Category: Ocean County

Marc Castellano Foundation Turkey Trot 5K Held On Thanksgiving

November 28, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–The cool and rainy weather did not stop participants from coming out on Thanksgiving morning to support the Turkey Trot 5K race, which benefits the Marc Castellano Foundation. Troopers were joined by local police and members of the community to help raise money for the foundation.

The Marc Castellano Foundation is a non-profit charity organization, which raises money for student scholarships, law enforcement families in need, the Move Over campaign, and other great causes. The foundation was named in honor of fallen Trooper Marc Castellano, who was killed in the line of duty on June 6, 2010 after being struck by a car. Thank you to everyone that came out to help support a great cause!


Related MidJersey.News stories here on Trooper Marc Castellano and recent Slow Down Move Over incidents.

NJSP Troop “C” Hamilton, 10th Anniversary Of When Trooper Was Struck By Passing Motorist On I-195

Slow Down, Move Over! National Move Over Day

Another Close Call On NJ’s Highways – This Time At Howell Township Crash Scene, Slow Down, Move Over, It’s The Law

BREAKING: NJ State Police Vehicle Struck On NJ Turnpike Sending 1 To Hospital



NJ State Police Release Thanksgiving Weekend Tips for Motorists

November 25, 2020

Post by Tyler Eckel

West Trenton, N.J. – The day before Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year, but this holiday season has proven to be anything but typical. Although we expect fewer motorists on the road this year, the message of the New Jersey State Police remains the same. If you must travel during the holiday, we encourage you to take the time to prepare for unexpected emergencies by following a few safety tips that will surely come in handy if you find yourself in a jam. Before you head out, please consider the following:

•Fill up your gas tank
•Check fluids (including windshield washer fluid and antifreeze)
•Check tire pressure
•Bring a mobile phone charger
•Carry a flashlight with new batteries
•Bring bottles of water and nonperishable snacks
•Do not drive drowsy. Symptoms of driving tired are similar to those of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Use service areas to rest, stretch your legs, or grab a cup a coffee
•Let someone know your travel plans
•Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly

The easiest tip to follow to ensure not only your safety, but the safety of fellow motorists and pedestrians this holiday is to not get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday period, there were six fatal crashes that resulted in six deaths on New Jersey roadways. Drug and/or alcohol impairment was found to be a contributing factor in two of the crashes. These types of tragedies can be easily avoided by making responsible decisions and staying at home if you plan to drink alcohol.

The New Jersey State Police will have more than 90 additional troopers statewide during the holiday period in addition to normal patrols. Troopers will focus their efforts on speeding, aggressive driving, seatbelt usage, cell phone violations, distracted driving, and DWI.

“Although we will be celebrating the holiday differently this year, DWI education and enforcement remain a top priority for the New Jersey State Police,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Safety starts with sober driving, so we ask that you do your part by making responsible choices this holiday. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and please do not drink and drive.”

The 2020 Thanksgiving holiday period begins on Wednesday, November 25, at 6:00 p.m. and ends on Monday, November 30, at 6:00 a.m.

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder

November 24, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Angelo Grenci, 44, of Berkeley Township, has been charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of Carlton Williams, 50, of Seaside Heights.

During the evening hours of November 14, 2020, Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Berkeley Township Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River relative to a report of a male victim having been stabbed. Responding Officers found Carlton Williams with an apparent stab wound to his neck. Mr. Williams was subsequently flown to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries on November 21, 2020. A post mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner on November 22, 2020. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Williams’s death to be anoxic brain injury, secondary to massive bleed from a stab to the neck, and the manner of death to be homicide.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, determined that Grenci stabbed Mr. Williams in the neck during an altercation that occurred in the area of Magnolia Avenue in the Manitou Park section of Berkeley Township at approximately 7:00 p.m. on November 14, 2020. On November 16, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, executed a court-authorized search warrant at Grenci’s residence in Berkeley Township. Grenci was taken into custody and was originally charged with Attempted Murder. That charge was amended to Murder after Mr. Williams succumbed to the injuries inflicted upon him by Grenci. Grenci has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension, where he remains pending a detention hearing.

“Fortunately, this appalling and senseless crime was solved expeditiously as a result of the hard work and dogged determination of all the Officers and Detectives involved in this investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Through their combined efforts, an extremely dangerous person has been removed from the streets of Ocean County. We will now turn our focus to ensuring that justice is accomplished for Mr. Williams and his family,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ocean County Department of Corrections, State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, and New Jersey State Parole Board, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this matter leading to Grenci’s swift apprehension and appropriate charges.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Manasquan Inlet Reef Site Expanded With 6,000 Tons Of Concrete From Maher Terminals

November 24, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey’s artificial reef network has been significantly expanded through a deployment of 6,000 tons of concrete on the Manasquan Inlet reef site, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced.

Material for the first deployment on Oct. 28 consisted of 74 concrete forms, measuring 40 feet x 8 feet x 1.5 feet each, donated by Maher Terminals in Elizabeth, Union County. Another 77 forms were deployed Nov. 10. The forms, once used by U.S. Customs to scan shipping containers, were no longer needed and were slated to be recycled.

“This beneficial collaboration gives new life to these materials, keeping it out of landfills and providing habitat for a wide array of marine life, including species important to New Jersey’s world class commercial and recreational fishing sectors,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “We are proud to partner with Maher Terminals to enhance the marine ecosystem of our coastal waters.”

