Category: Monmouth County

Asbury Park Store Manager Charged with Stealing Nearly $270K from Employer

August 9, 2023

FREEHOLD – A local man has been charged with stealing more than a quarter of a million dollars from his former employer over the course of a little more than a year, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Wednesday.      

Mark A. Cocciardi, Jr., 46, of Ocean Township is charged with second-degree Theft by Deception.      

The charge marks the result of an investigation by members of the MCPO Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau. Leveraging review of a variety of business and financial records, the investigation revealed that at various times from August 2021 into October 2022, while employed as a sales manager at a construction supply company in Asbury Park, Cocciardi used sales receipts to process fictitious returns of building materials that customers had previously purchased. He then issued himself credit for the materials on his personal credit cards – just short of $268,800 in all.      

Cocciardi was arrested without incident yesterday and served with a summons complaint pending future proceedings in Monmouth County Superior Court. This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Nelsen, Director of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau. Information about Cocciardi’s legal representation was not immediately available.      

Anyone with information about this or related matters is urged to contact MCPO Detective Bob Afanasewicz at 800-533-7443.      

Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by up to 10 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.

Bicyclist Injured In Old York Road Crash

August 5, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)-UPPER FREEHOLD (MONMOUTH)–Around 8:18 p.m. last night August 4, 2023, the Robbinsville Township Fire Department, Robbinsville, EMS, Captial Health Paramedics and Allentown EMS were sent to Old York Road and Herbert Road for an injured person that was riding a bicycle. Robbinsville Township Police and New Jersey State Police also responded to the scene.

Upon arrival a person was found with significant injuries and was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, for treatment. A “trauma alert” was called.

Details surrounding the crash were unclear and no further details are available at the time of this report. The New Jersey State Police is investigating.

Four Rescued By U.S. Coast Guard And FDNY Off Sandy Hook, NJ, Early This Morning

July 30, 2023

SANDY HOOK, NJ (MONMOUTH)–U.S. Coast Guard reported that four boaters were rescued from a capsized sailing vessel Sunday, off the coast of Sandy Hook, NJ. At 1:00 a.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Sector New York command center watchstanders received a distress call from the sailing vessel Eagle. The vessel reported they had run aground and were taking on water.

A Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook crew and Coast Guard Cutter Beluga (WPB-87325) crew were launched to search for the Eagle. Assisting in the search were FDNY, NYPD aviation and NYPD harbor units. At 2:00 a.m. NYPD aviation located the sailing vessel Eagle, with all four boaters clinging to the overturned hull.

Two survivors were rescued by Station Sandy Hook and two others were rescued by the FDNY. All boaters were accounted for and are being treated for injuries at Monmouth Hospital. The survivors were found wearing Life Jackets.

Two Brothers Sentenced To Prison For Narcotics

July 24, 2023

FREEHOLDTwo brothers were sentenced to New Jersey State Prison in connection with a 2021 drug investigation, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.    

On Friday July 21, 2023, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Christie Bevacqua, Paul Anderson, 31, of Long Branch, was sentenced to six years New Jersey State Prison with a one-year period of parole ineligibility on a second-degree Distribution of Cocaine in excess of ½ ounce; second degree Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute in excess of ½ ounce; and second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.  Simon Anderson, 33, of Sayreville, was sentenced to ten years New Jersey State Prison on a first degree Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute in excess of 5 ounces. Keshon Fenter, 36 of Brick was sentenced to Probation on a third-degree Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine.    

All three men previously pled guilty before the Honorable Jill O’Malley on March 30, 2023.     In the spring of 2021, police from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force conducted an investigation during which Paul Anderson sold over ½ ounce of cocaine on four occasions. The investigation revealed that Simon Anderson was supplying his brother Paul with large quantities of cocaine. Keshon Fenter was also observed supplying cocaine to Paul Anderson for resale.     

On June 30, 2021, police from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force, Long Branch Police Department, Eatontown Police Department, Oceanport Police Department, and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office executed search warrants on residences in Long Branch, Eatontown and Oceanport. 

Upon executing the warrants, police seized over 200 grams of cocaine, a 9 mm loaded handgun with a high capacity magazine, 450 grams of marijuana, and approximately $80,000 cash.    

This case was handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Emily Cartmell.

Paul Anderson was represented by Charles Moriarty Esq., of West Long Branch; Simon Anderson was represented by Kevin Roe Esq., of Hackensack; and Keshon Fenter was represented by Edwin Wu Esq., of Freehold.  

Traffic Alert County Road 539 Closed Near Allentown

July 21, 2023

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 3:15 firefighters from Hope Fire Company/Upper Freehold Township and Captial Health EMS responded to County Road 539-Allentown Davis Station between High Street and Walnford Road. Upon arrival it was found a vehicle hit a pole and wires were down on the roadway. The roadway from County Road 539 by the Cream Ridge Golf Course to Main Street Allentown will be closed until repairs are made.

Seek alternate routes use Route 526 Bypass to County Road 526 to Sharon Station Road to County Road 539.

Currently Google Maps shows a 1/2-mile traffic delay in the area.

Upper Freehold Township Firefighters reported that units currently operating at a Motor Vehicle Accident involving powerlines across the roadway. High Street to 539 will be shut down until further notice. Please use caution in the area and find an alternate route of travel.

Upper Freehold Township Professional Firefighters photo

64-Year-Old Woodbridge Man Charged In Seeking Sex With 14-Year-Old For Cash

July 21, 2023

FREEHOLD – A Middlesex County man has been arrested and charged with seeking a sexual encounter with an underage girl in exchange for cash, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.  

Martin Klose, 64, of Woodbridge is charged with second-degree Luring, second-degree Sexual Assault, and third-degree Attempted Endangering the Welfare of a Child. An investigation by members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and High Tech Bureau revealed that Klose was attempting to set up a sexual encounter with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old girl via the Internet. Klose was taken into custody without incident earlier this week.  

