Category: Barnegat

Killer Identified In 1991 Ocean County “Cold Case”

September 7, 2022

BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that a collaborative, multi-agency investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, has conclusively identified John Pelletier, formerly of Barnegat Township, as the individual responsible for the murder of Deborah “Debbie” Ann Bloomquist, 30, of Ocean Township (Monmouth County), in Barnegat in 1991. Pelletier passed away in North Dakota in 2015.

On October 26, 1991, the body of a young woman, later identified as Deborah Ann Bloomquist, was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Barnegat. An autopsy performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that Ms. Bloomquist died from multiple stab wounds and that she was the victim of a sexual assault. The Medical Examiner ruled Ms. Bloomquist’s cause of death a homicide. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Barnegat Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sherriff’s Office began an investigation into Ms. Bloomquist’s murder. In furtherance of the investigation, biological evidence was collected and preserved; the technology did not exist at that time, however, to submit this evidence for DNA testing.

The investigation at the time of her death revealed that Ms. Bloomquist had been living in a motel in Monmouth County and was last seen at a tavern in Asbury Park on October 24, 1991. Ms. Bloomquist had no known ties to the Barnegat area. Unfortunately, no leads were established and the case went cold.

Over a decade after her murder, the biological evidence collected from the scene led to the development of a male DNA profile. In January 2022, at the direction of Prosecutor Billhimer, the case was presented to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General – Cold Case Task Force and the investigation was reopened. A full analysis of the evidence was conducted in a cooperative investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit. Thanks to technological advances – and with the assistance of BODE Technology – detectives were able identify the male DNA profile collected from the scene in 1991 as belonging to John Pelletier, and reach the conclusion that Pelletier was, in fact, the individual responsible for Ms. Bloomquist’s murder.

“After more than three decades, this hideous crime has, at long last, been solved. Though Pelletier never faced justice for his actions in this life, we nevertheless hope this conclusive determination brings some level of peace and closure to the family of Debbie Ann Bloomquist,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

“I’d like to thank the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the New Jersey State Police for the creation of the Cold Case Task Force. The resources made available through the collaborative investigative process the Cold Case Task Force provides allowed us to finally solve this heinous crime. Barnegat Township Chief of Police Keith Germain and Barnegat Township Detective William Hetrick deserve a lot of credit for never giving up on this case. I am grateful for their efforts,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer also acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General- Cold Case Task Force, New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit, New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Science, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Manchester Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean Township (Monmouth County) Police Department, Asbury Park Police Department, Emmons County Sheriff’s Office (North Dakota), Morgan County Police Department (North Dakota), West Fargo Police Department (North Dakota), and BODE Technology, for their very thorough, combined and collective assistance in connection with this investigation.



Monroe Township Man Indicted For Murder And Endangering The Welfare Of A Child

July 20, 2022

BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 19, 2022, Christopher Gregor, 30, of Monroe Township, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on the charge of Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of a six-year-old male on April 2, 2021, at Southern Ocean Medical Center in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township. Gregor was also indicted on the charge of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), in connection with events that occurred on March 20, 2021 in Barnegat Township.

On April 2, 2021, Officers from the Stafford Township Police Department responded to Southern Ocean Medical Center in reference to the death of a six-year-old male, identified as C.M. On April 3, 2021, a post-mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, and it was determined that C.M. sustained injuries due to blunt force trauma. In the course of investigating the child’s death, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad, and Barnegat Township Police Department, discovered evidence that revealed that Gregor had committed acts of abuse against the child in Barnegat Township on March 20, 2021. Accordingly, Gregor was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), on July 7, 2021. Though initially lodged in the Ocean County Jail, Gregor was subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

On March 3, 2022, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office received a report from the State’s expert witness that indicated that C.M. died as a result of blunt force impact to the chest and abdomen, and determined the manner of the child’s death to be homicide. An extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that C.M. was in the custody of Gregor at the time he sustained his life-ending injuries, and that Gregor was the individual responsible for the child’s death.