Artificial reefs are typically made up of concrete, steel, decommissioned ships and barges and provide a habitat for a variety of marine life. DEP studies have shown that these materials are colonized quickly with organisms such as algae, barnacles, mussels, sea stars, crabs, sponges and corals. 

The structure of the reef, and the feeding opportunities provided by the animals growing on the reef, attract species such as black sea bass, tautog and lobster, and provide excellent opportunities for recreational anglers and divers.

“Maher Terminals recognizes the significant interconnection between providing efficient port and terminal-related services and our responsibility to the environment and communities where we operate and call home,” said Gary Cross, CEO of Maher Terminals. “The deployment of this reef off the New Jersey coast is part of our broader commitment to strengthening the local marine ecosystem and to investing in a greener future. We’re excited to give these concrete platforms a second life as part of New Jersey’s Artificial Reef Program.”

Encompassing a total of 25 square miles of ocean floor, the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program began in 1984, and currently consists of four reefs in New Jersey waters and 13 in federal waters. The program is administered by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Fisheries Administration. The program is sustained largely by donations of reef materials from private organizations and companies.

The Manasquan Inlet reef is approximately two miles east of the inlet and is one of the newest reefs in the artificial reef system. Center point coordinates are 40° 04.617’ N and 073° 59.040’ W. The reef footprint encompasses 0.84 square miles, but only two deployments had been made prior to today. The new material adds nearly 1.25 acres of artificial reef habitat on what was formerly featureless sand bottom.

This new feature inside the Manasquan Inlet reef site will be called the Maher Terminals Reef in recognition of the donation of material. Maher Terminals has also committed to revisiting the reef site annually for several years to document the progression of material from bare concrete to a reef ecosystem.

Earlier this year, New Jersey deployed  a 150-foot long caisson gate on the Deepwater reef site, a tugboat on the Sandy Hook reef site and a memorial reef on the Atlantic City reef.




Toms River Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township

November 17, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Berkeley Township Chief of Police Karin DiMichele have announced that Angelo Grenci, 44, of Toms River, was arrested and charged with Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), relative to a stabbing incident which occurred in Berkeley Township on Saturday, November 14, 2020.

During the evening hours of November 14, 2020, Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department and Berkeley Township Police Department responded to Community Medical Center in Toms River relative to a report of a male victim having been stabbed. Responding Officers found Carlton Williams, 50, of Seaside Heights, with an apparent stab wound to his neck. Mr. Williams was subsequently flown to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick where he remains listed in critical condition.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, determined that Grenci had stabbed Mr. Williams in the neck during an altercation that occurred in the area of Magnolia Avenue in the Manitou Park section of Berkeley Township at approximately 7:00 p.m. on November 14, 2020. On November 16, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, executed a court-authorized search warrant at Grenci’s residence in Berkeley Township. Grenci was taken into custody and brought to Berkeley Township Police Headquarters for processing, and subsequently transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

“Each and every officer and detective involved in this investigation acted quickly and professionally in solving this horrendous crime. Through their tenacity and dedication, a very dangerous individual is now off the streets. As I have stated many times before, senseless acts of violence are not acceptable in any civilized society, and will certainly not be tolerated here in Ocean County,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief DiMichele acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Department of Corrections, State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, and New Jersey State Parole Board, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Grenci’s swift apprehension.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Repeat Offender From Brick, NJ, Ocean County Charged With Child Pornography

November 16, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–An Ocean County, New Jersey, man has been arrested on charges that he distributed and possessed images and videos depicting child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Andrew Ramey, 34, of Brick, New Jersey, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He was arrested Nov. 13, 2020, by special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, appeared by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman and was detained without bail.

According to documents filed in this case:

From March 13, 2020, through June 8, 2020, Ramey distributed material containing images of child sexual abuse and child pornography, via the BitTorrent Network, a publicly available online peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing network of linked computers. Users must download P2P software, which is widely available for free on the Internet. The software allows the user to place files into a designated “shared” folder on his or her hard drive, from which other BitTorrent users can then download those files directly to the “shared” folders of their own computers. Users can then search, select, and directly download, those files.

Law enforcement used investigative software to access the BitTorrent Network and downloaded video files containing child pornography from a device or devices assigned to an IP address at Ramey’s residence. On Nov. 13, 2020, law enforcement searched Ramey’s residence and found multiple images and videos containing images of child sexual abuse, as well as BitTorrent software, on a mobile phone belonging to Ramey.

In a prior federal prosecution in New Jersey in 2018, Ramey was convicted of one count of possession of child pornography. The distribution charge is punishable by a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a statutory maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss caused by the offense, whichever is greater. The possession charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, along with a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greater.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Atlantic City, under the direction of Newark Special-Agent-in-Charge Jason J. Molina; detectives of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer; the Brick Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Riccio; and the Mount Laurel Police Department, under the direction of Chief Stephen Riedener, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander E. Ramey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

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

20-418

Defense counsel: Lisa J. Van Hoeck Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton

One Vehicle Crash Leaves Brick Woman Dead

November 7, 2020

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Thursday, November 5, 2020, at approximately 05:28 pm, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Beckerville Road near the intersection of State Highway 70, in the Whiting section of the Township to investigate a motor vehicle accident. The crash involved a single vehicle, which struck a utility pole and then a tree.