Investigators are also seeking additional information about Klose’s activities. Anyone with information is being asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Anthony Lacher at 800-533-7443.  

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a 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 –, by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to the website at  

Convictions on charges of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of up to 10 years in state prison, along with being subject to the provisions of Megan’s Law registration and Parole Supervision for Life.   This case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Competello.  

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.

Fight to save NJ’s Revolutionary War sites could gain strength from new grant program

July 14, 2023

By: Press Release, Assembly Republicans

TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Alex Sauickie has introduced a measure that would create a grant program to save Revolutionary War sites under threat of development.

“New Jersey, which is known as the “Crossroads of the American Revolution,” played too pivotal a role in our nation’s fight for independence to put profits over preservation,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said.

Because of New Jersey’s location between Philadelphia and New York, the state was the setting for more Revolutionary War battles and skirmishes than anywhere else.

“The fate of America was decided in several significant battles on New Jersey soil. Every effort must be made to preserve as much of that history as possible for future generations,” Sauickie continued. 

The site of a Revolutionary War skirmish in Allentown and Upper Freehold, which was critical in helping George Washington plan the Battle of Monmouth, could soon be home to two giant warehouses. Once an encampment of Redcoats, the 66 acres looks like it did in 1778, but developers who purchased it have plans to transform it into storage facilities with more than 100 loading docks for the hundreds of trucks that will come through.

As residents look for ways to save the site, Sauickie saw an opportunity to create a state grant program that would allow local governments and nonprofits to preserve Revolutionary War battlefields, encampments and skirmish sites in New Jersey. Under the proposal, the State Department would award grants to towns and organizations to save Revolutionary War sites that are endangered by development. 

“We are three short years away from celebrating our nation’s 250th birthday. To lose a part of our American Revolution history now to storage facilities that could be located elsewhere would be devastating,” Sauickie added. “Hoping that historical preservation prevails in this fight is not enough. We must support the people and towns that put in the work to save the sites and stories that make us Americans. This grant program is a way to bolster their tireless efforts.”

The bill (A5677) has been referred to the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee.

“The fate of America was decided in several significant battles on New Jersey soil. Every effort must be made to preserve as much of that history as possible for future generations,” Assemblyman Alex Sauickie

The site of a Revolutionary War skirmish in Allentown and Upper Freehold, which was critical in helping George Washington plan the Battle of Monmouth, could soon be home to two giant warehouses. Once an encampment of Redcoats, the 66 acres looks like it did in 1778, but developers who purchased it have plans to transform it into storage facilities with more than 100 loading docks for the hundreds of trucks that will come through. file photos

Local High School Students Awarded Scholarships for Advocacy and Support of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation

July 14, 2023

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Ten New Jersey high school students were awarded scholarships from the Sharing Network Foundation for their passion and dedication to raising awareness of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The Class of 2023 graduates were presented with their scholarship awards at NJ Sharing Network’s headquarters in New Providence. The Sharing Network Foundation’s scholarships are made possible thanks to several of the organization’s family and partner funds: 

  • Hearts for Emma Partner Fund – created in celebration of Emma Rothman’s life-saving heart transplant to support high school education and donation advocacy efforts.
  • Jim Rhatican Scholarship Fund – created in memory of Jim Rhatican, a NJ Sharing Network Volunteer, liver transplant recipient and retired teacher and coach of 35 years.
  • Missy’s Miracle Scholarship Fund – created in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Missy Rodriguez’s life-saving liver transplant to follow her passion as a college counselor through scholarships for high school students.
  • Riley’s Path – created in memory of organ donor Riley Kogen to provide financial assistance to transplant patients in times of crisis, and to award scholarships to high school students and advocacy heroes.

 The 2023 scholarship recipients are: 

