Category: Monmouth County

Coast Guard medevacs mariner from motor vessel near Manasquan Inlet, N.J.

June 24, 2021

MANASQUAN INLET – POINT PLESANT, NJ –The Coast Guard medevaced a mariner from a motor vessel approximately 23 miles east of Manasquan Inlet, Thursday afternoon.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay command center received a report of a 72-year-old male experiencing stroke-like symptoms while aboard the motor vessel Voyager and needed immediate medical attention.

Sector Delaware Bay dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet to the scene.

Once on scene, the Dolphin aircrew hoisted the mariner and safely transported him to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune City for treatment.


One Critical And Two Others Stabbed In Howell Township

June 20, 2021

HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–At approximately 12:10 a.m. June 19, 2021 Howell Police Communications received a 9-1-1 call reporting multiple people stabbed at Rodina Hall located at 243 Alexander Avenue.

Upon arrival, Howell officers were faced with a chaotic scene. They were met by security personnel who led them to three male victims who had significant  injuries after being stabbed. 

The officers were told three suspects fled the scene of this large party.  Officers Hurley and Norton quickly located two of the three along Route 9. They were identified as a 17 year old from Lakewood and a 44 year old resident of Patterson.   They were detained. 

Three Howell Police K9s responded along with our drone that is equipped with an infrared camera to search for the third. As of now, that third person has not been located.  It is also speculated there may not have been a third person involved.

Medical personnel including paramedics from RWJ/SB evaluated the victims and all three were transported to a local trauma center.  Currently, one still remains admitted.  He is expected to live.

Officers from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene and Major Crimes units responded and assisted with processing the scene and interviews that included language translation. 

This investigation is ongoing. Currently, no one has been charged.  

If anyone has any information regarding this incident you are encouraged to contact Detective Bonner at 732-938-4575 x2647 or you can use our anonymous text service http://www.p3tips.com

We thank surrounding agencies for their assistance. This includes Lakewood Police and Jackson EMS.



Freedom Day A Juneteenth Celebration In Allentown

June 19, 2021

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)-A Juneteenth celebration was held today in Heritage Park in Allentown. It was a day of unity where everyone was invited to come together and celebrate the voices from diverse Africana (African American) culture.

Allentown Village Initiative walking tour with local historian John Fabiano, Executive Director, Monmouth County Historic Commission, “They Came For Freedom: Allentown & the Underground R.R.” was held in the morning. The tour visited several significant Underground Railroad locations in and around Allentown. To read more on the Underground Railroad read New Jersey’s Underground Railroad Heritage, “Steal Away, Steal Away” A guide to the Underground Railroad in New Jersey, download and read free from the NJ State Library.

Throughout the day there were several performances, music, and speakers on the stage. In the park there were several interactive displays on African American history and cultural heritage.


Allentown High School Class of 2021 Senior Car Parade

June 18, 2021

ALLENTOWN-UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Allentown High School Senior Car Parade, a tradition that was restarted last year due to COVID-19 was held tonight though the streets of Allentown and Upper Freehold Township. The parade started at 6:00 p.m. and featured the Class of 2021. It was reported the tradition was held prior to 1980 and faded away and restarted last year due to the pandemic. The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and members/fire police from the Hope Fire Company of Allentown assisted with the parade.

Video and photo gallery from the 2021 Senior Car Parade:




Allentown High School 2020 Senior Parade Click Here


Off-Duty NJ Trooper and Good Samaritan Save Two Distressed Kayakers

June 17, 2021

MANASQUAN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An off-duty New Jersey State Trooper and a good Samaritan saved two distressed kayakers who fell overboard in the Glimmer Glass Creek in Manasquan, Monmouth County. (Brielle Road between Green Avenue and Draw Bridge Lane-Glimmer Glass Lane)

On Sunday, June 13, Sergeant First Class Erin Smith was traveling over the Glimmer Glass Drawbridge when she noticed an overturned kayak, two orange life vests floating, and two women struggling in the water. She immediately exited her vehicle, ran towards the bridge and called to the struggling women to ask if they needed assistance.

While speaking with the women, Brielle resident, Andrew Jacobs, who was riding his bicycle over the bridge with his family, offered his assistance to rescue the women. Both SFC Smith and Andrew Jacobs jumped off the Glimmer Glass Draw Bridge into the water and swam to the victims.  Together, they were able to get to the kayakers and bring them safely to the shore.

A short time later, members of the Manasquan Police Department, Manasquan Fire Department, Manasquan lifeguards, Brielle Police Department, and Brielle First Aid Squad arrived to assist.  The victims were treated on scene and released.

Due to the quick actions of SFC Erin Smith and Andrew Jacobs, we are happy to report that both victims are doing well.



