Category: Lakewood

Uncle And Nephew Admit To Slaying In Howell Township

Omar Rivera-Rojas a.k.a. Juan Carlos Rivera-Rojas, 32, of Lakewood, along with his nephew, Alberto Rojas-Hernandez, 20, also of Lakewood, both pled guilty to first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter charges. 

September 26, 2022

FREEHOLD – Omar Rivera-Rojas (also known as Juan Carlos Rivera-Rojas), and his nephew Alberto Rojas-Hernandez, pleaded guilty to first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter charges stemming from a 2019 slaying in Howell Township, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Sunday.  

On Friday September 23, 2022, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. LeMieux, Omar Rivera-Rojas a.k.a. Juan Carlos Rivera-Rojas, 32, of Lakewood, along with his nephew, Alberto Rojas-Hernandez, 20, also of Lakewood, both pled guilty to first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter charges. At the time of sentencing the State will recommend 22 years in a New Jersey State Prison for Rivera-Rojas. The sentence will be subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA) with an 85% period of parole ineligibility. At the time of sentencing for Rojas-Hernandez, the State will recommend 20 years in a New Jersey State Prison. The sentence will also be subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA) with 85% period of parole ineligibility.  

The Howell Township Police Department responded to a 911 call at about 3:46 a.m. on October 18, 2019, reporting an unconscious male laying in Hurley Pond Road just east of Route 547.  Upon arrival, a male was located lying face down in the roadway.  The incident was initially investigated as a fatal hit and run motor vehicle incident.  However, upon the arrival of SCART investigators it was quickly determined that his death was not the result of a hit and run event.

The man, identified as Domingo Merino-Rafael, 33, also of Lakewood, was unresponsive and obviously deceased. MONOC personnel responded and the victim was pronounced deceased at 4:12 a.m. by doctors at Newark Beth Israel Hospital. Rafael was taken to the Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office where a post-mortem examination performed by Medical Examiner Allison Mautone, M.D. and the staff of the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was a Homicide.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Howell Township Police Department determined Rivera-Rojas, Rojas-Hernandez, and Merino-Rafael traveled from Lakewood to Middlesex County on the evening of October 17, 2019.  The men were returning to Lakewood in the early morning hours of October 18, 2019, when the trio got into an argument that culminated with the uncle and nephew killing Merino-Rafael. During their factual basis both men admitted that they each struck the victim in the back of the head with a machete.  The cause of death was multiple chop wounds to the head. 

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Howell Township Police Department also credited the Lakewood Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance during the investigation.

Sentencing for both Rivera-Rojas and Rojas-Hernandez is scheduled for March 3, 2023, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. LeMieux.

The case is being handled by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Stephanie Dugan and Tara Wilson.

Rojas-Hernandez is represented by Joseph Champagne, Esq. of Toms River, New Jersey.

Rivera-Rojas is represented by Carlos Diaz-Cobo, Esq. of New Brunswick, New Jersey.


Police Seek Blue Pick-up Truck In Lakewood Fatal Hit And Run Crash

September 2, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Lakewood Township Chief of Police Gregory Meyer are seeking the public’s assistance with a fatal hit and run involving a pick-up truck and a bicyclist that occurred at approximately 8:12 pm on Thursday, September 1st, 2022, at the intersection of Route 70 and New Hampshire Ave. in Lakewood Township.

“We are seeking assistance in locating  a full size, four door ‘Pepsi Blue’ pick-up truck with possible front, driver’s side headlamp damage.  The vehicle was last seen traveling west on Route 70 toward Manchester Township and is believed to be involved the fatal hit and run of a Hispanic male that was riding his bicycle westbound on Route 70 on the south shoulder of the roadway.   Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the vehicle and/or its operator is asked to please contact Detective Andrew Harnett of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office- Vehicular Homicide Unit at 732-929-2027, ext. 3790, or Lakewood Township Police Lieutenant Leroy Marshall at 732-363-0200, ext. 5349,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

“This is obviously an ongoing and active investigation and any assistance from anyone that may have witnessed this incident or has seen this vehicle would be greatly appreciated,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.


Lakewood Man Arrested For Child Pornography And Failure To Register As A Sex Offender

August 9, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 8, 2022, Matthew Robles, 31, of Lakewood was charged with two counts of Distribution of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i), as well as Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Robles had previously been charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2d(1), on August 5, 2022.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit revealed that Robles – a Megan’s Law Registrant under the supervision of the New Jersey Division of Parole- has been employed at a local business establishment in Brick Township without registering or notifying any law enforcement agencies. Since 1994, Megan’s Law requires certain offenders to register with their local police departments whenever they move and/or change their residential address or place of employment.

On July 26, 2022, Officers from the Division of Parole conducted a home visit and discovered images of child pornography on Robles’ cellular phone. Robles was taken into custody and transported to the Ocean County Jail for various violations of his parole. All of Robles’ electronic devices were seized by law enforcement for forensic examination purposes.