  • Sophia Fliegler of Mendham, NJ (2023 graduate of Randolph High School) received a scholarship from Hearts for Emma Partner Fund. Sophia’s heart failed when she was only two weeks old. She was given a second chance to live life to its fullest thanks to a successful heart transplant. She has made it a priority to honor the memory of her heart donor by advocating for NJ Sharing Network’s mission. Sophia has participated in transplant reunions, online discussion forums, social media chats, and the 5K Celebration of Life. She plans to attend the County College of Morris in the fall. “I like to think that I am living a life for both myself and my donor, as my donor never had the opportunity to do so,” said Sophia. “I hope that my donor is looking down and happy with the life ‘we’ are living.
  • Emily Blomkvist of Asbury, NJ (2023 graduate of North Hunterdon High School) received a scholarship from Hearts for Emma Partner Fund. Emily’s father received a life-saving heart transplant six years ago. Since then, her two greatest missions have been promoting the importance of organ and tissue donation and the need for blood donation. Emily has been recognized for her tireless efforts to promote events at North Hunterdon High School and in her local community. She plans to attend Lehigh University in the fall. “I will never forget that we were at my cousin’s sixth birthday party when my dad received a call from the hospital telling him to get there as soon as possible because they had found a heart for his transplant,” said Emily.
  • Caitlin Knorr of Berkeley Heights, NJ (2023 graduate of Governor Livingston High School) received a scholarship from the Jim Rhatican Scholarship Fund. Caitlin was born with a Hemangioendothelioma of the liver, a rare and deadly disease. She received a life-saving liver transplant when she was just five weeks old, and a second liver transplant three weeks before her second birthday. Caitlin’s experiences inspired her, her mother, and her sister to become certified volunteers for NJ Sharing Network. She has shared her story at community events and encouraged her classmates to register as organ and tissue donors. Caitlin plans to attend the University of Arizona in the fall. “I feel blessed, and my life experiences are why I have chosen to pursue my studies in the medical field,” said Caitlin. “I will continue to be a huge advocate for organ and tissue donation for the remainder of my life. I want to give hope to those who are waiting for a life-saving transplant.”
  • Maxwell Moore of West Milford, NJ (2023 graduate of West Milford High School) received a scholarship from the Jim Rhatican Scholarship Fund. Maxwell had just turned 15 years old when he developed severe shortness of breath while on vacation with his family. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. His condition continued to become more critical until he received a double-lung transplant in July 2020. Since his near-death experience, Maxwell has been passionate about advocating for organ and tissue donation, including leading educational presentations for the Safe Driver’s Club and the Driver’s Education class. Maxwell plans to attend Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts in the fall. “As I go off to college, I hope to bring awareness to my fellow classmates about the importance of organ and tissue donation,” said Maxwell. “I will proudly share my story with anyone who wishes to listen.”
  • Amelia Rowniewski of Wallington, NJ (2023 graduate of Applied Tech High School) received a scholarship from the Missy’s Miracle Scholarship Fund. Amelia was just two years old when she had severe cold symptoms and was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Unfortunately, Amelia’s condition worsened as her kidneys began to fail and she struggled to breathe. Her life was saved thanks to a successful kidney transplant in 2008. Amelia honors the memory of her donor by volunteering for NJ Sharing Network and the American Kidney Fund. She has met with members of Congress to advocate for policies to support kidney patients and their families and has shared her personal story to encourage others to register as organ and tissue donors. Amelia plans to attend American University in Washington D.C. in the fall. “Thanks to my donor hero, I have been able to attend concerts, make close friends, and be accepted to college,” said Amelia. “Most fulfilling of all, I’ve been able to meet and mentor younger people with organ transplants and help them get through their everyday struggles.
  • Veronica Sutkowski of Carteret, NJ (2023 graduate of East Brunswick Charter School) received a scholarship from the Missy’s Miracle Scholarship Fund. Veronica was in second grade when her mother’s life was saved thanks to a successful liver transplant. This emotional experience helped Veronica understand the powerful impact of organ and tissue donation and inspired her to volunteer for NJ Sharing Network. She even proudly wore NJ Sharing Network’s Miss Pumps mascot costume to bring energy and fun to community events and activities. Veronica plans to attend Rutgers University in the fall. “My mother’s hard road to transplant allowed me to realize that things are not as easy as they may seem and there will be challenges in life to get to the good parts,” said Veronica. “I aspire to be in the medical field and possibly help with transplant recipients like my mother one day.”
  • Nina D’Apolito of Wall, NJ (2023 graduate of Wall High School) received a scholarship from the Riley’s Path Fund. As a member of Wall High School’s Donate Life Club, Nina took the lead in developing new and creative ways to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation. Nina played a key role in creating a “Celebration of Life Garden” in the school courtyard. She, along with her peers, painted and decorated “Donate Life” rocks that were used in a scavenger hunt and then placed along the flowerbeds of the garden and in the school’s media center. Nina also promoted the club’s efforts on social media to raise additional awareness. Nina plans to attend the University of Vermont in the fall. “Everyone deserves a chance to experience the highest possible quality of life,” said Nina. “I am proud to be a registered organ and tissue donor. It gives me peace to know that when I pass away, I can potentially save up to eight lives.”
  • Jacob Grabell of Bridgewater, NJ (2023 graduate of Bridgewater Raritan High School) received a scholarship from the Riley’s Path Fund. Last year, Jacob’s family suffered a terrible tragedy when his father died suddenly from a heart attack. Jacob has shown great resiliency and maturity by supporting his mother and younger siblings while also volunteering his time to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Jacob has served as an assistant Hebrew school teacher and as a coach in youth basketball and soccer. He also coordinated a bone marrow drive during the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center Community Day. Jacob plans to attend Rutgers University in the fall. “My father made sure that my siblings and I understood the importance of having a lasting impact on the community,” said Jacob. “He was also a registered organ donor, in hopes of saving others. He put others before himself and this ever-lasting lesson is one of many things I will take with me from our time together.”
  • Charbel Hachem of Franklin, NJ (2023 graduate of Franklin High School) received a scholarship from the Riley’s Path Fund. Charbel will never forget the many times that he and his family rushed to the hospital to visit his father during his battle with cancer. After many surgeries and procedures, the only hope for Charbel’s father was an organ transplant. One of their family members donated part of their liver and pancreas to save his life. This inspired Charbel to help educate his classmates about the importance of registering as an organ and tissue donor. He also began volunteering with the American Red Cross to support local communities. Charbel plans to attend Concordia University in Canada in the fall. “It is my ambition to one day work in a hospital, performing the very same innovative surgeries that saved my father,” said Charbel.
  • Noah Kuzloski of Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (2023 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy) received a scholarship from the Riley’s Path Fund. In July 2022, Noah’s family experienced an unthinkable tragedy when his aunt and 3-year-old cousin passed away following a motor vehicle accident. Noah’s cousin saved the lives of three young boys through the miracle of organ and tissue donation. Since that moment, Noah has shared his story with friends and classmates to encourage them to register as organ and tissue donors. He plans to attend SUNY Maritime College in the fall. “Organ and tissue donation has greatly impacted my life because it brought me peace knowing that my cousin was able to save the lives of others,” said Noah. “It also gave me a way to deal with the pain of losing her. She is a hero.”

 The Sharing Network Foundation’s scholarship program provides an opportunity to recognize and award graduating high school seniors whose lives have been touched by organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Applicants were measured on academic achievement, community and volunteer efforts, extracurricular activities and advocacy for organ and tissue donation. Since the scholarship program’s inception in 2011, more than $120,000 has been awarded to 55 dedicated student advocates. 

“We are grateful for the generous support of our partner funds and their ongoing commitment to rewarding students who share a commitment to our life-saving mission,” said Amanda Tibok, Executive Director, Sharing Network Foundation. “We know that all of our scholarship awardees will continue as strong leaders educating others about donation and transplantation throughout their college years and beyond.” 