On March 9, 2022, Gregor was taken into custody by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Sea Bright Police Department, and Barnegat Township Police Department. Gregor has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his apprehension.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lento who presented the case to the Grand Jury on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Economic Crimes Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, Stafford Township Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Englishtown Police Department, Manalapan Township Police Department, Monroe Township Police Department, Sea Bright Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Alcoa (Tennessee) Police Department, for their collective and cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Gregor’s apprehension and now his indictment.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and 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.

R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).



Update: Monroe Township Man Now Charged with Murder in Death of a Six-Year-Old Male

March 10, 2022

BARNEGAT, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Barnegat Township Police Chief Keith A. Germain announced that on March 9, 2022, Christopher Gregor, 29, of Monroe Township, was charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of a six-year-old male on April 2, 2021, at Southern Ocean Medical Center in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township.

On April 2, 2021, Officers from the Stafford Township Police Department responded to Southern Ocean Medical Center in reference to the death of a six-year-old male, identified as C.M. On April 3, 2021, a post-mortem examination was performed by the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, and it was determined that C.M. sustained injuries due to blunt force trauma. In the course of investigating the child’s death, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad and Barnegat Township Police Department discovered evidence that revealed that Gregor had committed acts of abuse against the child in Barnegat Township on March 20, 2021. As such, Gregor was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2) on July 7, 2021. Though initially lodged in the Ocean County Jail, Gregor was subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

On March 3, 2022, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office received a report from the State’s expert witness which indicated that C.M. died as a result of blunt force impact of the chest and abdomen, and determined the manner of the child’s death to be homicide. An extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that C.M. was in the custody of Gregor at the time he sustained his life-ending injuries, and that Gregor is the individual responsible for the child’s death.

On March 9, 2022, Gregor was taken into custody by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Sea Bright Police Department, and Barnegat Township Police Department. Gregor is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

“I’m thankful for the collective effort of all of the law enforcement officers that participated in this very thorough and comprehensive investigation over the past 11 months. Today is the first step in bringing the person we believe is responsible for this young boy’s death to justice,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “This truly was a team effort, and I’m grateful for the determination and resolve exhibited by all the agencies involved,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Germain commend the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victim’s Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Economic Crimes Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department, Stafford Township Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Englishtown Police Department, Manalapan Township Police Department, Monroe Township Police Department, Sea Bright Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Alcoa (Tennessee) Police Department, for their collective and cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Gregor’s apprehension.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and 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. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).



Barnegat Police Check into Rumors of Gun at Barnegat High School, Nothing Found After Extensive K9 Search and Video Review

December 3, 2021

BARNEGAT, NJ (OCEAN)–Barnegat Chief of Police Keith A. Germain reported that the police department was actively running down rumors to determine if there’s any validity of a reported gun at the school. At the same time, the department had ten K9 teams working Barnegat High School to systematically search for any weapons.

The Chief later reported that the K9 search and video review was complete, and no weapons were found. The original report was that a student saw another student with a duffel bag that appeared to have the barrel of a gun sticking out of it. We are confident after a thorough review of security video that the report was unsubstantiated.

The Chief said that we’ll be working with the school district to debrief and review the response to this incident so that we can identify areas where we can improve our response in the future. Our thanks for the overwhelming K9 support from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Dept, Stockton University PD, Brick PD, and the NJ State Park Police.




Search and Rescue Underway in Stafford Township, 100+ Searching Woods Off Rt 539 for Two Missing Persons

There is currently a search and rescue being conducted in the wooded area of 539/Warren Grove Rd in Barnegat & Stafford Township. HUNTERS please be extremely vigilant of 100+ searchers walking through the area.

November 24, 2021

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday, November 23,2021, the Stafford Township Police Department initiated an investigation into two missing persons from Warren Grove identified as Gary & Lorraine Parker. The department’s ATV Unit with the assistance of the Ocean County Sheriffs Department ATV Unit have been conducting off-road searches of the Warren Grove area. The NJSP Aviation Unit assisted as well. At this time, we are not seeking assistance in this search. However, if anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Gary & Lorraine Parker, please contact us at (609) 597-8581 or Detective Sergeant Neil McKenna at (609) 597-1189 X8440.