Beloved Former Upper Freehold Regional School District Superintendent Dr. Fitzpatrick Passes Away

June 13, 2021

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Dr. Richard (Dick) Fitzpatrick, Upper Freehold Regional School District Superintendent of Schools from 2007 to 2018 has passed away. The notification was emailed and posted online in a statement from Mark Guterl the current Superintendent of Schools. The full statement below:

Dear UFRSD Community,

It is with tremendous sadness that I report the passing of our former beloved Superintendent, Dr. Richard (Dick) Fitzpatrick. Dick’s tenure in the UFRSD was transformative, student-centered and impactful. It is a sad day in the UFRSD, but our many wonderful memories of Dr. Fitzpatrick will definitely be in the forefront of our feelings soon.  

Dr. Fitzptrick came to the district in 2007 with an unmatched energy and passion for kids. Anyone who knew Dick or came into contact with him knows that he loved our students…”his kids.” His love for students and people was the foundation for every decision he made, and became the central focus of the UFRSD’s transformation academically and culturally. Patrick Nolan, Board of Education President recalls, “Dr. Fitzpatrick came to us at a moment of great growth in our communities and transition in our district. He influenced our evolution in so many areas, including our current curriculum and our hiring practices. Most of all, he was the biggest cheerleader for our students, no matter what they were doing. Many of the accolades that our district currently enjoys are a result of his passionate leadership. He touched the lives of so many here, and we owe him great thanks.”  Dick’s impact on the district will be lasting. 

Dick’s belief in our staff and his love for the community was also witnessed day in and day out. He was constantly on the move and loved interacting with as many people as he could every single day of school. Whenever you were talking with Dick, you felt as if you were the only one that mattered at that moment.  His personal attention to every member of our district and community gave everyone a model of what it meant to always put people first. 

For those who didn’t know Dr. Fitzpatrick, you should know that he would do anything for anyone and was definitely focused on doing whatever he could to make a difference. He cherished his large family and his numerous grandchildren. He loved working with Villages in Partnership and the people of Malawi. He thought highly of the entire community and alway felt that this was a special place to work. Dick believed in kids and loved them as if they were his own. He preached that if students did their “personal best” there was nothing that could stop them. 

Fortunately, Dr. Fitzpatrick made all of us want to do our “personal best,” which motivated everyone to be better. This I guess is central to what Dick did for all of us, make us better. The UFRSD will forever be grateful to have had Dick Fitzpatrick as a part of our family.

Dick Fitzpatrick – Superintendent of Schools – 2007 – 2018; Cheerleader for the UFRSDl – Forever. 

My best,

Mark Guterl

Superintendent of Schools   





Coast Guard conducts medevac 10 miles north of Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey

June 12, 2021

MANASQUAN INLET, N.J. — The Coast Guard medically evacuated a man from a tugboat approximately 10 miles north of Manasquan Inlet on Friday June 11, 2021.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Command Center in Philadelphia received an alert that the individual was suffering from abdominal pain while aboard the tugboat Saint Emilion.

The Delaware Bay Command Center consulted with a Coast Guard flight surgeon who recommended medical evacuation for the individual.

A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet launched to meet the tugboat.

Once on scene, the MLB boatcrew successfully removed the crewman from the vessel and transferred him to emergency medical services that were waiting on scene at the Station. 

D5 Public Affairs North


Robbinsville Township Looks to Preserve 824 Robbinsville-Allentown Road Parcel; Awaits Appraisal

June 10, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor David Fried will seek Council support in order to purchase and preserve Block 41.01, Lot 1 on the Robbinsville Township Tax Assessment Map, commonly known as the Wittenborn property at 824 Robbinsville-Allentown Road, near its border with Allentown Borough and Monmouth County.

According to Mayor Fried, the approximately 15-acre parcel should be preserved to prevent further development. The Township Department of Community Development has ordered a professional appraisal by Sockler Realty Services Group, Inc. Robbinsville previously prioritized this parcel, which is currently zoned as “Village Transitional,” for Open Space Acquisition/Preservation Lands when performing its Master Plan Review.

Block 41.01, Lot 1 is located along the proposed development of Mercer Corporate Park, which made headlines for its application before the Township Zoning Board April 20. Residents living along the Indian Run waterway in Allentown were vocal in their opposition to the Johnson Corporation development due to what some consider to be the imminent destruction of an endangered bird habitat.

Preservation of Block 41.01, Lot 1 demonstrates to Robbinsville’s neighbors in Monmouth County that the Township is committed to preventing negative impacts to this area by decreasing the potential for increased traffic and other activity. Robbinsville preserved approximately 54 acres directly across Robbinsville-Allentown Road near the Wittenborn property in 2008. Since taking office in 2005, Mayor Fried has preserved more than 1,250 acres of open space.