Upon arrival, officers located a gray, 2012, Ford Escape with extensive damage in the wood line on the southern shoulder of Beckerville Road. The investigation revealed that the Ford was traveling west on Beckerville Road when it crossed the centerline and ran off the roadway on the south bound shoulder. The Ford then collided with a utility pole and continued forward into the wood line where it impacted a tree. The driver of the Ford, identified as 60-year-old Lynda Brown of Brick, was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision. Both the front and side curtain airbags of the Ford were deployed. Ms. Brown was unresponsive when first responders arrived and was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the crash and the manner of death are pending investigation at this time.

Assisting at the scene were EMTs from the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Services, as well as paramedics from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Also assisting were members of the Whiting Volunteer Fire Department, Joint Base Fire Department, the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit. The roadway was closed for several hours while officers conducted the investigation. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Michael O’Hara of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit.


US Coast Guard Makes Rescue At Sea, 34 Miles East Of Barnegat Inlet

November 5, 2020

By USCG, PIO, District 5

BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN)–Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City rescued two fishermen after their boat caught fire approximately 34 miles east of Barnegat Inlet, N.J., Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay received a mayday call via VHF Channel 16 from one of the fishermen aboard the 53-foot Sport Fisher fishing vessel ‘Reel E Bugging’ stating their vessel engines were engulfed in flames and they needed immediate assistance.

The fishermen were preparing to abandon ship by donning life jackets and deploying their life raft. Sector Delaware Bay watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast notifying vessels in the area of the situation and launched the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from and two 47-foot Motor Lifeboat boat crews from Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet and Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light to the scene.

Once on scene, the Dolphin aircrew spotted the life raft and was able to safely hoist both fishermen and transport them to Monmouth Executive Airport in Wall Township, N.J., where they were met by family. No injuries were reported.

A Coast Guard marine safety information bulletin was issued notifying mariners in the area of potential debris from the vessel fire.

“Today’s case was a perfect example of a unified effort between prepared boaters, the sector, small boats and the air station,” said Lt. j.g. Matt Devlin, a Dolphin helicopter pilot at Air Station Atlantic City. “We are happy that the mariners realized they were in distress and we were able to be there quickly. Ultimately their preparedness led to our success.”


Video at this link: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/embed/771874


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.

County Road 539 at CR 537 Closed Due To Dump Truck Accident And Fuel Spill Clean Up

October 30, 2020

PLUMSTED TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–About 7:15 the New Egypt Fire Department (Ocean County Plumsted Station 39) and Hope Fire Company of Allentown were dispatched to County Road 539 by County Road 537 for a dump truck vs a Ford Explorer. Upon arrival it was determined to be on the Ocean County side of the line. As a result of the accident a fuel spill from the truck caused the roadway to be closed for clean up. Fire and HAZ-MAT crews are on scene working to clean up the fuel sill.

This is from on scene reporting and radio reports. Once Plumsted Township Police release information the story will be updated.

Three Men Arrested In Toms River Murder

October 29, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Toms River Township Police Chief Mitchell A. Little announced that Shadrach Correa, 18, Daivon Sullivan, 18, and Leyron Jones, 23, all of Toms River, have been charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1) in connection with the death of Javon Cutler which occurred in Toms River on October 11, 2020. The three defendants were also charged with two counts of Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), and Conspiracy to Commit Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1).

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that on October 11, 2020, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Javon Cutler, 19, of Bayville, and two friends were attempting to leave Toms River Apartments – located on Main Street in Toms River – when an unknown individual opened fire on their vehicle. Mr. Cutler, who was seated in the rear passenger seat, was struck in the head as a result. The driver of the vehicle drove directly to Community Medical Center to seek medical treatment for Mr. Cutler. Mr. Cutler was subsequently transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries on October 14, 2020. A post mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner on October 15, 2020. The Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Cutler’s death to be intermediate distance gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of his death to be homicide.

After a very thorough and comprehensive investigation that spanned the course of nearly three weeks, it was determined that Correa, Sullivan and Jones acted together and in support of one another in carrying out the shooting of Javon Cutler. Correa was arrested and charged on October 28, 2020, while Sullivan and Jones were taken into custody and charged today. All three men were transported to the Ocean County Jail, where they are currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

“The investigative efforts leading to the arrest of these defendants were nothing short of outstanding, and the teamwork exhibited by everyone involved – Assistant Prosecutors, Detectives, and Officers alike – truly exemplifies the best in law enforcement,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “This heinous crime was not easily solved, but our team of professionals demonstrated an unwavering commitment identifying and investigating the individuals responsible for this senseless killing and bringing them to justice. The men and women in blue literally worked around the clock for nearly three weeks, putting the pieces of the puzzle together with a singular objective in mind: removing these incredibly dangerous young men from our streets,” Prosecutor Billhimer continued. “The residents of Ocean County can rest easier tonight knowing that Correa, Sullivan, and Jones are behind bars due to the painstaking efforts of our law enforcement community. I am extremely proud to work alongside these selfless men and women, and I commend them, as always, on a job well done. Now, our attention turns to securing justice for Mr. Cutler and his family,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Chief Little added: “It is extremely unnerving to have something like this happen in our town. I am so proud of the tenacity and dedication of all of the Officers and Detectives from all agencies who worked around the clock on this case to restore order and safety to our community.”