Front Row – (Left-to-right) The Sharing Network Foundation’s 2023 scholarship recipients Noah Kuzloski of Point Pleasant Beach, Maxwell Moore of West Milford, Jacob Grabell of Bridgewater, Veronica Sutkowski of Carteret, Emily Blomkvist of Asbury, Caitlin Knorr of Berkeley Heights, Sophia Fliegler of Mendham, and Amelia Rowniewski of Wallington. Not pictured are Charbel Hachem of Franklin and Nina D’Apolito of Wall. (Back Row – Standing behind students – Left-to-right) Julie Nelson and Jay Rhatican of the Jim Rhatican Scholarship Fund, Mitch Kogen of the Riley’s Path Fund, Nancie Rothman of the Hearts for Emma Partner Fund, and Missy Rodriguez of the Missy’s Miracle Scholarship Fund. Photo Courtesy of NJ Sharing Network

Belmar Man Indicted For Manslaughter And Numerous Drug Charges

July 14, 2023

  FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County Grand Jury has returned a 37-count indictment against a man charged with being responsible for a fatal overdose that took place in 2021, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago and Belmar Police Department Chief Tina Scott announced in a joint statement on Friday.

Robert M. Clayton, 39, was indicted on one count of second-degree Manslaughter, along with two counts of second-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with the Intent to Distribute, twelve counts of second-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with the Intent to Distribute while on or within 500 feet of a Public Park, twelve counts of third-degree Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance, and ten counts of third-degree Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute.

On January 2, 2021 at 1:21 p.m., Belmar Police Department officers were dispatched to the area of Third and River Avenues for a caller reporting an overdose in progress in the front seat of his car.  The car was located on Fifth Avenue with the passenger-side door ajar and a male subject crawling out of the vehicle face-first.  Upon contact with the Belmar Police officers, the individual crawling out of the car yelled, “Narcan him!”

One of the responding Belmar officers immediately retrieved his first-aid equipment and administered two doses of Narcan to an adult male, later identified as Jonathan Amato, who was seated in the front passenger seat in a reclined position, unconscious and not breathing.  Amato was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased upon arrival at the hospital.

An investigation involving members of the Belmar Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that Amato overdosed and died as a result of controlled dangerous substances that he ingested at the residence of Robert Clayton.

A subsequent search of Clayton’s home by the Belmar Police Department recovered the following narcotics: 919 Xanax pills, 101 Carisoprodel pills, 26 wax folds of heroin, 2 bags of powder heroin, 3 bags of MDMA (“Ecstasy”), 97 doses of LSD, 1 bag of Crystal Meth, 2 bags of Ketamine, 111 Methadone pills, 51 Adderall pills, 62 Tramadol pills, 2 vials of liquid Xanax, 11 Oxycodone pills and numerous other small amounts of pills, in addition to used hypodermic needles, vacuum-sealed packaging bags, hundreds of unused wax folds, 4 scales with CDS residue, 2 whipped-cream-dispensers, and 200 whippet canisters. In addition, 34 thumb memory drives were recovered, along with a computer and seven cellular phones.

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Director of Investigations/Assistant Prosecutor Hoda Soliman.

Robert Clayton is being represented by Sarah H. Surgent, Esq. with an office location in Woodbridge.

A conviction for Manslaughter carries a period of up to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (N.E.R.A.), meaning that he would have to serve 85% of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.  The additional second-degree charges also carry up to 10 years in prison; the third-degree charges carry up to 5 years in 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.

Two Men Admit To Roles In Neptune Township Double Homicide

July 14, 2023

FREEHOLD – The two men criminally charged in connection with a shooting that left a man and a woman dead in Neptune Township early last year have both admitted to their roles in the killings, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Friday.

Gabriel J. Brathwaite, 20, of Keansburg pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree Murder and a related weapons offense, admitting that he fatally shot 18-year-old Samore Edwards of Plainfield and 19-year-old Isaiah Williams of New Brunswick.  Braithwaite’s codefendant, 24-year-old Jeron D. Dearin of the Cliffwood section of Aberdeen pleaded guilty to second-degree Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault in connection with the incident. The pleas were entered during a hearing yesterday before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. Lemieux.  

Shortly before 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, members of the Neptune Township Police Department responded to the 1300 block of Washington Avenue on a report of a shooting. At that location, officers found the two victims in a parked vehicle; Edwards was subsequently pronounced deceased at the scene, while Williams was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival.

An intensive investigation involving members of the MCPO Major Crimes Bureau, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, the Neptune Township Police Department, and the Keansburg Police Department resulted in Braithwaite and Dearin being identified as suspects in the case.  The pair ultimately were arrested without incident less than a month after the shooting. They have remained in custody at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) since.

Sentencing in the case has been tentatively scheduled for Thursday, December 7 before Judge Lemieux, at which time the State intends to recommend terms of 45 and 10 years, respectively, for Brathwaite and Dearin – with 85 percent of each sentence to be served before the possibility of parole under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA).

The pleas being announced today were negotiated and agreed to after consulting with the families of Edwards and Williams.  

This matter is being prosecuted by MCPO Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Bogner, Director of the Major Crimes Bureau, along with Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan. Braithwaite is being represented by Joshua M. Hood, Esq., while Dearin is being represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq., both attorneys with an office in Freehold.    

Colts Neck Man Gets 15-Years In Prison For String Of Bank Robberies

July 13, 2023

FREEHOLDA Colts Neck man who committed a string of robberies and a burglary over the course of about a month in 2021 has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.

Conor Kavanagh, 31, will be required to serve at least 85 percent of the first 12 years of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA), in accordance with the terms set during the Friday, July 7, 2023 sentencing hearing before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley. Kavanagh will also be subject to having no contact with the victims, as well as making restitution, and is also not allowed to return to the financial institutions where the crimes were committed.