In 2016, Robbinsville residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of increasing the Open Space Tax levy by 1.5 cents for every $100 of assessed value to purchase the property formerly known as Washington Woods (225 acres), as well as the golf course at Miry Run (158 acres) – both in partnership with Mercer County.


Allentown’s Mayor Fritts put out a special announcement about the preservation today:

For months I have been meeting and discussing a variety of topics with our neighbors.

Robbinsville’s Mayor fried and I have discussed mutual interests and one of those interests which is a top priority of our historic village, is preserving the Wittenborn property.

Today I bring great pleasure in announcing that Robbinsville has publicly stated their desire and efforts to preserve Wittenborn on behalf of Robbinsville and Allentown.

This is just one of the initiatives that we are currently working on with more great news to come in the coming weeks. On behalf of the Allentown governing body and myself, our promise is to do everything we can to ensure a quality future.

As I always say, we are better together. Please read today’s announcement from Robbinsville. https://www.robbinsville-twp.org/news_detail_T2_R513.php

Sincerely,

Mayor Fritts

Allentown

Partial Solar Eclipse This Morning At Sunrise As Seen From Belmar, NJ

June 10, 2021

BELMAR, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A partial solar eclipse was seen in the area this morning at sunrise. The sun appeared to emerge from the ocean looking like “devils horns” as the sun continued to rise it looked more like a glowing crescent moon.

The partial eclipse is caused by the Earth’s moon passing in front of the sun.

According to NASA, A solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on Earth, fully or partially blocking the Sun’s light in some areas. During an annular eclipse, the Moon is far enough away from Earth that the Moon appears smaller than the Sun in the sky. Since the Moon does not block the entire view of the Sun, it will look like a dark disk on top of a larger, bright disk. This creates what looks like a ring of fire around the Moon. People in parts of Canada, Greenland, and northern Russia will experience the annular eclipse.


Photos taken near the Belmar Fishing Club Pier, 100 Ocean Avenue near 1st Avenue, Belmar, NJ





Lacrosse: Allentown Girls Defeat Manasquan In NJSIAA Semifinal Round, Final Round Tomorrow At Rumson-Fairhaven

June 9, 2021

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Yesterday’s (June 8, 2021) NJSIAA semifinal round of the girls lacrosse South Jersey, Group 2 Tournament was on hold due to lighting and needed to be finished today because of a thunderstorm and the final round being set for tomorrow.

Just as the Allentown and Manasquan girls took the field a clap of thunder was heard putting the game on hold for a half hour. The lacrosse teams were finally able to take the field at 4:18 p.m. when the all clear was given.

The game resumed with 14:32 left in the second half. Score was Allentown 8 and Manasquan 7 when the game resumed.

The game was tied 9-9 as the clock in regulation ran out. Allentown was able to score first in overtime and won the game sending them to the final round tomorrow.

The Allentown girls team will play at Rumson-Fairhaven tomorrow in the final round at 2:00 p.m.

Rumson-Fairhaven is ranked #1 and Allentown is ranked #2

Yesterday’s MidJersey.news story: Girls Lacrosse: NJSIAA Tournament Game On Hold Due To Thunderstorm

In other Allentown NJSIAA tournament play, Baseball and Softball are both at Colts Neck High School tomorrow both games are set for 2:30 p.m.



Girls Lacrosse: NJSIAA Tournament Game On Hold Due To Thunderstorm

June 8, 2021

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Due to a thunderstorm the South Jersey Group 2 Girls Lacrosse NJSIAA Tournament game between Allentown and Manasquan is on hold and will be finished tomorrow afternoon June 9, 2021 at Allentown at 4:00 p.m.

Postponed due to lightening. Game will resume with 14:32 left in the second half. Score is 8-7 Allentown.

Photo gallery:

Scenes from the NJSIAA Tournament held at Allentown on June 8, 2021. The game between Allentown and Manasquan is on hold due to a thunderstorm and will be restarted on Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. So far Allentown leads by 1 goal and the score is Allentown 8 Manasquan 7 with 14:32 left to play in the second half.

Traffic Alert: Avoid 537 In Area Of Great Adventure Due To Traffic Jam; Jackson Police Issue Statement On Traffic

June 6, 2021

JACKSON, PLUMSTED (OCEAN)-MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP AND UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Jackson Township Police Department has issued a statement on the traffic backup on Route 537 in Jackson Township, entering and exiting Six Flags Great Adventure.

