Category: Ocean

State Police Arrest Two for Armed Robbery and Link Suspects to 100 Vehicle Burglaries in Monmouth County

October 14, 2020

EWING TOWNSHIP-WEST TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)– The New Jersey State Police have arrested Mario Mondragon, 21, of Long Branch, N.J., and Genaro Guzman, 21, of Shrewsbury Township, N.J., for committing 2 armed robberies and approximately 100 vehicle burglaries spanning 5 Monmouth County municipalities between April and June.

During a five-month investigation, State Police detectives with the Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office (CIO) along with members of the Eatontown Borough Police Department, Tinton Falls Police Department, Ocean Township Police Department, and Long Branch Police Department, identified Mondragon and Guzman as the suspects in armed robberies in Shrewsbury Township and Eatontown Borough.

On Saturday, May 16, Mondragon and Guzman were burglarizing a vehicle at a Shrewsbury Township residence when they were confronted by the homeowners. During the confrontation, the suspects allegedly brandished a handgun and taser before fleeing. On Saturday, June 6, in Eatontown Borough, the duo sprayed a deliveryman with oleoresin capsicum (pepper) spray and physically assaulted him during a robbery.

Through various investigative means and by using evidence recovered by the Troop “C” CIO and State Police Crime Scene Unit, investigators were able to link Mondragon and Guzman to an additional 100 vehicle burglaries in Monmouth County. On Thursday, October 8, detectives from the Troop “C” CIO, State Police Fugitive Unit, K9 Unit, along with members of the U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Task Force located and arrested Mondragon in Long Branch, N.J., and Guzman in Shrewsbury Township, N.J.

Mondragon and Guzman were charged with armed robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon – handgun without permit, unlawful possession of a weapon – other weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose – firearm, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose – other weapon, aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, burglary, and theft. They were lodged at the Monmouth County Correctional Institute pending a bail detention hearing.

Mondragon and Guzman were charged separately by our partnering agencies.

This case is being prosecuted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

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

Monmouth County Voting Information And Video Tutorial

October 8, 2020

Visit: https://www.monmouthcountyvotes.com/ for the latest voting information in Monmouth County

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–As you may be aware, this year’s November General Election in New Jersey is being conducted primarily by mail-in ballots, per State mandate. On November 3, 2020, Election Day, limited polling locations will be open for voting on paper provisional ballots only, except for disabled voters. 

Voters across Monmouth County are receiving their mail-in ballots this week and are encouraged to contact the County Clerk’s Election Office at 732-431-7790, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with any questions about the delivery of their ballots. 

Due to this unprecedented change in our election process, Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon has provided a comprehensive webpage on MonmouthCountyVotes.com, explaining this year’s election process.

In addition, our office has provided video tutorials, including an animated step-by-step video informing Monmouth County voters of how to properly complete and return their mail-in ballots. The tutorial also explains how the paper ballots are reviewed and verified by the Monmouth County Board of Elections.

The video can be viewed on our Facebook and YouTube pages. We encourage you to share this important information with your friends and neighbors.







Election Hotline Established to Secure Election Integrity

To help ensure free and fair elections in Monmouth County, the County Election Offices and Prosecutor’s Office have established an election hotline. To report any issues of voter fraud or misconduct in Monmouth County, residents can call the County Prosecutor’s Office hotline at 855-786-5878.

“Our democratic system of government depends on free and fair elections and, as such, election integrity and security is important to all of us,” said County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni and County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon. “For these reasons, our offices are working together to further safeguard the electoral process.”


Upcoming Dates and Voter Deadlines

  • Monday, October 12th: All County Offices closed in observance of Columbus Day
  • Tuesday, October 13th: Voter Registration Deadline for the November General Election
  • Friday, October 30th: Application Deadline for General Election Mail-In Ballots by Electronic Means for Qualified Overseas Civilian and Military Voters 
  • Tuesday, November 3rd: General Election Day!
  • Tuesday, November 3rd at 8 p.m.: Close of the polls; Deadline to deliver mail-in ballot by U.S. Postal Service mail, Drop Box, or in-person to the County Board of Elections at 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold or at assigned Polling Place.

Monmouth County Secure Ballot Dropbox Locations:

LocationAddressEntry
1Aberdeen Municipal Building1 Aberdeen Square
Aberdeen, NJ 07747
2Allentown Borough Hall8 North Main Street
Allentown, NJ 08501
3Asbury Park City Hall1 Municipal Plaza
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
City Council Chambers (Bangs Avenue Entrance)
4Borough of Belmar Municipal Building601 Main Street
Belmar, NJ 07719
5Eatontown Borough Municipal Building47 Broad Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Rear Entrance
6Board of Elections Office300 Halls Mill Road
Freehold, NJ 07728
Side Entrance
7Hazlet Agency – NJ Motor Vehicle Commission1374 Highway 36
Hazlet, NJ 07730
Airport Plaza
8Howell Township Municipal Building4567 Route 9 North
Howell, NJ 07731
Rear Entrance
9Long Branch City Hall344 Broadway
Long Branch, NJ 07740
10Manalapan Township Municipal Building120 County Road 522
Manalapan, NJ 07726
11Middletown Municipal Building1 Kings Highway
Middletown Township, NJ 07748
12Croydon Hall900 Leonardville Road
Leonardo, NJ 07737
13Neptune Township Municipal Building25 Neptune Boulevard
Neptune, NJ 07753
Library Entrance
14Ocean Township Town Hall399 Monmouth Road
Oakhurst, NJ 07755
15Red Bank Borough Municipal Building90 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
16Rumson Borough Hall80 East River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
17Wall Township Municipal Building2700 Allaire Road
Wall, NJ 07719

