Category: Jackson

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.

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.

20-392

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



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.   




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.

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.

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

Off Duty Lakewood Police Officer Dies In Motorcycle Crash In Jackson Twp

September 6, 2020

Please keep the Lakewood Police Department in your prayers they lost an off duty active police officer and a retired officer yesterday.

JACKSON-LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–A fatal accident occurred around 4:54 pm in the 100 Block of Thompson Bridge Road involving a motorcycle, yesterday afternoon. Jackson Township Fire Department, Jackson Township EMS and Jackson Township Police all responded to the scene to try and save the man that was reported to be an off duty Lakewood Police Officer. Lakewood Township Police Department has announced the officer’s passing see below:

It is with an extremely heavy heart that the Lakewood Police Department announces the untimely passing of Officer Nicklas Shimonovich.

Twenty-three year old Nicklas Shimonovich was involved in an off duty motorcycle accident in Jackson Township earlier this afternoon in which he sustained life threatening injuries. He was transported to Monmouth Medical Southern Campus were he tragically succumbed to his injuries a short time later. At this time the accident is under investigation by the Jackson Township Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutors Office.

Officer Shimonovich was hired in March of 2018 and was assigned to our Patrol Division on the evening shift. He was well respected by his peers, supervisors and the community he loved to serve. We ask that you keep him and his family and friends in your thoughts during this difficult time.


Jackson Police Department News Release

Fatal MVC Investigation

On Saturday September 5, 2020 at 4:54 pm, officers and emergency personnel responded to Thompson Bridge Road on the report of a motor vehicle crash with injuries involving a motorcycle.

Responding officers and First Aid located the single vehicle and driver which was involved in this incident and provided care and transported the driver to an area hospital where he succumbed to the injuries received in the crash.

The driver was identified as Nicklas Shimonovich, age 23 of Jackson, NJ.

Initial investigation of the crash indicated that Mr. Shimonovich was travelling east on Thompson Bridge Road on a 2015 Harley Davidson when the motorcycle ran off the roadway and struck a mailbox and utility trailer which was parked on a property. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The crash is under investigation by the department’s Traffic Safety Unit. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact Police Officer Tristan Bennett or Kevin Chesney at 732-928-1111.

Captain Steven Laskiewicz
Investigations Division Commander
Jackson Township Police Department
September 6, 2020



The Lakewood Police Department has also lost a retired member of their force Det. Larry Doyle #189 (Retired).

It’s been a sad day for the Lakewood Police Department.

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Det. Larry Doyle #189 (Retired).

Det. Doyle was hired by the Lakewood Police Department in September of 1980. After 25 years and 4 months of service he retired in December of 2005.

Det. Doyle spent many years in our Patrol Division where he made numerous arrests and helped train newly hired Officers.

In 2002, he earned the rank of Detective and conducting numerous investigations involving burglary, theft and stolen cars.

Det. Doyle was also our resident expert regarding Hazardous Materials Training. Something he had vast knowledge in due to his time with the Fire Service.

Law Enforcment, Firefighting and his Family were his passion.

WANTED: Cream Ridge-Plumsted Twp. Man For Recent Pursuit In Reported Stolen Vehicle

The male driver was identified as Nicholas Ryland, age 28 of Kuzyk Road, Cream Ridge, NJ. He was charged with eluding, receiving stolen property, speeding, reckless driving, improper passing and driving with a suspended driver’s license. Mr. Ryland is entered as a New Jersey wanted person at this time and anyone with information of his whereabouts is asked to contact the Jackson Police Department at 732-928-1111 or through the department’s Stop It app.

August 24, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–The Jackson Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance to locate a wanted person who was involved in a recent vehicle pursuit in a reported stolen vehicle.

On Friday August 21, 2020 at approximately 5:53 pm, Police Officer Jeff Henba was on patrol on Bowman Road when he observed a 2020 Jeep traveling at 75 miles per hour in the posted 50 mile per hour speed zone. Officer Henba was able to observe the driver of the vehicle as it passed him and turned around to conduct a motor vehicle stop.

After activating the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights, the driver of the Jeep refused to yield and continued driving on Bowman Road and turning right on Toms River Road to head north. A pursuit was initiated as the vehicle continued north on Toms River Road, reaching speeds of 95-100 miles per hour as it was driven recklessly and began passing other vehicles improperly. At this time, the officer’s supervisor terminated the pursuit.

Approximately 5 minutes after the pursuit was terminated, the agency received a call from a resident of the Woodmere Apartments located on West County Line Road reporting that the Jeep had been stolen. As the investigation progressed, officers discovered that a male subject had been stopped in the past while driving a vehicle registered to the caller reporting the Jeep stolen. When Officer Henba was able to observe the male’s photo, he positively identified him as the driver of the Jeep who had fled on him.

Officers then met with Plumsted officers and went to the last known address of the male who was identified as the driver of the Jeep as another officer met with the caller in Jackson who was reporting the vehicle stolen. Family members of the suspect advised that they did not know where the male suspect was as officers were able to locate the Jeep parked on the street a few houses down from the suspect’s residence. Plumsted Police utilized their K-9 officer and the dog tracked from the parked Jeep directly to the suspect’s front door. A search was then conducted to attempt to locate the suspect but he was not at the location. Before clearing from the location, the vehicle was impounded.

Officer Henba then continued the investigation and contacted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to get the following charges approved which were prepared on a warrant: eluding (2nd degree) and receiving stolen property (3rd degree).

The male driver was identified as Nicholas Ryland, age 28 of Kuzyk Road, Cream Ridge, NJ. He was charged with eluding, receiving stolen property, speeding, reckless driving, improper passing and driving with a suspended driver’s license.

Mr. Ryland is entered as a New Jersey wanted person at this time and anyone with information of his whereabouts is asked to contact 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.

Jackson, Ocean County Man Pleads Guilty To Shooting Death of Manlapan Man

August 7, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–An Ocean County man pleaded guilty yesterday for his role in the shooting death of a Manalapan man in October 2019, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Gerard A. Grimes Jr., 24, of Jackson, pleaded guilty to first degree Aggravated Manslaughter and second degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. LeMieux. Grimes admitted shooting five times at the three men who were chasing after him, one of the shots struck and killed 43-year-old Narcisco Rodriguez-Corona.

Grimes is expected to return for sentencing on Nov. 20, 2020. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a 12-year sentence in a New Jersey state prison on the Aggravated Manslaughter charge, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA), requiring him to serve 85 percent of his imposed sentence before becoming eligible for release on parole. Grimes would also be under parole supervision for five years following his prospective release from state prison. There will also be a recommendation for a seven-year state prison term to run concurrent with the other sentence included in his plea agreement.

The case involving Grimes co-defendants, Zoey S. Monte, 21, and Tyler J. Martucci, 23, both of Jackson, are still pending.
The case stems from an Oct. 5, 2019, call reporting shots fired with a victim. Manalapan police officers responded to the 9:34 p.m. call reporting a fight at 25 Fawn Run in the township. Several minutes later, police received another call for a confirmed shooting victim. Manalapan police officers arrived on scene and discovered Rodriguez-Corona suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced deceased.