On July 28, 2022, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit executed a court authorized search warrant on Robles’ electronic devices. As a result, Detectives discovered that Robles had been uploading and sharing images of child pornography on the internet by way of the WhatsApp Application. On August 5, 2022, Robles was served with a complaint initially charging him with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender at the Ocean County Jail. On August 8, 2022, Robles was served with the previously referenced complaints in connection with the child pornography charges. He remains lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Anyone with relevant information regarding this case or other persons violating Megan’s Law requirements should contact Sergeant John Argento of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 929 2027, extension 2903. The information may be provided anonymously. For further information, please visit the State Police Sex Offender Internet Registry at http://www.njsp.org/sex-offender-registry/index.shtml

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, New Jersey Division of Parole, and Lakewood Township Police Department, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Robles’ arrest and appropriate charges.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).



Fatal Lakewood Crash Under Investigation

July 25, 2022

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 22, 2022, at approximately 8:20 p.m., the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to the area of South Lake Drive and East Lake Park Drive for a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Lakewood Township Police Department determined that a 2018 Chevrolet Impala operated by Mordechai Berkowitz, 20, of Lakewood, was headed eastbound on South Lake Drive when he crossed over the double yellow and collided head-on with a 2017 Toyota Rav4, operated by Maria Flores-Moreno, 35, of Jackson, and occupied by front-seat passenger, Juana Lopez-Hernandez, 44, a citizen of Mexico.

Mr. Berkowitz was transported to Jersey Shore University Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.  Ms. Flores-Moreno was transported to Jersey Shore University Hospital in Neptune and is presently listed in stable condition.  Ms. Lopez-Hernandez was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood where she was pronounced deceased.

The crash remains under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Lakewood Township Police Department, Brick Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit.


Lakewood Man Charged With Narcotics Distibution, Weapons Offences And Aggravated Assault On A Law Enforcement Officer

June 15, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force collaborated with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas-Monmouth/Ocean Post of Duty (HIDTA/MOPOD) Group 5, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Unit, and Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics in Ocean County.  This cooperative, multi-agency investigation identified a residence in Lakewood as being used by Shamar Kerr, 32, of Lakewood, to store and distribute heroin/fentanyl, and cocaine.

On June 8, 2022, Detectives from the aforementioned law enforcement agencies established surveillance on the subject residence as well as Kerr’s place of employment in Lakewood.  Kerr was observed by Detectives meeting with an individual later identified as Anthony Connors, 36, of South Toms River, outside of his place of employment; Kerr was then observed to be leaving his place of employment on foot.  Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department approached Kerr to place him under arrest, at which time Kerr fled on foot.  Kerr was ultimately apprehended and placed under arrest.  Upon arrest, Kerr was found to be in possession of 900 wax folds of heroin/fentanyl.

Connors was detained and taken into custody.  He was charged with Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) and Wandering in a Public Place to Obtain or Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1b.  Connors was served with the charges via summons pending an upcoming first appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.

A court authorized search warrant was executed on Kerr’s Lakewood residence.  As a result, Detectives seized approximately 40 grams of crack cocaine, a loaded 40 caliber handgun, and approximately $44,300.00 in United States currency. 

Kerr was charged with Distribution of less than One-Half Ounce of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Heroin with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2);  Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Crack Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, specifically a handgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(1); Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, specifically a knife, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d; Possession of a Weapon During a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1; Certain Person Not to Possess a Firearm in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b(1); Possession of a Prohibited Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3e; Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(b); Resisting Arrest in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(3)(a); and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25a.  Kerr is presently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, United States Drug Enforcement Administration – HIDTA/MOPOD Group 5, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Unit, and Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation.

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

R.P.C.  3.6(b)(6).



Egg Harbor Man Sentenced To NJ State Prison For Aggravated Arson

June 3, 2022

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced on June 3, 2022, that Jamal Preston, 27, of Egg Harbor Township, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to seven years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Arson – by purposely or knowingly placing another in danger of death or bodily injury – in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(1). This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Preston will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Judge Ryan also sentenced Preston to seven years NJSP in connection with a previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Arson – with purpose to destroy the building or structure of another – in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(2), these charges arose out of an incident that occurred in Lakewood Township on August 22, 2020. Finally Judge Ryan sentenced Preston to eighteen months NJSP in connection to a previously entered guilty plea to an unrelated charge of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d, in connection with an incident that occurred two days earlier in Berkeley Township on August 20, 2020. The sentences will run concurrently. Preston pled guilty to all charges before Judge Ryan on January 13, 2022.