The charges stem from three robberies, all committed within a month of each other in the fall of 2021.

Shortly after 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2021, an individual who was later identified as Kavanagh approached a teller window at the PNC Bank inside the Stop & Shop supermarket on Route 36 in Keyport.  Kavanagh then passed a note indicating he was in possession of a weapon and made off with a quantity of cash, leaving the scene in a green Toyota pickup truck.  At approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, a bank robbery occurred at the Wells Fargo branch on Newman Springs Road in the Lincroft section of Middletown. The bank robbery was committed in an identical fashion to the earlier one in Keyport, with the suspect wearing similar clothing and also leaving the scene in a green Toyota pickup truck.

Three days later, on Friday, December 17, the Wells Fargo branch on Route 36 in Eatontown was robbed.  Again, a suspect passed a note demanding money, indicating that he was in possession of a weapon.

Following the bank robbery in Middletown, Detectives from the Middletown Police Department developed information that led to Kavanagh being identified as a potential suspect. After the bank robbery in Eatontown, Middletown Detectives and assisting members of the FBI observed Kavanagh driving a green pickup truck that matched the description of the vehicle used in the earlier bank robberies and placed him under arrest.

Detectives searched the pickup truck and located proceeds from the Eatontown bank robbery and the clothing the suspect was seen wearing on surveillance footage. They also located information pertaining to a storage unit in Shrewsbury; a search of that location revealed proceeds from the Keyport and Middletown bank robberies. Additionally, a search of the cell phone Kavanagh was using contained evidence of online searches for local bank branches. Prosecutor Santiago would like to thank our partners from the Eatontown, Keyport, and Middletown police departments, as well as members of the FBI’s Newark office, for their invaluable assistance in this investigation.

This case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie Dugan. Kavanagh is being represented by Edwin Wu, Esq., with an office in Freehold Borough.

Worker Killed In Middletown After Contact With Power Lines Then Falling 20-Feet

Middletown, NJ – On July 11, 2023, at approximately 12:29 p.m., Middletown Twp. Police responded to 1040 State Route 35 in Middletown for a report of a workplace accident.  Upon arrival, officers learned that Kevin McAdorey, 58, of Brick, had been using a motorized scissor lift while performing work at the site.  The lift was elevated and came into contact with powerlines.  McAdorey then fell to the ground from a distance of approximately 20 feet and was found to be in an unconscious condition.  The victim was treated by Middletown Twp. Emergency Medical Service and transported to Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank.  McAdorey was later pronounced dead by hospital staff.  

This incident is under investigation by the Middletown Twp. Police as well as the Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) based in Avenel.

U.S. Army Financial Counselor Charged With Defrauding Gold Star Families

July 7, 2023

A Monmouth County, New Jersey, financial counselor with the United States Army and major in the U.S. Army Reserves who allegedly defrauded two dozen Gold Star families has been indicted, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Caz Craffy, a/k/a “Carz Craffey,” 41, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, is charged by indictment with six counts of wire fraud and one count each of securities fraud, making false statements in a loan application, committing acts furthering a personal financial interest, and making false statements to a federal agency.

Craffy is expected to make his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni at the Trenton Federal Courthouse.

“Stealing from Gold Star families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation is a shameful crime,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “As alleged in the indictment, the defendant in this case used his position as an Army financial counselor to defraud Gold Star families, steal their money, and enrich himself. Predatory conduct that targets the families of fallen American service members will be met with the full force of the Justice Department.”

“The families of our fallen service members have laid the dearest sacrifice on the altar of freedom,” U.S. Attorney Sellinger said. “These Gold Star families deserve our utmost respect and compassion, as well as some small measure of financial security from a grateful nation. They must be off-limits for fraudsters. But, as the indictment alleges, this defendant took advantage of his role as an Army financial counselor to prey upon these families, using lies and deception to steer their investments in a way that would make him money. There is no room for those who seek to rip off families of fallen servicemembers to make a buck. We will use every means at our disposal to ensure that those who defraud military families are held accountable.”

“Those who prey on the family members of fallen soldiers, will be sought out and held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Joel Kirch, Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Northeast Field Office. “The hard work, long hours, and dedication of our partners within the Task Force, from the United States Attorney’s Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and our own investigative analyst, resulted in this investigation’s swift resolution.”

“The families of service members who lost their lives while serving their country deserve to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect by individuals entrusted to assist them in obtaining survivor benefits,” said James R. Ives, Principal Deputy Director of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the law enforcement arm of the DoD Office of Inspector General. “Today’s announcement reflects DCIS and our law enforcement partners’ steadfast commitment to holding accountable those who use their official positions to take advantage of grieving military families.”

“Gold Star families are given a title no one would choose because it means they’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for this country,” said Special in Charge James E. Dennehy of the Newark FBI. The soldier, sailor, marine or airman they loved died during a time of conflict – defending this nation. They are given money and assistance to help ease the burden that comes with losing their loved one, however no amount of money can replace what they’ve lost. We allege Craffy took advantage of his position and defrauded families already going through a tremendous amount of suffering.”

“Craffy disgraced the position he was entrusted in to care for our nation’s military families when he allegedly took advantage of them during a vulnerable time of grief,” said Homeland Security Investigations Newark Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel. “No family, especially our Gold Star families, should have to face further heartache after a loved one’s death by having their financial security ripped out from under them by fraudsters.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: When a member of the Armed Services dies during active duty, his or her surviving beneficiary, now a member of a Gold Star family, is entitled to a $100,000 death gratuity and the soldier’s life insurance of up to $400,000. These payments are disbursed to the beneficiary in a matter of weeks or months following the servicemember’s death. To assist the beneficiaries in this time of need, the military provides a number of services to the servicemember’s family, including the assistance of a financial counselor.

From November 2017 to January 2023, Craffy was a civilian employee of the U.S. Army, working as a financial counselor with the Casualty Assistance Office. He was also a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he has been enlisted since 2003.

