own personal gain.  By doing so, he placed his fellow officers and other inmates at the jail in danger and justice requires that he take responsibility for his actions. I commend my staff and our law enforcement partners for their tireless work on this complicated investigation. Mr. Mack’s conduct is not indicative of the honest, hard-working, law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to protect and serve our county,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago stated. 

“All members of the law enforcement profession have a duty to exhibit at all times the highest level of professionalism with honor and integrity. Any conduct that does not meet that expectation will not be tolerated” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “I’m proud of the correctional police officers who tirelessly serve this agency. An officer who violates his or her oath of office does a grave disservice to their co-workers, as well as the entire law enforcement profession, and will be held fully accountable with proper disciplinary action taken.”

Mack faces up to 5 years in prison when he issentenced before Judge O’Malley on April 21, 2023.

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crime Bureau and Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Gilhooly.

Mack is represented by Frank Cioffi, Esq., of Clifton.


13th Annual Motorcycle Toy Run Benefits Patients of The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center

November 22, 2022

LONG BRANCH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Nearly 100 motorcycle riders from the Blue Knights NJ XV and Jersey Shore HOGs braved the cold and wind on November 20th to travel to Monmouth Medical Center (MMC), an RWJBarnabas Health facility, to deliver hundreds of toys to brighten the holiday season for Unterberg Children’s Hospital patients.

The Sunday morning ride began at the Shore Casino in Atlantic Highlands. When the motorcyclists arrived at the hospital, they gathered in the parking lot and unloaded a trailer full of toys that had been collected over the last months at locations that include Simply Southern restaurant in Belmar, Sissy’s at the Harbor restaurant in Atlantic Highlands, Shoreline Harley-Davidson, West Long Branch, and Creative Performance motorcycle repair shop in Wall. Additionally, the Freehold Regional High School Football and Cheer Club worked with the two groups on a toy drive, and members of the club were on hand for the event.

“It’s always tough to be sick in the hospital when you’re a child,” said Jonathan Teitelbaum, Chair of Pediatrics at The Unterberg Children’s Hospital. “This type of event means the world to them – they get extra toys, and they know that the community really cares about them and wants them to get better.”

Each rider’s $10 donation benefits The Comprehensive Cystic Fibrosis Center at The Unterberg Children’s Hospital, the oldest and largest of the centers in New Jersey, offering patient care, teaching and research. Members of area police and fire departments, as well as the Freehold Regional High School Football and Cheer Club, also contributed to the cash donation. The Cystic Fibrosis Center — which includes both pediatric and adult programs — is accredited by the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is designated by the State of New Jersey as a referral center for Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Screening and has been designated as a Therapeutic Development Center by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Therapeutic Development Network.


From left, Robert Zanni, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology, and Jonathan Teitelbaum, Chair of Pediatrics, help unload toys with the assistance of the Freehold Regional High School Football and Cheer Club.


Dr. Zanni and Dr. Teitelbaum gather with riders from the Blue Knights NJ XV and Jersey Shore HOGs and local police departments.


Allentown FFA Earns Top Spots at New Jersey FFA Fall Competitions

November 22, 2022

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Thursday, November 17th, 2022, the Allentown FFA participated in Fall Career Development Events, hosted by the New Jersey FFA Association at Rutgers University, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences (SEBS). The Allentown FFA earned top spots in Land Judging, Fruit & Vegetable Identification, Turf Management, and Forestry.


Allentown FFA Members won 1st in the State for the Land Judging & Homesite Evaluation Event. During this event, members evaluate soil texture, determine slope, erosion, and other factors that will determine land use. Team members included (and their rank):

  • Sean Cary- First Place
  • Derek Voorhees- Second Place
  • Gavin Byrne- Fifth Place
  • Brayden Jany- Ninth Place

Land Judging has qualified to represent New Jersey at the National Land & Range Judging Contest in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma this May.


Fruit & Vegetable Identification also placed 1st in the State. In this contest, members must identify 50 different types of fruits and vegetables, judge fruits and vegetables based on appearance and other quality standards, and complete a written exam on the produce industry. Team Members included (and their rank):

  • Sophia Jones- First Place
  • Maddin Emmons- Eighth Place
  • Adam Ugi
  • Paige Conroy

Forestry placed 2nd in the State. Members in this contest measured and identified trees, completed a forestry business plan, evaluated common tree disorders, and completed a written exam on the forestry industry. Team Members included (and their rank):

  • Matthew McCormick- Second Place
  • Anna Holman- Eighth Place
  • Cody Ponzio
  • Rafferty Burden


Turf Management earned 3rd in the State. In this contest, students identified common turf and weed species, identified common turfgrass equipment, evaluated a turf site, and completed a written exam on turfgrass. Team members included (and their rank):

  • Kathryn Giovanelli- Fifth Place
  • Allison Josielewski-Tenth Place
  • Lilly Haines
  • Kaci Byrne

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 735,000 student members as part of 8,817 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To learn more about the Allentown FFA, please visit FFA.ufrsd.net.



NJ State Senate Confirms Raymond S. Santiago As Monmouth County Prosecutor

November 21, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH) – The New Jersey State Senate interviewed Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago today, and thereafter unanimously voted to confirm his nomination by Governor Phil Murphy to assume the role in full capacity for a five-year term.

Santiago will become the 30th fully confirmed County Prosecutor to serve Monmouth County since the first took office nearly 200 years ago, in 1823.

“Today’s confirmation is as much a collective achievement as a personal one – and I cannot thank enough the innumerable individuals who steadfastly supported the fulfillment of a dream I have nurtured for the better part of my career,” he said. “I assume this role with a genuine sense of deep awe and respect, both for the long and storied history of this Office, and for the dedication and tenacity exhibited by the several hundred individuals who every day continue to support its overarching goal of serving the interests of justice.”

A swearing-in ceremony for the start of Santiago’s full term will be forthcoming.

On October 7, 2022, Santiago, 48, assumed the responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County’s largest law firm. He is also responsible for the coordination of the law-enforcement efforts of nearly four dozen municipal police departments and two college police departments, which collectively patrol jurisdictions of approximately 650,000 residents.  

Raymond S. Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1996 and received his law degree from the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College. In 1999, he was sworn in as an Assistant District Attorney at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, and upon leaving that office, he entered private practice. He is admitted to the bar associations in New Jersey, New York, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, and the U.S. District Courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Santiago most recently headed the Law Offices of Santiago & Associates, P.C., based in Freehold, a law firm that focused on the litigation of criminal and immigration law. He has also served as a public defender for municipalities in Monmouth County and as a Pool Attorney for the State of New Jersey Public Defender’s Office, Monmouth Vicinage, since 2002, where he has assisted indigent defendants faced with various crimes or offenses.

Santiago has lived and worked in Monmouth County for over 20 years.

Santiago is only the second Prosecutor of Hispanic descent in the history of the Office, following Luis A. Valentin, who served from 2005 to 2011. He succeeds Lori Linskey, who served as Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor since June 2021.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago


New Jersey LGBTQ+ Leaders Comment on Club Q Shooting

November 21, 2022

ASBURY PARK, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Saturday night, at least five people were killed and at least 25 injured at a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub, in Colorado Springs. The shooting came the night before Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance dedicated to honoring the memories of people who were killed due to anti-transgender violence in the previous year.

The Governor and Attorney General held a conference call with LGBTQ+ leaders this morning providing clear communication on the state’s response. They emphasized that there are no similar active threats in New Jersey based on their intelligence but will provide law enforcement resources to be extremely vigilant. They confirmed law enforcement resources were deployed yesterday to Transgender Day of Remembrance events throughout the state and LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs. The Governor ended his remarks by affirming that “New Jersey will continue to celebrate and protect the LGBTQ community and we will never ever ever relent.”