After receiving initial information regarding the incident, police began to search the area. A few hours later, police attempted a motor vehicle stop of Grimes’ vehicle, but he failed to stop. Thereafter, Grimes fled the vehicle. Monte and Martucci were also onboard the vehicle and were arrested at that time. A short time later, Grimes was found in the backyard of a neighborhood residence.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Manalapan Township Police Department revealed Grimes came to the Manalapan residence armed with a handgun. Grimes attempted to enter the residence while Monte and Martucci remained outside. Residents of the home were alerted to Grimes’ presence and attempted to stop him from entering, resulting in a brief confrontation outside the home. Shortly thereafter, a second encounter occurred nearby, where Grimes ultimately shot the victim. Grimes, Monte and Martucci all fled the area.

Monte was indicted on charges of one count of second degree Burglary, one count of second degree Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, one count of second degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, one count of second degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, one count of fourth degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and one count of third degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

Martucci was indicted on one count of second degree Burglary, one count of second degree Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, one count of second degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, one count of second degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, one count of fourth degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and one count of third degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Lawrence Nelson and Merlin Thomas.

Grimes is represented by Glenn Kassman, Esq. of Tinton Falls.

Monte is represented by John Perrone, Esq., of Long Branch.

Martucci is represented by Albert Kapin, Esq., of West Orange.

Despite these charges included in the indictment against Monte and Martucci, 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.

Tropical Storm Isaias Update

Yesterday’s MidJersey.News coverage here: Tropical Storm Isaias Hits Area


August 5, 2020

PSE&G Reports 9,3958 power outages with 292,052 customers affected as of 12:30 pm

JCP&L Reports 527,305 customers affected at of 12:30 pm

Atlantic City Electric reports 4,448 active outages with 64,761 customers affected as of 12:30 pm

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Governor Phil Murphy visited Jackson Township this morning to assess damage from Tropical Storm Isaias with Senator Sam Thompson, Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari, and Mayor Mike Reina. Government officials are continuing to work closely with the utilities to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible.


MidJersey.News has been monitoring fire department, police and EMS activity and fire departments from our area have been sent to several locations overnight and this morning for carbon monoxide issues dealing with generators too close to the house or running in a garage. Please use these appliances properly, keep them far away from the home, and also make sure you have batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and verify they are working.


Upper Freehold and Allentown, Message from Hope Fire Company:

Good Morning. We realize that some will be without power for a few days. HFC will be opening it’s doors for anyone that is in need of charging devices from now until 4pm. We do have charging stations setup in our meeting room for your convenience. We ask that you please wear masks when coming into our facility and, to practice social distancing measures, we will be allowing up to 10 people in at a time. Also, we do have bagged ice that we can give you (2 bags per person) and should you need to use our showering facilities, that area is open as well. Non-potable water will be available so please, bring your buckets or containers. Again, masks are required and you must be symptom free to enter the building. Should you have any questions you can email me at president@hopefirecompany.com or reach out to me directly at 609-556-9764.



North Hanover, Jackobstown:

We have put the hose out for residents to get water if needed. While clean water direct from our well we don’t recommend it for drinking but if you need to flush a toilet it will work. Bring your own container. The station is closed to members only at this time, please do not enter the station for any reason. Thank you




There are still numerous roads closed, trees and wires down please avoid those areas and do not go around cones or barricades. Stay far away from any wires because you will not know if they are live or energized, leave that up to the professionals to determine.


Water and Ice available for JCP&L customers:

Water and Ice Locations

Water and Ice Available to JCP&L Customers

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is restoring service to customers who lost power due to Tropical Storm Isaias. JCP&L is offering free water and ice to customers remaining out of service. Customers can pick up water and ice at the following locations:

(Last updated 8/5/2020)

BURLINGTON COUNTY

  • Acme Supermarkets, 18 Broadway Rd. Store 7908, Browns Mills

ESSEX COUNTY

  • Shop Rite of Millburn, 220 Main Street, Millburn, Essex County
  • Kings, 778 Morris Tpke, Short Hills, Essex County

HUNTERDON COUNTY

  • Shop Rite of Hunterdon, 50 Rte 513 BLDG D, Clinton, Hunterdon County
  • Shop Rite of Hunterdon272 Rt. 202 & Rt. 31, Flemington, Hunterdon County
  • Kings, 531 U.S. Hwy. 22 East, Whitehouse Station, Hunterdon County

MERCER COUNTY

  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 319 Rt 130N, East Windsor
  • Shop Rite – Pennington, 2555 Pennington Rd, Pennington

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

  • Acme Supermarkets, 3505 Route 9, Old Bridge
  • Saker Shop Rites, Inc., 2909 Washington Rd., Parlin

MONMOUTH COUNTY

  • Acme Supermarkets, 576 River Rd., Store 7949, Fair Haven
  • Acme Supermarkets, 3241 Route 9, Store 7960, Freehold
  • Acme Supermarkets, 990 Shrewsbury Ave., Tinton Falls
  • Acme Supermarkets, 2007 Route 35, Wall
  • Food Circus (a/k/a Foodtown), 1560 Rt 35, Store 269, Ocean Twp
  • Food Circus (a/k/a Foodtown), 2204 Rt 35 & Sea Girt Ave, Store 268, Sea Girt
  • Food Circus (a/k/a Foodtown), 9 Rt.  36, Bayshore Plaza, Store 266, Atlantic Highlands
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 3585 Hwy 9, Freehold
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 280 Hwy 9 N, Morganville
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 2200 Asbury Ave., Neptune 07753
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., Routes 36 & 71, West Long Branch 07764
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 1151 Shrewsbury Ave., Shrewsbury 07722
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 4594 Rt 9 S, Howell 07731
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 2445 Rt 34, Wall  07719
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 1801 Route 35, Wall Twp.
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 318 Lloyd Rd., Aberdeen
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 3140 State Hwy 35, Hazlet 07730

MORRIS COUNTY

  • ACME, 550 Myrtle Ave., Boonton
  • ACME, 329 Speedwell Ave, Morris Plains, Morris County
  • ACME Oak Ridge, 5774 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge
  • ACME, 690 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph
  • ACME, 123 E Main St Suite 1, Denville
  • Kings, 115 Hawkins Place, Boonton
  • Kings, 88 East Main St, Mendham
  • Kings, 393 Main Street, Chatham, Morris County
  • Kings, 977 Valley Rd, Gillette, Morris County
  • Kings, 191 South Street, Morristown, Morris County
  • Kings, 184 Columbia Tpk., Florham Park, Morris County
  • Kings, 191 South Street, Morristown, Morris County
  • Shop Rite of Morris, 1711 Routes 10 (& 202), Morris Plains
  • Shop Rite of Chatham, 641 Shunpike Rd / Southern Blvd, Chatham
  • Shop Rite of Chester, 195 Route 206 South, Chester
  • Shop Rite – Ronetco, 90 Bartley Rd Flanders, Flanders
  • Shop Rite – Ronetco, 75 US 46 Netcong
  • Shop Rite , 437 Rt 46, Rockaway
  • Shop Rite – Ronetco, 281-021 Rt 10, Succasunna
  • Shop Rite, 1153 Valley Road, Stirling, Morris County
  • Shop Rite, 314 Rt 15, Wharton