Coast Guard Medevacs Man From Fishing Vessel 90 Miles East Of Barnegat Township, NJ

November 6, 2021

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — The Coast Guard medically evacuated a man after he was found unconscious aboard a fishing vessel approximately 90 miles east of Barnegat Township, New Jersey, Thursday, November 4, 2021. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Command Center received a relayed notification from watchstanders at the Coast Guard 1st District Command Center regarding a crewmember who was found unconscious and in need of immediate medical attention while aboard the fishing vessel Lady Anna. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey was launched to the scene. Once on scene, the aircrew was able to successfully hoist the crewmember and transfer him to AtlantiCare Trauma Center in Atlantic City for further medical care. “Medical evacuations are always complex evolutions and can be especially challenging at night,” said Lt. Humberto Hernandez, one of the Dolphin pilots from Air Station Atlantic City. “Our crews remain ever ready and due to the quick actions from the command center and air station personnel, we were able to quickly get this gentleman to the hospital where he could receive immediate medical treatment.”


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held For New Lab And Woman’s Imaging Center, And Medical Practice In Barnegat

October 18, 2021

BARNEGAT, NJ (OCEAN)–Community Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, and Ocean Women’s Health Care Group, PA, a practice of the Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health, held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday October 12th to celebrate the official opening of the new healthcare hub located at 770 Lighthouse Drive, in Barnegat, N.J. While the medical practice opened earlier this year, the ceremony marks the enhancement and expansion of the location’s services to include a new, state-of-the-art lab and women’s imaging center in the same shopping complex. Representatives from Community Medical Center and Ocean Women’s Healthcare Group and local officials were in attendance to mark the milestone expanding convenient access to women’s health services in Ocean County.

The newly opened lab and women’s imaging services offers a range of services including outpatient laboratory services, 3D mammography, screening ultrasounds, general ultrasounds for female patients, and DEXA scans for bone density testing. The Community Medical Center Lab and Women’s Imaging Center will open on October 26 and appointments can be scheduled by calling 848.208.6203.

Additionally, Ocean Women’s Health Care Group, PA, which opened its doors in July offers a full range of gynecologic services for women of all ages – from adolescence through menopause and beyond. Along with providing preventative care through annual health screenings, the comprehensive OBGYN care team of leading women’s health specialists including Lauren Mason Cederberg, MD; James McDermott, DO; Amadi Rezai, MD and Anupama Sunkavalli, MD provide treatment for a wide range of gynecological conditions including infertility, urinary incontinence treatment, pelvic pain and minimally invasive alternatives to surgery. As part of the Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health, Ocean Women’s Health Care Group providers in Barnegat accept most major insurances. To learn more or schedule an appointment for OBGYN services, please call 609.978.9870.

“We are excited to mark the official opening of our newest outpatient location in Barnegat, which expands access to critical women’s health and wellness services by bringing them directly to the community,” said Patrick Ahearn, Chief Executive Officer, Community Medical Center. “Both Community Medical Center and the Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health have a shared mission of providing our patients with world-class care and the opening of this new state-of-the art hub further reinforces that commitment.”

“We are dedicated to providing greater access to high quality healthcare in all communities across our state and the opening and expansion of this new specialty care location in Barnegat is illustrative of that commitment in action,” said Andy Anderson, President and CEO, Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health.

Barnegat, NJ Man Indicted And Arrested For 22-year-old Cold Case Murder

August 31, 2021

SAYREVILLE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief John Zebrowski of the Sayreville Police Department announce a Barnegat man has been arrested after being indicted by a Middlesex County Grand Jury for the 1999 murder of Nancy Noga, 17, of Sayreville.

On January 7, 1999, Ms. Noga, who was then a senior in high school, was reported missing after she did not return home from work. Five days later, on January 12, 1999, at approximately 8:57 A.M., Ms. Noga’s body was discovered in a wooded area behind what was then Mini-Mall Plaza Shopping Center on Ernston Road. An autopsy later determined Noga died from blunt force trauma after being struck with a blunt object. For more than two decades, the case remained open and active as investigators continued to investigate Ms. Noga’s death.