LGBTQ+ leaders from across the state of New Jersey shared their reactions and calls to action in response to this act of violence.

“It is time for us to get past the sad and shocking emojis and telling the LGBTQI+ community how horrific these hate crimes are and they’re with us,” said Jeannine Frisby LaRue, Garden State Equality Action Fund Board Chair. “It is way overdue for everyone who believes in civil rights and social justice to call out this despicable acts from their pulpits, boardrooms, social media platforms and the like. These heinous acts are not LGBTQI+ issues; they’re humanitarian issues. We need everyone to step up.”

“We are heartbroken to learn of another senseless attack against our community—on the eve of a day we remember all those in our trans community who have lost their lives to violence, no less,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “It is a stark reminder that despite the progress the LGBTQ+ community has made, the threat of discrimination and violence against us just for being who we are is still very real. Garden State Equality will continue to work towards a world where people can live authentically without fear.”

“We at Out Montclair are disgusted and sad to hear about yet another attack on an LGBTQ+ establishment, where innocent lives have been lost,” said Peter Yacobellis of Out Montclair. “Because we believe that being ourselves and being heard is the only way we’ll ever truly be understood, we’ll never stop gathering and finding the community we desperately need. Thank you to all of our allies for supporting us.”

“Like everyone, we at Hudson Pride Center are devastated to learn about the horrific attack that has taken place at Club Q,” said Elizabeth Schedl, Executive Director of Hudson Pride Center. “We deserve to feel safe, we deserve to feel loved, we deserve to feel accepted, and we deserve to live our lives fully without fear of being attacked for being our authentic selves. Hudson Pride stands with and mourns together with our LGBTQ+ community and all those affected by this tragedy.”

“Hyacinth is devastated by the loss of lives in Colorado Springs last evening, particularly as the LGBTQ communities come together today for our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance,” said Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien, Executive Director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation. “Today is a day of mourning and we hold in our hearts all those affected by this tragedy. We cannot allow hate to win; we will continue to fight for our right to live our lives openly, honestly and safely.”

“We at the LGBT RAIN Foundation send our prayers and support to the LGBTQ community, the families of the hurt and massacred at Club Q,” said Elaine Helms, Founder & Executive Director of the LGBT RAIN Foundation. “May God bless the State of Colorado.”

“We at GAAMC are shocked and devastated by the vicious attack in Colorado Springs,” said Gordon Sauer, President of GAAMC. “Our hearts go out to those who were affected by this hideous violence. As LGBTQ + people we have a right to be who we are and  to not live in fear. And we will fight for that right with all our hearts. Hate will not win.”

“The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice condemns this act of hate and violence directed towards our LGBTQ+ community members and our precious and increasingly endangered safe spaces,” said Alia Shinbrough, Minister for Queer Liberation at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. “As intersectional social justice workers we hold responsible anyone capitalizing on this politics of hatred and stoking political violence in our collective public life— including those who scapegoat and target our neighbors over differences in race, religion, sexuality, and gender to propel their own ambitions. Tragedies like these remind us of the vitality of our Center’s work for collective liberation—we extend our solidarity and uplift our care to all those in our beautifully diverse communities who are in need of recognition, respect, and indeed love—in this difficult moment and beyond.”

“As we increase our visibility & representation and deepen our equality, the assaults against our very existence intensify centered on our trangender and non-binary community,” said Dean Dafis, Mayor of Maplewood, NJ. “The LGBTQ mass casualties in Colorado Springs were caused by unfettered access to guns and by hate stoked by right wing white supremacists who remain our nation’s greatest threat. While we mourn our losses yet again on this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we stand up against gun violence and transphobia and commit to fighting back with resilience, love, and faith in building empathy and acceptance. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families.”

“We at HiTOPS are brokenhearted, both for the victims of these crimes, and for the youth who witness this deadly violence against LGBTQ+ folks with shocking regularity,” said Lisa Shelby, Executive Director of HiTOPS. “We call upon elected representatives at every level to denounce the hate that underlies these horrific actions.”

“NJ AIDS WALK, Inc. stands with our sisters and brothers in Colorado, said Ray Welsh, President of NJ AIDS WALK, Inc. “Acts of violence can only win if we stop loving one another, everyone, even in our own communities.”


Monmouth County Man Charged With Promoting Prostitution Of A Child, Endangering Welfare Of Child, Hindering Apprehension, Narcotics Offences, Criminal Sexual Contact And Obstruction

November 21, 2022

TINTON FALLS, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A local man has been arrested and charged with promoting the prostitution of a teenager at a Tinton Falls motel, along with numerous additional crimes, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Jerome L. Harbour, 41, is charged with first-degree Promoting Prostitution of a Child, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Sexual Conduct, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Non-Sexual Conduct, third-degree Hindering Apprehension, four third-degree narcotics offenses, fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact, and fourth-degree Obstruction of Justice.

On Wednesday, November 16, members of the Tinton Falls Police Department received information that a 17-year-old female may be in crisis somewhere in the area of Eatontown or Tinton Falls. A subsequent search of the area led officers to a motel near the interchange of Route 18, Route 36, and the Garden State Parkway. When officers knocked on the door of the room where Harbour was staying, he denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of the teen in question, but moments later she was found hidden in his room.

The victim was then taken to safety, and a subsequent investigation involving members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and the Tinton Falls Police Department uncovered evidence leading to the aforementioned criminal charges, including information that Harbour had discarded the victim’s cell phone in a neighboring town. In addition, a search of Harbour’s room uncovered quantities of suspected cocaine, oxycodone, and two types of prescription tranquilizers.

Harbour was subsequently transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) to await a first appearance and detention hearing in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Behre. Information about Harbour’s legal representation was not immediately available.

A recent photo of Harbour is being released along with this press release. Anyone with information about this matter or Harbour’s recent activities is urged to contact MCPO Detective Kayla Santiago at 800-533-7443 or Tinton Falls Police Department Detective Sergeant Daniel Osofsky at 732-542-4422.

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

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by up to 20 years in state prison.

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.

Jerome L. Harbour, 41, is charged with first-degree Promoting Prostitution of a Child, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Sexual Conduct, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Non-Sexual Conduct, third-degree Hindering Apprehension, four third-degree narcotics offenses, fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact, and fourth-degree Obstruction of Justice.

Troopers Bust High End Vehicle Crime Ring Operating In Millstone And Upper Freehold Townships; NJSP Investigation Takes Down Organization

The auto-theft ring targeted high-end vehicles in Monmouth County, Mercer County, Ocean County, Union County, Essex County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Burlington County, Bergen County, Middlesex County and New York State.

November 18, 2022

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)– The New Jersey State Police have charged six suspects and dismantled an auto theft ring in New Jersey and New York linked to the theft of more than 30 high-end vehicles worth more than $3 million during a seven-month investigation.

In May, detectives with the Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office began investigating multiple high-end motor vehicle thefts in Millstone Township and Upper Freehold Township. As a result, detectives identified Geovanni Hernandez, 24, of Newark, N.J. as a suspect and linked him to the theft of a BMW M8 and three Land Rover Range Rovers in Upper Freehold Township and Millstone Township. On July 22, detectives located Hernandez and arrested him.

As a result of the on-going investigation, detectives identified Carlos Sanchez, 23, of Newark, N.J. as the leader of an auto-theft ring targeting high-end vehicles in Monmouth County, Mercer County, Ocean County, Union County, Essex County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Burlington County, Bergen County, Middlesex County and New York State. Detectives also identified James Lanier, 24, Solomon Mickens, 23, and Sadiq Griggs, 23, all of Newark, N.J. as associates.