OCEAN COUNTY

  • Acme Supermarkets, Route 35 & Washington, Ortley Beach/Seaside Heights           
  • Perlmart Shop Rite 427, 429 Atl City Blvd., Store 663 Bayville
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc. 668 Rt 70, Brick 08723
  • Perlmart Shop Rite, 328 Route 9, (Lacey) Store 655, Lanoka Harbor
  • Perlmart Shop Rite, 1001Rt 70W, (Manchester) Store 659, Manchester
  • Perlmart Shop Rite, 260 County Line Rd., Store 661, Jackson
  • Perlmart Shop Rite, 860 Fischer Blvd, Store 656, Toms River
  • Perlmart Shop Rite, 100 Town Center Bldg 9, Store 665, Waretown
  • Saker ShopRites, Inc., 2 Rt 37 West, Toms River 08753

SOMERSET COUNTY

  • Kings, 450 Rt. 206N & Hills Dr., Bedminster
  • Saker Shop Rite -Branchburg, 3166 Rt 22, Somerville
  • Shop Rite of Bernardsville, 93 Morristown Rd (Rt 202), Bernardsville
  • Kings, 100 Morristown Rd., Bernardsville
  • Kings, 64 Mt. Blvd Brady Shopping Center, Warren

SUSSEX COUNTY

  • ACME Vernon, 530 Route 515, Vernon, Sussex County
  • ACME Sussex, 455 Route 23 North, Byram, Sussex, Sussex County
  • Shop Rite – Ronetco, 90-80 Rt 206 N Byram NJ, Sussex County
  • Shop Rite – Ronetco, 270 Rt 23 N Franklin NJ, Sussex County
  • Shop Rite – Ronetco, 125 Water St. Newton, Sussex

UNION COUNTY

  • ACME, 1260 Springfield Avenue, New Providence, Union County
  • Shop Rite of Springfield, 727 Morris Tpke, Springfield, Union
  • Kings, 784 Springfield Ave, Summit, Union County

WARREN COUNTY

  • ACME Blairstown, 152 Route 94, Blairstown,
  • Shop Rite – Ronetco, 1965 Rt 57 Hackettstown NJ
  • Shop Rite of Hunterdon, 1207 Rt. 22, Phillipsburg (Greenwich Store)
  • Shop Rite of Washington, 2 Clubhouse Dr @ Route 31, Washington


Former Jackson Township Youth Football President Charged With Theft

July 31, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (0CEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that James Hirsch, 49, of Jackson Township, was charged with Theft in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a.

Hirsch served as President of the Jackson Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization from December 2016 through March 2018. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit and Jackson Township Police Department Detective Bureau conducted an investigation after they received information regarding Hirsch’s mishandling of the league’s finances. Further investigation revealed that Hirsch was utilizing funds from the league account, including the misuse of a league-owned ATM card for personal expenses, and that he misappropriated funds exceeding $8000. Hirsch was taken into custody and processed without incident, and released on a summons pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad, Jackson Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Jackson Township Police Department for their diligent efforts investigating this matter. “This individual violated the trust of the many families and children who comprise the Jackson Youth Football and Cheerleading Organization,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Rather than leading the organization with honesty and integrity, he betrayed the faith and confidence that was placed in him by using the league as his own personal piggy bank. This type of exploitation – stealing from kids and their families – will not be tolerated,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

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.

Owner And Employees Of Monmouth Marine Engines, Inc., Charged For Defrauding US Department of Defense

Linda Mika, 69, and Paul Mika, 73, both of Jackson, New Jersey, and Kenneth Mika, 49, of Ewing, New Jersey, were arrested today and are scheduled to have their initial appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court.

July 29, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Three people have been charged for their alleged roles in a years-long conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) by providing military equipment parts that were not authorized by contract, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Linda Mika, 69, and Paul Mika, 73, both of Jackson, New Jersey, and Kenneth Mika, 49, of Ewing, New Jersey, were arrested today and are scheduled to have their initial appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court.

“As described in the criminal complaint, these defendants sought to make a greater profit by substituting products that were not those they had contractually agreed to provide to the Department of Defense,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “By doing so, they potentially risked the safety of our men and women in uniform. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to root out this kind of fraud.”

“Protecting the integrity of the defense procurement system is a top priority for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS),” Special Agent in Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey, DCIS Northeast Field Office, said. “This case, which resulted in today’s arrests, confirms the DCIS’ ongoing commitment to work with the USAO-NJ and the FBI, to investigate and prosecute contractors who engage in fraudulent schemes targeting the U.S. Department of Defense.”

“Today’s arrest of Linda Mika, Paul Mika and Kenneth Mika reflects the continuing impact federal and state partnerships have on combatting those who defraud the Department of Defense,” Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Joe Denahan said. “These contractors of Monmouth Marine Engines Inc. knowingly provided substituted parts for military equipment for their own personal gain. We will continue to investigate these types of schemes and hold those who endanger the U.S. military accountable.”

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

From at least March 2017 through February 2020, the Mikas conspired with each other and others to defraud the DoD and its combat logistic support arm, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), by engaging in a pattern of unlawful product substitution. Paul Mika was the founder and owner of Monmouth Marine Engines Inc. (Monmouth Marine), a maritime equipment and servicing facility, which, as an approved federal contractor, also entered into contracts with DLA to supply DoD contracting entities with replacement parts for Naval vessels. Paul Mika’s wife and son, Linda Mika and Kenneth Mika, were employees of Monmouth Marine.

The Mikas, on behalf of Monmouth Marine, obtained contracts with the DoD by falsely claiming that the military parts they contracted to provide would be exact products furnished by authorized manufacturers. Once awarded the contracts, however, the Mikas sourced non-conforming substitute parts at a significantly reduced cost to fill the contracts. They did this to maximize their profit margin while also suppressing fair competition in the bidding of federal contracts. Upon receipt by Monmouth Marine, the non-conforming parts were then shipped to DLA in packaging disguising the parts’ identity in an effort by the Mikas to deceive DLA and its unwitting downstream purchasers.