Currently Google Maps Traffic has the backup on Rt. 537 from Six Flags entrance to I-195 (1 Mile)

In the opposite direction on Rt. 537 backup starts in Plumsted Township, near Loveman Road to the main entrance of Great Adventure. (2.75 Miles)

In Upper Freehold Township traffic is backed up on Millers Mill Road all the way to Red Valley Road near the curve according to Google Maps. (1 mile on Millers Mill and an additional 1 Mile on Rt. 537 for a total of at least 2 miles in backup)

Jackson Township Police:

We are WELL aware of the heavy traffic in Rt. 537/Monmouth Road leading to Six Flags Great Adventure. It’s that time of that year. Security and the authorities working there have all been advised. Please be patient and refrain from calling us to further advise us of the traffic situations unless you have a police emergency and need our assistance. Dispatch is being overloaded with calls for the traffic situation. Everyone is doing the best they can to accommodate everyone and get everyone in and out safely. Thank you all and stay cool today!!!!


Off-Duty State Trooper Subdues Knife-Wielding Man

June 5, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An off-duty New Jersey State Trooper subdued a man who brandished a knife during an altercation in the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts in Freehold Township, N.J.

On Friday, May 28, Detective Sergent Michael Nelson, of the Troop “D” Criminal Investigation Office, overheard two men arguing behind his car in the parking lot of the Dunkin Donuts. During the altercation, DSG Nelson observed one of the men brandish a large knife and threaten the other man. DSG Nelson immediately exited his vehicle, approached the suspect, and identified himself as a New Jersey State Trooper.

DSG Nelson ordered the suspect to drop the knife, but the man retreated to his vehicle. Without concern for his own safety, DSG Nelson continued toward the suspect, pulled him from his vehicle, and successfully disarmed and subdued the man. A short time later, members of the Freehold Township Police Department arrived on scene and took custody of the suspect.

As a result of his quick and decisive actions, DSG Nelson deescalated a potentially deadly situation. His actions are in the finest traditions of the New Jersey State Police, Honor, Duty, and Fidelity.

Allentown Lacrosse Beats Hopewell Valley In Quarterfinal Round Of NJSIAA Tournament

June 3, 2021

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–In the quarterfinal round of the 2021 NJSIAA Boys Lacrosse Tournament, South Jersey, Group 2, Allentown scored 14 and Hopewell Valley scored 8 goals. Allentown will take on Rumson-Fair Haven at Rumson on Saturday in the semi-final round.

Photo gallery:

Colts Neck Man Charged In Bankruptcy Fraud; Had $2.9 Million In Hidden Account

June 3, 2021

COLTS NECK, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man made his initial court appearance today for allegedly filing a fraudulent bankruptcy petition claiming he had limited assets and hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities, when, in fact, he had $2.9 million in a hidden bank account, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced today.

Elia Zois, 56, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of concealment in bankruptcy. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre.

According to the complaint:

Zois was one of five partners in “Business-2,” a New Jersey-based health care organization that maintained approximately 50 senior living facilities throughout New Jersey, Michigan, and Wisconsin. On Feb. 6, 2019, he and his spouse filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, alleging that between 2014 and 2018 he had only $9,000 in assets and $201 million in liabilities, based upon his partnership in Business-2. A forensic accounting report concluded that during that period Zois received $2.9 million in deposits into the bank account of “Business-1” – of which Zois was the sole owner – including approximately $200,000 in undeclared income after he filed for bankruptcy. The hidden account was intended to conceal a portion of his income to circumvent existing IRS liens on his known assets.

The count of concealment in a bankruptcy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, under the direction of Adriana Vamvakas, Regional Director; and special agents of the Department of Labor (OIG), New York Region, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Nikitas Splagounias, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked special agents of the FBI, Milwaukee field office, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendall Randolph of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit.

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

21-248 

Defense counsel: Timothy M. Donohue Esq., West Orange, New Jersey


35 Indictments Charging Gun Traffickers and Others Who Allegedly Sold or Possessed 96 Illegal Guns Including Ghost Guns, Assault Rifles

June 3, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced a wave of 35 indictments secured by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice in just over two months charging numerous defendants with illegal gun trafficking and/or possession of illicit weapons, including untraceable ghost guns, assault rifles, and outlawed large-capacity ammunition magazines. Ghost guns are not registered and do not have serial numbers, making them difficult to trace and making it harder for law enforcement to solve gun crimes.

The indictments charge a total of 81 defendants, a majority of whom face various weapons offenses in connection with the following illegal weapons seized in the investigations:

  • 96 Illegal Guns, including
  • 16 Assault Rifles and
  • 1 Machine Gun;
  • 53 Illegal Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazines.

The illegal guns include a total of 10 Ghost Guns that do not bear federally registered serial numbers. Most of the guns traced in these cases were purchased in various states other than New Jersey, including Pennsylvania, which was the source of at least 18 guns, and South Carolina, which was the source of at least 12 guns, as well as Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, among others.