Philadelphia Man Gets 19 Years For 2016 Robbery Of Ocean Township AT&T Store

September 30, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Philadelphia man was sentenced to 19 years in state prison today after his conviction in February on charges he robbed employees at an Ocean Township AT&T store in 2016, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Anthony Clark, 42, of Philadelphia was sentenced to a combined 19 years in a New Jersey state prison Wednesday afternoon by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor. The sentence is subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA), requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. The sentence follows his February conviction after a five-week trial on charges of first degree Armed Robbery, third degree Criminal Restraint, second degree Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose, second degree Theft of Movable Property, and third degree Receiving Stolen Property.

At trial it was revealed Clark and four co-conspirators traveled from Philadelphia to Ocean Township on Sept. 6, 2016, in a stolen motor vehicle with plans to rob the AT&T store located on Route 35. Clark, posing as a customer, entered the store first and goaded a store employee into the far corner of the store under the guise of purchasing a cellphone. Shortly thereafter, three of his co-conspirators entered the store and forced the two store employees into a back inventory room at gunpoint. The store employees were forced to their knees and bound about their hands and feet with zip ties. While his co-conspirators proceeded to zip tie the staff members at gunpoint, Clark kept watch in the front of the store while communicating with another co-conspirator who was parked across the highway. Clark proceeded to fill numerous laundry bags with store merchandise, which were eventually loaded into the stolen motor vehicle. In total, Clark and his co-conspirators made off with over $130,000 worth of store merchandise.

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Joshua D. Detzky and Keri-Leigh Schaefer.

Clark is represented by Allison Friedman, Esq. and Anthony Cherry, Esq., of Freehold.


Vote-By-Mail Drop Box Arrives In Allentown

September 22, 2020

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An Allentown resident told MidJersey.News that around 11 pm last night a delivery crew installed a Vote-By-Mail Drop Box in front of Allentown at Borough Hall on Main Street. There are currently 17 Vote-By-Mail Drop Box locations for Monmouth County, this is the furthest west serving Western Monmouth County.

A current list of Vote-By-Mail Drop Box locations for Monmouth County can be found here.

Vote-By-Mail Drop Box Locations

Pursuant to State law, the November 3, 2020 General Election will be conducted primarily by Mail-In Ballot in New Jersey.

If you wish to place your Mail-In Ballot in a secure drop box, below are the locations throughout the County which will be available starting the week of September 15. Addresses in the list below are clickable and will bring up Google Maps.

Voters can drop their voted Mail-In Ballot into these Board of Elections Drop Boxes anywhere in the County up until 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020. You do not have to be a resident of the town where the drop box is located. Be advised that these drop boxes are under video surveillance and are monitored by the Monmouth County Board of Elections, which can be reached at 732-431-7802.

For more information about the General Election process, click here.

LocationAddressEntry
1Aberdeen Municipal Building1 Aberdeen Square
Aberdeen, NJ 07747
2Allentown Borough Hall8 North Main Street
Allentown, NJ 08501
3Asbury Park City Hall1 Municipal Plaza
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
City Council Chambers (Bangs Avenue Entrance)
4Borough of Belmar Municipal Building601 Main Street
Belmar, NJ 07719
5Eatontown Borough Municipal Building47 Broad Street
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Rear Entrance
6Board of Elections Office300 Halls Mill Road
Freehold, NJ 07728
Side Entrance
7Hazlet Agency – NJ Motor Vehicle Commission1374 Highway 36
Hazlet, NJ 07730
Airport Plaza
8Howell Township Municipal Building4567 Route 9 North
Howell, NJ 07731
Rear Entrance
9Long Branch City Hall344 Broadway
Long Branch, NJ 07740
10Manalapan Township Municipal Building120 County Road 522
Manalapan, NJ 07726
11Middletown Municipal Building1 Kings Highway
Middletown Township, NJ 07748
12Croydon Hall900 Leonardville Road
Leonardo, NJ 07737
13Neptune Township Municipal Building25 Neptune Boulevard
Neptune, NJ 07753
Library Entrance
14Ocean Township Town Hall399 Monmouth Road
Oakhurst, NJ 07755
15Red Bank Borough Municipal Building90 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
16Rumson Borough Hall80 East River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
17Wall Township Municipal Building2700 Allaire Road
Wall, NJ 07719