The count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Barzey; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Denahan with the investigation leading to today’s arrests.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

20-234

Download Full Complaint Here:

Full press release here: https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/owner-and-employees-monmouth-county-marine-equipment-and-servicing-company-charged

Freehold Man Sentenced To 10 Years In NJ State Prison For April 9, 2015 Incident In Jackson

July 17, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Hector Calderon, 53, of Freehold, was sentenced on July 27, 2020, to ten years New Jersey State Prison (“NJSP”) with a five year period of parole ineligibility as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b, by the Honorable James M. Blaney, J.S.C. Additionally, Judge Blaney sentenced Calderon to nine years NJSP with a four-and-one- half year period of parole ineligibility in connection with a second guilty plea to Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, also in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b. The sentences will run consecutively. Calderon pled guilty to both charges before Judge Blaney on February 7, 2020.

Calderon was arrested on April 10, 2015 – along with co-defendant Daniel Romeodisantillo – in connection with the murder of Peyman Sanandaji, which occurred at a restaurant in Jackson on April 9, 2015. Romeodisantillo was convicted of murder and is currently serving a thirty year prison sentence in NJSP. Calderon was tried twice for murder and related weapons offenses; mistrials were declared in both trials, however, after the respective juries could not reach a unanimous verdict. As a result, an agreement was reached between the State and defense whereby Calderon pled guilty to the weapons offenses, for which he has been sentenced to a total of nineteen years NJSP with a nine-and-one-half year period of parole ineligibility.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Chief Trial Attorney Michael Weatherstone and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman who handled the case on behalf of the State. Prosecutor Billhimer likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Jackson Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their hard work and combined assistance in this investigation which ultimately resulted in Calderon’s conviction and lengthy state prison sentence.

Large Party In Excess Of 700 People Busted In Jackson, Homeowner And Organizers Charged

July 27, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)—On Sunday July 26, 2020 at approximately 8:30 pm, officers responded to a residence located on Mill Pond Road in the Whispering Hill neighborhood off of Leesville Road on the report of a suspicious incident. Upon arrival, officers spoke with numerous residents of the neighborhood who claimed that a residence on the street had been rented out to a group who were having a large party which was causing a disturbance in the neighborhood and also appeared to be in violation of Executive Order #156 in reference to the number of attendees.

Officers monitored the area and observed a large crowd at the residence. The homeowner was contacted and advised officers that he had rented out the residence on AirBnB and was hosting a large party. The homeowner then left the area as an estimated 200 additional people arrived at the residence and the party began to expand.

As additional people continued to arrive, the crowd at the residence grew to an estimate in excess of 700 people with well over 100 vehicles parked in the area as the department began receiving 911 calls from other homeowners in the area reporting disturbances and trespassing. Officers then began to clear the crowd from the residence and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted and authorized charges against the homeowner and party organizer for violating the Executive Order.

As the crowd grew in size, this took the effort of all of the on duty Jackson police officers who responded as the roads into the neighborhood were shut down because more party goers were still arriving. Officers from the Freehold Police Department, Howell Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and New Jersey State Police also responded to assist and clear the large crowd from the residence and direct traffic as people left the area.

During this time, the department received a 911 call from an Overlook Drive resident reporting that people who had left the Mill Pond Road party had broken into their residence and were damaging property. It was determined that a family member of the caller who had been at the original party had invited a large group from the party back to the residence. Additional officers responded and the unwanted group was then dispersed from this second residence.

It took until approximately 1:00 am for the officers to clear the residences of the party attendees and all of the vehicles from the neighborhood without any further incidents.

At the conclusion of the evening, the homeowner, who was identified as Yaakov Weiss, age 40 of Jackson and party organizers who were identified as Patience Guanue age, 23 and Alicia Hinneh, age 22, both of Newark, were issued summonses for violating the Governor’s Executive Order. The investigation is continuing and Jackson Code Enforcement was also notified of the incident so they could follow up.

– 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.

Jackson Man Killed In Serious Accident On I-195

July 22, 2020, Updated July 23, 2020 at 11:15 am.

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–At 6:46 am the Hope Fire Company of Allentown and the Millstone Township Fire Department responded to I-195 west bound in the area of mile marker 13.4 for a severe accident.

According to NJ State Police spokesman Philip Curry, Mario Shehata, 30 of Jackson was killed in the crash while operating a Honda Civic eastbound on 195.

The Honda Civic crossed the center median and struck an Acura which was going westbound. The driver of the Acura was Richard Carter, 37 ,of Farmingdale according to an update on Thursday from NJ State Police.

The westbound lanes were completely closed just before 8 a.m., for the accident investigation, creating a multi-mile delay approaching the crash scene. The left lane was reopened about 11:45 a.m.

Curry said that cause of the crash remains under investigation.


 

Update: Remote 204 Acre “L-Field” Wildfire Contained In Jackson

July 10, 2020

See yesterday’s MidJersey.news story here: Jackson Brush Fire Creates Smoke Haze And Fallout In Area

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The New Jersey Forest Fire Service has reached 100% containment of the 204-acre wildfire in a remote area of the Colliers Mill Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township.

As expected, significant rainfall today from Tropical Storm Fay assisted containment efforts.

All crews have been released from the wildfire scene. There were no injuries and no structures were in danger.

A Forest Fire Service pilot flying over the area Thursday afternoon spotted smoke and reported the fire.

Dancer stands with New Jersey Outdoor Alliance On Wildlife Management Area Closings


See related MidJersey.News stories here: Assunpink, Stone Tavern, Rising Sun And Prospertown Lakes Shut Down, Not Just The Boat Ramps As “Restricted” Areas July 6 to 27, 2020

Prospertown And Assunpink Boat Ramps “Restricted” Due To State Employee Furloughs


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance took a major hit this week when Governor Phil Murphy decided to close many of the wildlife management areas due to budgetary constraints. The organization released a statement on Murphy’s actions, saying that it makes no sense to furlough land management staff since they are paid by profits made from the users of the parks and license fees. 

Assemblyman Ron Dancer agrees with the NJOA and called on Governor Murphy to reconsider these latest rounds of closures.

“Our park systems continue to get the short end of the stick,” stated Dancer (R-Ocean). “After fighting for weeks to get the parks to reopen, now Gov. Murphy restricts public access to the outdoor wildlife management areas.  We cannot continue to allow the misuse of fees paid for fishing and hunting licenses that are dedicated to keep open, manage and maintain our wildlife management areas as pointed out by the NJOA.”

This isn’t the first time the group has challenged Murphy on his executive orders.  For weeks, NJOA repeatedly called on Murphy to reopen parks which eventually led to the reopening of state parks.  

Jackson Brush Fire Creates Smoke Haze And Fall Out In Area

SEE UPDATED STORY HERE: Update: Remote 204 Acre “L-Field” Wildfire Contained In Jackson

July 9, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service unit B-9 requested a helicopter for observation of a forest fire in a remote area of Colliers Mills around 2:45 pm. Additional units from around the area were called to fight the fire that was found deep in a wooded area of Collier’s Mills.

Firefighters set up a staging area on Route 528 in the Cassville section of town at St. Monica Catholic Church and the firefighters entered the wooded area from there.

Smoke from the fire could be observed for miles and debris and ash landed as far as Upper Freehold and Robbinsville. Ash was witnessed falling on I-195 this afternoon. Several residents in the area called local fire departments to report a smoke condition in the area.