Today, Bruce A. Cymanski, 49, of Barnegat was indicted for first- degree murder, first-degree felony murder, first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping, and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with the killing of Nancy Noga. Assistant Prosecutor Scott Lamountain, who serves as the section chief of the Major Crimes Unit, presented the case to the Grand Jury.

Following the return of the indictment by a Middlesex County Grand Jury, Cymanski was arrested near his home by members of the Sayreville Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Barnegat Police Department after a brief foot pursuit. Cymanski is presently lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center where he is detained pending a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.

The arrest was made possible by a joint investigation conducted by Detective Mark Morris and Sergeant Deon McCall, both of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with Sergeant Daniel Ellmyer of the Sayreville Police Department and retired Detective Sergeant Richard Sloan, formerly of the Sayreville Police Department.

Cymanski was in-part identified through the use of genetic genealogy conducted by the Chief Genetic Genealogist of Parabon NanoLabs, Ms. CeCe Moore.

“In the decades since Nancy Noga’s death, law enforcement has relentlessly pursued justice on her behalf. The advancement of modern scientific tools has allowed that endeavor to enter a new chapter,” said Prosecutor Ciccone.

“This arrest is the result of decades of hard work by so many detectives and officers. We never stopped following up on leads, and today with the arrest of Bruce Cymanski, we are one step closer to bringing a degree of justice and closure to the family. I want to thank Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and her office for their tireless efforts and partnership in bringing justice to the family of this young girl,” said Chief Zebrowski.

This investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Morris at (732)745-3702 or Sergeant Ellmyer at (732)525-5406.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Cymanski are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.



Four Ocean County Residents Charged With Narcotics Distribution

August 12, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force collaborated with the Pine Beach Police Department, Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Team, Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, Lakewood Police Department Patrol Division, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau, and Lacey Township Police Department, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of narcotics in the Ocean County area. The investigation identified a residence in Pine Beach being utilized by Kevin Collins, 37, and Daysha Kelly, 35, as well as a residence in Lakewood being utilized by Elex Hyman, 49, and Jamie Steen, 38, for purposes of storing and distributing Heroin, Fentanyl, and Cocaine in Ocean County. The investigation revealed that all four defendants were acting together and in support of one another in carrying out their distribution scheme.

On August 10, 2021, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force, along with Officers from the Pine Beach Police Department, Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit, and Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Unit, established surveillance on the subject residence in Pine Beach. Detectives observed Collins and Kelly leave the residence and travel by way of public transportation to the Ocean County Mall. As Detectives maintained surveillance on Collins and Kelly, the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team executed a court-authorized search warrant on the Pine Beach residence. Detectives then approached Collins and Kelly and arrested them without incident. Collins and Kelly were found to be in possession of approximately 100 wax folds of Heroin, 22 grams of Crack Cocaine, and $1,230 in United States Currency. In addition, as a result of the execution of the search warrant on the Pine Beach residence, Detectives seized approximately 1300 wax folds of Heroin, 134 Ecstasy Pills, two semi-automatic 9mm handguns, and $9740 in United States currency.

On August 11, 2021, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force, along with Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Team, Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, and Lakewood Township Police Department Patrol Division, executed a court-authorized search warrant on the residence in Lakewood. Though nothing of evidentiary value was located at the residence, Lacey Township Police Officers performed a motor vehicle stop on a vehicle being operated by Hyman – with Steen as a passenger – in Lacey Township. As a result of the stop, Hyman and Steen were arrested and approximately $5780 in United States Currency was seized.

Kevin Collins, of Pine Beach, was charged with Possession of More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Heroin With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Cocaine With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Ecstasy Pills With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Ecstasy Pills in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1a; and Being a Certain Person Prohibited from Possessing a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7a. Collins was transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

Daysha Kelly, of Pine Beach, was charged with Possession of More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Heroin With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Cocaine With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Ecstasy Pills With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Ecstasy Pills in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; and two counts of Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1a. Kelly was transported to the Ocean County Jail where she is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

Elex Hyman, of Barnegat, was charged with Conspiracy to Possess More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Heroin With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Conspiracy to Possess More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Cocaine With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); and Conspiracy to Possess More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Ecstasy Pills With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2). Hyman was transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

Jamie Steen, of Barnegat, was charged with Conspiracy to Possess More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Heroin With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Conspiracy to Possess More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Cocaine With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); and Conspiracy to Possess More than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces of Ecstasy Pills With Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2). Steen was transported to the Ocean County Jail where she is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Pine Beach Police Department, Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Team, Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Patrol Division, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Lacey Township Police Department, and Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau, for their combined and collective assistance in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and 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. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6). 