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Little acknowledge the following agencies for their tremendous and collaborative efforts in connection with this wide-ranging investigation which ultimately resulted in the apprehension of these three defendants: Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team; Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit; Toms River Township Police Department; Toms River Township Police Detective Bureau; Toms River Township Police Department Emergency Services Unit; Toms River Township Special Enforcement Team; Manchester Township Police Department; Barnegat Township Police Department; Berkeley Township Police Department; Seaside Heights Police Department; Brick Township Police Department; Lakewood Township Police Department; Jackson Township Police Department; South Toms River Police Department; Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit; New Jersey State Police; Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office; Ocean County Department of Corrections; New Jersey State Department of Corrections; New Jersey State Police; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The public and media are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Jackson Man Among Those Charged Or Admit Guilt In Bank Fraud And Bribery Scheme

John Scott Brink, 59, of Jackson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

October 29, 2020

NEWARK, NJ —A Morris County, New Jersey, man was arrested and three co-defendants pleaded guilty today in connection with a conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank bribery, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Kurt Phelps, 52, of Flanders, New Jersey, was charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of bank bribery. He made his initial appearance by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

Three co-defendants pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to their respective roles in the scheme: Douglas Arbolino, 59, of Central Valley, New York, and Gary Swenson, 59, of Hardyston, New Jersey, each pleaded guilty to informations charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of bribery of a bank official; and John Scott Brink, 59, of Jackson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

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

From 2013 through 2019, Phelps, Arbolino, Swenson, and Brink, conspired to defraud Victim Bank-1, Phelps’s employer. The defendants obtained millions of dollars of credit from Victim Bank-1 for Starnet Business Solutions Inc. (Starnet), a now-defunct New Jersey-based printing company where Arbolino, Swenson, and Brink worked. Arbolino, Swenson, and Brink paid Phelps large cash bribes in connection with the fraud scheme

In 2013, Starnet provided materially false financial information to Victim Bank-1 and received a line of credit. Brink sent Victim Bank-1 inflated accounts receivable information, and Arbolino and Swenson provided other materially false financial information, such as semi-annual financial reports. Victim Bank-1 not only allowed Starnet to maintain the line of credit, it increased the credit available at various times. By 2018, the line of credit available to Starnet was worth approximately $8 million, and Starnet has not repaid it.

Phelps was aware that financial information Starnet provided to Victim Bank-1 was materially false. Phelps coached Starnet on how to defraud Victim Bank-1. Phelps would review draft financial information for Starnet and provide feedback on how his conspirators should falsify the information before submitting it. Phelps also worked to ensure that Victim Bank-1 did not detect the fraud scheme by helping Starnet avoid audits and other quality control measures employed by Victim Bank-1.

Phelps solicited large cash bribes – tens of thousands of dollars at a time – from Starnet in connection with the fraud scheme. Arbolino, Swenson, and Brink pooled cash to pay Phelps bribe payments, which were hand-delivered, and totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bribery of a bank official, and bank bribery charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

Individuals who believe they may have information about this case may contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest and guilty pleas.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Suchorsky of the
Economic Crimes Unit.

The charges and allegations in the complaint against Phelps are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Defense counsel:
Phelps: Kevin F. Carlucci Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark
Brink: Amy Luria Esq., Roseland, New Jersey
Swenson: Robert Stahl Esq., Westfield, New Jersey
Arbolino: Kerry Lawrence Esq., White Plains, New York



Arrest Made In Seaside Park Shooting

October 28, 2020

SEASIDE PARK, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that a 17 year-old juvenile was taken into custody last night in connection with a shooting that occurred on October 27, 2020, in Seaside Park. The juvenile has been charged with Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C11-3; Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(3); Robbery in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1; Possession of a Weapon For an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a; and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(1).

On October 27, 2020, at approximately 11:45 a.m., the Seaside Park Police Department responded to the area of I Street in response to a 911 call for a reported shooting. Responding Officers were met by witnesses to the shooting; a short time later, a white BMW pulled up to a marked Seaside Heights Police vehicle in the Borough of Seaside Heights and advised that one of the passengers was the victim of the shooting. The victim was taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, treated for injuries, and released. Following a thorough investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Seaside Park Police Department, Seaside Heights Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, the subject juvenile was identified as the shooter. A warrant for the juvenile’s arrest was executed by the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and the juvenile was taken into custody without incident. The juvenile was processed at Seaside Park Police Headquarters, and is currently lodged at the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center.

Prosecutor Billhimer is grateful for the hard work and collaborative efforts of all law enforcement personnel involved in this comprehensive investigation leading to the juvenile’s apprehension, including the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, Seaside Park Police Department, Seaside Heights Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit. “All the officers involved in this investigation worked at breakneck speed to identify and apprehend the individual responsible for this senseless act of violence, for which I am extremely grateful. As I have stated on numerous occasions, this unbridled lawlessness – whether perpetrated by an adult or a juvenile – will not be tolerated in Ocean County,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Serious Crash On Rt 537 Near Great Adventure

October 25, 2020 Updated October 26 at 2:50 pm. to add official press release from Jackson PD below original story:

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 7:20 pm tonight a vehicle left the roadway near Top Gun Paint Ball near Great Adventure on Route 537 and crashed into a tree pinning the occupants. The Jackson Township Police, Jackson Township Fire Department, Jackson First Aid Squad and Millstone Township Fire Department, along with paramedics responded to the scene of the crash.