Craffy was responsible for providing general financial education to the surviving beneficiaries. He was prohibited from offering any personal opinions regarding the surviving beneficiary’s benefits decisions. Craffy was not permitted to participate personally in any government matter in which he had an outside financial interest. However, without telling the Army, Craffy simultaneously maintained outside employment with two separate financial investment firms.

Craffy used his position as an Army financial counselor to identify and target Gold Star families and other military families. He encouraged the Gold Star families to invest their survivor benefits in investment accounts that he managed in his outside, private employment. Based upon Craffy’s false representations and omissions, the vast majority of the Gold Star families mistakenly believed that Craffy’s management of their money was done on behalf of and with the Army’s authorization.

From May 2018 to November 2022, Craffy obtained more than $9.9 million from Gold Star families to invest in accounts managed by Craffy in his private capacity. Once in control of this money, Craffy repeatedly executed trades, often without the family’s authorization. These unauthorized trades earned Craffy high commissions. During the timeframe of the alleged scheme, the Gold Star family accounts had lost more than $3.4 million, while Craffy personally earned more than $1.4 million in commissions, drawn from the family accounts.

The wire fraud and securities fraud charges are each punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison. The charge of submitting a false statement on a loan application is punishable by a maximum of two years in prison. The charges of acts affecting a personal interest and false statements to a federal agent are each punishable by five years in prison. All counts but the securities fraud count are also punishable by a maximum fine of either $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. The securities fraud count is punishable by a maximum fine of either $5 million or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed a civil complaint against Craffy today based on the same and additional conduct. Craffy has been permanently prohibited from association with any member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA).

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Kirch; special agents of DCIS, under the direction of Principal Deputy Director Ives; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Dennehy; and special agents of Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patel with the investigation leading to the indictment. He also expressed appreciation for the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the direction of Gurbir S. Grewal, Director, Division of Enforcement, and FINRA, under the direction of Acting Head of Enforcement Christopher J. Kelly.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martha K. Nye of the Criminal Division in Trenton, and Carolyn Silane of the Criminal Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.23-198 Defense counsel: Mark Berman Esq., Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

Governor Murphy Toughens Laws Against Auto Theft

Continues the Work of the Administration to Combat Auto Theft

July 7, 2023

LONG BRANCH, NJ (MONMOUTH) – Governor Phil Murphy today signed a series of bills to continue the fight to combat auto theft in New Jersey. The four bills strengthen the criminal penalties associated with auto theft, with a particular focus on persistent, repeat offenders and large-scale automobile trafficking networks.

“Every person should be able to feel safe and secure in the communities they call home. That is why over the past year we have taken serious steps to crack down on the troubling rise in auto thefts,” said Governor Murphy. “Today’s comprehensive bill signing is an additional step in the right direction. I am grateful to our legislative leaders for recognizing the seriousness of this issue and for taking swift action to bring these bills to my desk. Together, we will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to keep New Jerseyans safe.”

“More than 1 million vehicles are stolen across the U.S. every year. In New Jersey, we are focused on reducing those numbers and this incredibly comprehensive package of bills will give law enforcement the means to do just that,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “Thank you to Gov. Murphy and the Legislature for recognizing the need to give our law enforcement officers and agencies these additional tools. Working with our partners at the local, state and federal level, we are in a greater position to cut the number of vehicle thefts and better protect our residents.” 

A4930/S3390 expands criminal penalties related to the illegal use of motor vehicle master keys. Motor vehicle master keys are key fobs or computer programs that have the ability to operate the locks or start a motor vehicle. Under the bill, individuals who knowingly possess one of these devices or programs for unlawful purposes or advertise these devices or programs knowing that such items are commonly used for unlawful purposes will be guilty of a fourth-degree crime. These provisions do not apply to law enforcement personnel, insurance organizations, or leasing business entities.

A4931/S2284 establishes the crimes of theft of a motor vehicle and receiving a stolen motor vehicle as separate statutory provisions resulting in either a second- or a third-degree crime, depending on the value of the car. Additionally, the bill provides for extended sentences for certain persistent motor vehicle offenders. If an individual has been convicted on two or more prior, separate occasions of carjacking theft, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, or receiving stolen property that is a motor vehicle, then that individual may be subject to an extended term of imprisonment upon request of the prosecutor. 

A5034/S3006 expands the crime of “leader of auto theft trafficking network” by amending the definition of said “leader” to include persons who conspire with others as participants to engage for profit or to commit other criminal activity in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully take, dispose of, distribute, bring into, or transport motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts as stolen property. The bill also establishes that the “participant in auto theft network” will result in a third-degree crime.

A5189/S3777 eliminates the presumption of pretrial release for defendants charged with certain motor vehicle theft offenses if the defendant was arrested or convicted of a prior motor vehicle theft offense within the 90-day-period preceding the charge. Under the bill, the presumption of pretrial release would not apply to an eligible defendant charged with theft of or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle or receiving stolen property where the property involved is a motor vehicle if on one or more prior and separate occasions during the 90-day-period preceding the charge, the defendant was arrested for or convicted of theft of or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle; receiving stolen property where the property involved is a motor vehicle; or a crime under any statute of the United States, this State, or any other state that is substantially equivalent to any of the crimes listed above.

In the past year, the Murphy Administration has taken several steps to address the problem of auto thefts.

Earlier this year, the Governor signed S249/A2210, making it more difficult for bad actors to sell stolen catalytic converters to scrap yards and making it easier for law enforcement to identify, locate, and prosecute violators. Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin also announced in April 2023 that 34 law enforcement agencies in 21 counties and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) will receive grant funding to acquire or expand automated license plate recognition (ALPR) technology across the state, building on Governor Murphy’s 2022 $10 million investment in the technology to reduce violent crime and auto theft in New Jersey through the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) State Fiscal Recovery Fund.