On August 22, 2020, Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to a report of a fire at a residence in Lakewood. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, and New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s K-9 Unit, determined that the fire had been intentionally set utilizing an ignitable liquid and an open flame. Further investigation determined that Preston intentionally set the fire while the residence was occupied by three individuals. Preston fled the scene, but was arrested at a motel in Absecon by the United States Marshals Service on August 31, 2020. He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his apprehension.

On August 20, 2020, Preston was involved in an altercation with another individual in the Manitou Park section of Berkeley Township. When Officers from the Berkeley Township Police Department responded to the scene, Preston was found to be in possession of a knife. He was taken into custody, charged on a summons, and released pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill who is handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s K-9 Unit, United States Marshals Service, Egg Harbor Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Berkeley Township Police Department, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and South Toms River Police Department, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Preston’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and now his state prison sentence.



Jamal Preston, 27, of Egg Harbor Township, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to seven years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Arson – by purposely or knowingly placing another in danger of death or bodily injury – in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(1). This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Preston will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Judge Ryan also sentenced Preston to seven years NJSP in connection with a previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Arson – with purpose to destroy the building or structure of another – in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(2), these charges arose out of an incident that occurred in Lakewood Township on August 22, 2020. Finally Judge Ryan sentenced Preston to eighteen months NJSP in connection to a previously entered guilty plea to an unrelated charge of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d, in connection with an incident that occurred two days earlier in Berkeley Township on August 20, 2020. The sentences will run concurrently. Preston pled guilty to all charges before Judge Ryan on January 13, 2022.


Manchester Man Charged with Federal Hate Crimes for a Series of Violent Assaults on Members of the Orthodox Jewish Community in and Around Lakewood

April 20, 2022

TRENTON, N.J. – An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was charged with federal hate crimes for a series of violent assaults on members of the Orthodox Jewish community in and around Lakewood, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger for the District of New Jersey and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division announced today.

Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester, New Jersey, is charged with four counts of violating the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of carjacking. With respect to the hate crimes violations, Marsh is charged with willfully causing bodily injury to four victims, and attempting to kill and cause injuries with dangerous weapons to three of them, all because they were Jewish. Marsh is in custody on related state charges and will make his initial appearance on the federal charges on a date to be determined.

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

At 1:18 p.m. on April 8, 2022, Marsh forced a visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man out of his car in Lakewood, assaulting and injuring him in the process. Marsh took control of the man’s car and drove away. A surveillance video in the area captured Marsh arriving in the area prior to the carjacking and assault.

At 6:06 p.m., Marsh was in Lakewood driving a different car when he deliberately struck another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man with the vehicle, attempting to kill the victim and causing him to suffer several broken bones.

At 6:55 p.m., Marsh, once again driving the vehicle that he had stolen from the first victim, attempted to kill another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man. Marsh used the stolen vehicle to deliberately strike the man, who was walking in Lakewood. Marsh got out of the vehicle and stabbed the man in the chest with a knife, causing the victim to suffer a stab wound and other injuries.

At 8:23 p.m., Marsh, still driving the vehicle that he had stolen from the first victim, used it to deliberately strike another visibly identifiable Orthodox Jewish man who was walking in nearby Jackson Township, New Jersey, attempting to kill the man and causing him to suffer several broken bones and internal injuries.

At 12:00 a.m. on April 9, 2022, law enforcement officers arrested Marsh at his residence.

The three hate crimes violations charging Marsh with attempting to kill those victims each carry a statutory maximum term of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The hate crime violation charging Marsh with assaulting the other victim carries a statutory maximum term of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The carjacking charge carries a statutory maximum term of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; officers of the Lakewood Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Gregory H. Meyer; officers of the Jackson Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Matthew Kunz; officers of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy; prosecutors and detectives of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, and officers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Joseph Gribko of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Rights Division.

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

22-148


Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester, New Jersey, is charged with four counts of violating the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of carjacking. With respect to the hate crimes violations, Marsh is charged with willfully causing bodily injury to four victims, and attempting to kill and cause injuries with dangerous weapons to three of them, all because they were Jewish.



2nd Alarm in Lakewood Extinguished

April 16, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Last night April 15, 2022, around 11:20 p.m. The Lakewood Fire Department was detailed to the 200 Block of Lincoln Street for a house fire. Lakewood Engine 5 arrived and called for a general alarm. E-5 reported heavy fire out the C-D first-floor windows extending towards the roof. Fire crews made a push inside with 1 3/4″ attack lines and knocked bulking of the fire on the first and second floors. Fire quickly spread to the roof area; fire crews tried pulling ceilings to get to the fire but discovered the fire was inaccessible. Fire crews then switched to a defensive position with master streams to knock the fire down in the roof area. After the roof was extinguished fire crews went back in and hit hot spots. Crews remained on scene for an extensive time for overhaul and an investigation.