It appears that the fire is contained and smoke in the area has dissipated.


Jackson Police Facebook report: The State Forest Fire Service and Jackson Police are working in the area of West Veteran’s Highway between Cassville Road and N. Stump Tavern Road for a woods fire in the state wildlife management area that is just about contained. Please use caution in the area as there are a number of apparatus moving in and out of the wooded areas. In addition, depending on wind conditions, there may be a smoke condition affecting travel through the area.

Assunpink, Stone Tavern, Rising Sun And Prospertown Lakes Shut Down, Not Just The Boat Ramps As “Restricted” Areas July 6 to 27, 2020

These are some of the most popular fishing lakes in the Mid Jersey region that have been shut down. Even Govenor Phil Murphy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe talked about how great of an activity fishing is and being able to practice social distancing during COVID-19 briefings.

July 8, 2020

See earlier MidJersey.News story here: Prospertown And Assunpink Boat Ramps “Restricted” Due To State Employee Furloughs

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, MILLSTONE, (MONMOUTH), JACKSON, (OCEAN), NJ — Earlier today MidJersey.News has e-mailed the Division of Fish & Wildlife asking for a “clarification” on the “restricted areas” e-mail and what it means other than what is indicated on the website.


Late this afternoon MidJersey.News acting on a tip that entire lakes are shut down not just “boat ramps” as indicated on the State of NJ, Division of Fish & Wildlife’s web page. (see screen shots below)

MidJersey.News is perplexed trying to figure out why these particular lakes were targeted as “restricted” and shut down due to furloughs. There are no life guards since swimming is not allowed, no fees, no guard shack like at state parks, wildlife management areas are carry-in carry-out for trash = no trash pick up, emergency services such as EMS and rescue are handled by local fire companies and first aid squads, police matters are handled by NJ State Police. The wildlife management areas are low maintenance and are not labor intensive.

Fishing is a “great social activity” and using that 6 foot fishing pole is a great way to measure social distancing while out fishing. Now NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife has closed some of the most popular fishing lakes in the Mid-Jersey region a great activity that is COVID-19 compliant.

Even Govenor Phil Murphy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe talked about how great of an activity fishing is and being able to practice social distancing, see below transcript from March 31, 2020:

TRANSCRIPT: March 31th, 2020 Coronavirus Briefing Media

Commissioner of Environmental Protection Catherine McCabe:

“If you love to fish, a great social activity, we have good news for you. I shouldn’t say a great social activity – I actually meant to say a great solo, not social. Trout season will open ten days early tomorrow, Wednesday April 1st, for catch and release only. This is to help us to help you maintain safe social distance while fishing. We’ve released the state-raised trout early to disperse them before fishing season opens so that you can disperse, too as you move out to catch them, instead of everyone gathering around the hatchery on day one of Trout Season, which is traditional.

If you find others gathered at your favorite fishing hole, consider trying a new location this year. The fish have moved out and you should, too. And at a minimum, please spread out to at least the required six-foot social distance. Conveniently, this is the typical length of a fishing pole so it should be easy for you to measure. And for better fishing you’ll probably want more distance anyway. If someone gets too close to you, have a friendly conversation about that six-foot distance or find another spot.

So, please do feel free to go out there and get some exercise and enjoy yourselves, whether in a park or a forest or along a fishing stream. But please, please be responsible and remember that social distancing is absolutely essential to keeping you, your families and our communities safe, and to help us all flatten the curve of this serious viral outbreak. Thank you.”

Governor Phil Murphy:

“And the notion also, to be able to go outside and get some fresh air in a responsible way has to be a part of what our plan is about.”

“So, I just want to reiterate, whether it’s fishing on that six-foot pole, which I think is a great way to think about it, or outside walking, hiking, jogging, please, please, please keep your distance. Thank you. Again, it’s great having you and thank you for everything you do. And Sean, nice to have you with us as well.”


According to the NJ DEP, Division of Fish & Wildlife, The Wildlife Management Area System web page as currently posted as of 7/8/2020 it indicates that Assunpink: “Main Lake Boat Ramp” “Rising Sun Boat Ramp” “Stone Tavern Boat Ramp” “Shotgun and Archery Range” Prospertown Lake: “Main Lake Boat Ramp” Collier’s Mills: “Shotgun, Archery and Rifle Ranges”


The website does not indicate that the entire lake system would be shut down but signs and barricades as seen below indicate differently:

Entrances to Assunpink Lake, Stone Tavern Lake, Rising Sun and Prospertown Lake all closed as seen below, all lakes are labeled “Restricted Area” and closed:

Prospertown And Assunpink Boat Ramps “Restricted” Due To State Employee Furloughs

See list of other “restrictions” at Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state including range “restrictions” at Assunpink and Colliers Mills below:

SEE UPDATED STORY HERE: Assunpink, Stone Tavern, Rising Sun And Prospertown Lakes Shut Down, Not Just The Boat Ramps As “Restricted” Areas July 6 to 27, 2020

July 8, 2020

UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Due to temporary state-mandated employee furloughs, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish & Wildlife is temporarily restricting access to some Wildlife Management Areas throughout the month of July.

New Jersey State Government employee furloughs are underway for the month of July as a result of agreements reached between the State and public employee unions to address the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife manages the state’s Wildlife Management Areas, and is authorized to limit access to these areas in order to protect public health, safety, and the environment during this time pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:25-2.26.

For a list of Wildlife Management Areas affected by the temporary access restrictions, visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/wmas.htm

Due to state-mandated employee furloughs, access to the following Wildlife Management Areas is restricted through July 27:

WMA Specific Area
AssunpinkMain Lake Boat Ramp
AssunpinkRising Sun Boat Ramp
AssunpinkStone Tavern Boat Ramp
AssunpinkShotgun and Archery Range
Belvidere Boat LaunchBelvidere Boat Launch
Black RiverShotgun Range
Clarks PondBoat Ramp
ClintonShotgun Range
ClintonArchery Range
ClintonRifle Range
Colliers MillsMuzzleloader and Archery Ranges
Flatbrook Shotgun and Archery Ranges
GreenwoodParkers Pit
Ken Lockwood GorgeKen Lockwood Gorge
Higbee BeachThree (3) Primary Parking Areas
Jakes Landing (Dennis Creek)Boat Ramp
Makepeace LakeShooting Range
Malibu BeachMain Parking Lot
Malibu BeachSmall Triangle to North of Main Parking Lot
ManchesterJeffrey’s Branch Area
Menantico PondsBoat Ramp
Millville Shooting Range
Pequest Archery Range
Prospertown LakeMain Lake Boat Ramp
Rainbow LakeBoat Ramp
Rieglesville Boat LaunchRieglesville Boat Launch
Round Valley Boat Ramp
Salem RiverBoat Ramp
Shaws Mill PondBoat Ramp
Spicers CreekBoat Ramp
Stafford ForgeShotgun, Muzzleloader and Archery Ranges
TuckahoeArchery Range
TuckahoeImpoundements, Corbin City and Tuckahoe
Tuckahoe Boat Ramp
Union LakeBoat Ramp
White OakPonds
Wildcat RidgeSplit Rock Reservoir
Winslow EastPonds