Five of the indictments charge defendants with illegally trafficking guns. The others charge possession of illegal weapons by other alleged criminals, including individuals charged with using guns in violent crimes, alleged drug dealers, an alleged human trafficker, and a fugitive charged with credit card fraud. Thirty-four of the indictments stem from investigations conducted between January 2019 and February 2021, with most charging conduct in 2020 and 2021. One case dates to 2018.

Thirty-three indictments were secured by the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Two indictments were secured by the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau.

The Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police consistently join with other law enforcement partners to conduct strategic investigations focused on disrupting the supply-line of weapons trafficking into violent areas, arresting drug dealers and seizing existing weapons in those areas, and aggressively prosecuting all defendants who traffic, use, or possess guns in connection with criminal activity.

“We are aggressively targeting those responsible for the proliferation of guns and gun violence in our communities, including gun traffickers, drug dealers, and other criminals who arm themselves with illegal weapons,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Assault rifles have long been a weapon of choice for gangs and drug dealers, and more recently there has been an alarming increase in untraceable ghost guns, which often are seized by police after they have been used in a shooting. By focusing on illegal guns, working to shut down the iron pipeline of firearms from other states, and prosecuting offenders under New Jersey’s tough gun laws, we are taking guns and armed criminals off of the street—and undoubtedly saving lives.”

“These 35 indictments are the product of strong collaboration by the Division of Criminal Justice and law enforcement agencies at all levels, all across New Jersey and into states such as Pennsylvania and South Carolina, which were source states for guns allegedly sold by certain defendants,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “By cracking down on gun traffickers, armed drug dealers, and others with illegal weapons, we are working to reduce the gun violence and drug dealing that are claiming far too many lives in New Jersey and are undermining the safety and security of our communities. I commend our Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau, Specialized Crimes Bureau, the New Jersey State Police, and all of our law enforcement partners for these outstanding results.”

“Illegal weapons trafficking has unfortunately evolved over time. The proliferation of ghost guns, which can be assembled from parts originating from across the country, has made it more difficult to solve violent crimes and disrupt trafficking networks, but fortunately law enforcement has evolved at a much faster rate by utilizing state-of-art investigative techniques and employing massive multi-jurisdictional collaborations, which are directly responsible for today’s indictments and the seizure of nearly 100 guns,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to work with our partners to combat not only the trafficking of illegal weapons, but to also disrupt the assembly and sale of ghost guns both in New Jersey and across the country.”

The 35 state grand jury indictments charge the defendants with offenses ranging from unlawful possession and disposition of handguns, assault weapons, and machine guns to leader of a firearms trafficking network, and also include charges of unlawful transportation of firearms into the state; charges related to the unlawful purchase, manufacture, transportation, and possession of ghost gun parts and ghost guns; unlawful possession of defaced weapons; unlawful possession of weapons during commission of narcotics offenses; unlawful possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines: unlawful possession of illegal hollow-point bullets; and unlawful possession of weapons by convicted felons. Many of the charges carry Graves Act penalties requiring mandatory periods of parole ineligibility of up to five years. As detailed below, two of the guns that were seized have been linked to shootings, including a homicide.

The following cases illustrate the range of the investigations:

Michael Maresca, et al.

Michael Maresca, 32, of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., allegedly trafficked ghost guns in the area of Paterson, N.J. He was indicted with two other men—Robert Moser, 49, of Depauw, Indiana, and Maken Cornell, 52, of Grove City, Ohio—for allegedly conspiring to purchase assault rifle kits, ghost gun parts, and outlawed large-capacity magazines and have them shipped to New Jersey, where Maresca allegedly assembled the illegal guns and sold them. During the investigation, in October and November 2020, five ghost guns and two assault rifles were seized. Maresca allegedly sold two ghost guns to an undercover officer, including one that was equipped with an illegal 15-round magazine loaded with prohibited hollow-point bullets.

Henry Kidd Jr., Javar Kidd, and Terrance Alford

Two Trenton men, Javar Kidd, 32, and Terrance Alford, 46, were indicted along with Kidd’s uncle Henry Kidd Jr., 51, of Hayneville Alabama, on charges that they conspired to transport weapons into New Jersey from South Carolina for illegal sale or transfer to criminals in and around Trenton. Nine handguns and four illegal large-capacity magazines were seized during the investigation in October 2020. Henry Kidd Jr. is charged with first-degree promoting organized street crime.