Mutual aid responding stations: Station 21 Breton Woods Fire Company (Brick Twp), Station 22 Pioneer Hose Company (Brick Twp), Station 24 Herbertsville Fire Company (Brick Twp), Station 55 Jackson Twp Fire Company #1, Station 57 Whitesville Fire Company (Jackson Twp), Station 30 Pleasant Plains Fire Company (Toms River Twp), Station 75 Point Pleasant Boro Fire Department.

No further information is available at this time.


Photos and video by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response



Manchester Man Charged with Attempted Murder, Carjacking, Bias Intimidation, Possession of a Weapon in Lakewood

Updated with statement from Governor Murphy

April 9, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Lakewood Township Police Chief Gregory Meyer announced that on April 8, 2022, Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester Township, was charged with three counts of Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1); Carjacking in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2a(1); Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d; and three counts of Bias Intimidation in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1a(1), all in connection with a series of incidents that occurred in Lakewood Township and Jackson Township on April 8, 2022.

On April 8, 2022, at approximately 1:15 p.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Martin Luther King Drive and Pine Street for a report of carjacking. Responding Officers determined that a male suspect approached a 2016 Toyota Camry, assaulted the driver, and fled the area in the vehicle.
At approximately 6:00 p.m., Lakewood Township Police received a report of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle in the area of Central Avenue and Carlton Avenue. Responding Officers discovered that a male victim had been struck by a dark colored vehicle. The victim was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where he is listed in stable condition.

At approximately 6:55 p.m., Lakewood Township Police Officers responded to a 911 call in reference to a stabbing in the vicinity of Pine Circle Drive and Lakewood New Egypt Road. The Officers discovered a male victim with a stab wound to his chest. The victim was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he is listed in critical but stable condition.

At approximately 8:20 p.m., Officers from the Jackson Township Police Department responded to a 911 call for a report of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle in the area of Galassi Court. Responding Officers were able to determine that the male victim had been struck by the same vehicle that was taken in the carjacking incident in Lakewood earlier in the day. The victim was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he is listed in critical but stable condition.

An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Lakewood Township Police Department revealed that Marsh was responsible for all of these criminal acts. On April 8, 2022, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Manchester Township Police Department arrested Marsh at his residence in Manchester Township without incident. Marsh is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Meyer commend the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Jackson Township Police Department, Manchester Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, New Jersey State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshals Service, and New Jersey Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness for their collective efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Marsh’s swift apprehension.
“Our investigation reveals that these criminal acts were committed throughout the day yesterday into the early evening and that Marsh was acting alone and not in concert with anyone else. I’m grateful for the collaborative efforts of every police officer and detective that worked swiftly to identify Marsh and bring him into custody without further injury to anyone. A tremendous job by all involved,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


Statement from Governor Murphy on Yesterday’s Series of Criminal Acts in Lakewood

“I applaud the efforts of law enforcement in Lakewood and Ocean County for swiftly apprehending the individual believed to have committed a series of serious criminal acts last night, including multiple violent offenses. Tammy and I pray for the full recovery of all victims. The safety of our communities, and notably our communities of faith, is not only a paramount concern but among my highest priorities. We will continue to partner with all who share this commitment so no resident ever needs to live in fear.”


Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester Township, was charged with three counts of Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1); Carjacking in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2a(1); Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d; and three counts of Bias Intimidation in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1a(1), all in connection with a series of incidents that occurred in Lakewood Township and Jackson Township on April 8, 2022.


State Police Charge Duo for Placing Illegal Gambling Machines Across the State

Detectives Believe Machines Generated more than $10,000 a Month

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to assist with investigating the placement of illegal “coin pusher” gambling devices at various convenient stores in Lakewood, N.J.

February 11, 2022

Wallington, N.J.- The New Jersey State Police have arrested Daniel Kohan, 31, and Yuriy Yakubov, 34, both of Brooklyn, N.Y. for allegedly setting up illegal gambling machines at various locations across the state that were believed to be generating more than $10,000 a month.

In October 2021, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Financial Crimes North Unit were contacted by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to assist with investigating the placement of illegal “coin pusher” gambling devices at various convenient stores in Lakewood, N.J. A “coin pusher” is a boardwalk style game with coins and other prizes in it. It is only approved for certain venues including arcades and boardwalks. When used properly, it will dispense tickets or tokens to the winner.

Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Kohan and Yakubov placed these machines at various locations throughout New Jersey, and Kohan was collecting the proceeds. On February 1, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Financial Crimes North Unit obtained information that Yakubov was in the Bergen County area and arrested him after they observed him servicing a gambling device at a convenience store in Wallington, N.J. A short time later, Kohan turned himself in to troopers at State Police Meadowlands Station and was arrested.

Daniel Kohan and Yuriy Yakubov were charged with possession of a gambling device. Kohan was also charged with money laundering and promoting gambling. They were released pending a future court date.

Anyone with information on illegal “coin pusher” gambling devices may contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 973-504-6200. Anonymous tips are welcome.