The fire departments performed the extrication, two medical helicopters were called to fly to a landing zone at Hurricane Harbor. The helicopters were canceled due to weather conditions. The vicitms were transported by ground to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton for treatment.

No further information is available at this time and the Jackson Township Police Department is investigating the crash. An e-mail was sent to the department and once public information becomes available about the crash the story will be updated and any corrections made.


Official Jackson Township Police Press Release:

The Jackson Township Police Department is currently investigating a single vehicle motor vehicle crash causing two occupants to be hospitalized.  

At approximately 1920 hours, officers responded to Monmouth Road for a report of a motor vehicle crash involving a single vehicle into the wooded area off of the right side of the road.  Upon officer’s arrival, a 1994 green Mercury Cougar was located off of the road which struck multiple trees. Both occupants were entrapped within the vehicle and needed to be extricated by responding emergency personnel. The occupants were identified as:  

Driver:  Ronald Nastasi Age 23 of Toms River, NJ  

Passenger:  Lauren Citrano Age 22 of Toms River, NJ  

Initial investigation revealed that driver one was traveling north bound on Monmouth Road in the right lane when for unknown reasons he left the roadway (right).  Vehicle one continued through the grass area where it struck a tree and was brought to rest. Both occupants were sent via medevac to the hospital as a result of injuries sustained.  

 At this time, the crash remains under investigation by Officer Lasko #252, Officer S. Cilento #274 and Sergeant Vidalis #251 of the Traffic Safety Unit.   

Anyone having witnessed the crash is asked to contact Officer Lasko at 732-928-1111 ext. 2406  

-The media and the public are reminded that any persons arrested or charged with any offenses or crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.   




Crime Family Associate From Toms River, Admits Possessing Cocaine With Intent To Distribute

October 22, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–An alleged crime family associate today admitted possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jason Vella, 39, of Toms River, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

On Sept. 19, 2019, investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutors Office executed a search warrant on Vella’s residence and recovered in excess of 150 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia, $2,295 in cash and pieces of jewelry.

The charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the members of the FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; and investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O=Malley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

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Defense counsel: Dennis Carletta Esq., Cedar Grove, New Jersey

Dancer’s Bill Allowing Employees To Live On Horse Farms Advances

October 22, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill to allow housing for employees at facilities that board horses passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee Thursday.

The bill (A2768) would amend the Right to Farm Act to allow housing for equine-related farm employees as long as the newly constructed housing is in a separate area or level from the horses and meets all Uniform Construction Code standards, including fire ratings.

The bill also makes providing this housing an act that falls under Right to Farm protections.

“Farm employees often need more access to the horses they care for,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “They will be able to take better care of these animals if they can live on the same farm.”

Dancer’s bill will require the state agriculture development committee to adopt rules and regulations to implement the bill. The committee would adopt an agricultural management practice that permits the housing of equine-related farm employees in the same building where the horses are boarded either in a separate area or level from the horses.

“Taking care of a horse is one of the most demanding and worthwhile jobs one could do,” said Dancer. “The horse industry is important to New Jersey’s economy, and we must keep this industry thriving.”

UPDATED: 195 West Bound Accident Seriously Injures 18 Year Old From Philadelphia

October 20, 2020 — updated

12:00 am update:

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–New Jersey State Troopers responded to a motor vehicle accident at 4:10 p.m. on I -195 westbound at mile post 19, Jackson Twp, Ocean County.

Based on a preliminary investigation a 2003 Honda Civic operated by Alexa Zendaoui, 18 year old female of Philadelphia, PA was traveling westbound on I -195 and ran off the road to the right, collided with a tree, overturned, and ejected Zendaoui.

As a result of the collision Zendaoui suffered serious injuries. The accident remains under investigation and there is no further information available at the moment. — New Jersey State Police Spokesman Tpr. Charles Marchan


Earlier Midjersey.news story below:

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 4:15 pm the Jackson Township Fire Departments, Millstone Township Fire Department, Jackson First Aid and Millstone First Aid were all sent to Interstate 195 West Bound for a serious accident.

The accident was located at mile marker 19 in the I-195 west bound lanes. It appears a car left the roadway, rolled and returned to the west bound lane. It was reported that the person was trapped in the vehicle but radio reports say the driver was ejected.

A helicopter was called to fly to the scene and the roadway was prepared to land a helicopter on the highway. The helicopter was canceled for an unknown reason and the victim was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, according to radio traffic.

At 7:21 pm Interstate 195 West Bound in Jackson is closed at Exit 21 for the accident investigation and if traveling you will need to find an alternate route of travel.

NOTE: Information contained in this report is breaking news from radio traffic, on scene reporting and from witnesses. An email has been sent to the NJ State Police Public Information Officer for Official Press Information and the story will be updated once official police information is obtained.

Hundreds of Jeep’s and Trucks Take Over Jersey Shore Town

October 17, 2020

Photos and story by: Tyler Eckel

SEASIDE HEIGHTS (OCEAN)–Hundreds of Jeep’s and Trucks gathered Saturday morning in Seaside Heights for the “Jeep Show on the Beach Jeep Luau 2020” and the “4×4 Beach Takeover” car show. These Jeep’s and Trucks didn’t just take over Seaside Height’s strip, but also filled parking lots and even the beach itself! The show consisted of races and other competitions, including a competition for best car. It was scheduled from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, October 17 and was definitely the “takeover” they were hoping for.