Auto theft measures taken in the last year have proven to be successful, resulting in a 10 percent decrease in auto thefts from January through May of this year compared to that same period last year, and a 10 percent decrease in auto thefts for the last four months of 2022 compared to those same months in 2021.

In the recently signed Fiscal Year 2024 budget, $2 million more was allocated to increase the investment in statewide pretrial services, which will expand social service offerings and on-ramps to programming support for people awaiting trial.

The primary sponsors of these bills, which passed unanimously in both houses, were Senator Gopal, Senator Lagana, Senator Sarlo, Senator Codey, Senator Bucco, Assemblyman Tully, Assemblywoman Swain, Assemblyman Atkins, Assemblywoman Speight, Assemblywoman Flynn, and Assemblyman Thomson.

“The rate of auto-thefts over the past two years threatens the property and safety of New Jersey residents and places an added strain on law enforcement,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “It’s crucial we take decisive and creative action to deter car thieves while also providing additional support to the law enforcement departments and our prosecutors’ offices who are already working hard to curb this disturbing trend.”

“In New Jersey, the vast majority of residents depend on their cars to get back and forth to work, to get their kids to school, or to go wherever they need to be. These bills offer new ways of thinking, and new ways of attacking the car theft problem in our state, by focusing resources on several fronts, and, when necessary, strengthening laws to make would-be perpetrators think twice before stealing another person’s automobile,” said Senator Joseph Lagana.

“Car thefts and related crimes are an ongoing threat to the safety and security of diverse communities throughout the state,” said Senator Paul Sarlo. “This legislation will work to crack down on offenders, prevent thefts, and take down the criminal networks of car thieves.”

“In recent years, our communities have been plagued with the crimes of car thefts, with the thefts primarily being done by repeat offenders,” said Senator Richard Codey. “These are sophisticated, well-financed, well-organized business operations, more or less corporations. If we want to get serious about busting up these operations and making headway on car thefts, we must go after the captains of these rings, and not merely be content with arresting the teen-age perpetrators who may be in their service.”

“I am pleased that Governor Murphy signed this bipartisan legislation to address the epidemic of motor vehicle thefts in New Jersey. This law sends a powerful message that if you commit the crime, you will be caught and you will serve time,” said Senator Minority Leader Anthony M. Bucco. “Unlawful activities related to car thefts and stolen car parts have rapidly increased throughout the state since 2020. With the signing of this legislation, we are enacting a plan to hold auto theft traffickers and their criminal networks accountable for their heinous crimes.”

“Since the onset of the pandemic, our State has seen the most significant increase in auto thefts to date,” said Assemblyman Christopher Tully. “New Jersey residents deserve immediate protection, which is why we have taken steps to develop smart, sensible policies that safeguard our residents and their property while punishing those responsible. The measures being signed into law today will strengthen our laws and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

“The majority of families in New Jersey rely on their cars to get where they need to go, be it for work, school or leisure. That is why it is critical to respond to the recent surge in car thefts with thoughtful, effective policies that will stop repeat offenders who lead car theft trafficking networks,” said Assemblywoman Lisa Swain. “These new laws take aim at car theft rings that for too long have preyed upon New Jersey communities, clearly sending the message that actions have consequences.”
“The uptick in car thefts throughout the state has created serious cause for concern among law enforcement officers and New Jersey families,” said Assemblyman Reginald Atkins. “People deserve to feel safe and secure in their communities, but that isn’t possible when the threat of property theft looms over them. By updating our laws, we are addressing technological advances that aid in these crimes and giving our courts the tools needed to put an end to car thefts.”

“Over the past few years, law enforcement officers throughout New Jersey have felt the added strain caused by car thefts and our residents have worried that their property could be the next target,” said Assemblywoman Shanique Speight. “I am proud to sponsor legislation being signed into law today. This is a start to ending car thefts and giving New Jersey families peace of mind.”

“This new law thoughtfully targets the car theft crisis occurring throughout New Jersey communities by providing the necessary support law enforcement has called for to address the ‘catch and release’ policies that have enabled car theft rings to flourish,” said Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn. “Tackling the rise in car thefts was one of the first issues I took on as a member of the Legislature, so it is particularly rewarding to see this bill signed into law. Protecting the hardworking people of New Jersey and their property is a commitment I will continue to honor as I celebrate this significant step toward a safer tomorrow.”

“Empowering the courts to close the door on repeat car thieves will help put an end to the crime cycle in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Ned Thomson. “In order to provide residents the peace of mind they deserve and protect them from falling victim to career criminals, New Jersey must take a tougher approach. The signing of this law demonstrates how both sides of the aisle can come together to prioritize public safety and ensure the justice system holds these offenders accountable.” 

“Car thefts are a personal and sometimes violent attack on an innocent victim,” said Peter Andreyev, Executive Vice President, New Jersey State PBA. “The bills signed today will allow law enforcement to target the leaders of these theft rings and make sure that repeat offenders are properly adjudicated. On behalf of the New Jersey State PBA, I would like to thank Governor Murphy and the bill sponsors for their support on this serious public safety issue.”

“I commend the Governor and Legislature for taking swift action to combat this very important bipartisan issue,” said Long Branch Mayor John Pallone. “In Long Branch public safety is our primary responsibility and with these laws in place, it gives our law enforcement officers the ability to protect and serve our town and ensure auto theft offenders are brought to justice”

“I applaud the Senate and the Governor for approving the set of bills that will greatly enhance the safety and security of residents,” said Mine Hill Mayor Sam Morris. “These bills will help crack down and bring accountability to those who prey on the public.  The legislation goes far toward beating the technical and skilled car thieves advanced technology. Good job to everyone involved.”

“New Jersey is plagued by an epidemic of auto theft. I commend the legislature for taking action and the governor for signing these bills into law,” said Mount Arlington Mayor Michael Stanzilis. “I urge the public to help stem the tide of auto theft by locking their cars and not leaving the keys and key fob in their automobiles.”