This case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

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


Lakewood Man Sentenced to Sixteen Years in NJ State Prison for Aggravated Manslaughter

February 11, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 11, 2022, Darneil Reeves, 38, of Lakewood, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to sixteen years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1), in connection with the stabbing death of Hassan Parker in Lakewood Township on June 22, 2015. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Reeves will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Reeves pled guilty to the charge before Judge Ryan on December 22, 2021.

On June 22, 2015, Lakewood Township Police Officers, who were working an off-duty road detail, witnessed a motor vehicle crash into a telephone pole at the intersection of John Street and River Avenue in Lakewood. As Officers approached the vehicle, Hassan Parker, 32, of South Toms River, exited the vehicle, indicated that he had been stabbed, and collapsed. Shortly thereafter, paramedics arrived on scene; once in the ambulance, Mr. Parker expressed that Reeves was the individual who stabbed him. Mr. Parker was transported to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, determined that Reeves stabbed Mr. Parker in the chest in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Center Street. Mr. Parker then drove away and crashed into the telephone pole.

On June 30, 2015, Reeves surrendered to the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force with his attorney, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligent efforts of Executive Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Armstrong and Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lakewood Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, resulting in Reeves’ apprehension, guilty plea, and lengthy state prison sentence.


Alleged Arsonist Charged with 25 Counts of Aggravated Arson; Set Fires in Lakewood, Little Egg Harbor and Manchester

February 2, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 31, 2022, Gregory Fullman, Jr., 32, of Manchester Township, was charged with twenty-five counts of Aggravated Arson in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1a(5), in connection with multiple fires that occurred in the Townships of Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, and Lakewood – between May 2021 and January 2022.

On January 31, 2022, a multi-jurisdictional investigation into numerous forest fires intentionally set in Ocean County culminated with Fullman’s arrest. The investigation revealed that Fullman was responsible for setting fires and destroying or damaging wooded areas in Little Egg Harbor Township on May 16, 2021 and December 8, 2021, Manchester Township on December 1, 2021 and December 16, 2021, and Lakewood Township on December 1, 2021 and January 21, 2022. Fullman was taken into custody on January 31, 2022, and is presently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

“I extend my sincere appreciation to the many law enforcement agencies that were involved in this very thorough and wide-ranging investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The resolve and determination exhibited by these professionals over the last eight months has resulted in this arrest. I am thankful for their hard work, and grateful that no one was hurt or killed as a result of these fires,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Manchester Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Field Services Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, Ocean County Vehicle Services Department, New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, Wall Township Police Department, and City of Bridgeton Fire Department Bureau of Fire Prevention K-9 Unit, for their collective and collaborative efforts relative to this extensive investigation.

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

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




Update: Toms River Man Charged with Two Counts of Murder

December 19, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on December 19, 2021, Tyshaun Drummond, 39, of Toms River, was charged with two counts of Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a (1), in connection with the deaths of Nicholas Hardy, 36, of Toms River, and Sergio Chavez-Perez, 32, of Lakewood, in the early morning hours of December 19, 2021, in Lakewood Township. Drummond was also charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a (1), Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b (1), and Burglary in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2b (1).

On December 19, 2021, at approximately 7:20 a.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department were summoned to an apartment complex on River Avenue for a report of shots having been fired. Police Dispatch was able to supply the Officers with a description of the suspect who fired the shots. Responding Officers located an individual matching the description – later identified as Drummond – in front of the apartment complex. Officers ordered Drummond to lay on the ground; when Drummond refused to comply, he was subdued by way of a department-issued Conducted Energy Device (CED).

Upon entering the apartment building, Officers discovered the deceased bodies of Nicholas Hardy and Sergio Chavez-Perez; both men were observed to have been shot in the head. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, identified Drummond as the individual responsible for the victims’ deaths.

Drummond is currently in custody at a nearby hospital. Prosecutor Billhimer wishes to stress that this remains an active and ongoing investigation.

“The deaths of these two men are senseless and tragic. The responding Lakewood Township Police Officers should be commended for their bravery and their use of less than lethal force in taking Drummond into custody. They prevented a bad situation from getting worse,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of all of the men and women from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their cooperative efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Drummond’s swift apprehension.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6). 




Double Homicide Being Investigated in Lakewood

December 19, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit are currently investigating what appears to be a double homicide that occurred earlier this morning in Lakewood Township.

“We have a suspect in custody and there is no immediate danger to the public at this time,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

“This is an active investigation and more details will be released when they become available,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.


2-Alarm Fire in Lakewood, NJ

December 5, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 1:18 p.m. yesterday December 4, 2021 Lakewood Fire Department responded to a fire that grew to 2-Alarms at 1618 Monmouth Avenue.