Slow Down, Move Over! National Move Over Day

October 17, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Saturday October 17, 2020 is National Move Over Day.

Under New Jersey’s “Move Over” law, drivers are required to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle, tow truck or highway maintenance, emergency service or sanitation vehicle that is displaying flashing, blinking or alternating emergency lights.

Unfortunately, law enforcement, emergency workers and tow truck operators continue to be struck and injured or killed while aiding others on the side of the road because a passing vehicle did not sufficiently slow down and move over.

When you see flashing lights on the side of the road, slow down, and if it’s safe, MOVE OVER. If you make the move, others will follow.

https://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/move-over-law/





MidJersey.News articles involving Slow Down, Move Over type incidents:


UPDATE: NJSP Col. Callahan And Govenor Phil Murphy Provide Update On Crash; Trooper Will Be OK After Being Thrown 30 Feet June 22, 2020

BREAKING: NJ State Police Vehicle Destroyed By Dump Truck On NJ Turnpike — June 22, 2020


BREAKING: NJ State Police Vehicle Struck On NJ Turnpike Sending 1 To Hospital June 7, 2020


SLOW DOWN MOVE OVER: NJTP Car Fire And Rubberneck 3 Car Accident June 4, 2020


Trenton Man Arrested For Aggravated Assault After Striking Police Officer With Vehicle And Fleeing Scene


NJSP Troop “C” Hamilton, 10th Anniversary Of When Trooper Was Struck By Passing Motorist On I-195



Marc K. Castellano was born on July 15, 1980 in Lakewood, New Jersey and lived in Jackson until he moved to Howell, New Jersey in 2004. He was a graduate of Jackson Memorial High School in 1998 and received a Jackson PBA scholarship that year. He received his associate’s degree from Ocean County College in 2000, a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University in 2003 and a Master’s degree at Farleigh Dickinson University in 2010. Marc was a two-year starter at middle linebacker from 1996-1997 and a team captain during his senior year for the Jackson Memorial High School football team.

Trooper Castellano enlisted in the New Jersey State Police on September 24, 2004, as a member of the 136th Class and was assigned to the Troop “C” Tactical Patrol Unit #1 at the time of his death. His service with the New Jersey State Police was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of his duty and faithful and honorable devotion to the principles of the New Jersey State Police.

Trooper Castellano died as a result of injuries received while in the performance of duty.

At approximately 10:00 am on Sunday, June 6, 2010, Trooper Castellano was walking along the shoulder of Interstate 195 West near the Exit 31 ramp in Howell Township. He was searching for an alleged armed occupant of an abandoned vehicle that was connected to an ongoing investigation when he was struck by a passing motorist. He was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey, where he died several hours later from his injuries.

Trooper Castallano served 5 years and 8 months with the New Jersey State Police.

He is survived by his parents, a brother, his wife and two children. Trooper Castellano was 29 years old.



New Jersey Statute 39:4-92.2

Procedure for motorist approaching certain stationary vehicle.

1. a. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle as defined in R.S.39:1-1 that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating red or blue light or, any configuration of lights containing one of these colors, shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

b. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary tow truck as defined in section 1 of P.L.1999, c.396 (C.39:3-84.6) that is displaying a flashing amber light, a stationary highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle that is operated by the State, an authority or a county or municipality and displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights, or a stationary sanitation vehicle displaying a flashing amber warning light pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2011, c.3 (C.39:3-54.27) shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, proceed as follows:

(1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the tow truck, highway maintenance or emergency service vehicle, or sanitation vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or

(2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section would be impossible, prohibited by law or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.

c. A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500.

L. 2017, c.43, s.1.

Brick And New Brunswick Men Charged With Roles In Drug Trafficking Organization

October 17, 2020

NEWARK, NJ –Two alleged ranking members off the Bloods street gang have been charged with conspiring to distribute fentanyl and heroin in Newark, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Leonard Wade, a/k/a “Clap,” 49, of New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Ezra A. Strong, a/k/a “Doonka,” 30, of Brick, New Jersey, are charged in separate complaints with conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl and more than 100 grams of heroin. Wade is also charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

Wade appeared for an initial appearance by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer. Strong appeared for an initial appearance by videoconference on Oct. 14, 2020, before Judge Hammer. Both men are currently detained.

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

Law enforcement officials have seized 831 grams of suspected fentanyl and 612 grams of suspected heroin, as part of an investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) operating in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

The investigation has revealed that Wade, allegedly a ranking member of the Sex Money Murder (SMM) subset of the Bloods street gang, is a leader of the DTO. Strong, allegedly a ranking member of the Fruit Town Brims, also a subset of the Bloods street gang, distributes fentanyl and heroin on behalf of the DTO.

On Oct. 1, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of Wade’s residence and recovered a 9mm caliber semi-automatic polymer “privately made” handgun, along with 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition and five rounds of .45 caliber ammunition.

The count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $10 million fine. The ammunition offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Monmouth/Ocean HIDTA Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson, with the assistance of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Gang and Criminal Enterprise Unit, with the investigation leading to the arrests.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren E. Repole of the U.S. Attorney’s Office 4OCDETF/Narcotics Unit.