Through various investigative means, detectives determined that the suspects were also targeting residences while victims were home and committed burglaries in an attempt to steal the vehicles. After stealing the vehicles, the suspects would transport them to other locations where they were given fraudulent vehicle identification numbers to be re-titled and sold through an online marketplace.

On November 17, members of the Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office, State Police Auto Theft Task Force, T.E.A.M.S. Unit, K-9 Unit, and Strategic Investigations Unit Central with assistance from members of the United States Marshals NY/NJ Fugitive Task Force and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office executed search warrants at the residences of Mickens and Sanchez, and at a motel in Avenel, N.J. where Sanchez was staying. As a result of the searches, detectives arrested Sanchez and Mickens and seized a 9mm handgun, a high-capacity magazine, key fobs, and electronic devices linked to the operation. Detectives later arrested Griggs at a residence in Newark and Lanier in a vehicle in Newark. Destiny Montalvo, 21, of Newark, N.J. was located at her residence and was arrested for conspiring to dispose of evidence.

Below: NJ State Police staging in Upper Freehold Township, it was unclear if this operation had anything to do with the bust mentioned.

The suspects were charged with the following:

Carlos Sanchez

• Leader of an auto theft trafficking network

• Conspiracy to commit theft

• Theft by unlawful taking

James Lanier

• Conspiracy to commit theft

• Theft by unlawful taking

• Burglary

Geovanni Hernandez

• Conspiracy to commit theft

• Burglary

• Theft

• Receiving stolen property

Solomon Mickens

• Conspiracy to commit theft

• Theft by unlawful taking

Sadiq Griggs

• Conspiracy to commit theft

Destiny Montalvo

• Tampering with physical evidence

All suspects were lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending a bail detention hearing. This case is being prosecuted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.


Sayreville Man Found Guilty Of Hate Crime Killing EMT And News Reporter/Photographer Jerry Wolkowitz In Freehold, NJ

November 18, 2022

FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County Jury has returned guilty verdicts on the most serious charges against the man who attacked and killed a stranger in Freehold Township four and a half years ago, solely because of the victim’s race, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Friday.  

Following an approximately seven-week trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas, 30-year-old Jamil Hubbard of Sayreville was convicted of first-degree Murder, first-degree Bias Intimidation, second-degree Eluding, third-degree Theft from the Person, third-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and third-degree Motor Vehicle Theft, all in connection with the death of 56-year-old Jerry Wolkowitz.

At approximately 7:15 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, May 1, 2018, members of the Freehold Township Police Department and other first responders rushed to the Chesterfield Apartments on Harding Road on a report of a physical altercation involving a person struck by a vehicle. At that location they found Wolkowitz in the apartment complex’s parking lot, having sustained severe injuries to his head, abdomen, and back. Wolkowitz was subsequently rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for emergency treatment.

Missing from the parking lot was Wolkowitz’s vehicle, a Kia Forte, which Hubbard was later found to have stolen. Hubbard then led police on a pursuit, refusing to obey commands to pull over, until it was terminated due to high speeds and out of concern for public safety. Minutes later, the Kia was found abandoned on Bordentown Avenue in Sayreville, and Hubbard was arrested by members of the Sayreville Police Department without incident at his home in the nearby Winding Wood Apartments.

An investigation involving numerous members of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau, Freehold Township Police Department, and Sayreville Police Department later revealed that Hubbard was in the area that morning because he had slept in his vehicle overnight, having engaged in an argument with his ex-girlfriend, a resident of the apartment complex, the night before. When he woke up, he told investigators, he spotted Wolkowitz walking nearby and decided to try to kill him because he was white, initially attacking him from behind with punches and kicks before stealing his wallet and car keys. He also told investigators he dragged the victim into the parking lot and ran him over.

Wolkowitz, a longtime member of the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad and a freelance photographer, remained hospitalized in a coma until he died due to his injuries on Thursday, October 18, 2018. A Monmouth County Grand Jury returned a seven-count indictment against Hubbard in March 2019.

Hubbard’s prosecution was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Hoda Soliman and Keri Schaefer, who presented evidence at trial refuting an attempted insanity defense, showing that Hubbard’s conduct was intentional, knowing, and deliberate.

“This was the textbook definition of a senseless crime, and as our prosecuting team astutely noted in their closing argument, ‘senseless’ does not mean ‘insane,’” Acting Prosecutor Santiago said. “Mr. Wolkowitz was an innocent victim, minding his own business and on his way home from work, when his life was snuffed out over something as trivial as the color of his skin. Such a monstrous act necessitates that justice be served, and we sincerely thank the jury in this case for carefully weighing the evidence and reaching the appropriate conclusion.”

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for March 31, 2023, at which time Hubbard will face a term of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hubbard was represented at trial by Allison Friedman, Esq. and Katherine M. Caola, Esq.


Jamil Hubbard of Sayreville (Left) was convicted of first-degree Murder, first-degree Bias Intimidation, second-degree Eluding, third-degree Theft from the Person, third-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and third-degree Motor Vehicle Theft, all in connection with the death of 56-year-old Jerry Wolkowitz (Right).



Retired Robbinsville fire captain Dennis Symons said he first met Wolkowitz sometime in the 1990s when he was working as a freelance photographer for the Allentown Messenger.

“A lot of stories or sports we were covering at the time overlapped so I would be shooting side by side at games and events. Jerry was a really nice guy and we were always talking about the latest equipment or assignments we were covering.”

Read More: NJ journalist dies 6 months after brutal ‘hate crime’ attack |

https://www.ems1.com/fatal-incidents/articles/nj-emt-dies-months-after-brutal-beating-vDzb1Y0X5BFGqIkD/

Obituary of Jerry A. Wolkowitz

Jerry A. Wolkowitz, 56, of Freehold Township died on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at AcuteCare Specialty Hospital at Kimball, Lakewood. He was born in Neptune Township and had resided in Manalapan Township and Freehold for most of his life. Jerry was a member of the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad for over 25 years and a member of the New Jersey Press Photographers Association. He was a well-known news photographer for local papers for over 30 years. Jerry is survived by his mother, Martha Wolkowitz, his sisters, Judy Marcus and husband Steven Fried, Goldie Markowitz and husband Frank, a brother, Perry Wolkowitz and wife Cindy; six nieces and nephews, Missy (Doug), Dorie (Saras), David (Tina), Rachel, Steven, and Alyssa; and six great nieces and nephews, Adam, Jordan, Kesley, Dylan, Maya, and Ezra; and his fiancé Peggie Zorovich. Funeral services will be held at the Perrineville Jewish Chapel, 755 Perrineville Road, Millstone Township on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. followed by interment at the Perrineville Jewish Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Humane Society or the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad, 18 Spring Street, Freehold, NJ 07728 would be appreciated. Higgins Memorial Home, Freehold is in charge of arrangements.


https://nj1015.com/freehold-hate-crime-case-accused-said-he-wanted-to-kill-old-white-man/

Armed Robbery Suspect’s Lengthy Standoff With Police Ends Peacefully Late Last Night

November 17, 2022

NEPTUNE, NJ (MONMOUTH) – A local man who engaged in a lengthy standoff with police after allegedly committing an armed robbery of a Neptune Township pharmacy surrendered peacefully late last night and remains in custody, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.  

Jeffrey V. Migliore, 34, of Ocean Township is charged with first-degree Armed Robbery and three related weapons offenses.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16, members of the Neptune Township Police Department responded to a pharmacy on the 1200 block of Corlies Avenue for a report of a robbery. At that location it was learned that a man later identified as Migliore had entered the store, brandished a handgun, demanded cash from the store clerk, and made off with several hundreds of dollars.