NJ Board of Nursing Temporarily Suspends Certification of Homemaker-Home Health Aide Charged with Criminal Sexual Contact Against 84-Year-Old Patient in Jackson Twp Assisted Living Facility

Action Comes as Division Focuses on How Professional Boards Address Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Licensees

July 7, 2020

Filed Orders:

Edwards https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200622_26NH13812500.pdf

De Gonzalez https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200702_26NH17216200.pdf

De Fernandez  https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200615_26NH16790500.pdf

Llanes  https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200521_26NH10139400.pdf

Dornelus https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200521_26NH10179200.pdf

Protas https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200213_26NH10594800.pdf

Pade https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200213_26NH10164200.pdf

Dungee https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Actions/20200129_26NH16121200.pdf

NEWARK – Continuing its commitment to protecting the elderly from abuse at the hands of their caretakers, and addressing sexual misconduct and abuse by licensed professionals, the Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) today announced the temporary suspension of a certified homemaker-home health aide (“CHHA”) charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact against an 84-year-old patient at an Ocean County long-term care facility where the CHHA worked. 

Michael A. Edwards, a.k.a. Michael A. Donaldson, 32, of Manchester, was arrested on May 21 after his employer, Sunrise Senior Living facility in Jackson, told police that another employee caught Edwards inappropriately touching an elderly woman in her room at the facility. His employment at the facility has been terminated.

Edwards is one of eight CHHAs sanctioned by the State Board of Nursing (“the Board”) this year following arrests for crimes allegedly committed on or off the job. In a Consent Order filed by the Board on June 22, Edwards agreed to the temporary suspension pending the outcome of his criminal case.

His suspension comes as the Division, under the direction of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, undertakes a sweeping review of how its 51 professional boards  — which oversee approximately 720,000 active licensed professionals, from accountants and doctors to plumbers and veterinarians — address allegations involving the sexual misconduct and abuse of licensees and applicants.

The review, which is currently underway, will include evaluations of whether boards should ask additional questions on license applications, how boards approach investigations and discipline, and how boards engage with complainants alleging sexual misconduct and abuse by a licensee or applicant.

“It’s an egregious abuse of trust when any licensee sexually preys on a patient or client, but it is especially heinous when the victim is an elderly individual under their care,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The actions announced today underscore both the need for our professional boards to remain vigilant in protecting vulnerable patients, as well as the importance of the review they are presently undertaking to better protect victims and hold licensees accountable for their actions.”

 “We take all allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by licensees seriously, especially when they involve patients or clients in positions of vulnerability,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “It is to protect victims in cases like these that we are committed to undertaking this review of how professional and occupational licensing boards handle allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.”

Since January, the Board has also filed Orders against the following CHHAs charged with crimes:

  • Yolanda A. Penalo De Gonzalez, 40, of Hackensack. De Gonzalez’s certification was temporarily suspended on June 29 pending the outcome of criminal charges filed against her in connection with an alleged knife attack on her husband during a domestic dispute on March 14, 2020.  De Gonzalez is charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and domestic violence. The incident was unrelated to her employment.
  • Josefina Milagros Brito De Fernandez, 49, of Camden. De Fernandez’s certification was temporarily suspended on June 15 pending the outcome of criminal endangerment charges stemming from her care of an 80-year-old woman during the COVID-19 public health crisis, which the Office of the Attorney General announced on May 15. De Fernandez allegedly defied health officials’ orders to self-isolate over fears she may have contracted the coronavirus, and instead continued caring for her elderly charge without wearing a face mask or other personal protective equipment.  The woman and four other people living in the household later contracted COVID-19. The elderly woman was subsequently hospitalized and died.
  • Emma Llanes, 57, of North Bergen. Llanes’ certification was permanently revoked on May 21 after she pled guilty to endangering another person in connection with her mistreatment of a 90-year-old bedridden patient she cared for in the woman’s Clifton home. Llanes was arrested in May 2019 as a result of incriminating video showing her slapping the elderly woman’s legs, grabbing her by the neck and shoving her head forward, and otherwise mistreating her. The footage was captured by a hidden camera the victim’s family borrowed from Division’s Safe Care Cam program.
  • Myrlande Dornelus, 41, of Elizabeth.  Dornelus’ certification was temporarily suspended on May 21 pending the outcome of murder and related weapons charges in connection with an alleged incident involving an elderly patient. Dornelus is accused of fatally stabbing Anna Pollard, a 62-year old woman she was caring for in the woman’s Elizabeth home on April 13, 2020.
  • Oleg Protas, 53, of Marlton. Protas’ certification was permanently revoked on February 13, after he pled guilty to criminal sexual contact in connection with a 2017 incident involving a female acquaintance. Protas’ certification had been temporarily suspended by the Board pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. The incident was unrelated to his employment.
  • Adeola S. Pade, 53, of Plainsboro. Pade’s certification was temporarily suspended on February 13 pending the outcome of criminal charges stemming from a hit and run accident that killed a pedestrian in East Windsor in December 2019. Pade was charged with knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, and other related offenses. The incident was unrelated to her employment.
  • Elizabeth H. Dungee, 33, of Roselle.  Dungee’s certification was temporarily suspended on January 29 pending the outcome of criminal charges in connection with the theft of a patient’s credit card. Dungee was working at Brightview Senior Living in Warren in October 2019 when she allegedly stole a credit card from a resident and used it to make $240 worth of fraudulent charges. Warren Township police arrested Dungee on December 4, 2019 and charged her with credit card fraud and credit card theft in connection with the alleged incident.

Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted investigations in these cases.

Deputy Attorney General Shirley Dickstein of the Consumer Affairs Counseling Section of the Division of Law is representing the State in these matters.

For more information about the Division’s Safe Care Cam, or to learn how to apply for a camera, visit the Consumer Affairs website at https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/SCC.

Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 973-504-6200 to request a complaint form.

WANTED: Ricardo Cruickshank, 26 of Jackson For Narcotics And Other Charges

Narcotics Investigation

June 25, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On the morning of Thursday June 25, 2020, detectives assigned to the department’s Special Enforcement Unit concluded an investigation into the allegation of narcotics sales.

At approximately 5:00 am, a search warrant was executed at a Westlake Court residence and during the subsequent search, cocaine, marijuana, a marijuana plant and hydroponic growing materials; paraphernalia along with a .25 caliber handgun were seized. The subject of the investigation was not home at the time of the search.

Ricardo Cruickshank (pictured), age 26 of Jackson was charged on complaint warrants which were signed by the investigating detectives. He was charged with: possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while involved in controlled dangerous substance sales, certain persons not to possess a firearm and possession of a defaced firearm. He is currently entered as a New Jersey wanted person.