See report from Jersey Shore Fire Response Below:

Around 1:18pm Lakewood dispatch received a call for a reported structure fire with pets trapped and flames-smoke showing from the first floor. It was reported that someone was trying to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. Ladder 5 was first due, and E-5 reported that they saw the column in the air on the way to the scene and called for a general alarm. Chief 2 showed up just after L-5 & E-5. They were met with heavy fire from the first floor and started an attack plan while hooking to the nearest hydrant in front of the fire building. Soon Chief 2 called for a 2nd Alarm and the fire started to grow. About 15 mins later they had fire from the 1st & 2nd floor and through the roof. Mutual aid was called to the scene and the was knocked down about 30 mins later. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Stations responding to the scene – All Lakewood Stations Station 21 Station 23 & 24 Stations 27,29,30 Station 75 Stations 42 Howell Township for a ladder.



Reports of Shots Fired in Lakewood

December 4, 2021

Photos and story by: Yossi Brander

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Lakewood Police responded to a shooting sometime around 11:00 p.m. near Yeshiva Tiferes Torah, 873 Vine Avenue. Police were seen looking for casings and it was unclear if anyone was hit by the gunfire. One person was transported to the hospital by EMS after reporting being hit in head with bottle. Police are looking for 6 Hispanics that fled in an older model dark grey expedition with left taillight out. There were reports of multiple shots fired from the vehicle. No further information is available at this time.

Update: State Police Seeking Public’s Assistance with Fatal Crash Investigation

November 22, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–The New Jersey State Police is seeking the public’s assistance with a fatal motor vehicle crash investigation that occurred on the Garden State Parkway on November 20. At approximately 10:17 p.m., Holmdel Station troopers responded to a single vehicle crash on the Garden State Parkway southbound entrance ramp 89A from State Highway 70 in Lakewood Township, Ocean County. Based on the preliminary investigation, the driver of a silver Volkswagen Passat lost control of his vehicle and overturned near the ramp. As a result of the crash, a 9-year-old male passenger was ejected and sustained fatal injuries. The driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or the events leading up to or immediately following the crash is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Miguel Guarda or Detective Robert Reese of the Troop “D” Holmdel Station Criminal Investigation Office at 732-441-4500 ext. 7417 or 7425. Anonymous tips are welcome.




9-Year-Old from Beachwood Killed in Fatal Crash on GSP in Lakewood

November 21, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–According to the New Jersey State Police a fatal crash occurred at 10:17 p.m. on the Garden State Parkway southbound at the 89A entrance ramp in Lakewood Township, Ocean County. State Police say preliminary information indicates that a Volkswagen Passat was traveling on the 89A entrance ramp to the GSP south when it ran off the road to the left and overturned. Passenger, Jake Olivos, 9, of Beachwood, NJ, was ejected and sustained fatal injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.


Serious Accident Involving A School Bus In Lakewood

October 21, 2021 — Update October 22, 2021

Last evening just before 9pm, Officer Matthew McAvoy was dispatched to the area of 978 River Avenue for a motor vehicle crash involving a school bus. Upon arrival he determined that a 2020 Dodge Challenger, driven by 22 year old Moshe Wasserman, was traveling south on River Avenue when he was cut off by a 2019 Ford Expedition. The driver, 37 year old Shulem Ekstein tried turning into the parking lot of 978 River Avenue when Wasserman struck the passenger side of his vehicle. After the two collided, the Dodge Challenger crossed over into the northbound lane of River Avenue and struck a school bus, operated by 38 year old Ira Itzkowitz head on. At the time of the accident, the bus was transporting several students, however, at the time of this release the exact number has not been confirmed. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured during the crash, however the operator of the Dodge Challenger did complain of ankle pain and was transported to a local hospital for further medical evaluation. The operator of the Ford Expedition received a summons or Careless Driving.

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Just after 9:00 p.m. an accident was reported in the 900 Block of River Avenue/Route 9 south in front of Leisure Chateau Care & Rehabilitation Center, involving three vehicles with one being a school bus. There was one person transported by EMS to a local hospital. Lakewood Fire Department responded and applied oil absorbent for a fluid spill. Lakewood Police are investigating the crash.

Grand Opening Of Tru Birth Center In Lakewood

October 18, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–The Grand Opening of the Tru Birth Center in Lakewood was held yesterday October 17 and the Guest of Honor was Tammy Murphy. The TRŪ Birth Center provides optimized birth outcomes in a setting of amenities and empowerment. The center is located at 1382 Lanes Mill Road, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Tammy Murphy said, “With innovative care centers and committed partners like this, we’re well on our way to becoming the safest and most equitable place in the nation to deliver and raise a baby.”




Pedestrian Struck In Lakewood Transported To Trauma Center

October 10, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 8:40 p.m. a pedestrian was struck at the intersection of Route 9 and 9th Street. The person was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center. The roadway was closed for the accident investigation. Lakewood Police are investigating. No further details are available.