Migliore was then quickly tracked to a home on the 1200 block of 11th Avenue in Neptune Township, a short distance away, and he initially refused several orders to surrender to arriving police, after which, neighboring homes and properties were evacuated for safety reasons. Members of MCPO, the Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT) and Rapid Deployment Force (RDF), Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Medical Unit, New Jersey State Police Technical Emergency and Mission Specialists (TEAMS) Unit, Jersey City Police Department SWAT, and the Neptune Township Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Services, and Office of Emergency Management all thereafter responded to the scene, where they established a perimeter and engaged in lengthy negotiations with Migliore, who surrendered peacefully shortly after 10:30 p.m. A handgun was also recovered at the scene.

Migliore remains in custody pending a detention hearing and first appearance to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court. This matter remains under joint investigation by members of MCPO and the Neptune Township Police Department, and anyone with information about Migliore’s activities is being urged to contact Neptune Township Police Department Detective Robert Hagerman at 732-988-8000, Ext. 419.

“That this extraordinarily delicate and complicated situation was resolved with no injuries or loss of life to any civilians or members of law enforcement was no accident – it was the result of very carefully planned, coordinated, and well-executed actions of dozens upon dozens of members of local, county, and state agencies, all working closely together in close quarters and under tremendous pressure,” Acting Prosecutor Santiago said. “This outcome is a testament to the quality of their efforts.”

“The manner in which the local, county and state law-enforcement community worked together to resolve a tenuous situation peacefully speaks volumes in our ability to collaborate,” Neptune Township Police Chief Larry B. Fisher added. “The professionalism of all agencies involved cannot be more appreciated.”

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

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by terms of 10 to 20 years in state prison.

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.




Wall Township Man Who Was Carpenters’ Union Fund Manager Sentenced To Six Months Home Confinement For Embezzling $140K

November 16, 2022

NEWARK, N.J. – The former administrative manager of a carpenters’ union pension fund was sentenced today to six months of home confinement and three years of probation for embezzling approximately $140,000 and making false statements on a required report to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

George R. Laufenberg, 72, of Wall Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin R. McNulty to two counts of an indictment charging him with embezzling approximately $140,000 in pension benefits and making false statements to the DOL. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Laufenberg was the administrative manager of the Northeast Carpenters Pension Fund, which was subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Laufenberg was a fiduciary and participant in the pension fund. He admitted stealing $140,000 that was paid to him under a deferred compensation agreement to which he was not entitled. Laufenberg also admitted that he made false statements in a form required under ERISA that he filed to the Department of Labor on behalf of the pension fund.

In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty fined Laufenberg $20,000 and debarred him from any future association with a union or benefit plan.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the DOL Employee Benefit Security Administration, under the supervision of Thomas Licetti, Regional Director; special agents of the DOL Office of the Inspector General, under the supervision of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone; and agents of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, under the supervision of Inspector General John Gay, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall R. Randolph of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.

22-423

Defense counsel: Peter W. Till Esq., Springfield Township, New Jersey


Red Bank Regional High School English Teacher Charged With Engaging In Sexual Relationship With Student

November 14, 2022

An English teacher at Red Bank Regional High School has been arrested and criminally charged with having a long-term sexual relationship with a former student, starting when she was enrolled at the school, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Michael F. Canning, 41, of Long Branch is charged with second-degree Sexual Assault, second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact.

An investigation involving members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and the Red Bank Police Department revealed that the alleged criminal conduct by Canning began in 2015, when the victim was a junior, and extended into 2019. On numerous occasions during that time, Canning allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the victim at various locations in Red Bank, Little Silver, and Shrewsbury.

Canning was arrested without incident in Oceanport on Saturday and transported to Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI), where he remains incarcerated pending a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This matter remains under joint investigation by members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and Red Bank Police Department. Anyone with information about Canning’s activities is being urged to contact MCPO Detective Kayla Santiago at 800-533-7443 or Red Bank Police Department Detective Paul Perez at 732-530-2700.

This case is being prosecuted by the MCPO Special Victims Bureau Director, Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Zanzuccki. Canning is being represented by Kristin S. Pallonetti, Esq., with an office in Red Bank.

“These allegations constitute an egregious betrayal of the immense degree of faith we place upon teachers to always act in the best interests of the young minds they are entrusted to develop and educate,” Acting Prosecutor Santiago said. “The charges filed this weekend are emblematic of our firm commitment to ensure that such conduct is never tolerated, and always met with swift action.”    

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

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.

Michael F. Canning, 41, of Long Branch is charged with second-degree Sexual Assault, second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact.


Car Hits Pole; Minor Injuries Reported In Upper Freehold Township, Assunpink Wildlife Mgt. Area

November 8, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Hope Fire Company of Allentown and Allentown EMS were dispatched around 5:21 p.m. to a reported vehicle into a pole. The accident was located in the 300 Block of Clarksburg-Robbinsville Road between Eldridge Road and South Rochdale Avenue in the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area. Allentown EMS treated the person on scene but it was unclear if person was transported to the hospital. Firefighters from Hope Fire Company notified JCP&L of a cracked utility pole that will need repair. The New Jersey State Police were on scene investigating. No additional details are available.

Asbury Park Man Convicted Of Sex Crimes Against Two Juveniles

November 7, 2022

FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County Jury has returned guilty verdicts against an Asbury Park man who sexually abused two juvenile siblings on multiple occasions over the course of several years, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Following a weeklong trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Jill G. O’Malley, 35-year-old Walter Orlando Perez-Ramos was convicted Friday on two counts of second-degree Sexual Assault, two counts of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and a single count of fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact.

On Monday, May 3, 2021, members of the Asbury Park Police Department first received information regarding the abuse of the two victims, then ages 16 and 17.

An investigation by members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and the Asbury Park Police Department quickly determined that the abuse had involved dozens of incidents taking place on various dates from May 2015 through May 2020, each involving inappropriate touching. Perez-Ramos was arrested later in May 2021 and remained in custody at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) until the trial, at which both victims testified. MCPO Special Victims Bureau Director and Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Zanzuccki handled the prosecution, while Perez-Ramos was represented by George J. Mardinly, Esq.

“This family repeatedly welcomed the defendant into their home as a trusted friend, and he repaid that trust with betrayal – by robbing the two victims of what should have been a normal, happy, fruitful adolescence,” Acting Prosecutor Santiago said. “They can never get those years back, but thanks to this verdict, we can at least ensure that justice is served and their healing process can begin.”  

Sentencing has been scheduled for Friday, March 31, 2023, at which time Perez-Ramos will face a term of up to 21 years and six months in state prison, along with registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and Parole Supervision for Life.


Pair From Virginia Charged With Attempted Home Invasion In Marlboro Township; Attempted To Enter Home Whie Brandishing An AK-47-Style Rifle

November 3, 2022

MARLBORO TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A pair of Virginia residents have been arrested and charged with conspiring to orchestrate an armed home invasion and robbery in Marlboro Township earlier this fall, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.

Acori Knox, 21, of Hampton, Virginia and Lauren McNeil, 24, of Newport News, Virginia are each charged with second-degree Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, second-degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, and second-degree Attempted Burglary. Knox is additionally charged with first-degree Attempted Robbery, second-degree Eluding Police, and three second-degree weapons offenses.