Anyone with information about Mr. Cruickshank’s whereabouts is asked to contact 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.

Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health Closes Doors For Good

June 24, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health will be permanently closing due to the COVID-19 restrictions on gyms.

Locations were: Jackson, Manahawkin, Northfield-Egg Harbor, Hazlet, Edgewater, Galloway, Brick and prior to COVID-19 was scheduled to also open in Atlantic City.

Below is a letter to members of the clubs:

https://www.tiltonfitness.com/

Dear Tilton Fitness Members,

I am writing to share some difficult news. Tilton Fitness Powered by Hackensack Meridian Health will be permanently closing its doors on July 1, 2020.

Unfortunately, like other fitness centers across the country, our facilities have been hit hard by the mandatory closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing us to make this difficult decision. I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your loyalty to the Tilton Fitness organization over the years and to our hard-working staff who worked tirelessly to support you on your health and wellness journey.

At Tilton Fitness, we have always prioritized our members and guests. We were committed to changing people’s lives by promoting total health and wellness and providing the best customer experience possible. Our seven fitness centers serving roughly 20,000 members represent a lifetime of effort and devotion. As you might imagine, this announcement is heartbreaking. You are as much of a part of our life as Tilton Fitness was part of yours. You have our deep and sincere appreciation.

Some of you may have questions regarding your membership. Please understand that it will take some time for us to respond to all inquiries. To the extent that you have any questions or concerns, we will be providing you the contact information of the individual who will be assigned to oversee the orderly dissolution in the next few days.

I have always believed we are more than a gym — we are a community. A community I deeply care for. A community I will sadly miss.

Sincerely,

Sam Young
President and CEO
Hackensack Meridian Fitness & Wellness

Jackson Township Man Charged With Murder

June 20, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Jackson Township Police Chief Matthew Kunz announced that Jshawn Cutler, 23, of Jackson, has been charged with Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), in connection with the death of Isaiah Renouf, also 23, of Jackson. Additionally, Cutler was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d, and Burglary in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2a(1).

On June 19, 2020, Jackson Township Police responded to a 911 call from a residence on Connor Boulevard in reference to an individual with a stab wound. Responding Officers found Isaiah Renouf on the floor of the residence with a large wound to his chest. Lifesaving measures were attempted at the scene; Mr. Renouf was then transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, where he succumbed to his injuries. A post-mortem examination by the Ocean County Medical Examiner determined the cause of Mr. Renouf’s death to be a stab wound to the chest, and the manner of death to be a homicide. A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Jackson Township Police Department and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Mr. Renouf and Jshawn Cutler had an altercation at the Connor Boulevard residence, where Cutler stabbed Mr. Renouf – causing his death. Cutler was later apprehended during a motor vehicle stop by the Lakewood Township Police Department. He is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Kunz would like to acknowledge the cooperative assistance of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Jackson Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department, Pemberton Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this very thorough investigation. “Outstanding teamwork was exhibited today by all the law enforcement officers and agencies involved in this investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “This horrendous crime was solved so swiftly thanks to the hard work and determination of these fine men and women in blue. Through their efforts, a very dangerous person has been removed from the streets of Ocean County. Now, our focus is to ensure that justice is done for Mr. Renouf,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

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.

Jackson Police Identify Homicide Victim

June 19, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Jackson Township Police Chief Matthew Kunz announced that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Jackson Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit are currently investigating a homicide that occurred overnight in Jackson Township. Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Kunz want to emphasize that there is no immediate danger to the public.

The victim has been identified as Isaiah Renouf, 23, of Jackson Township. This investigation is ongoing and more information will be released as it becomes available

Lawrenceville Man Charged with CDS Distribution

May 26, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (0CEAN)–On Friday May 22nd at 1926 hours, detectives were concluding an investigation into suspected narcotics activity and conducted a stop with a 1997 Nissan and the 53 year old male driver at the WaWa located on North County Line Road. The investigation resulted in the search of the vehicle and recovery of 2 bricks of heroin, several grams of crack cocaine and a quantity of marijuana.

The driver, who was identified as Eric Veale of Lawrenceville, NJ was charged with: possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle. He was processed and released on summons pending a court appearance. The vehicle was seized and is pending forfeiture.

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.

Jackson Township Police Press Release https://www.facebook.com/Jackson-Police-Department-259431950745755/

Justice Department Sues Jackson Township Over Restrictions On Religous Schools And Housing That Target Orthodox Jewish Community

May 20, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP (OCEAN) AND NEWARK, NJ – The Justice Department today announced that it filed a lawsuit against Jackson Township, New Jersey, and the township planning board alleging they implemented zoning ordinances that intentionally restrict the operation of religious schools and housing associated with such schools, including religious boarding schools known as yeshivas, required by the Orthodox Jewish community.

The complaint alleges that the township passed two ordinances, and the planning board applied those ordinances in a manner that discriminated against the Orthodox Jewish community, in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Both ordinances expressly prohibit dormitories throughout Jackson, making it impossible for religious boarding schools such as Orthodox Jewish yeshivas to establish there. Although Jackson passed these ordinances to prevent dormitories anywhere in Jackson, the planning board has since approved, without requiring a variance, the plans for two nonreligious projects with dormitory-type housing.

“Religious discrimination has no place in our society and runs counter to the founding principles of our nation,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. “No religious community should ever face unlawful barriers or be singled out for inferior treatment. This complaint reflects our continued commitment to combat discrimination and unequal treatment.”

“Using zoning laws to target Orthodox Jewish individuals for intentional discrimination and exclude them from a community is illegal and utterly incompatible with this Nation’s values,” Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said. “Let me be clear. The Department of Justice will use the full force of its authority to stop such anti-Semitic conduct and prevent its recurrence.”

The complaint also alleges that the township and planning board enacted the ordinances with respect to religious dormitories against a backdrop of extreme animus by Jackson residents and township decision makers toward the Orthodox Jewish community and a movement by residents to keep Orthodox Jewish community members from settling in Jackson. The complaint alleges that the township and planning board’s actions towards the Orthodox Jewish community violate RLUIPA’s non-discrimination and equal terms provisions, as well as the FHA.

RLUIPA is a federal law that protects religious institutions from unduly burdensome or discriminatory land use regulations. In June 2018, the Justice Department announced its Place to Worship Initiative, which focuses on RLUIPA’s provisions that protect the rights of houses of worship and other religious institutions to worship on their land. More information is available at www.justice.gov/crt/placetoworship

In July 2018, the Department of Justice announced the formation of the Religious Liberty Task Force. The Task Force brings together department components to coordinate their work on religious liberty litigation and policy, and to implement the Attorney General’s 2017 Religious Liberty Guidance.

Individuals who believe they have been subjected to discrimination in land use or zoning decisions may contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Hotline at (855) 281-3339 or the Civil Rights Division Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at (800) 896-7743, or through the U.S. Attorney’s civil rights complaint portal or the complaint portal on the Place to Worship Initiative website. Information about RLUIPA, including questions and answers about the law and other documents, may be found at http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/hce/rluipaexplain.php

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Horan Florio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Unit, and Trial Attorney Beth Frank, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section.