Shots Fired In Lakewood

October 7, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–The Lakewood Police Department responded to the 500 Block of Massachusetts Avenue for shots fired around 8:30 p.m. There were reports of a vehicle and garages hit by gunfire and shell casings were recovered. No other information is available at this time.


Wild School Bus Crash Reported In Lakewood With 15 Students Aboard

September 14, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–A bus crash occurred on Forrest Avenue carrying at least 15 students on board around 8:00 a.m.

The Lakewood Scoop (see link for more photos and updates) reports that there were 15 girls on board the bus at the time of the crash. Luckily it appears to be minor injuries and did not require immediate hospitalization. Dozens of emergency personnel were on scene evaluating the students.

Photos provided by: The Lakewood Scoop:

Two Accidents Early This Morning In Lakewood

August 27, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–There were two separate accidents early this morning in Lakewood. The first accident was before 1:00 a.m. where two vehicles collided at the intersection of Circle Place and Central Avenue. One person was transported to the hospital and a fire hydrant was damaged.


In a second accident around 3:00 a.m. one person injured after vehicle overturns after crashing into a pole. The vehicle struck a pole and a tree causing his vehicle to overturn at the intersection of Carey Street & Madison Avenue in Lakewood. First Aid, Fire Volunteers & Chaveirim members heard a loud bang and went to the street to investigate. Upon arrival they found an overturned vehicle with one subject trapped inside. The first aid unit immediately called for additional units and extrication while the volunteers attempted to remove the patient. The First Aid, Fire & Chaveirim volunteers managed to remove the patient and he was transported by Hatzolah to Jersey Shore University Medical Center with Paramedics on board. JCP&L was requested to the scene to repair a pole which was damaged in the accident.

Lakewood Man Sentenced To State Prison For Shooting 4-Year-Old Asbury Park Girl

August 11, 2021

A Lakewood man has been sentenced for his role in the 2020 shooting of a four-year-old Asbury Park girl, announced Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

Sciaire N. Jackson, 28, was sentenced on Wednesday August 11, 2021, to 8 years in a New Jersey State Prison, by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas. The sentence is subject to the provisions of NERA, the “No Early Release Act,” requiring Jackson to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole. Jackson had previously pleaded guilty to second degree Aggravated Assault and second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose on June 21, 2021.

At approximately 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, a 4-year-old child was shot while sitting outside her family’s home with other family members on Boston Way, a residential village in Asbury Park.  The child was shot in the upper thigh area, breaking the femur bone. Physicians treating the child at the time deemed the injury as serious, but non-life threatening.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Asbury Park Police Department revealed that Jackson rode up on a bicycle and began firing a handgun at several people located outside of an apartment.  The child, who was merely playing outside, was not the intended target of the shooting. A second person returned fire at Jackson; that person, however, has not has not yet been identified.

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence H. Nelsen, III.

Jackson is represented by Robert C. Wolf Esq., of Westmont.


U.S. Department Of Labor Cites Central NJ Medical Facility, Staffing Agency For Exposing Nurses to Coronavirus Hazards

OSHA finds employers failed to ensure safe respirator use while testing hundreds daily

August 4, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–A Central New Jersey medical facility and temporary staffing agency failed to ensure the safety and health of nurses giving flu shots and testing potentially infectious patients for the coronavirus earlier this year, a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation has found.

OSHA’s investigation – initiated in January in response to a complaint – found that Lakewood Resource and Referral Center did not provide medical evaluations to determine each employee’s ability to use a respirator before they required workers to use them, and failed to fit test employees required to wear respirators. The agency proposed $273,064 after citing the facility for two willful violations. In 2020, OSHA cited the facility for similar hazards after the company failed to protect staff providing medical and dental care from coronavirus.

Investigators also found Homecare Therapies failed to ensure medical evaluations were done and did not provide fit tests for workers required to use respirators. OSHA cited the staffing agency for two serious citations with $13,653 in proposed penalties.

“A safe and healthful workplace is every worker’s right and every employer’s responsibility,” said OSHA Area Office Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in Marlton, New Jersey. “In this case, both employers failed to protect vital frontline healthcare workers from exposure to the coronavirus.”

Lakewood Resource and Referral Center Inc., which operates as the Center for Health, Education, Medicine and Dentistry in Lakewood, contracted with Homecare Therapies – doing business as Horizon Healthcare Staffing – in October 2020 for temporary nurses to assist staff with the administration of flu vaccines initially. After the assignments began, the facility required nurses to administer 200 to 300 coronavirus tests each day for patients and the public.

Founded in 2009, Lakewood Resource and Referral Center Inc. provides preventative, treatment and health education services in Lakewood and the surrounding areas. Licensed in New York and accredited in New Jersey, Homecare Therapies LLC has operations in Manalapan. It has provided services in the New York metropolitan area since 1992.

Read more about feasible and acceptable means of abatement for this hazard.