Barnegat Man Charged With Endangering The Welfare Of A Child After PD Responds To 6-Year-Old Child’s Death

July 12, 2021

BARNEGAT, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 7, 2021, Christopher Gregor, 29, of Barnegat, was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), relative to an incident that occurred in Barnegat Township on March 20, 2021.

On April 2, 2021, Officers from the Stafford Township Police Department responded to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin in reference to the death of a six-year-old male. In the course of investigating the child’s death, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad came into possession of evidence revealing that Gregor committed acts of abuse against the child in Barnegat Township on March 20, 2021.

On July 9, 2021, Gregor surrendered himself to the Barnegat Township Police Department. Gregor was processed and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he remains lodged pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to emphasize that the death of the child remains an ongoing investigation.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad, Stafford Township Police Department, Barnegat Township Police Department, Manalapan Township Police Department, and the Alcoa (Tennessee) Police Department, for their cooperative efforts in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and 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.

R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


4 Charged With Narcotics Distribution

June 30, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Strike Force joined forces with Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Team, Stafford Township Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit and K-9 Unit, Ocean Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau and the Ocean County Sherriff’s Office, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of narcotics in the Ocean County area. The investigation identified a residence in Barnegat as being utilized by Elex Hyman, age 49 and Jaime Steen, age 38, to store and distribute cocaine.

On June 29, 2021, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and the Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Team established surveillance on the residence in Barnegat. Detectives maintained surveillance on Hyman and Steen as they traveled to an area in Toms River. Detectives observed Hyman meet with another vehicle that was occupied by Jesse Jackson, age 38, of South Toms River and Alicia Walker, age 44, of Union Beach. After the vehicles parted ways, motor vehicle stops were executed on both vehicles and the occupants detained. As a result of the motor vehicle stops, Detectives recovered approximately 63 grams of powder and crack cocaine, 150 wax folds of heroin and 100 Ecstasy tablets. Hyman, Steen, Jackson and Walker were all placed under arrest. Detectives applied for and were granted a search warrant for the residence in Barnegat. As a result of the execution of the search warrant, approximately $14,500 in US currency was seized. Arrested and charged were;

Elex Hyman, age 49, of Barnegat, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Distribution of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Hyman is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Jaime Steen, age 38, of Barnegat, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Distribution of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Steen was charged on a Summons and released pending a future court date.

Jessie Jackson, age 38, of South Toms River, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Jackson is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Alicia Walker, age 44, of Union Beach, was charged with Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than One-Half Ounce but Less than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Ecstasy tablets with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-3b(3); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Ecstasy tablets in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; and Knowingly Wander to Obtain or Sell a Controlled Dangerous Substance in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1B. Walker is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Barnegat Township Police Department Crime Reduction Unit and Patrol Division, Toms River Township Police Department Special Enforcement Team, Stafford Township Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit and K-9 Unit, Ocean Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau and the Ocean County Sherriff’s Office, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and 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. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).




Man Sentenced To 7 Years In NJ State Prison For Vehicular Homicide While DWI

April 3, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on April 1, 2021, Jeydon Lowe, 25, of Barnegat, was sentenced by the Honorable Linda G. Baxter, J.S.C., to a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.  This sentence is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning Lowe will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility.  Additionally, Judge Baxter suspended Lowe’s driving privileges for a period of five years in connection with his previously entered guilty plea to Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.  Lowe pled guilty to both charges before Judge Baxter on January 27, 2021.