Operation Zombie

Four defendants, including Robert Crosley III, 34, aka “Zombie,” and Matthew Zoba, 40, both of Philadelphia, were indicted on charges that they conspired to run a major Philadelphia-based gun trafficking ring that illegally trafficked guns and methamphetamine into Camden, N.J. They are charged in connection with 22 illegal firearms seized during the investigation—including four assault rifles—as well as seven illegal large-capacity magazines. Between March 2019 and January 2020, they allegedly sold 16 guns in the Camden area during the investigation, including a 9mm handgun linked to a shooting in Philadelphia in which no one was hit, as well as a semi-automatic rifle linked to the Oct. 20, 2019 murder of 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera, who was shot as her mother held her in her arms in their home in Philadelphia. Crosley and Zoba are both charged with first-degree promoting organized street crime.

Enrique “Neff” Alfonso

Enrique “Neff” Alfonso, 28, of Camden, N.J., allegedly used a popular social networking service to conduct illegal firearms sales in the Camden area. Between February and May 2020, he allegedly sold an assault rifle, five handguns, another rifle, and three illegal large-capacity magazines. He is charged in a 17-count indictment with numerous weapons offenses, including possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, which carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years without parole upon conviction.

Christopher J. Pespas

Christopher J. Pespas, 74, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., was indicted on charges that he was purchasing parts for “ghost gun” assault rifles on the internet, along with illegal large-capacity magazines. Investigators executed a search warrant at his residence in August 2019 and seized parts that could be assembled to make three assault rifles—all “ghost guns.”

Isiah Greene and Jamal Bethea

Isiah Greene, 29, and Jamal Bethea, 32, of Trenton, N.J., alleged members of the Sanhican Drive Boys gang, allegedly engaged in a shootout on Feb. 12, 2020 with two members of the Get Money Boys gang, Shaiquan Hearns and Dion Battle. Greene allegedly fired from a vehicle driven by Bethea. No one on either side of the shootout was hit, but Bethea crashed the vehicle, and Bethea and Greene fled. Greene allegedly hid the gun in the backyard of a residence. Greene and Bethea were indicted on first-degree charges of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder, among other offenses. Hearns and Battle were previously charged by the Division of Criminal Justice with two counts of attempted murder—one count for firing at Greene and Bethea, and another for firing at a police officer who pursued their vehicle after the shootout.

Peter Santos and Joshua Perez

Peter A. Santos, 22, and Joshua M. Perez, 22, of Trenton, N.J., allegedly pistol-whipped a victim with a handgun and robbed him of his wallet in Trenton on Jan. 24, 2021. A subsequent search of a hotel room rented by Perez revealed a second handgun loaded with illegal hollow-point bullets. Both men were indicted on charges of first-degree robbery, as well as aggravated assault and weapons offenses.

The 35 state grand jury indictments are posted at View Indictments.

The 33 indictments that were presented to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau were presented by the following Deputy Attorneys General (DAsG), under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cassandra Montalto, Deputy Bureau Chief Cynthia Vazquez, Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart: DAG Robert Anstatt, DAG Karen Braciszewski, DAG Brian Carney, DAG John Donovan, DAG Anna Gildea, DAG Heather Hausleben, DAG Angel Hector, DAG Amie Hyde, DAG Sean Lindenau, DAG Mohammad Mahmood, DAG Katherine Morris, DAG Jaclyn Poulton, and DAG Veronica Vizzard. The two indictments presented to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau were presented by DAG Evgeniya Sitnikova and DAG Kara Webster, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Valerie Butler, Bureau Chief Erik Daab, and DCJ Deputy Director Taggart.

First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000, while second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The sentence for promoting organized street crime must be served consecutively to the sentence for any underlying offense. The second-degree charge of transporting firearms into the state for illegal sale carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed. Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years. The second-degree charge of unlawful possession of a handgun carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed or 3 ½ years, whichever is greater. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 ($35,000 for drug charges), while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.



Koi Allen, Tyrik Johnson, Hamilton Township, Mercer County, January 19, 2021, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Conspiracy – Second Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance Within 1,000 Feet of School Property – Third Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of Certain Crimes – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Possession of Hollow Nose Bullets – Fourth Degree, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree (Johnson).

AAREN C. BAILEY, March 10, 2020, Hamilton Township, Mercer, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Second Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Second Degree, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of Certain Crimes – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree.

DAEVON BELL, December 27, 2019, Trenton, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled, Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of Certain Crimes – Second Degree, Possession of Hollow Nose Bullets – Fourth Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity, Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Possession of a Defaced Firearm – Fourth Degree, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree.

ERIC CARR, September 21, 2020, Trenton, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance Within
1000 Feet of School Property – Third Degree, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance Within
500 Feet of Certain Public Property – Second Degree, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Second Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of Certain Crimes – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm without a Serial Number – Third Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity
Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree.