The employers have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

On March 12, OSHA launched a national emphasis program focusing enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus. The program also prioritizes employers that retaliate against workers for complaints about unsafe or unhealthy conditions, or for exercising other rights protected by federal law.

On June 10, OSHA also issued an emergency temporary standard to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. The ETS became effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register.

View OSHA’s COVID-19 information and resources. Agency Occupational Safety & Health Administration Date August 4, 2021Release Number 21-1430-NEW


Lakewood Woman Charged With Counterfeiting

August 4, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 4, 2021, Courtney C. Michaels, 25, of Lakewood Township, was charged with Counterfeiting in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-32c.

This charge is a result of an investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad and Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. The investigation revealed that Michaels was importing large volumes of counterfeit designer handbags, jewelry, and clothing from overseas. She advertised the goods as designer brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci, and sold those goods across the United States through her online retail websites. The merchandise was not authentic, and was being sold at a fraction of the cost of genuine merchandise.

On August 4, 2021, a search warrant was executed at Michaels’ residence in Lakewood Township where Detectives seized numerous counterfeit items. Michaels was processed at the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and released on a summons pending a future court appearance.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).



Lakewood Man Indicted For Attempted Murder

August 2, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 28, 2021, Stanley Williams, 25, of Lakewood, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on two counts of Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1 and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3; Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1); Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a); Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(2); and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d, relative to an incident that occurred in Lakewood Township during the evening hours of April 17, 2021, into the early morning hours of April 18, 2021.

On April 17, 2021, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Lakewood Township Police Officers responded to a residence on Lisa Robyn Circle in reference to an alleged disturbance. As responding Officers were attempting to make contact with Williams at the residence, he attacked the Officers with a knife, wounding both Officers about the head and face. Williams then barricaded himself in the residence. After all efforts to effectuate Williams’ peaceful surrender were exhausted, the Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Team – with assistance from the Ocean County Regional SWAT team – made a tactical entry into the residence at approximately 2:30 a.m. on April 18, 2021. As Officers made entry into the residence, Williams discharged a BB gun in the Officers’ direction, striking one of the Officers. The Officers in question were treated for their injuries, which were determined to be non-life-threatening.

Williams was ultimately taken into custody, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his arrest on April 18, 2021.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco, Assistant Prosecutor Genna Moscato, and Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Esler, who are handling the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Special Response Team, and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to William’s indictment.

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).


Lakewood, New Jersey Business Owner Charged in Alleged Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premium Fraud Scheme

July 26, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced that the owner of an Ocean County real estate improvement company has been charged in connection with an alleged scheme to provide false payroll information in order to obtain lower premiums on workers’ compensation coverage.

Zechariah Greenspan, 37, owner of Mulberry Management, L.L.C. (“Mulberry Management”) in Lakewood, was indicted July 7, 2021 on second-degree charges of insurance fraud, theft by deception and misconduct by a corporate official for allegedly providing false and misleading statements to New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group in order to obtain lower premiums on the workers’ compensation insurance he is legally obligated to provide employees.

According to the indictment, between July 2016, and March 2018, Greenspan committed five or more acts of insurance fraud by submitting false documents, making false or misleading statements, and omitting material facts that misrepresented the amount of wages that Mulberry Management paid to its individual uninsured subcontractors, and that Mulberry Management had paid an insured subcontractor – ZG Holdings, L.L.C. (“ZG Holdings”), which he also owns – for subcontractor work.

Greenspan committed theft by deception by obtaining workers compensation insurance at a lower premium by significantly underreporting his payroll to individual uninsured subcontractors, and by submitting false records indicating Mulberry Management had paid ZG Holdings for subcontractor work and that ZG Holdings had sufficient workers’ compensation coverage for said work, when in fact, he knew that Mulberry Management had not paid ZG Holdings for subcontractor work and/or that ZG Holdings lacked sufficient workers’ compensation insurance for said work, according to the indictment.

Greenspan is charged with misconduct by a corporate official for using Mulberry Management and/or ZG Holdings to commit the aforementioned crimes, according to the indictment.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000.

Deputy Attorney General Melvina D. Fennell presented the case to the State Grand Jury for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor under the supervision of Private Insurance Bureau Chief Cheryl Maccaroni. Under the supervision of Lieutenant Anne Hayes, Investigator Thomas Andreopoulos coordinated the investigation with Analysts Terry Worthington and Jordan Thompson, along with Detective Matthew Armstrong.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy Thompson noted that many cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Garbage Truck Fire In Lakewood

July 13, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Around noon the Lakewood Fire Department responded to a garbage truck fire at Ocean Avenue and Congress Street. It was reported that an electric scooter caught fire in the garbage truck and the truck had to dump the load so firefighters could extinguish the fire. The garbage truck also hit wires when the contents that were on fire had to be unloaded quickly.

No further information is available at this time.