“I would like to thank our Legislature for passing these package of bills and to Governor Murphy for signing this important legislation to help combat the out of control auto theft crimes in our State,” said Jefferson Mayor Eric F. Wilsusen. “As a retired Deputy Chief of Police, I know these new laws will give our law enforcement a few more tools in their toolbox better control auto theft that has affected all our communities throughout New Jersey.”

“Kudos to our legislators and to our Governor for passing and signing this critical legislation into law which is long overdue,” said East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo. “It is essential for both law enforcement officers and prosecutors who can now better work together to make all of us safer.”

“These bills aptly address our ongoing concerns for our municipality’s public safety,” said Millburn Mayor Maggee Miggins. “We find the unanimous approvals very meaningful and we are grateful to both the Governor and the Legislature.”

“The auto thefts have reached epidemic proportions. It cannot be addressed solely in the communities where the thefts are occurring, it must be addressed from the cities where the young are recruited, to suburbs where the cars are stolen to the final destination of the vehicles,” said Madison Mayor Robert H. Conley. “This series of bills does exactly that. As a mayor in a community that has been hit with the rash of thefts, these bills are the support we need. I thank the legislature for their overwhelming support for the bills and for Governor Murphy for signing them into law.”

“I believe these bills, once they become law, will assist law enforcement and prosecutors in trying to curb the theft of autos and auto parts,” said Totowa Mayor John Coiro.

“I thank Governor Murphy and our State Legislature for recognizing and working to address a problem in a bipartisan way that Mayors and local police departments have been combatting for a while,” said Hamilton Township Mayor Jeff Martin. “Repeat offenders, and those profiting off their crimes, will now face far more significant penalties for their choices and be less likely to be released on bail to continue to commit these crimes.”

“I want to thank Governor Murphy for taking these important steps towards strengthening auto theft prevention laws,” said Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah. “This is one issue where Republicans and Democrats alike are united and gives our law enforcement community the necessary resources to stop auto thefts, protect our residents and ensure public safety in our town and every town across the state.”

“It’s no secret that communities across New Jersey have been struggling to combat widespread auto thefts for years,” said Morris Township Mayor Mark Gyorfy. “I applaud the passage of these bipartisan measures by our state lawmakers and thank Governor Murphy for his support to strengthen law enforcement’s ability to stem this concerning trend and make communities like Morris Township safer for all residents.”

“As Mayor, representing the Montville Township Committee, we support legislation that has a positive impact on crime,” said Montville Mayor Matt Kayne. “Auto theft continues to be occurring at a high incident rate. These bills are a positive step forward in the effort to fight auto theft. I support these bills and want to thank our lawmakers for this body of work.”

“The bills that Governor Murphy is signing is a big step in assisting Law Enforcement in combating the on-going crime of auto theft,” said Montville Police Chief Andrew Caggiano. “These bills give law enforcement the ability to specifically ensure that the repeat offenders committing auto theft are not automatically released through pretrial release and are held accountable after conviction.  As the Chief of Police for the Montville Township Police Department, I support these bills and applaud our legislators for their efforts”

“Auto theft has become a major concern across the State of New Jersey.  It’s an issue we hear about from residents every single day,” said Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark. “I thank Governor Murphy and the State Legislature for working on and signing this series of bills to address this important issue.  Safety must be our number one priority, without it we have no quality of life.”

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed a rise in auto thefts, an issue that is not subject to just one community in our state,” said Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann. “I am grateful to Governor Murphy and the state legislature for their continued efforts to support us as we work to combat this epidemic here in Ewing.”

“The bipartisan measure from Trenton to raise the stakes for major crime rings who focus on auto theft is welcome news to all communities across New Jersey,” said Mendham Borough Mayor Christine Glassner. “Law enforcement officials now have a powerful new tool to combat auto theft and bring criminal accountability to the leaders of these pyramid crime schemes and throw them in prison where they belong. In addition to supporting our cops working the streets and prosecutors who use the full scope of their authority to reduce violent and costly crimes in our state, all New Jerseyans can appreciate this important step to fight crime by our leaders in Trenton.”

“I applaud Governor Murphy for signing the bills sponsored by Senators Codey, Bucco, Sarlo, Lagana and Gopal.  Stiffening the consequences for actors who commit these crimes is paramount to giving municipalities and law enforcement the upper hand in combating auto theft.    It is refreshing to witness our state legislators collaborate for the betterment of our residents regardless of party affiliation,” said Roseland Mayor James Spango. “The statewide auto theft issue affects all municipalities and NJ residents and puts the safety of the public and police at risk everyday.  Harsher penalties for those committing these crimes will improve the quality of life for all of us.”

“I want to thank Governor Murphy and the Legislature for working together in a bipartisan effort to address this critical issue affecting not just Long Hill but towns across New Jersey,” said Long Hill Mayor Scott Lavender. “These laws will empower our law enforcement officers and prosecutors to effectively protect our communities and ensure criminals are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law”

Photos: Rich Hundley III/Governor’s Office

Millstone Township Fire Department Responds To Serious Crash

July 6, 2023

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Sgt. Philip Curry from the New Jersey State Police, Office of Public Information told that a crash occurred at 5:07 p.m. in the driveway of a Baird Road residence in Millstone.  The preliminary investigation revealed that a Subaru Forester was traveling in a driveway when it entered a ditch and overturned.  The driver sustained non-life threatening injuries and was airlifted to an area hospital.  The passenger, a 94-year-old woman sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to an area hospital.  The crash remains under investigation.

The Millstone Township Fire Department reported that yesterday afternoon the Department was dispatched for a MVA with entrapment on Baird Rd. Squad 32-80 arrived to find a vehicle off the road with three entrapped inside. Units went in-service and requested additional resources to assist with the incident.

MTFD Facebook photos