JUSTICE CHAMBERS, LAWRENCE BRANTLEY AND VICTOR TORRES, September 20, 2020, Hamilton Township, Mercer, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm – Second Degree – VICTOR TORRES, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm – Second Degree – JUSTICE CHAMBERS and LAWRENCE BRANTLEY, Possession of a Defaced Firearm – Fourth Degree – JUSTICE CHAMBERS and LAWRENCE BRANTLEY, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons– Second Degree -LAWRENCE BRANTLEY.

FELICITA GEE, February 24, 2020, Ewing Township, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Possession With Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree.

RAJON GLOVER, February 1, 2019, Trenton, NJ, Conspiracy – Third Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Rifle – Third Degree, Manufacture, Transport, Disposition of a Rifle – Fourth Degree, Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition – Third Degree, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree.

ROBERTO L. DIAZ-BOURET, CARL S. MALDONADO, DIANNE T. STROHMENGER, Freehold, Freehold Township, Brick Township, Wall Township, January 17, 2019, and on or about April 9, 2019,


RONALD HARRIS, Trenton, NJ July 20, 2020, and on or about July 21, 2020, Human Trafficking – First Degree, Facilitating Human Trafficking – Second Degree, Promoting Prostitution – First Degree, Eluding – Second Degree, Resisting Arrest By Flight – Fourth Degree, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance- Third Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of Large Capacity, Ammunition Magazines – Fourth Degree, Endangering Welfare of Children – Second Degree, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree,

THURMAN JENNINGS, Hamilton Township, NJ, September 4, 2020, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Receiving Stolen Property– Third Degree, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree.

DASHAUN PETERSON and JUSTICE CHAMBERS, Trenton, NJ, September 5, 2020, and September 6, 2020, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled, Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Possession of with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance within 1,000 Feet of School Property – Third Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous, Substance within 500 Feet of Certain Public Property– Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm – Second Degree DASHAUN PETERSON and JUSTICE CHAMBERS, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of Certain Crimes – Second Degree, Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity– Third Degree.

JOY SCOTT, Trenton, NJ, January 3, 2019, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Second Degree, Distribution of A Controlled Dangerous Substance Within 1000 Feet of School Property – Third Degree, Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance within 500 Feet
of Certain Public Property – Second Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree, Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm – Second Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree, Possession of Hollow Nose Bullets – Fourth Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Endangering Welfare of Children – Second Degree,

KHAZI SPADY and PHILLIP FOSTER, Lawrence Township, September 6, 2020, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree – KHAZI SPADY, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity, Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree – KHAZI SPADY, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance – Third Degree – Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree , Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – Second Degree – PHILLIP FOSTER, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – First Degree – PHILLIP FOSTER.

HASSAN WILSON, VENESHA PINKNEY and DEWAYNE PINKNEY, Trenton, NJ, February 24, 2021, Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm – Second Degree, Possession of a Defaced Firearm – Fourth Degree – HASSAN WILSON, Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine – Fourth Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon – First Degree – DEWAYNE PINKNEY, Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons – Second Degree – DEWAYNE PINKNEY.

WILLIAM WOOLLEY, ANDRE SULIMENKO and NICHOLAS GOOSKOS, Jackson, NJ, November 1, 2020



Enrique Alfonso

Allen & Johnson
Aaren Bailey
Bailey et. al.
Daevon Bell
Willis & Daysha Brown
Brown & St. Louis
Bush et. al.
Eric Carr
Castellar et. al.
Chambers et. al.
Crosley et. al.
Diaz-Bouret et. al.
Isiah Fields
Felicita Gee
Rajon Glover
Greene & Bethea
Guest et. al.

Ronald Harris
Thurman Jennings
Kidd et. al.
Maresca et. al.
Michael Maresca
Davon McClendon
Christopher Pespas
Dashaun Peterson
Roberts et. al.
Santos & Perez
Joy Scott
Spady & Foster
Sullivan & Cumba
Naquan Wilson
Wilson et. al.
Woolley et. al.
Laqua Young


The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Attorney General Grewal thanked the following law enforcement agencies that investigated the cases in collaboration with the Division of Criminal Justice:

  • New Jersey State Police
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force 
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
  • U.S. Homeland Security Investigations
  • U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  • U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General
  • Atlantic City Police Department
  • Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Atlantic City Task Force
  • Barnegat Township Police Department
  • Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Bensalem Township (Pa.) Police Department
  • Camden County Police Department
  • Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Camden County Sheriff’s Office
  • Cliffside Park Police Department
  • Egg Harbor Township Police Department
  • Ewing Police Department
  • Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Gloucester Township Police Department
  • Hamilton Township (Mercer County) Police Division
  • Harrison Police Department
  • Hasbrouck Heights Police Department
  • Howell Township Police Department
  • Hudson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Irvington Police Department
  • Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Middletown Township Police Department
  • Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Moorestown Police Department
  • Morris County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Morris County Sheriff’s Office
  • Morris Plains Police Department
  • Nassau County (N.Y.) District Attorney’s Office
  • Neptune City Police Department
  • Neptune Township Police Department
  • Newark Police Department
  • Nutley Police Department
  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ocean County Sheriff’s Department
  • Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Passaic County Sheriff’s Office
  • Paterson Police Department
  • Philadelphia Police Department
  • Ramsey Police Department
  • South Toms River Police Department
  • Toms River Police Department
  • Trenton Police Department
  • Voorhees Township Police Department
  • Wall Township Police Department
  • Winslow Township Police Department

Lakewood Men Indicted For Murder In Howell Township Slaying

June 1, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Omar Rivera-Rojas (also known as Juan Carlos Rivera-Rojas), 31, and his nephew Alberto Rojas-Hernandez, 19, both of Lakewood, were indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury today for Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Murder, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Tampering with Evidence, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

The Howell Township Police Department responded to a 911 call at about 3:46 a.m. on October 18, 2019, reporting an unconscious male lying in Hurley Pond Road just east of Route 547. Upon arrival, a male was located lying face down in the roadway. The incident was initially investigated as a fatal hit-and-run motor vehicle incident. However, upon the arrival of SCART investigators it was quickly determined that his death was not the result of a hit and run event.

The man, identified as Domingo Merino-Rafael, 33, also of Lakewood, was unresponsive and obviously deceased. MONOC personnel responded and the victim was pronounced deceased at 4:12 a.m. by doctors at Newark Beth Israel Hospital. Rafael was taken to the Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office where a post-mortem examination performed by Medical Examiner Allison Mautone, M.D., and the staff of the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was a Homicide.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Howell Township Police Department determined Rivera-Rojas, Rojas-Hernandez, and Merino-Rafael traveled from Lakewood to Middlesex County on the evening of October 17, 2019. The men were returning to Lakewood in the early morning hours of October 18, 2019, when the trio got into an argument that culminated with the uncle and nephew pair killing Merino-Rafael.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Howell Township Police Department also credited the Lakewood Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance during the investigation.

Rojas-Hernandez, of Joe Parker Avenue in Lakewood is being held in the Youth Detention Center in North Brunswick where he has been in custody since his arrest in October 2019. Rojas-Hernandez who was just 7 months shy of his 18th birthday at the time of the murder was previously waived to adult court to face the charges alongside his uncle and co-conspirator. Rivera-Rojas has also been detained since his arrest.

If convicted of Murder, Rivera-Rojas and Rojas-Hernandez each face a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey State Prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring them to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan and Assistant Prosecutor Tara Wilson.

Rojas-Hernandez is represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq. of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Rivera-Rojas is represented by Joseph Champagne, Esq. of Toms River, New Jersey.

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.

68th Allentown Memorial Day Parade And Memorial Service 2021

May 31, 2021

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–The 68th Annual Allentown Lions Club Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Service was held today. The parade started at 10:30 a.m. at the north end of Main Street and ending at the Newell Elementary School on High Street. Immediately following the parade the annual memorial service was held and concluded around 12:20 p.m.

A list of participants were, Allentown Lions Club Grand Marshal Dr. Joan Ruddiman, The Allentown Hope Fire Company, The Award Winning AHS Redbird Marching Band, The Allentown First Aid Squad, Jerry Rife and the Rhythm Kings, Allentown Borough Police Dept., The Ancient Order of Hibernian Bagpipe Band, Elected Officials from Allentown and Upper Freehold, New Egypt Fire Co., Larry the Lion, The Shamrock and Thistle Pipe and Drum Band, The Allentown Village Initiative (TAVI) The Knights of Columbus AHR Color Guard Dragons Lacrosse Team, Special Music Provided by DJ Nebbs, The Upper Freehold Professional Firefighters, The Allentown High School FFA and their Salute to our Agricultural Heritage, Allentown/Upper Freehold Little League and Softball Teams, Uncle Sam, Allentown Troop 180A Boy Scouts, Allentown Boy Scout Troop 55, Jacobstown Fire Co., Allentown Pack 180 Cub Scouts, Allentown-Robbinsville Girl Scouts, Clever Clover 4-H Horse Association of Millstone, Civil Air Patrol Color Guard, Crescent Temple Provost Guard, Shrine Clowns, Tin Lizzies, Chesterfield Hose and Crosswicks Fire Co., The FEZ Float, The Allentown Garden Club, Mid-Jersey Antique Cars and others.

Video and Photo Gallery: