Category: Wall

29 People Facing Charges For Racketeering And Various Criminal Gang Activities

October 30, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An 8-month investigation into ongoing acts of gang criminality and organized street crime has led to charges against 29 people from Monmouth and Ocean counties for Racketeering, Conspiracy, Attempted Murder, drug and gun trafficking and Dogfighting, announced Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.  The probe revealed a power grab by a Bloods gang leader to consolidate his command of the gang’s criminal activities through violence, intimidation, illegal drug and gun sales, and the operation of a dogfighting ring. 

During the investigation titled “Operation Golden State,” law enforcement officers recovered numerous firearms, a vehicle used in criminal activity, various quantities of cocaine and marijuana, 12 canines used in the dogfighting operation, and other evidence related to the dogfighting operation.  The dogs are safe and currently being sheltered in an Ocean County animal facility.  Of the 29 people charged as part of this investigation, nine are facing charges of racketeering, five are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, two are facing charges as a leader of a dogfighting network, and four are facing dogfighting charges.

The joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in cooperation with federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies, concluded that Xavier Reed, 30, of Hyson Road in Jackson Township, controlled a vast criminal enterprise operating in Asbury Park, Neptune Township, Freehold and Lakewood.  Reed, a/k/a “HS”, assembled a gang alliance consisting of G-Shine Bloods, 47 Neighborhood Crips and the Grape Street Crips that worked towards the unitary control of most illegal activity in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  Reed is currently incarcerated in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark on unlawful gun possession charges.   

As a G-Shine Bloods leader, Reed was responsible for administering punishment, controlling the channels for generating revenue from various quantities of drug sales (heroin, cocaine, prescription pills and marijuana) and the administration of the dogfighting ring, where thousands of dollars were typically earned during a single dogfight.  These activities served as a means of funding the violent crime carried out by the group, and to further advance Reed’s power. 

Reed intensified his energies to maintain control over criminal activity in Monmouth County by intimidating individuals who were disloyal to him or the organization, and engaged in efforts to violently retaliate against former members of his organization and rivals.  Reed’s intimidation tactics included a conspiracy with others charged to murder a pair of Reed’s rivals and a member of a Lakewood-based G-Shine set, who resisted Reed’s efforts to consolidate that set into his organization. 

Reed was cognizant of the ongoing wars between rival criminal street gangs, namely the G-Shine Bloods and Grape Street Crips, and boasted about his assembly of members from different gangs that worked towards a common criminal goal, which he and others referred to the group as “Golden State” and would retaliate against anyone who disrespected them.

The criminal enterprise also possessed, transferred and sold weapons within their organized crime alliance, and were responsible for more than a dozen shooting incidents that have recently plagued Asbury Park, Long Branch, Tinton Falls, Keansburg and Neptune Township. 

The investigation further revealed Reed and his affiliates in other criminal street gangs, including Daishon Smith a/k/a “Beefy” of Asbury Park, were responsible for violent criminal activity throughout Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, and Neptune Township.

The dogfighting part of the enterprise worked in cooperation with out-of-state breeding facilities that focused on training dogs to kill and engaged in interstate dogfighting events.  In one instance, Reed lost $5,000 on one of his own dogs in a dogfight held in Philadelphia.  In another instance, Reed bragged about maintaining his fighting dogs by feeding them chickens and rabbits, remarking how much the dogs loved killing the animals.

The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized eight Pit Bull-type dogs in Monmouth and Ocean counties in February 2020. All the dogs are believed to be owned by Reed.  The dogs were left outside in sub-freezing temperatures and all had bite marks on their limbs, necks and ears indicative of dogfighting. 



Reed is charged with first degree Racketeering Conspiracy, first degree Gang Criminality, first degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder, first degree Promotion of Organized Street Crime, Second Degree Aggravated Assault, Second Degree Solicitation to Join a Criminal Street Gang, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Leader of a Dog Fighting Network, Third Degree Conspiracy to Commit Dog Fighting, Third Degree Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering, Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Marijuana), and Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

Reed was aided in his efforts by a network of people who are charged with various crimes:

Rashad Anderson a/k/a “C-Devine”, 39, is charged with second degree Leader of a Dog Fighting Network and third degree Conspiracy to Commit Dog Fighting.

Kaniesha Bacon, 30, of Hyson Road in Jackson, is charged first degree Racketeering Conspiracy, third degree Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering, third degree Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) [Marijuana].

Itayasia Berry a/k/a “TayTay”, 21, of Corlies Avenue in Neptune Township, is charged with second degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), third degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Cocaine), and third degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Prescription Pills).

Jawaun Boggs a/k/a “Jig”, 24, of Atlantic Avenue in Asbury Park, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Possession

of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Unlawful Use), Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Prescription Pills), Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess CDS (Prescription Pills), and Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

King Brent a/k/a “Pay”, 25, of Atlantic Avenue in Asbury Park, is charged with Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess CDS (Prescription Pills).

Alahji Conteh a/k/a “Stash”, 25, of Atlantic Avenue in Asbury Park, is charged with Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm).

Thomas Cutillo, Jr., 25, of Garfield Avenue in Avon-By-the-Sea, is charged with third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Prescription Pills) and Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess CDS (Cocaine and/or Heroin).

Sammy Davis, 55, of Monroe Avenue in Neptune Township, is charged with third Degree Conspiracy to Possess CDS (Cocaine).

Nakee Davis-Ruffin a/k/a “Squad”, 21, of Third Avenue in Asbury Park is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

Jahquan Fenn a/k/a “Capo” and “Trey”, 30, of Center Street in Freehold Boro, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

Dale Ghee a/k/a “Budda”, 23, of Sewall Avenue in Asbury Park is charged with Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Marijuana).

Marciyah Gill, 25, of Bond Street in Freehold Boro, is charged with Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Cocaine).

Richard Ivery, 35, of State Route 33 in Wall Township, is charged with Third Degree Possession of CDS (Marijuana) with Intent to Distribute and Fourth Degree Possession of Over 50 Grams of Marijuana.

Jy’Zaire Jones a/k/a “Ceemo”, 25, of Allen Avenue in Ocean Township, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (community firearm), Second Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Cocaine), and Third Degree Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering.

A juvenile male from Asbury Park is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

Tyree Kirkpatrick a/k/a “Ree”, 32, of Third Avenue in Asbury Park, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), First Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

Zion Langhorne a/k/a “Too Brazy”, 19, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, First Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder, and Second Degree Solicitation to Join a Criminal Street Gang.

Marcella Mallory, 57, of East Sunset Avenue in Red Bank, is charged with Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Cocaine) and Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess CDS (Cocaine).

Mark McMillian a/k/a “Noodle”, 43, of Bangs Avenue in Asbury Park, is charged with Third Degree Conspiracy to Commit Dog Fighting.

Julissa Miles, 32, of Third Avenue in Asbury Park, is charged with Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm).

Jose Mosely a/k/a “Brazy”, 33, of State Route 70 in Manchester Township, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), First Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), and Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

Jamar Ousley, 37, of Colts Neck Road in Freehold Township, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy and Fourth Degree Solicitation to Join a Criminal Street Gang.

Daishon Smith a/k/a “Beefy” or “Atkins Ave.”, 29, of Atlantic Avenue in Asbury Park, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Cocaine), Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Prescription Pills), and Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

Rufus Squarewell a/k/a “Ru”, 38, is charged with Third Degree Conspiracy to Commit Dog Fighting.

Jimmy Tran, 29, of Broadway in Freehold Township, is charged with Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Marijuana).

Melanie Tucker, 36, of Monroe Avenue in Neptune Township, is charged with Second Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Cocaine).

Marcus Washington a/k/a “Mo Shine”, 25, of Brockton Avenue in Neptune Township, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, Third Degree Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), and Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

Shakon Winslow a/k/a “Stick-up” or “Wise”, 26, of Bangs Avenue in Neptune Township, is charged with First Degree Racketeering Conspiracy, First Degree Gang Criminality, First Degree Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Second degree Aggravated Assault, Second Degree Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Second Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Community Firearm), Second Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Second Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Third Degree Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering, Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (Cocaine), Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute CDS, Fourth Degree Solicitation to Join a Criminal Street Gang, and Second Degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons.

Prosecutor Gramiccioni would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance in conducting the investigation: New York/New Jersey Regional Task Force and Capitol Area Regional Task Force of the United States Marshal’s Office; the Red Bank field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) HIDTA, the New Jersey State Police; the New Jersey State Parole Board; the Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office; the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office; the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and police departments in Union Beach, Keansburg, Highlands, Neptune Township, Neptune City, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Long Branch, Howell, Spring Lake, Asbury Park, Freehold Township, Freehold Borough, Red Bank, Middletown, Jackson, Lakewood, Keyport and Oceanport.

If convicted of Attempted Murder, each defendant faces 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 him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. Each defendant would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.

The Racketeering charges allege that the defendants engaged in a continuous pattern of interrelated criminal conduct, namely drug trafficking, gun trafficking and dogfighting, among other crimes.  If convicted of first degree Racketeering, each defendant faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, and a period of parole ineligibility equal to 85% of the sentence imposed.  Additionally, the Racketeering counts will not merge with other charged counts. 

If convicted of Promoting Organized Street Crime, each defendant faces 15 to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine up to $200,000.  If convicted of any other first degree crime, each defendant faces a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison.  If convicted of any of the second degree crimes, each defendant faces a sentence of five to ten years in state prison.  If convicted of any third degree crime, defendants face three to five years in state prison. 

The cases are assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Matthew Bogner and Joshua Carmel.

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.

Law Firm Manager Facing Charges In 100k Theft

October 12, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MERCER)–An Ocean County woman is facing theft charges following a 10-month investigation that revealed she stole more than $100,000 from the law firm where she was formerly employed as the office manager, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Patricia Vaughn, 62, of Toms River, was arrested and charged Friday with second degree theft following a joint investigation by Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Wall Township Police Department. Vaughn was charged and released on a summons.

In January 2020, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted by the Wall Township Police. The Wall Police had received a theft report from the owner of a law office in Wall Township. It was reported that Vaughn stole funds.

During the investigation, records of various business and personal accounts related to the law practice were reviewed revealing numerous unauthorized transfers from these accounts to the firm’s operating account. Vaughn made these transfers in her capacity as office manager from 2011 through 2019, although she hid them by creating false bank statements. Vaughan then used the additional money from the operating account to give herself unauthorized salary increases and to issue herself extra paychecks totaling approximately $105,552.50 to which she was not entitled.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer.

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.

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

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

Brielle Police Officer Admits Stealing From Police Union

September 4, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Brielle police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to taking more than $700 from the expense account of the local police union, announced Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Michael W. Palmer, Jr., 33, of Wall Township, pleaded guilty to an Accusation charging him with one count of third-degree Theft.   Palmer acknowledged during the plea before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregossa-O’Connor that between February 20 and March 25, 2020, while treasurer for the PBA, he took $734.25 in cash withdrawals from the PBA bank account for personal purposes and without authorization.

The sentencing recommendation will be non-custodial probation; however, Palmer is allowed to apply to PreTrial Intervention.  An order forfeiting his position as a Brielle police officer and permanently forfeiting public office in New Jersey was also entered today and was a condition of the plea.  Palmer also agreed to pay the victim, the Brielle PBA, $734.25 in restitution.  Sentencing is scheduled for October 22, 2020.

“We will continue to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions and will prosecute those who violate the law. Police officers who betray their oaths fail our citizens, their fellow officers, and make it harder for the law enforcement community to obtain the public’s trust.  We will not tolerate this conduct and the added burden that it places on the work of honorable law enforcement officers who are working tirelessly to serve their communities,” Gramiccioni said.

Palmer was charged in July after an internal affairs review by the Brielle Police Department and follow-up investigation by this Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crimes Unit revealed Palmer made several ATM cash withdrawals in Wall Township, Ocean Township and Neptune City from the expense account of the Brielle Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) Local 395, while serving as their treasurer between January and June of this year.  These withdrawals were unrelated to PBA business and were made for personal reasons.

Palmer was employed as a Brielle Borough police officer on Dec. 1, 2018, where he earned $105,383. Prior to today’s forfeiture order, Palmer was suspended without pay.

“I can’t stress this enough; Mr. Palmer’s behavior was inexcusable and is by no means a representation of the high level of professionalism and integrity of every Brielle police officer. As a department, and as an association, we are very pleased with the outcome of this case and we look forward to moving on and recovering from this,” said Brielle Police Chief Gary J. Olsen.

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

 Palmer is represented by Charles Uliano, Esq., of West Long Branch.

NJ Task Force 1 Returns Home From Hurricane Laura

See Previous MidJersey.News story here: New Jersey Task Force 1 Deploys to Louisiana in Response to Hurricane Laura

August 29, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 3 pm NJ Office Of Emergency Management, Urban Search and Rescue, New Jersey Task Force 1 returned to the area as the passed through the NJ Turnpike toll booths on their way back to their headquarters.

The team was activated for response to Hurricane Laura in the early morning hours of August 27, 2020. The team traveled south to stage near Atlanta, Georgia until needed. Early this morning the Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA adjusted the Federal response to local needs and NJ-TF1 received demobilization orders and begun the process of heading home.

NJ-TF1 deployed as a Type 1 Team consisting of 80 team members, three tractor-trailers, two box trucks, five F-450 utility vehicles, two crew carriers, an F-250 towing vehicle, two passenger vans, two utility terrain vehicles, and a fleet service truck. A water rescue component of six boats with trailers and a water support trailer were also deployed.

Local members known to MidJersey.News are:

Hamilton Township Fire Department:

Jarred Pierson, Jason Ryan, Kinte Holt, Brad Ladislaw, Jeff Barlow and Joe Flynn.

West Windsor Emergency Service, and West Windsor Police Department:

Joe Gribbins, Scott Cook, Michael McMahon

Ewing Township Fire Department:

Eric Rowlands

Bristol Myers Squibb:

John Welling

Civilian: (K-9, NJ Rescue & Recovery K-9)

Jennifer Michelson

31 Arrests in Santander ATM Scams In Monmouth County

August 21, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Investigations into regional criminal scams across the state involving the fraudulent use of debit cards to make unauthorized cash withdrawals at Santander Bank ATMs led to the arrest of more than two dozen people in Monmouth County on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

The thieves were able to exploit a glitch in Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) belonging to Santander Banks, allowing them to use prepaid debit cards to make continuous withdrawals of cash from the ATMs. The prepaid debit cards, like the Green Dot cards used by other scammers involved in telephone schemes, can be purchased at most retail stores. The bank was alerted to higher-than-usual ATM withdrawals and eventually closed down its ATM locations.

Santander Bank has subsequently corrected the glitch in their ATM machines.

“This is a great example of inter-agency cooperation and how it works to everyone’s benefit. These local police departments received the information about this growing scam from state and federal authorities and they kept a watchful eye that resulted in arrests. Everyone involved did an outstanding job,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni.

The following arrests were made:

By Englishtown Police Department:

  • Cesar Armando Ortiz, Jr., 25, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt – Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Asaun Stone, 24, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • David Gorin Redding, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Noel Machado, 29, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Denzel I. Gravenhise, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Teru J. Pratt, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Gregory M. Harrington, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Criminal Attempt –Theft by an Unlawful Taking; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

By Freehold Township Police Department:

  • Damon C Joseph, 23, of The Bronx, New York, is charged with third degree Theft, fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute.
  • Quran E Martin, 25, of East Harlem, New York, is charged with third degree Theft, fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and fourth degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute.

By Holmdel Township Police Department:

  • Derrick Jackson, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Criminal Attempt – Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.

By Little Silver Police Department:

  • Robert F. Aiello, 55, of Mountain Lakes, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by Unlawful Taking, third degree Receiving Stolen Property, Theft of United States Currency, and a disorderly persons offense of Possession of Less than 50 mg of Marijuana.
  • Raim A Duplessis, 23, of  Newark, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft and fourth degree Conspiracy to Commit Credit Card Theft.
  • Zamir Zhaire Knox, 21, of Union, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, two counts of third degree Receiving Stolen Property; and fourth degree Obstruction.
  • Giovanni Neville Tyrell, 24, of Teaneck, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Conspiracy to Commit Credit Card Theft, and a disorderly persons offense of Possession of Less than 50 mg of Marijuana.
  • Martin J. Rosendary, 24, of Union, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, and fourth degree Obstruction.
  • Briana Aviles, 22, of Newark, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking, third degree Receiving Stolen Property; and a disorderly persons offense of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana.
  • Markeem Louise Jackson, 36, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, third degree Receiving Stolen Property; and disorderly persons offenses of Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
  • Wayne Hill, 22, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with fourth degree Credit Card Theft, and third degree Conspiracy – Theft by an Unlawful Taking.

By Marlboro Township Police Department:

Marlboro police officers observed individuals loitering in a lobby of the ATM at Santander. The suspects were subsequently detained during a traffic stop by Old Bridge Police Department, who charged the following individuals:

  • Ishmil Q. Harmon, 28, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.
  • Devaim K. Fulmore, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.
  • Shyiem L. McLean, 22, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.
  • Charles E. Sprowal Jr., 22, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with third degree Theft by Unlawful Taking and third degree Computer Crime to Access with the Purpose to Defraud.

By Wall Township Police Department:

  • Anthony J. Kelly, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking and possession of marijuana under 50 grams, a disorderly persons offense.
  • Clifton Davis, 29, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking, one count of third degree possession of oxycodone and possession of marijuana under 50 grams, a disorderly persons offense. 
  • Barrington L. Wright, 25, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking and possession of marijuana under 50 grams, a disorderly persons offense.
  • Sean Bennett, 22, of Chester, New York, is charged with one count of fourth degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Robert J. Glisson Jr., 24, of The Bronx, New York, is charged with possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Timothy Gonzalez, 26, of The Bronx, New York, is charged with one count of fourth degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Quenton L. Price, 24, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is charged with one count of fourth degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.
  • Tyrell T. Mingo, 24, of Teaneck, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.  Mingo is being held the Monmouth County Correctional Institution and pending a future court date.
  • Leroy C. Woods-Williams, 24, of Hackensack, is charged with one count of third degree theft by unlawful taking, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia, both disorderly persons offenses.  Woods-Williams is being held the Monmouth County Correctional Institution and pending a future court date.

If convicted of a third degree crime, each defendant faces a sentence of three to five years in a New Jersey State Prison. 

If convicted of a fourth degree offense, each defendant faces up to 18 months in a New Jersey State Prison.

A disorderly persons offense carries a sentence of up to six (6) months.

Authorities are aware of multiple attempts that were made in municipalities across Monmouth County but have not resulted in any arrests. If anyone has additional information about this statewide scam, please call your local police department or contact Detective Elethia Baldwin of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 and ask to speak to a detective in the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau.

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 – https://www.p3tips.com/1182), or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Barbara Suppa, Director of the Office’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau, and Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Nelsen.

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.

Jersey Shore Conference of NJ American Youth Football Cancels 2020 Season

It is our hope that we are able to continue our mission in 2021

July 29, 2020

More information here: https://www.njayf.org/

It is with great sadness that we, the NJAYF – Jersey Shore Conference Executive Board and Association Presidents, announce the cancellation of our 2020 football and cheer season, effective immediately. Although it was a difficult decision, it was made in the best interest of our participants, volunteers and families.

With the ongoing risk and increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus locally and nationally, the New Jersey American Youth Football and Cheer – Jersey Shore Conference Executive Board believes that the health risks involved in participating in a football and cheer season would come to the detriment of the children, coaches, and volunteers we are charged with servicing.

NJAYF – Jersey Shore Conference is an organization that has provided the very best youth sports forum for our members which has made a positive impact across Sussex, Middlesex, Union, Hunterdon, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. It is our hope that we are able to continue our mission in 2021, if conditions allow. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they are available and necessary. Please continue to take great care of your families and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Respectfully,

NJAYF – Jersey Shore Conference Executive Board

Rep. Chris Smith’s Annual High School Art Competition Opens ‘Virtually’

April 24, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – For the first time ever, the annual Congressional Art Competition held by Rep. Chris Smith as part of a national competition for his district’s high school students, will be a “virtual” online show to ensure the safety of students, parents, teachers and the interested public.

    In response to the coronavirus national emergency, the artwork, which is normally displayed for a month at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton’s Lakefront Gallery, will be posted on Smith’s congressional website ensuring that the students who have worked for many months can still take part in the national competition.

    “For these young student artists whose school year has been turned upside down by coronavirus, I am happy we found a way forward and I am grateful to the parents, judges and teachers for making needed adjustments,” Smith said.

    “We received strong support for a virtual art competition rather than cancel the show outright due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Smith said. “Safety is paramount, and a virtual gallery enables us to proceed safely not only for the students and parents, but for the patients and workers at RWJ-Hamilton, which has in the past, graciously hosted the show,” he said.

“I am delighted that this year’s show wasn’t canceled, but continued as an online competition,” said Wall High School art teacher, Jill Alexander, who has been preparing her students to enter the show every year for the past six years. “Students in the 4th district are thankful for the great show that Congressman Chris Smith puts on each year, but especially this year because of the challenges everyone is facing.”

“We love going to Robert Wood Johnson’s impressive gallery, and unfortunately that just wasn’t possible this year. My students start working in September preparing their best artwork to submit, and this show is the highlight of the year for us. 

“High school students across the country will miss the opportunity to participate in many events this year, including proms, sporting events and even graduation,” Alexander said. “We are really pleased the art competition survives.” 

             The 2020 show will be exhibited in a virtual art gallery, will use online judging, with winners to be announced in May. Smith’s three-member team of professional judges, whose works are also normally displayed at the show, will also have artwork posted in an online gallery.

     This year, students who place in the competition—as best-of-show, and first, second and third runners-up and honorable mentions—will receive ribbons and all participants will be mailed Congressional Certificates, instead of being presented them in person.

   The best-in-show winner will be displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington along the busy public corridor/tunnel between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol Building for one year with other winners from across the nation. All the artwork entered into Smith’s competition this year will be displayed in his online gallery for one year.

   Every year the Congressional Institute sponsors this national high school art competition to recognize and foster artistic talent in each congressional district. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Participation in the contest is at the discretion of each Member office. Currently, the Institute plans to accept the top winning artwork from every congressional show in America by June 18 and hold a reception in Washington on July 22.

     For information about the 2020 NJ-04 show or to view the 2019 and prior year winners visit Congressman Smith’s Congressional Art Competition web page.

Rep. Chris Smith Works with NJ State Troopers’ & NJ Nurses’ Unions to Obtain PPE Donations

April 16, 2020

WALL, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An ongoing donation drive headed by the New Jersey State Troopers union and the Health Care Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE; representing registered nurses and other health care workers) got a major boost this week receiving thousands of Personal Protection Equipment (gloves and suits ) steered their way by local congressman, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04).

The PPEs were donated by Ansell, an international healthcare products company with a headquarters in Iselin, NJ.

“The troopers and nurses launched their donation drive to solicit donations of PPE, and Ansell’s contributions are a welcome addition,” said Rep. Chris Smith. “A big thanks to the troopers and HPAE for working together to run this donation drive and bring more protective equipment to those working on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Because their PPE supplies were dangerously low, the State Troopers Fraternal Association (STFA) and the HPAE began asking for donated gloves, gowns and other PPE used by first responders and health care professionals. Wayne Blanchard, President of 1,500-member STFA, and Debbie White, RN, President of the 14,000-member HPAE reached out to Smith after seeing news reports about Smith’s work with Ansell to win the release large quantities of gloves held up since October in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

“We’d like to thank Congressman Smith for his initiative in cutting through the red tape to get supplies to first responders,” said STFA President Wayne Blanchard. “We’d like to thank our partners in the business community, particularly Ansell, for supporting our first responders during this unprecedented pandemic.”

“As COVID-19 continues to spread across New Jersey, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is needed in every hospital, nursing home and healthcare facility,” said HPAE President White. “We are grateful for Congressman Smith’s efforts to bring these supplies to frontline caregivers. These supplies from Ansell will help to ensure that healthcare workers stay healthy and on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle.” 

“Ansell is truly honored to support the STFA and HPAE by donating medical exam gloves and protective suits to help protect these heroes as they protect our communities,” said Renae Leary, Chief Commercial Office of the Americas of the Australian-based Ansell. “Seeing as our America’s headquarters is in Iselin, NJ, we are acutely aware of the continued need for PPE and are proud to be able to support our local community.”

Blanchard said items may be dropped off at STFA’s headquarters at 2634 Route 70 in Manasquan (Wall, Township) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For drop off arrangements or other questions, donators may call (732) 528-6388 or email info@staf.org. Monetary donations to purchase PPE for the drive are also accepted, Blanchard said. Click here for the STFA and HPAE’s press release announcing the drive.

In a separate ongoing effort, Smith has been working to help obtain medical masks for New Jersey from the Taiwanese government. Also, on Friday, a Hong Kong human rights organization donated 4,000 surgical masks to CentraState Medical Center in Freehold in Smith’s district, as a thank you for his longstanding support of Hong Kong in its struggle to stay free and secure in the shadow of its huge and hostile neighbor, the People’s Republic of China.