Former Ocean Township Police Officer Charged With Theft, Forgery

August 24, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A former Ocean Township Police officer was charged with Theft by Deception and two counts of Forgery on Thursday in connection with a forged document he submitted to secure a  $425,000 loan to purchase a property on Borrie Avenue in Brielle in July 2019.  He was also charged with additional counts of Theft and Forgery in connection with keeping a tenant’s $4,200 security deposit with respect to a different property he owned on Fisk Avenue in Brielle and attempting to justify retaining the security deposit using a forged document, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Cory R. Cole, 49, of Brielle, is charged with second degree Theft by Deception, third degree Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property Received, two counts of fourth degree Forgery, and two counts of fourth degree Uttering a Forged Document.  Cole was previously charged by this office on Jan. 27, 2020 with third-degree Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property Received and two counts of fourth-degree Forgery in connection with retaining $4,200 security deposit of another tenant and forging a lease to the victim’s school district.   If convicted Cole faces up to ten years in New Jersey State Prison on the second degree charge, up to five years in state prison on each third degree charge, and up to 18 months on each of the fourth degree offenses.

An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that Cole, who buys, flips and rents real estate, forged a letter from his former matrimonial attorney in order to falsely establish a judgment she had against him for unpaid attorney’s fees had been satisfied, and Cole submitted this letter to enable his purchase of a property on Borrie Avenue in Brielle.  Cole would have been unable to secure the $425,000 loan to purchase the property if the lender was aware the judgment against Cole was outstanding.  Additional investigation revealed that in addition to the victim identified in January of this year, Cole retained the $4,200 security deposit from his tenants at a property on Fisk Avenue.  He attempted to justify retaining the security deposit by claiming the tenants owed money in unpaid utility bills on the property and providing them with a forged bill from New Jersey Natural Gas which falsely indicated they had an outstanding balance.

Cole resigned from his employment with the Ocean Township Police Department earlier this year on the heels of the investigation after the initial set of criminal charges were filed.

 “It doesn’t matter if you are a former, current or retired member of law enforcement, you will be held accountable for your actions. Your unlawful or improper actions will be discovered and prosecuted,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni.

Anyone with information about Cole’s activities is urged to call Detective Sergeant Ryu Washburne at 1-800-533-7443.

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crimes Unit.

 Cole is represented by Steve Nelson, Esq., of Neptune City.

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 United States Constitution and State law.



Suspended Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug Clenbuterol

August 14, 2020

*Clenbuterol according to Wikipedia is a bronchodilator and in some countries used for asthma. The drug also known by street name “bute” is used by bodybuilders in their “cutting” cycles for weight loss. As of 2011, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) listed Clenbuterol as an anabolic agent*

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A suspended Ocean Township police officer pleaded guilty Thursday admitting he unlawfully possessed Clenbuterol, a drug not approved for human use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but popular among human consumers as a weight loss supplement, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Ryan Vaccaro, 38, of Ocean Township, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug (Clenbuterol), before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas, as part of a plea agreement with this Office.   During his plea, Vaccaro acknowledged that between May 1, 2018 and Feb. 19, 2019, he was knowingly in possession of five or more dosage units of Clenbuterol and that he did not have a lawful prescription for that substance.

Vaccaro was charged on February 19, 2019 with fourth degree Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug, second degree Possession with Intent to Distribute a Prescription Legend Drug, and second degree Distribution of a Prescription Legend Drug, as a result of an investigation connected to former Deal Police Officer Joseph Ammaturo, who entered a guilty plea last month.   The investigation revealed that Ammaturo obtained three boxes of Astralean Clenbuterol containing approximately 150 pills from Vaccaro and that Ammaturo distributed two of those boxes to other individuals.  The third box was ultimately recovered from Ammaturo’s residence.  Additional Clenbuterol pills were found in Vaccaro’s residence during the execution of a search warrant.

Clenbuterol is a drug used to treat breathing disorders in animals and is not approved for human use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  It is popular among human consumers as a weight loss supplement despite its banned status.

As part of his plea agreement, an order permanently barring Vaccaro from holding public office in New Jersey was entered and signed by Judge Lucas today. The plea agreement also permits Vaccaro to apply to the pre-trial intervention program.

 “We will continue to prosecute law enforcement officers who fail to respect their responsibilities to the community and to their colleagues who put their lives on the line each and every day,” Gramiccioni said.

“I am pleased that this case has finally concluded and we as an organization can put this behind us. The Ocean Township Police Department is a highly professional and community-minded organization and we will not let the actions of a former police officer overshadow the great work and dedication by the men and women of this department,” said Ocean Township Police Chief Steven R. Peters.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 9, 2020, at which time Vacarro faces a probationary sentence.

The case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the office’s Professional Responsibility and Bias Crimes Unit.

Vaccaro is represented by Richard E. Incremona, Esq., of Freehold.