On March 25, 2020, at approximately 5:30 p.m., officers from the Stafford Township Police Department responded to a single vehicle crash on Stafford Avenue near Hilliard Boulevard.  An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Stafford Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt operated by Lowe was traveling eastbound on Stafford Avenue at an extremely high rate of speed.  Lowe lost control of the vehicle as he was attempting to navigate a right-hand turn, and consequently crashed into a tree.  A passenger in the front seat of the vehicle, Robert Parlin, 24, of Little Egg Harbor, succumbed to his injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Lowe sustained minor injuries and was taken to Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean County Medical Center in Stafford Township. A search warrant was obtained for a draw of his blood.  On April 14, 2020, Detectives received the laboratory results from the blood draw which indicated that Lowe had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of nearly .12 percent.  An operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.

“This is an absolutely tragic case, which should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone who is tempted to drink and drive,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.  “Let me be clear:  drunk driving kills, and it has the potential to tear families apart.  Sadly, these types of cases are wholly preventable, particularly in this day and age of Uber, Lyft, and other readily available transportation services.  While this young defendant will go to prison for a long time for his senseless conduct on the night in question, nothing will bring Mr. Parlin back to his family” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.  

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Stafford Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their combined efforts in connection with this investigation which resulted in Lowe’s guilty plea, and ultimately his state prison sentence.

See previous MidJersey.News story here: Barnegat Man Pleads Guilty To Vehicular Homicide And DWI For March 25, 2020 Fatal Crash In Stafford Twp.


Florida Man Charged With Theft By Deception

February 22, 2021

BARNEGAT TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Barnegat Township Police Chief Keith A. Germain announced that on February 12, 2021, Juan C. Piedrahita, 49, of Hollywood, Florida, was charged with Theft by Deception in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4.

The charges are the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Barnegat Township Police Department Detective Bureau in January 2021.  The investigation revealed that Piedrahita, posing as an attorney, telephonically contacted an elderly victim advising him that his nephew had been in a motor vehicle accident.  Piedrahita convinced the victim that his nephew was under arrest and that $10,000 cash bail was needed to secure his release.  The victim obtained the cash and met Piedrahita – now posing as a courier – at a CVS parking lot in Barnegat.  After leaving the parking lot, the elderly victim was contacted once again and instructed to provide an additional $10,000 as payment to the alleged victim of the purported motor vehicle accident.  It was only when the victim was questioned by bank staff that he contacted his nephew and confirmed that his nephew was not in actual trouble.  Detectives were able to obtain surveillance footage of the area surrounding the CVS parking lot, which captured the rental vehicle Piedrahita had rented at Newark International Airport, and were thereafter able to confirm Piedrahita’s identity based on that footage.

Juan C. Piedrahita’s location is presently unknown, and a Warrant for his arrest has been issued.  Anyone in possession of information concerning Piedrahita’s whereabouts is urged to contact Detective James Purcell of the Barnegat Township Police Department at 609-698-5000, extension 262.

“Sadly, these types of scams targeting senior citizens are all too prevalent in Ocean County,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.  “I urge our residents to speak with their elderly family members about potential scams that target seniors, so as to prevent them from falling victim to predators seeking to cheat and extort them,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Germain commend the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Barnegat Township Police Department Detective Bureau for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

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




State Police Arrest Two U.S. Postal Employees for Drug Trafficking, Seize 2 Kilograms of Fentanyl with an Estimated Street Value of $3 Million

Also sized were a total of 54 guns, (including assault rifles, a submachine gun, and a ghost gun) and high-capacity magazines.

December 11, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan announced today that the New Jersey State Police have arrested Andre Sulimenko, 56, of Barnegat, N.J., and United States Postal Service employees William Woolley, 52, of Jackson, N.J., and Nicholas Gooskos, 41, of Spring Lake, N.J. for various drug and weapon offenses and seized 2 kilograms of fentanyl, heroin, 54 guns, and high-capacity magazines.

On Wednesday, December 2, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit, Neptune City Police Department, Middletown Township Police Department, and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, working together as a part of the New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force (OETF), received information about the possible distribution of fentanyl by two employees of the United States Postal Service in Jackson Township, Ocean County.

While conducting their investigation in Jackson Township, detectives observed Andre Sulimenko pull his Subaru into the driveway of William Woolley’s residence for an alleged narcotics transaction. Detectives observed Woolley exit his residence, approach the car, and hand a bag to Sulimenko. Shortly after the exchange, detectives stopped Sulimenko who was found to be in possession of one kilogram of fentanyl, which was located in the bag that he had just received from Woolley. Sulimenko was arrested at the scene without incident.