The charges and allegations in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Defense counsel:
Wade: Rahul Sharma Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark
Strong: Thomas Dunn Esq., Montvale, New Jersey

19 Year Old Bayville Man Dies From Toms River Shooting

October 15, 2020

Read related MidJersey.News story here: 19 Year Old From Bayville Identified As Victim Of Toms River Shooting

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Javon Cutler, 19, of Bayville, the victim in the shooting that occurred in Toms River on October 11, 2020, succumbed to his injuries and passed away last night at approximately 7:00 p.m. at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune. Cutler suffered a gunshot wound to the head on October 11, 2020. A post mortem examination will be performed this afternoon by the Ocean County Medical Examiner.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that on October 11, 2020, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Mr. Cutler and two friends were leaving Toms River Apartments located on Main Street in Toms River, when an unknown individual opened fire on their vehicle. Mr. Cutler, who was seated in the rear passenger seat, was struck in the head as a result. The driver of the vehicle drove directly to Community Medical Center. Mr. Cutler was subsequently transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to emphasize that this is an active and ongoing investigation. Anyone who has any information concerning this investigation is urged to contact Detective Denis Mitchell of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, or Detective Jennifer Grob of the Toms River Township Police Department at 732-349-0150.

WANTED: Jackson Twp. Man Timothy Brown, Stabbing Investigation

October 12, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–At approximately 12:49 am on Saturday October 10, 2020, officers responded to a residence located on Begonia Court in Sixty Acres on the report of a disturbance. While on scene investigating the incident, officers were informed that a male who had also been involved in the disturbance was at Hackensack Meridian Health Ocean Medical Center in Brick seeking treatment for a stab wound to his arm.

Police Officer Kevin Scheuerman and Det. Robert Reiff responded to the hospital to interview the victim who advised that during the course of the disturbance, a male suspect retrieved a knife in the residence and stabbed the victim in the arm. The suspect had fled the residence after the incident and was unable to be located during the investigation. Det. Reiff prepared complaint warrants charging the suspect with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and he is currently entered as a New Jersey wanted person. The suspect was identified as: Timothy Brown (pictured) , age 53 of Begonia Court, Jackson. He also had a previous address on Justin Way in Manalapan.

Anyone who has information of Mr. Brown’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Det. Reiff at the Jackson Police Department at 732-928-1111 or through the department’s Stop It app.- The media and the public are reminded that any persons arrested or charged with any offenses or crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

19 Year Old From Bayville Identified As Victim Of Toms River Shooting

October 12, 2020

Updated MidJersey.News story here: 19 Year Old Bayville Man Dies From Toms River Shooting

The victim has been identified as Javon Cutler, age 19, of Bayville.

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Toms River Township Chief of Police Mitch Little announced that on October 11, 2020, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Toms River Township Police responded to Community Medical Center for a report of a male victim with a gunshot wound to the head. The victim has been identified as Javon Cutler, age 19, of Bayville.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that on October 11, 2020, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Mr. Cutler and two friends were leaving Toms River Apartments located on Main Street in Toms River, when an unknown individual opened fire on the their vehicle. Mr. Cutler, who was seated in the rear passenger seat, was struck in the head as a result. The driver of the vehicle drove directly to Community Medical Center. Mr. Cutler was subsequently transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where he is currently listed in critical condition.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Little would like to emphasize that this is an active and ongoing investigation, and that there is no known danger to the public at this time. Anyone who has any information concerning this investigation is urged to contact Detective Denis Mitchell of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, or Detective Jennifer Grob of the Toms River Township Police Department at 732349-0150.

Toms River Shooting Under Investigation

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Toms River Township Chief of Police Mitch Little announced that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit are currently investigating a shooting that occurred on Main Street in Toms River at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 11, 2020. Preliminary investigation has revealed that one male victim has been wounded and has been transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune with life threatening injuries. This is an active and ongoing investigation. More details will be released when they become available. There is no danger to the public at this time.

FOUND!– Police Ask For Help In Locating 13 Year Old From Seaside Heights

October 11, 2020

10:45 AM UPDATE CHILD HAS BEEN FOUND

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN)–Seaside Heights Police Department is searching for a thirteen year old boy named Tayden. Tayden was last seen at approximately 5am today. He is Austic and is wearing a black Star Wars shirt and black pants. Any information call.the Seaside Heights Police at 732 793 1800

10:45 AM UPDATE CHILD HAS BEEN FOUND


Spit in a cop’s food or drink? That could be a felony under Dancer bill

October 9, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Assemblyman Ron Dancer has introduced legislation to deter people from repeating the vile act of spitting into a police officer’s food or drink. 

In July, the Park Ridge Police Department received an anonymous tip that Kevin Trejo, a Starbucks employee, was spitting into the coffee of officers who visited the establishment.  He was quickly arrested and later fired by the coffee chain.

Starbucks offered an apology, but Dancer feels more needs to be done.

“An apology is nice, but this should never happen in the first place,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Like everyone else, police officers have the right to expect fair and equal treatment and to be served safe food and drinks. Spitting in their drink is a disgusting and disrespectful act that could lead to an officer falling ill.” 

Dancer’s bill (A4765) would clarify that spitting on the food or into the drink of a law enforcement officer constitutes third-degree aggravated assault and would carry a sentence of three to five years with a mandatory fine of $15,000.

The bill would also require employers to suspend the employee if he is charged, and fire him if convicted. 

“If you commit a despicable act against an officer, like spitting in their drink, you should be arrested and, if convicted, be fired,” stated Dancer. “You are not fighting for social justice when you do something like this.  You are just being cruel. There is nothing heroic about spitting into an officer’s drink.” 