A joint investigation by the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau and the Marlboro Township Police Department revealed the following facts:

Shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 24, members of the Marlboro Township Police Department responded to a residential neighborhood on a report of an attempted home invasion. At that location they learned that an adult male suspect later identified as Knox had just left the scene in a dark-colored Cadillac sedan with Virginia license plates, having minutes earlier attempted to enter the home through a rear patio door while brandishing an AK-47-style rifle. A Patrolman quickly located the vehicle and initiated a pursuit, but soon thereafter broke it off due to excessive speed and the associated risk to public safety.

McNeil was one of several individuals present as guests at the home at the time, and it was revealed that she and her boyfriend, Knox, had planned the home invasion via text messages ahead of time, seeking to restrain the homeowner while robbing him of cash and personal effects.

Both defendants were taken into custody without incident yesterday in Newport News, Virginia, and they now await extradition proceedings and a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court. The Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank the Hampton, Virginia Police Division, the Newport News, Virginia Police Department, and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices in both cities for their assistance in the investigation.

“This case has been marked by consistently stellar investigative work throughout, from a swift initial response that very well may have prevented a far worse outcome all the way through the identification of these suspects and their arrests yesterday,” Acting Prosecutor Santiago said. “It’s also a prime example of how powerfully effective collaborative efforts involving multiple agencies can be, all in an overarching effort to ensure that public safety is maintained throughout our communities.”

“The Marlboro Township Police Detective Bureau worked hand in hand with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Newport News Police Department to close this investigation rapidly,” Marlboro Township Police Chief Peter J. Pezzullo added. “I am extremely proud of the dedication and diligence of Detective (Edward) Ungrady and all the Marlboro Officers involved in this case. This joint operation exemplifies how multiple law-enforcement agencies can work as one and accomplish great results.”

This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Caitlin J. Sidley of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau. Information on legal representation for Knox and McNeil was not immediately available. Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by terms of up to 20 years in state prison, while second-degree convictions can result in terms of up to 10 years.

Anyone with information about this matter is still being asked to contact MCPO Detective Aaron Shaw at 800-533-7443 or Marlboro Township Police Department Detective Edward Ungrady at 732-536-0100.

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

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.


69-Year-Old Toms River Man Charged With 4 Counts Arson That Destroyed Six Vehicles In Wall Township Causing $1+Million In Damages

November 3, 2022

WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Toms River man has been arrested and charged with setting ablaze a group of commercial vehicles belonging to a local business in Wall Township, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.

Harcourt “Paul” S. Ward, 69, of Toms River, has been charged with four counts of second-degree Arson in connection with a fire that was responsible for the destruction of six vehicles.

On Monday evening, September 26, at approximately 10:11 p.m., the Wall Township Police Department received a call for a fire at the 1900 block of Atlantic Avenue. Upon arrival, members of the Wall Township Police Department and Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office found six total vehicles on fire.

An investigation revealed that Ward, of Ward Realty and Insurance in Point Pleasant was the person responsible for purposely setting the vehicles ablaze. The estimated value of the damage caused by the fire was over $1 million.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Joshua Rios at 800-533-7443 or Wall Township Police Detective Zach Honecker at 732-449-4500.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Caitlin J. Sidley, of the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Bureau.

Legal representation for Ward was not immediately available.

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.


Raids In New Jersey As Law Enforcement Takes Down Nationwide Network Of Catalytic Converter Thieves, Dealers And Processors For Roles In Conspiracies Involving Stolen Catalytic Converters Sold For Tens Of Millions Of Dollars

FBI and HSI Police swarmed Blacey’s U-Pick Auto Parts “We Buy Scrap” at 242 Monmouth Rd, in North Hanover Township, Burlington County, just outside of New Egypt, NJ today. Multiple pallets of what appeared to be catalytic converters marked as evidence and hauled away.

Navin Khanna, 39, of Holmdel, New Jersey charged in connection with Oklahoma Case.

Navin Khanna, aka Lovin Khanna, 39; Tinu Khanna, aka Gagan Khanna, 35; Daniel Dolan, 44; Chi Mo, aka David Mo, 37; Wright Louis Mosley, 50; and Ishu Lakra, 24, all of New Jersey, charged in California Case.


Midjersey.News Update Here:


November 2, 2022

Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners from across the United States executed a nationwide, coordinated takedown today of leaders and associates of a national network of thieves, dealers, and processors for their roles in conspiracies involving stolen catalytic converters sold to a metal refinery for tens of millions of dollars.

Arrests, searches, and seizures took place in California, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia. In total, 21 individuals in five states have been arrested and/or charged for their roles in the conspiracy.

The 21 defendants are charged in two separate indictments that were unsealed today in the Eastern District of California and the Northern District of Oklahoma following extensive law enforcement arrest and search operations. In addition to the indictments, over 32 search warrants were executed, and law enforcement seized millions of dollars in assets, including homes, bank accounts, cash, and luxury vehicles.

“Amidst a rise in catalytic converter thefts across the country, the Justice Department has today carried out an operation arresting 21 defendants and executing 32 search warrants in a nation-wide takedown of a multimillion-dollar catalytic converter theft network,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “We will continue to work alongside our state and local partners to disrupt criminal conspiracies like this one that target the American people.”

“This national network of criminals hurt victims across the country,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “They made hundreds of millions of dollars in the process—on the backs of thousands of innocent car owners. Today’s charges showcase how the FBI and its partners act together to stop crimes that hurt all too many Americans.”

“With California’s higher emission standards, our community has become a hot bed for catalytic converter theft,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California. “Last year approximately 1,600 catalytic converters were reportedly stolen in California each month, and California accounts for 37% of all catalytic converter theft claims nationwide. I am proud to announce that we have indicted nine people who are at the core of catalytic theft in our community and nationwide.”

“In Tulsa alone, more than 2,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the past year,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson for the Northern District of Oklahoma. “Organized criminal activity, including the large-scale theft of catalytic converters, is costly to victims and too often places citizens and law enforcement in danger. The collective work conducted by federal prosecutors and more than 10 different law enforcement agencies led to the filing of charges in the Northern District of Oklahoma against 13 defendants operating an alleged catalytic converter theft operation.”

“The success of this national takedown highlights the importance and necessity of dynamic law enforcement partnerships that we foster at DHS every single day,” said Deputy Secretary John K. Tien of the Department of Homeland Security. “This calculated, cooperative whole-of-government approach across multiple states illustrates our commitment to protecting the homeland from those who seek to profit from sophisticated schemes. Homeland Security Investigations [HSI] will continue to focus its efforts on keeping these types of criminal elements off our streets while dismantling the groups behind these and other thefts.”

“Just like the precious metal inside every catalytic converter, there’s a money trail at the core of every criminal scheme,” said Chief Jim Lee of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “Our IRS-CI special agents and partners are incredibly well-versed at unraveling financial trails, and this case is not unique. There are real victims here – friends, neighbors, and businesses – and our hope is that today’s arrests will deter similar criminal activity.” 



Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are a component of an automotive vehicle’s exhaust device that reduce the toxic gas and pollutants from a vehicle’s internal combustion engine into safe emissions. Catalytic converters use precious metals in their center, or “core,” and are regularly targeted for theft due to the high value of these metals, especially the precious metals palladium, platinum, and rhodium. Some of these precious metals are more valuable per ounce than gold and their value has been increasing in recent years. The black-market price for catalytic converters can be above $1,000 each, depending on the type of vehicle and what state it is from. They can be stolen in less than a minute. Additionally, catalytic converters often lack unique serial numbers, VIN information, or other distinctive identification features, making them difficult to trace to their lawful owner. Thus, the theft of catalytic converters has become increasingly popular because of their value, relative ease to steal, and their lack of identifying markings.


Photos of “Operation Heavy Metal” provided by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)


Eastern District of California Case

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of California returned a 40‑count indictment charging nine defendants with conspiracy to transport stolen catalytic converters, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and other related charges.