Later that day, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit and the Opioid Enforcement Task Force along with the State Police T.E.A.M.S. Unit, K-9 Unit, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant on Woolley’s residence. William Woolley was found to be in possession of 18 handguns, 28 rifles and shotguns, high-capacity magazines, and various firearm parts. Among the weapons seized were an assault rifle, a submachine gun, and a ghost gun. A ghost gun is a firearm that is assembled from various parts that are not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer, making them difficult for law enforcement to trace.

As a result of the continuing investigation, detectives identified Nicholas Gooskos as another suspect in the fentanyl distribution network. On Thursday, December 3, with the assistance of the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, detectives arrested Gooskos while on his mail delivery route in Neptune Township, N.J. As a result of the arrest, detectives later seized 120 individual doses of heroin. Detectives later searched Gooskos’ residence in Spring Lake, N.J. and seized one kilogram of fentanyl, five rifles, one assault rifle, two shotguns, high-capacity magazines, and ammunition.

The New Jersey State Police Hazmat Unit safely processed the fentanyl seized in this investigation. Fentanyl is an extremely lethal synthetic opioid, and as little as two milligrams are enough to cause a fatal overdose. The street value for a kilogram of fentanyl is $50,000, but when mixed with other agents and broken down into individual doses, the fentanyl seized in this investigation had an estimated street value of $3,000,000.

William Woolley was charged with distribution of fentanyl, conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, possession of a firearm during a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) offense, possession of a ghost gun, possession of an assault rifle, possession of a machine gun, manufacturing an assault firearm, and possession of high-capacity magazines.

Nicholas Gooskos was charged with possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, possession of a firearm during a CDS offense, possession of an assault rifle, and possession of high-capacity magazines. Andre Sulimenko was charged with possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.

William Woolley and Andre Sulimenko were lodged in the Ocean County Jail and Nicholas Gooskos was lodged in the Monmouth County Jail. All were lodged pending a detention hearing.

“Undaunted by the COVID pandemic, the New Jersey State Police are working ceaselessly to protect the public, in this case by seizing large quantities of the super-potent opioid fentanyl and outlawed weapons, including two assault rifles, a machine gun, and an untraceable ghost gun,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “By arresting these men and removing these highly lethal drugs and guns from our communities, we have made residents safer and more secure. The State Police and Division of Criminal Justice will continue to collaborate with law enforcement at all levels to target these dangerous criminal elements.”

“Fentanyl is one of the deadliest opioids in existence, just a few milligrams can kill an adult. This narcotic is not only lethal to users, sellers, law enforcement, and forensic scientists tasked with handling it, trace amounts left on surfaces by traffickers could easily claim the lives innocent victims, including unsuspecting children,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “While New Jersey remains on the forefront of the battle against the opioid epidemic, with the State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force leading the charge with innovative enforcement strategies, we will continue to work with our partners and communities to develop education and awareness campaigns to combat this plague on all fronts.”

“The members of DCJ’s Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau stand ready at all times to work with the New Jersey State Police and our other law enforcement partners in these investigations targeting illegal drugs and weapons,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Those who bring deadly narcotics like fentanyl and banned firearms into our communities will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

To date, the OETF has conducted 131 enforcement operations and seized more than 800,956 individual doses of packaged opioids valued at $4,004,780, more than 75 kilograms of raw heroin valued at $4,500,000, more than 25 kilograms of fentanyl valued at $1,250,000, more than 50,000 fentanyl based pills valued at $500,000, more than 33 kilograms of cocaine valued at $2,088,000, more than $2,462,137 in U.S. currency, and 143 firearms. The OETF has also disrupted or dismantled 33 fully operational opioid packaging facilities, a fully operational fentanyl pill pressing operation, and arrested 301 suspects during this time.

The Barnegat Police Department also assisted in this investigation, and the State Police Ballistics Unit identified and processed the firearms seized by detectives. The case is being prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice.

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