Memorial Bench Dedicated In Honor Of Retired NJ State Police Captain

October 4, 2020

PLUMSTED TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On Thursday, October 1, Plumsted Township (New Egypt) officials dedicated a memorial bench at the township’s municipal building in honor of retired New Jersey State Police Captain James “Jim” Dowd #1503, who passed away on January 17, 2019, at the age of 86.

Captain Dowd served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and joined the New Jersey State Police on August 3, 1956 as a member of the 51st State Police Class. He served 30 years in various assignments and retired in 1986 at the rank of captain.

Captain Dowd was a longtime resident of Plumsted and spent considerable time serving on the township’s zoning board, planning board, and land use board. He was chosen to be honored because of his service to his country, state, and community. Captain Dowd’s life of service truly exemplified our core values of Honor, Duty, and Fidelity.

In attendance for the special ceremony were his daughter Deneen, son-in-law Lee, and his grandsons Jimmy and Tommy.

Several years ago, Captain Dowd had the honor of presenting Tommy with his graduation certificate after he completed the 106th Trooper Youth Week Class. Tommy is currently a police officer for North Hanover Township.

Also in attendance were Assemblyman Ron Dancer, Mayor Herb Marinari, Deputy Mayor and retired NJSP Lieutenant Eric Sorchik, Committeeman Leonard Grilletto, Former Troopers Association representative Kenneth Wondrack, Plumsted Police Department, North Hanover Police Department, family, and friends.

A special thank you to Plumsted Township Public Safety Director retired NJSP Major Wendy Galloway and Municipal Clerk Jennifer Witham.

Lawmaker Wants Restoring Public Utilities In Rural Areas To Be A Top Priority

October 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The lengthy process of restoring public utilities after a major storm has been an issue plaguing rural residents for quite some time. Assemblyman Ron Dancer wants to ensure rural areas are given the same level of priority as the rest of the state and has introduced two bills speed up restoration after thunderstorms, snowstorms, and other major events. 

The first bill (A4761) would give public utilities and cable television companies the ability to use drones to survey damaged infrastructure.

“Drones are a powerful tool in assessing damage and assisting with repairs after a major storm,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Other states have allowed utility companies to use drones with much success. We cannot afford to continue to have slow restoration times, so it makes sense to allow the utility companies to use drones to speed up the process.”

Dancer’s second bill (A4763) would require the Board of Public Utilities to create new regulations to require that electric companies prioritize communities where at least 40 percent of residents rely on private wells for drinking water and septic systems for sanitary disposal of waste. Additionally, watering stations would also be required.

“Many people do not realize when a home in a rural area loses power, they often lose access to drinking water, as well as, flushing and refilling toilets,” said Dancer. “A priority restoration plan must be put into place to avoid leaving rural areas without access to their basic life essential necessities.  When people are without basic necessities for days, it could lead to major public health and safety issues.”

NJ Legislative District 12 covers: Allentown, Chesterfield, Englishtown, Jackson, Manalapan, Matawan, Millstone (Monmouth), New Hanover, North Hanover, Old Bridge, Plumsted, Roosevelt, Upper Freehold, Wrightstown

Manalapan Man Charged With Aggravated Assault In Lakeside Diner Incident

October 1, 2020

See a related NJ 101.5 news story on the incident here: Kockout punch kills man, 78, after Lacy biker brawl, owner says

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Edward Chandler, 54, of Manalapan, was charged with Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1) relative to an incident which occurred outside the Lakeside Diner in Lacey Township during the evening hours of September 30, 2020.

On September 30, 2020, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Lacey Township Police received a 911 call in reference to a male who was reported to be unresponsive at the Lakeside Diner on Lacey Road. Responding Officers found Robert Clarke, 78, of Whiting, unconscious and bleeding from an apparent head wound. Clarke was airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center. Clarke succumbed at approximately 1:30 a.m. and was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lacey Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that an argument had taken place inside the diner between members of a motorcycle club. The owner of the diner asked everyone involved in the altercation to leave the premises. A second argument involving the same parties arose in the parking lot of the diner. During this argument, Chandler struck Mr. Clarke with a closed fist, causing the victim to fall to the ground resulting in severe head trauma. Chandler was taken into custody and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation. We are continuing to interview potential witnesses, and are awaiting the results of Mr. Clarke’s post-mortem examination by the Ocean County Medical Examiner. I fully expect that additional charges will be forthcoming,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lacey Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


BREAKING: 2nd Alarm In Seaside Park

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: From radio, witness and on scene reporting. Once official information becomes available story will be updated and any additions or corrections made.

September 30, 2020

11:20 pm update, command reports they have the main body of the fire knocked down and checking for extension.

SEASIDE PARK, NJ (OCEAN)–Just before 11 pm the Seaside Park Fire Department responded to a fire in the 1st block of Stockton Avenue. Upon arrival a 2nd alarm was called for. Command was reporting a fire in a 2 1/2 story with exposure issues. Witness on scene said block was being evacuated and sent the photo in prior to being pushed back.

This is an active fire and firefighters are working at the scene at this time.

When updates become available they will be added to the story.


At 22:51 hours on 9/30/20 Station 45 responded to Stockton Ave for the working structure fire. Stations 27, 44, 53, 26, Tri-Boro EMS and SPPD responded to the scene. Station 28 handled the cover assignment. No civilian or first responder injuries were reported.