According to court documents, Tou Sue Vang, 31, and Andrew Vang, 27, and Monica Moua, 51, all of Sacramento, California, allegedly operated an unlicensed business from their personal residence in Sacramento where they bought stolen catalytic converters from local thieves and shipped them to DG Auto Parts LLC (DG Auto) in New Jersey for processing. The defendants allegedly sold over $38 million in stolen catalytic converters to DG Auto.

Defendants Navin Khanna, aka Lovin Khanna, 39; Tinu Khanna, aka Gagan Khanna, 35; Daniel Dolan, 44; Chi Mo, aka David Mo, 37; Wright Louis Mosley, 50; and Ishu Lakra, 24, all of New Jersey, operated DG Auto in multiple locations in New Jersey. They knowingly purchased stolen catalytic converters and, through a “de-canning” process, extracted the precious metal powders from the catalytic core. DG Auto sold the precious metal powders it processed from California and elsewhere to a metal refinery for over $545 million.

“This national takedown exemplifies the complexities of organized criminal operations and stresses the importance of law enforcement collaboration to identify and disrupt all facets of a criminal enterprise,” explained Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “This case demonstrates how investigations often evolve to expose the higher level organizations that fuel street-level crime.  While catalytic converter thefts are a significant and pervasive challenge for local law enforcement agencies, these street-level crimes often benefit larger criminal networks.  Organized crime must be addressed comprehensively and collaboratively to disrupt these networks and reduce crime in our communities.  We are grateful for the commitment and partnership of our local, state, and federal law enforcement colleagues who worked tirelessly to ensure this criminal enterprise was effectively disrupted.”

Northern District of Oklahoma Case

A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Oklahomareturned a 40‑count indictment charging 13 defendants with conspiracy to receive stolen catalytic converters, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and other related charges.

According to court documents, together the defendants bought stolen catalytic converters from thieves on the street, then re-sold and shipped them to DG Auto in New Jersey for processing. Over the course of the conspiracy, defendant Tyler James Curtis received over $13 million in wired funds from DG Auto for the shipment of catalytic converters and received over $500,000 from Capital Cores for catalytic converters. Defendant Adam G. Sharkey received over $45 million in wired funds from DG Auto. And defendant Martynas Macerauskas received over $6 million in payments from DG Auto for catalytic converters. In all these incidents, most of the catalytic converters sold to DG Auto were stolen, and DG Auto knew or should have known that when they paid for them. 

The 13 defendants are Navin Khanna, 39, of Holmdel, New Jersey; Adam Sharkey, 26, of West Islip, New York; Robert Gary Sharkey, 57, of Babylon, New York; Tyler James Curtis, 26, of Wagoner, Oklahoma; Benjamin Robert Mansour, 24, of Bixby, Oklahoma; Reiss Nicole Biby, 24, of Wagoner, Oklahoma; Martynas Macerauskas, 28, of Leila Lake, Texas; Kristina McKay Macerauskas, 21, of Leila Lake, Texas; Parker Star Weavel, 25, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Shane Allen Minnick, 26, of Haskell, Oklahoma; Ryan David LaRue 29, of Broken Bow, Oklahoma; Brian Pate Thomas, 25, of Choteau, Oklahoma; and Michael Anthony Rhoden, 26, of Keifer, Oklahoma.

Trial Attorney Danbee C. Kim of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica M.A. Alegría for the Eastern District of California, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Reagan Reininger and David Nasar for the Northern District of Oklahoma are prosecuting the cases.

The FBI Sacramento, IRS-CI Sacramento, HSI Tulsa, and IRS-CI Tulsa are investigating the cases.

FBI Las Vegas (NV), FBI Richmond (VA), FBI Charlotte (NC), FBI Newark (NJ), FBI Dallas (TX), HSI Dallas (TX), HSI Houston (TX), HSI Amarillo (TX), HSI St. Paul (MN), HSI Long Island (NY), HSI Newark (NJ), IRS-CI Chicago Field Office (IL), IRS-CI Oakland Field Office (CA), IRS-CI Dallas Field Office (TX), IRS-CI Newark Field Office (NJ), Tulsa Police Department (OK), Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (OK), Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OK), Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office (OK), Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office (OK), Houston Police Department (TX), Amarillo Police Department (TX), Broken Arrow Police Department (OK), Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (CA), Sacramento Police Department (CA), Davis Police Department (CA), Auburn Police Department (CA), Livermore Police Department (CA), San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Department (CA), Customs and Border Protection (NJ), Port Authority Police Department of New York and New Jersey (NY; NJ), Hudson County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Morris Township Police Department (NJ), Springfield Police Department (NJ), New Jersey State Police (NJ), Union County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), Port Authority of NY & NJ (NY; NJ), Howell Police Department (NJ), Warren Township Police Department (NJ), Freehold Borough Police Department (NJ), Middletown Police Department (NJ), Marlboro Police Department (NJ), Manalapan Police Department (NJ), Ocean County Sheriff’s Office (NJ), Burlington Police Department (NJ), Willingboro Police Department (NJ), Waterfront Commission of NY Harbor (NY), Nassau County Police Department (NY), Suffolk County Police Department (NY), Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (NV), Greensville County Sheriff’s Office (VA), Emporia Police Department (VA), Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office (VA), Halifax County Sheriff’s Office (NC), Saint Paul Police Department (MN), Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau (MN), Blaine Police Department (MN), McLeod County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Anoka County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Carver County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Roseville Police Department (MN), Plymouth Police Department (MN), Bloomington Police Department (MN), Eagan Police Department (MN), Woodbury Police Department (MN), Brown County Sheriff’s Office (MN), Brooklyn Park Police Department (MN), Fridley Police Department (MN), Mendota Heights Police Department (MN), Chaska Police Department (MN), and Coon Rapids Police Department (MN) provided assistance.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


The scene this afternoon at Blacey’s U-Pick Auto Parts “We Buy Scrap” at 242 Monmouth Rd, in North Hanover Township. Evidence technicians from the FBI and HSI Police (Homeland Security Police) can be seen removing many pallets of what appeared to be catalectic converters and placed them in multiple panel trucks before being hauled away. It is unclear if or how Blacey’s is connected to any of the above cases all we know for sure is that FBI Agents and HSI Pollice were seen swarming the building today.




The scene this afternoon at Blacey’s U-Pick Auto Parts “We Buy Scrap” at 242 Monmouth Rd, in North Hanover Township. Evidence technicians from the FBI and HSI Police (Homeland Security Police) can be seen removing many pallets of what appeared to be catalectic converters and placed them in multiple panel trucks before being hauled away. It is unclear if or how Blacey’s is connected to any of the above cases all we know for sure is that FBI Agents and HSI Pollice were seen swarming the building today.


Coldwell Banker Realty Celebrates Grand Opening for First Phase at New Manalapan Active Adult 55+ Community

November 2, 2022

Manalapan, N.J. (November 2, 2022) – The Alan Kurlander Group from Coldwell Banker Realty’s Marlboro/Manalapan office Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes, a leading sales and marketing organization in the homebuilding industry, celebrated the grand opening of the first phase at Four Seasons at Manalapan Crossing, a new active adult 55+ community from K. Hovnanian in Manalapan, N.J. Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes and the Alan Kurlander Group have been selected to serve as the exclusive Realtor MLS listing agent and Realtor liaison on behalf of K. Hovnanian to create and implement a marketing strategy targeted at the Realtor community to support sales for the 280-home community.