20-144

Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure to Open May 30, 2020

Park Will Implement Advance Reservations and New Safety Procedures

May 20, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (0CEAN)–Six Flags Great Adventure announced today that its Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure will open May 30 and operate daily from 9 am to 4 pm, weather permitting. Advance tickets and reservations are required, and the experience will incorporate new safety procedures for both guests and team members. Active Members, Season Pass holders and employees can catch a special preview May 29.

Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure will take guests on a self-guided journey through 1,200 exotic animals from six continents. From the safety and privacy of their own vehicles, guests will slowly wind through 11 simulated natural habitats seeing animals such as giraffes, elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, bears and baboons. While most animals roam freely in the safari, predators are safely kept behind fences. All animals are clearly visible from car windows. Guests can learn all about the animals and their habitats on the park’s website at www.sixflags.com/safari

The safety of guests, team members and animals is Six Flags’ top priority. The new safari journey will offer a contact-free experience. All safari tickets must be purchased online and in advance. Ticket sales will not be available at the gate. To prevent overcrowding and provide proper social distancing, the safari will require all guests to make advance reservations using Six Flags’ new online reservation system. Active Members, Season Pass Holders, and single-day ticket holders can make reservations beginning May 27 at 10 am EST at www.sixflags.com/reserve. Guests without advance reservations will not be allowed to enter.

A new list of safety requirements is available on the park’s website at www.sixflags.com/greatadventure and include keeping all windows, doors, and convertible tops closed; not feeding or touching the animals; no smoking, littering, or stopping; cars, SUVs and consumer pickup trucks with empty beds only – no buses, campers, RVs, commercial vehicles or trucks larger than a consumer pickup truck; maximum speed of 5 mph and maintaining safe distance between other cars and animals. All vehicles will be inspected prior to entering the safari, rules will be enforced throughout the journey by park staff, and anyone who violates the rules will be ejected from the park without a refund and possibly prosecuted.

As a safety precaution, all Six Flags employees will be temperature and health screened each day, and wear masks and gloves where appropriate. Per current state regulations, no additional services will be available. Six Flags encourages guests to plan accordingly for restroom breaks, gasoline, and food. Only portable toilets will be available upon entrance and exit. 

Six Flags Great Adventure’s safari operated as a self-drive-through experience from 1974 through 2012 and entertained more than 10 million guests. Since 2013, Great Adventure has offered guided truck tours of the safari. Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure will operate until the theme park is able to reopen. Per state, local, and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19, the theme park and waterpark will remain closed until further notice.

Lakewood Man Charged With Terroristic Threats And Other Charges At Dollar General In Jackson

May 20, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–On Monday May 18, 2020 at 6:22 pm, Police Officers Matthew Jamison, Ryan Gladysz and Jody Benecke responded to the Dollar General located in Manhattan Street Plaza on the report of a disorderly person. It was reported that there was a male inside the store who had removed a face mask he had been wearing and then was refusing store employee’s requests to put it back on while he was also purposely touching other customers inside the store.

Officers located the male inside the store and had him go outside to speak with him. As they attempted to obtain his name, he refused multiple times to provide them with the information, claiming he did not have to and was from another state and did not have identification on him. When advised he was detained and needed to provide identification, he turned around and placed his hands behind his back and told the officers to arrest him. He was told he was under arrest and as the officers went to handcuff him, he pulled away and ran from the officers. He was caught after a short foot pursuit and then a struggle ensued as he refused to allow the officers to place handcuffs on him. After gaining control of his hands, the officers were able to handcuff him and a search then revealed his New Jersey driver’s license which identified the male.

The male then refused to cooperate with officers to be seated inside the patrol vehicle for transport to headquarters as he struggled with their attempts to seat him inside the vehicle and seatbelt him. He was then able to maneuver his hands from behind his body and get them to the front while seated.

While being processed at headquarters, the male continued to yell profanities at the officers while also threatening to assault them. During this time, he then spit directly into Officer Jamison’s face and claimed that he had the Coronavirus. The male was secured in a holding cell and it was soon observed that he placed the mattress from the cot over the camera to obstruct the view, and then began to use the toilet to flood the cell as water was observed coming from under the door. He was then secured in another room where he continued to yell obscenities at the officers, spit all over the room and cough at officers as they attempted to continue to process him while claiming to have the Coronavirus. For unknown reasons, he then disrobed and took his clothes off and sat in the room naked.

Arrested:

Marquise Cadet, age 26 of Lakewood, NJ. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted and approved the following charges: obstruction, resisting arrest, hindering apprehension, 4th degree aggravated assault (throwing bodily fluids at law enforcement officers while in performance of their duties) and 2nd degree terroristic threats (made during a state of emergency).

As officers from the oncoming patrol shift prepared to transport Mr. Cadet to the Ocean County Jail, it was discovered that he was able to free himself from the transport belt in the rear of the patrol vehicle. This required the officers to have to remove him from the vehicle, where he again refused to comply and struggled with them, and re-secure him for the transport to the jail, where he was eventually lodged. Mr. Cadet’s actions also required an immediate cleaning and disinfecting of the cell block area where he was processed.

– 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.

Ewing Man Charged With CDS With Intent To Distribute In Jackson

May 20, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday May 19, 2020, Police Officer Stephen Cilento was on patrol on Cassville Road when he observed motor vehicle violations regarding a 2011 Hyundai being operated on the roadway. As he followed the vehicle, a lookup of the vehicle license plate indicated that the vehicle registration and registered owner’s driver’s license were both suspended. He then conducted a motor vehicle stop with the vehicle.

As the officer approached the vehicle, he detected the odor of marijuana coming from the interior and observed two small children in the rear seat, one of which was not properly secured in a child’s car seat. While speaking with the occupants, it was determined that the male owner of the vehicle was in the passenger seat and a female was operating the vehicle.

Other officers arrived on scene and a search was conducted of the vehicle which resulted in the seizure of paraphernalia and several baggies of marijuana. A bag which had been in the male passenger’s possession was found to contain a large quantity of small bags of marijuana which appeared to be packaged for sale along with a quantity of baggies of cocaine which were also packaged for sale.

The male passenger was placed under arrest at this time and the female driver was issued motor vehicle summonses for: obstructed view, failure to wear a seatbelt, driving with a suspended registration, failure to use proper child restraint, possession of a controlled dangerous substance while operating a motor vehicle and failure to exhibit a valid driver’s license. The vehicle was impounded and she was released at the scene with the children after she was able to arrange for someone to pick her up. DCPP was later contacted to follow up with this incident.

The male was transported to police headquarters where he was processed.

Arrested: Andrew Angus, age 35 of Ewing, NJ. He was charged on a summons complaint with: possession of marijuana (greater than 50 grams), possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was then released pending a court appearance.

– 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.