Four Seasons at Manalapan Crossing features a range of single-family home designs starting at $769,990 that are meticulously designed to provide homeowners with contemporary floorplans and on-trend finish selections, where they can enjoy low-maintenance living surrounded by exciting local excursions in Monmouth County. Beyond their homes, residents will also enjoy a robust amenities package beyond their homes, including bocce and tennis courts, walking trails, open space, and a community clubhouse with a pool.

Four Seasons at Manalapan Crossing marks the next chapter in K. Hovnanian’s decades-long relationship with the Alan Kurlander Group and Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes. Since 1996, Kurlander has served as K. Hovnanian’s trusted Realtor outreach expert helping the company sell hundreds of homes in dozens of communities across Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. Throughout his time working with K. Hovnanian, Kurlander has tapped Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes’ highly experienced team to leverage their unmatched business intelligence and marketing tools to drive success at each community.

“The K. Hovnanian name has long been synonymous with high-quality, timeless homes paired with unmatched customer satisfaction,” said Kurlander. “Every aspect of Four Seasons at Manalapan Crossing echoes this legacy, and I am deeply honored to work with them and the Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes team to show potential residents all that Four Seasons at Manalapan Crossing offers.”

Coldwell Banker Realty New Homes partners with real estate developers and realtors through every step of the real estate marketing process to drive successful sales and leasing efforts at new residential properties.

Residents at Four Seasons at Manalapan Crossing will also enjoy an unmatched location in the heart of Monmouth County. The community’s location along Route 33 affords easy access to the top destinations at the Jersey Shore and nearby attractions. The community is also favorably located equidistant between New York City and Philadelphia which are just an hour’s drive away.

Four Seasons at Manalapan Crossing model home tours are available by appointment only. For more information, Realtors and buyers should contact Alan Kurlander at (732) 284-6302.



Dump Truck Crash Closes Route 526 In Upper Freehold Township

County Road 526 is closed between Allentown and Sharon Station Road due to electrical wires down on the roadway.

November 2, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A dump truck traveling east on County Road 526 just prior to 7:30 a.m. lost control, hit a utility pole and ran off the roadway into a wooded area. Upper Freehold Township – Hope Fire Company firefighters responded to the crash at 7:29 a.m. and upon arrival it was determined that the driver was able to self-extricate and no injuries were reported. Live electrical wires from the broken utility pole were in the roadway closing the roadway. NJ State Police closed Route 526 from Allentown at the 526 Bypass (by firehouse) to Sharon Station Road. Plan alternate routes until utility pole repairs are made.

Two Motor Vehicles Crash On Old York Road At Montgomery Way

October 31, 2022

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Hope Fire Company and Allentown – Captial Health EMS responded at 6:37 p.m. to Old York Road and Montgomery Way for a T-bone crash with reported injuries. Robbinsville Township Police and New Jersey State Police also responded to the scene of the crash. The injuries were minor, and one person was placed in the back of the ambulance for evaluation of injuries but did not seek transport to the hospital. Hope Fire Company stood by for cleanup and assisted Robbinsville Police with traffic control. The Robbinsville Township Police Department is investigating the crash.



Oceanport, Monmouth County, Man Sentenced To 5+ Years In Prison For Defrauding Lenders Of $50 Million

October 31, 2022

TRENTON, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 63 months in prison for defrauding lenders of $50 million dollars in connection with an invoice factoring scheme perpetrated over nearly a decade, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Vincent Galano, 60, of Oceanport, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud. Judge Quraishi imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

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

Accounts receivable factoring, also known as invoice financing (factoring), is a financial transaction through which a company obtains cash by selling its unpaid invoices, ordinarily at a discount, to a factor. Factoring clients send their debtors notices of assignment naming the factor as the assignee of the debt owed on the invoices. The factor collects invoiced amounts owed by the clients’ debtors and, upon collection of the entire invoiced amount, pays its clients the balance of the invoice, deducting the factor’s fees.

Galano formed PF Funding LLC (PF Funding) in 1996 for the purpose of factoring accounts receivables for various corporate clients. In 2007, PF Funding entered into a secured lending relationship with a single purpose entity created to finance PF Funding’s factoring business. Shortly thereafter, the factoring lender established a line of credit as a means to provide PF Funding capital to grow its receiveables portfolio. Over the next several years, PF Funding grew its factoring business by drawing from the line of credit while maintaining as current its loan obligations to the factoring lender. However, beginning in 2011, Galano, through PF Funding, purchased increasingly greater numbers of invoices for which he was unable to collect the debt owed on the receivables. To justify PF Funding’s continued draws from the line of credit, Galano concealed this bad debt from the factoring lender by misrepresenting the bad invoices as collectible on reports he routinely provided to the factoring lender. In other instances, Galano mischaracterized invoices that had already been paid and collected as outstanding and capable of being factored, in essence double-counting to drive up the outstanding receivables. In the reports provided to the factoring lender, Galano manipulated the overall value of PF Funding’s portfolio of outstanding invoices in an amount proportional to the funds he needed to draw from the unsecured line of credit to maintain as current the principal and interest payments on his outstanding loans.

Engaging in this pattern of misrepresentation over nearly a decade, by 2020 PF Funding had ultimately defaulted under its loan obligations, owing approximately $50 million to its lenders by virtue of the scheme. During a May 2020 telephone call with his lenders, Galano admitted that he had concealed significant losses suffered by PF Funding over many years. He admitted that he had routinely distributed to lenders over that prolonged period fabricated reports that overstated the number and value of outstanding invoices which the reports represented as payable.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Quraishi sentenced Galano to two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $50 million.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

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Defense counsel: Christopher Porrino Esq. and Rachel Maimin Esq., New York


Forked River Man Charged With Murder Of His Wife

October 31, 2022

FREEHOLD – An Ocean County man has been arrested for allegedly killing his wife and leaving her body on the side of a road in Ocean Township this past weekend, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Jeremy B. Cruz, 51, of Forked River is charged with First-Degree Murder in connection with the death of 51-year-old Dawn C. Cruz.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 30, a woman who appeared to have sustained severe injuries was observed by a concerned motorist at the intersection of Asbury and Colonial avenues in the Township of Ocean. Upon responding, Ocean Township Police Department officers located the victim, identified as Dawn Cruz, who was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene.

A short while later, Jeremy Cruz turned himself in to authorities at Berkeley Township Police Department headquarters in Ocean County. A joint investigation by members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean Township Police Department, Asbury Park Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and Berkeley Township Police Department ultimately led to the arrest and charging of Cruz. He remains in custody pending a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Caitlin J. Sidley of the Major Crimes Bureau. Information on Cruz’s legal representation was not immediately available. Convictions on Murder charges are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison.

Anyone with information about this matter is being asked to contact MCPO Detective Aaron Shaw at 800-533-7443 or Ocean Township Police Department Detective Zachary Rhein at 732-531-1800.

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.

Jackson Man Charged With Robbing West Long Branch Check-Cashing Business Of $700,000.

October 28, 2022

FREEHOLD – An Ocean County man has been arrested and charged with committing a daytime robbery of a West Long Branch check-cashing business that netted $700,000, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Friday.   

Travis A. Bryant, 41, of Jackson is charged with first-degree Robbery, second-degree Burglary, and fourth-degree Possession of an Imitation Handgun.

At approximately 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2017, members of the West Long Branch Police Department responded to the check-cashing business on Route 36 on a report of a silent alarm activation. At that location, officers found a lone employee, who advised that a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt pulled tightly around his face and sunglasses had just robbed the store of a large quantity of cash.

It was quickly determined that the man had entered the store when no customers were present and used a ladder to access and climb through ceiling ducts in order to access a secured, employees-only area of the business where cash was stored. After falling through the ceiling, Bryant reportedly approached the store employee, indicating that he was in possession of a weapon, and ordered her into the store bathroom while he made off with her purse, cell phone, and approximately $700,000 in cash, driving away in a van.

An intensive, long-term investigation by members of the West Long Branch Police Department and a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) resulted in Bryant being identified as a suspect in the case, and he was arrested without incident yesterday and lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Bogner, Director of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau, members of which also assisted in the investigation. Information on Bryant’s legal representation was not immediately available.

Convictions on first-degree crimes are commonly punishable by terms of 10 to 20 years in state prison.

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.

Ocean Township Man Convicted At Trial For First-Degree Murder, Arson, Robbery, Weapons Offenses, Desecration Of Human Remains And Other Charges

October 26, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County Jury has returned guilty verdicts on nearly all charges against the local man who murdered a longtime family friend a little more than three years ago and set her home on fire in an attempt to cover his tracks, Acting Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Michael J. Wojciechowski announced Wednesday.  

Following a month-long trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley, 52-year-old Ronald J. Teschner was convicted of first-degree Murder, first-degree Felony Murder, first-degree Robbery, three first-degree weapons offenses, second-degree Aggravated Arson, second-degree Desecration of Human Remains, third-degree Aggravated Assault, third-degree Burglary, third-degree Robbery, three counts of third-degree Theft, a third-degree drug offense, and fourth-degree Resisting Arrest, all in connection with the death of 65-year-old Jacqueline C. Terrulli.

Shortly after 7:30 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, September 12, 2019, firefighters and other first responders rushed to a home on Wickapecko Drive in Ocean Township that was fully engulfed in flames. Once the fire was put out, a joint investigation by members of the Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Bureau, the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Ocean Township Police Department determined that two residents of the home were unaccounted for: Teschner and Terrulli, the homeowner. Terrulli’s vehicle, a white Jeep Cherokee, was also missing from the property.

The next morning, on Friday, September 13, 2019, members of the Ocean Township Police Department located the Cherokee parked on a residential street in Paterson, a little more than an hour’s drive north. Teschner was located in the driver’s seat, and recovered from the vehicle were two shotguns, a quantity of fentanyl, and jewelry and other items belonging to Terrulli.

Teschner remained lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) following his arrest, and Murder charges were filed against him in December 2019. A Monmouth County Grand Jury then returned a 16-count indictment in the case in February 2020.

Later that year, on Thursday, June 18, 2020, as demolition and site remediation work was being performed on the Wickapecko Drive property, human remains that would later be identified as belonging to Terrulli were found wrapped in plastic and buried several feet underground. As a result of the fire, charred rubble had collapsed upon and covered the remains, initially concealing them from detection.

Teschner’s prosecution was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Joseph Cummings and Katherine Butler, who presented evidence at trial including witness testimony, cell-phone records, and physical evidence showing that the murder took place while Terrulli’s mother and two siblings were away in Atlantic City.

“This was a genuinely monstrous crime, hallmarked by callous brutality – Jacqueline Terrulli welcomed the defendant into her home to live, and as a result of that charity, lost her life,” Wojciechowski said. “While this verdict can’t bring her back, we hope it offers some sense of solace to her family and friends, knowing that justice has been served.”

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at which time Teschner will face a term of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Prosecutor’s Office would again like to sincerely thank the numerous agencies that participated in this investigation and/or the extensive search for Terrulli’s remains, including the Ocean Township Police Department, Paterson Police Department, Wayne Police Department, Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, Monmouth County Public Works, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K9 Bomb Squad, Bloodhound, Regional Dive and Search Team, and Drone; Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K9, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, a New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Division of Criminal Justice Recruit Class, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office and K9 Accelerant Dog, New Jersey State Police K9 Cadaver Dog, Missing Persons Unit, Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC), and Police Laboratory; New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, New Jersey Transit Police Dive Team and Police Boats, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Quantico Laboratory and Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) K9 accelerant Dog, Critical Research Group, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), and the University of North Texas.

Teschner was represented at trial by Anthony Aldorasi, Esq. and Lisa Maglone, Esq.


Ronald J. Teschner was convicted of first-degree Murder, first-degree Felony Murder, first-degree Robbery, three first-degree weapons offenses, second-degree Aggravated Arson, second-degree Desecration of Human Remains, third-degree Aggravated Assault, third-degree Burglary, third-degree Robbery, three counts of third-degree Theft, a third-degree drug offense, and fourth-degree Resisting Arrest, all in connection with the death of 65-year-old Jacqueline C. Terrulli.


Jacqueline C. Terrulli


Freehold, NJ Man One Of Three Convicted By Federal Jury On $1Million “Upfront-Fee” Scheme

October 24, 2022

NEWARK, N.J. – Two men from New Jersey and another from Nevada were convicted by a federal jury for their roles in defrauding multiple victims out of money through a $1 million “upfront-fee” scheme, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Following a five-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court, Jerrid Douglas, 49, of Freehold, New Jersey, Harold Mignott, 60, of Voorhees, New Jersey, and Roy Johannes Gillar, 50, of Las Vegas, were each convicted on Oct. 21, 2022, of wire fraud conspiracy and four counts of wire fraud. Gillar and Douglas were also each convicted of one count of transacting in criminal proceeds.

According to documents in this case and evidence at trial:

From March 2016 through June 2016, Douglas, Gillar, and Mignott, along with a fourth conspirator, agreed to defraud the owners of the victim company of approximately $1 million. The defendants fraudulently induced the two victim company owners to enter a joint venture agreement with the defendants’ New Jersey-based shell company. The defendants falsely represented that their company could acquire and provide a “standby letter of credit” (SBLC) backed by either €1 billion in cash or highly lucrative Mexican gold bonds. An SBLC is a guarantee of payment issued by a bank on behalf of a client that is used should the client fail to fulfill a contractual commitment with a third party.

The victim company wanted access to the standby letter of credit so it could purchase raw gold overseas and sell it to gold refineries. As part of the joint venture agreement, the company agreed to pay the defendants $1 million for the bank fee associated with the standby letter of credit.

In order to cover up the scheme and convince the victims to approve the transfer of the funds, the defendants made numerous verbal and written misrepresentations, including providing the victims with a phony letter from a major international bank saying that it was ready, willing, and able to provide a €1 billion SBLC to the defendants’ shell company.

However, after the victim company owners transmitted $800,000 of the $1 million to the defendants, the defendants failed to provide an SBLC or anything of value. Instead, the defendants misappropriated the money for their personal use.

The wire fraud conspiracy charge and the wire fraud charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The transacting in criminal proceeds charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the conviction.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason S. Gould and Joshua L. Haber of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

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Defense counsel:

Douglas: Kristen Santillo Esq. and Fern Mechlowitz Esq., New York
Gillar: Thomas Ashley Esq., Newark, and Paul Wiegartner Esq., Saddle River, New Jersey
Mignott: Eric Breslin Esq., Newark, and Melissa Geller Esq., and Arletta Bussiere Esq., New York


45+ Fire Departments From Seven Counties And Two States Participate In Full Scale Water Supply Exercise In Millstone Township, Monmouth County

October 23, 2022

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–This morning at 8:00 a.m. until around 12:30 p.m. over forty-five fire departments from Monmouth, Mercer, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Somerset, Counties in NJ and Bucks County in Pennsylvania, participated in a full-scale water supply exercise simulating a fire in a 1-million square foot warehouse. The objective was to obtain and sustain an adequate water flow from static water sources from six pre-established fill sites to support suppression efforts at the simulated fire. The flow rate expectations were to reach beyond 6,000 gallons per minute using water tender/tankers and four, 5″ pipelines.