Category: Manchester

Motorcyclist Killed after Two Motorcycles Collide

May 1, 2022

Manchester Township, NJ (OCEAN) – On Saturday, April 30, 2022, at approximately 2:17 p.m., members of the Manchester Township Police Department responded to Pasadena Road near the intersection of Mt. Misery Road, in the Whiting Section of the township, to investigate a motor vehicle crash involving two motorcycles. 

Upon arrival, officers observed a black 2013 Harley Davidson Road King Motorcycle laying on it’s side adjacent to the wood line on the eastbound shoulder of Pasadena Road and a blue 2018 Indian Chieftain Motorcycle in the center of the eastbound lane, upright, on it’s kickstand.  The driver of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle, 66-year-old, Paul Brinkman, was severely injured.  Life saving measures were attempted, however, Brinkman succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the Indian Motorcycle, 57-year-old, Michael Varcadipane, sustained injuries to the right side of his body but refused any further medical attention.  The investigation determined that Brinkman was not wearing a Department of Transportation approved helmet but Varcadipane was.

The investigation revealed that Brinkman and Varcadipane were traveling together eastbound on Pasadena Road in a staggered formation with Brinkman traveling behind Varcadipane.  Varcadipane observed a disabled motorcyclist on the westbound shoulder of Pasadena Road and attempted to pull over onto the eastbound shoulder to assist the disabled motorcyclist.  As Varcadipane began to decelerate and pull off the roadway, Brinkman failed to react in time and collided with the Indian Motorcycle.  The left front end of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle impacted the right front end of the Indian Motorcycle causing both motorcyclists to lose control and subsequently be ejected from their motorcycles.

Assisting at the scene were detectives from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Crime Scene Investigations Unit, Investigators from the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, EMTs from the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Services, Medics from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Fire Police from Whiting Volunteer Fire Department, and the New Jersey State Park Police.  The roadway was closed in the area of the crash for several hours while officers conducted the investigation.  The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but at this point, following too closely and rider inattention appear to be the primary contributing factors.  This crash is being investigated by Ptl. Michael O’Hara of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit.


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.

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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.



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.


Manchester Man Pleads Guilty for Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash

February 15, 2022

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 14, 2022, Kevin Noonan, 63, of Manchester, pled guilty before the Honorable Lisa A. Puglisi. J.S.C., to Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1, as well as the motor vehicle offense of Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Injury or Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129, in connection with an incident that occurred in Manchester Township on April 13, 2021. At the time of his sentencing on April 1, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of six years New Jersey State Prison.

On April 13, 2021, at approximately 3:45 p.m., Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to a residence on Yorktowne Parkway in Whiting for a report of a pedestrian having been struck by a motor vehicle. Responding Officers found Jack Gotfried, 69, of Whiting, laying in the roadway with traumatic injuries to his lower extremities. Mr. Gotfried was flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that Noonan had stopped at Mr. Gotfried’s residence to pick up furniture that Mr. Gotfried was giving away. In the course of loading the furniture onto Noonan’s vehicle, Noonan backed his vehicle up at a high rate of speed and struck Mr. Gotfried – pinning him between the rear of the vehicle and a truck parked in front of the residence. Noonan then fled the scene, leaving Mr. Gotfried injured in the roadway. A short time later, Noonan was found walking in the area of Western Boulevard in Lacey Township, where he was apprehended by a Detective from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Noonan was processed at Manchester Township Police Headquarters, and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he has been lodged since his arrest.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Manchester Township Police Department Patrol Division, Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Noonan’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.


Fugitive from Manchester Accident Apprehended Facing Charges

February 14, 2022

Manchester Twp NJ – At approximately 5:18 pm yesterday, Manchester Police Department received a call from Manchester EMS, who stated that they saw a male fitting the description of the suspect, Roy Deronde.  They reported he was in the area near their headquarters, and further observed him crossover Colonial Dr. and jump the fence into Leisure Village West community.   A short time later Manchester Police Dispatch received additional phone calls from several residents within the Leisure Village West Community reporting that a male fitting Deronde’s description was knocking on their doors and asking them to call a taxi.  Manchester Police arrived on scene and determined that Deronde appeared to be confined to an area between Huntington Dr, State Highway #37 West, Colonial Dr., and Buckingham Dr.   A perimeter was established using all available manpower. The NJSP Aviation Unit and Manchester Drone units were unable to fly due to the weather conditions.  Patrol tracked several sets of footprints in the snow while additional resources were mobilized.  The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department dispatched K-9 units as well as most of their Criminal Investigative Units to the area as well.  Toms River Police Department provided additional support units to assist with securing the perimeter as well.  Further information was developed that Deronde had obtained a ride from within the Leisure Village West Community and was transported to the area of Leisure Village East, in Lakewood.  Officers developed further leads as to Deronde’s whereabouts in conjunction with where he was dropped off.  Manchester Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Officers, and Lakewood Police responded to the Leisure Village East Community.  A short time later Deronde was apprehended at his residence and placed into custody without incident.  Deronde was lodged in Ocean County Jail on charges of Assault by Auto, Eluding, Leaving the Scene of a crash resulting in injury, Hindering Apprehension and Obstruction of Justice.  


Manchester Twp NJ – On Saturday, February 13, 2022 at approximately 5:56 pm,
officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the intersection
of State Highway 70 and Colonial Drive to investigate a motor vehicle accident involving
three motor vehicles in the intersection.
Upon arrival, officers observed a silver, 2008 Nissan Altima full engulfed in flames
facing west on the eastbound shoulder of State Highway. Officers also found a red,
2018 Mercedes Benz GLC facing west in the eastbound lane of State Highway 70 and a
white, 2019 Jeep Cherokee facing north in the intersection of State Highway 70 and
Colonial Drive. The investigation revealed that the Nissan Altima was traveling
westbound on State Highway 70 at a high rate of speed on the westbound shoulder of
State Highway 70 when the driver ran the red light. The Nissan Altima entered into the
intersection impacting the white Jeep Cherokee, which was traveling south on Colonial
Drive. After impacting the White Jeep Cherokee, the Nissan Altima crossed over the
centerline and struck the Mercedes Benz which was in the eastbound travel lane of
State Highway 70. After striking the Mercedes Benz the Nissan Altima continued to
travel west on State Highway 70 in the eastbound travel before impacting a utility pole
and becoming fully engulfed in flames. The driver of the Nissan Altima, was identified as
Roy Deronde Jr., out of Kingston, PA, who fled on foot from the scene of the accident.
The passenger of the Nissan Altima, was identified as Fannie Kistner, also out of
Kingston, PA who fled the scene on foot but was later found and medical attention was
rendered. Ms. Kistner was transported to Community Medical Center for her injuries.
The driver and passenger of the Mercedes Benz, were identified as Richard and Cathy
Kulaszewski, from Toms River, NJ, who were uninjured from the crash. The driver of the
Jeep Cherokee, was identified as Grace Poli, of Manchester, NJ.
The driver of the Nissan Alitima, Roy Deronde Jr., was charged with, Assault by Auto,
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Serious Bodily Injury, Hindering

Apprehension and Obstruction of Justice. As the investigation is continuing there is a
potential that Mr. Deronde could be facing additional charges. The whereabouts of Mr.
Deronde are not known, however there is an active warrant for his arrest.
Assisting at the scene were EMTs from the Manchester Township Division of
Emergency Services, volunteer firefighters from Manchester Volunteer Fire Company
and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, New Jersey Central Power and Light, Ocean
County Sheriff’s Department, Lakehurst Police Department, the New Jersey State
Police Aviation Unit. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but at this point, the
disregard of a traffic control device, and a high rate of speed is the contributing cause of
the motor vehicle accident. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Conner
Yatauro of the Manchester Township Traffic Safety Unit. Anyone who may have
information as to the whereabouts of Roy Deronde is asked to contact the Manchester
Police at 732-657-6111. As always callers can remain anonymous. Please keep in
mind that, although Roy Derone has been charged criminally, he is innocent until
proven guilty in the Court of Law.



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).




Point Pleasant Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Terroristic Threats and Arson

January 7, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 7, 2022, Shaun Giberson, 40, of Point Pleasant Beach, pled guilty before the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C., to Terroristic Threats in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3a, relative to threats made in Point Pleasant Borough on March 17, 2021.  Giberson also pled guilty to Arson in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1b(1), in connection with an unrelated incident that occurred in Manchester Township on August 18, 2020.  At the time of his sentencing on February 25, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of five years New Jersey State Prison as to each offense.  The sentences are to run concurrently.  

On March 18, 2021, the Point Pleasant Borough Police Department received a report that an anonymous caller had left threatening voicemail messages at both Point Pleasant Borough High School and the Nellie Bennett Elementary School.  A subsequent investigation conducted by the Point Pleasant Borough Police Department revealed that Giberson was the individual responsible for leaving the threatening messages.  On March 18, 2021, Giberson was apprehended by Officers from the Point Pleasant Borough Police Department; he has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.

On August 18, 2020, Officers of the Manchester Township Police Department were summoned to a local group home in reference to a backpack having been set on fire at the home.  The Officers subsequently determined that Giberson – a resident of the group home at the time – intentionally lit the backpack on fire.  He was taken into custody, processed, and released on a summons.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco who is handling the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Point Pleasant Borough Police Department and Manchester Township Police Department, for their diligent efforts in connection with these separate investigations, leading to Giberson’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.


Fully Involved on Arrival in Manchester

December 6, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–Around 12:30 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to the area of 3460 Ridgeway Road for a house fire. Upon arrival the chief reported that there was a fully involved structure. The fire was spreading to the nearby woods and the New Jersey Forrest Fire Service was called to the scene. Firefighters battled the fire for approximately an hour and the fire was placed under control around 1:30 a.m. No additional details are available at this time.

Overturned Vehicle in Manchester, Driver Flown to Trauma Center

November 29, 2021

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On Saturday, November 27, 2021, at approximately 6:04pm, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Pinewald Keswick Road and Crestwood Parkway in the Whiting Section of town to investigate a motor vehicle accident involving an overturned Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).

Upon arrival, officers observed a 2015 Jeep Patriot on the eastbound dirt shoulder of Pinewald Keswick Road, overturned resting on a utility pole. The sole occupant/ driver, was ejected from the vehicle and found lying in close proximity to the vehicle. The investigation revealed that the Jeep Patriot was traveling eastbound on Pinewald Keswick Road when it ran off the roadway to the right. The Jeep continued eastbound on the dirt shoulder striking roadway signs and brush before overturning and coming to final rest against a utility pole. Due to the vehicle overturning and the driver not properly seat belted into the vehicle, the driver was ejected from the vehicle through the front passenger side window.

The driver of the Jeep, 64-year-old, Robert Casper of Whiting, NJ, suffered head trauma and was flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune by medevac helicopter, where he is listed in critical but stable condition.

Assisting at the scene were EMTs from the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Services, Paramedics from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and volunteer firefighters from the Whiting Volunteer Fire Company. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but at this point, failure to maintain lane and failure to wear a seatbelt are the contributing factors of the crash. The crash is being investigated by Patrolman Conner Yatauro of the department’s Traffic Safety section.

Manchester Man Arrested For Failure To Register As a Megan’s Law Offender

September 29, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 28, 2021, Ralph Downey, Jr., 21, of Manchester, was arrested and charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2a(3).  Downey was taken into custody without incident by officers of the Manchester Township Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit.  “Since 1994, Megan’s Law requires certain sex offenders to register with their local police departments whenever they move and/or change their residential address or place of employment.  Failure to comply with this obligation is a third degree crime,” noted Prosecutor Billhimer.  In this instance, Downey failed to meet his annual registration requirement with any law enforcement agencies.  Downey is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Anyone with relevant information regarding this case – or others 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

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).


Driver Flees Scene Of 3 Vehicle Crash In Manchester

September 16, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Monday, September 14, 2021, at approximately 11:08 pm, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the intersection of County Route 571 and Lockhart Street to investigate a motor vehicle accident involving three motor vehicles, two of which impacted a residence.

Upon arrival, officers observed a 2005 Toyota Tacoma, on the front lawn of 1764 Lockhart Street with extensive front end and rear end damage. A 2010 Honda CR-V into the garage and residence of 1764 Lockhart Street with extensive rear end damage and located approximately 600 feet from the intersection of County Route 571 and Lockhart Street they observed a 2021 Hyundai Elantra facing southbound on the northbound grass shoulder of County Route 571 (extensive front end damage). Witnesses on scene stated that the 2021 Hyundai Elantra was traveling south on County Route 571 at a high rate of speed and was weaving in and out of traffic. The 2005 Toyota Tacoma was traveling south on County Route 571 in the right travel lane. The 2021 Hyundai Elantra attempted to make a lane change into the right lane when it impacted the rear of the 2005 Toyota Tacoma. The impact from the collision caused the 2005 Toyota Tacoma to run off the road and enter onto the property of 1764 Lockhart Street. As the 2005 Toyota Tacoma entered onto the property of 1764 Lockhart Street, it impacted the rear of the 2010 Honda CR-V which was parked in the driveway of 1764 Lockhart Street. The impact caused the 2010 Honda CR-V to lurch forward striking the residence and garage. After impacting the 2010 Honda CR-V, the 2005 Toyota Tacoma struck a shed that was located on the property. The 2021 Hyundai Elantra continued to travel south on County Route 571 crossing over the fog line and centerline of County Route 571 several times before coming to a stop on the northbound grass shoulder of County Route 571.

Further investigation into the accident revealed that the driver of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival. The driver of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra was later identified as, 29 year old, Alexis Connotillo of Manchester, NJ. The driver of the 2005 Toyota Tacoma, identified as 70 year old, Dominic Frizino of Manchester, NJ, was found to be uninjured at the time of the accident. The 2010 Honda CR-V was unoccupied at the time of the accident. The residence of 1764 Lockhart Street was examined by the Manchester Township Building Inspector and was deemed safe for the residents to remain in the household.

Assisting at the scene were EMTs from the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Services, firefighters from Manchester Volunteer Fire Company and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, Ocean County Sheriff Departments K-9 Unit, the Manchester Township Police Department Drone Unit, and the Manchester Township Building Inspector. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but at this point, the contributing factors of the accident are, unsafe speed, improper lane change and following too closely. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Conner Yatauro of the Manchester Township Traffic Safety Section.


Cliffside Park Man Drowned In “Crystal Lake” On ASARCO Site

August 2, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)—A visit to a popular privately-owned 7000-acre tract of land in Manchester on Sunday afternoon ended tragically for a 22-year-old Cliffside Park man, Jimy Sadan Gomez-Estrada unlawfully visited the Heritage Mineral property on Sunday and attempted to swim in the lake with another individual around 6:30 pm. The two swimmers went into distress and the other individual was pulled from the water by a passerby, however, they were unable to reach Gomez-Estrada. Gomez-Estrada was subsequently pulled from the water by another passerby and lifesaving measures were initiated at the scene. Gomez-Estrada was transported to Community Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. The preliminary investigation indicates the drowning to be accidental.

Assisting with this investigation is the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit and the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Anyone who may have been at “Crystal Lake” and witnessed this incident is asked to contact Detective Richard Conklin of the Manchester Township Police Department’s Investigations Bureau at 732-657-2009 ext. 4211.

Originally operated by ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company), Inc., the property was sold to and subsequently operated by Heritage Minerals until the cessation of mining operations in the early 1980’s. As a former mining site, the property consists of 7,000 acres that connect the eastern section of the township off of Route 37 to the western section, off of Route 70. During its years of operation, the land was mined so deeply that numerous bodies of water often referred to as ‘lakes’ formed. These ‘lakes’ which are actually groundwater aquifers, litter the landscape on the site. Seemingly unassuming, these bodies of water offer many dangers. Because the lakes were formed as a result of the mining operation, they do not have stable bottoms or shore lines, the way naturally occurring lakes do. The banks are very unpredictable and dangerously unstable. Those entering the water will quickly realize that after taking a few steps in the soft, unstable sand that the shoreline ‘shelf’ quickly drops off to depths that exceed 60 feet. Some estimates have the largest ‘lake’ on the property as being up to 300 feet deep.

Because these ‘lakes’ are not fed by any streams but rather by a deep underground source, the water is clear but very cold. These ‘lakes’ are filled with mineral-laden spring water from the underground aquifer and, as such, buoyancy is reduced. Additionally, the water is also much colder, which can result in a swimmer, even an accomplished one, tiring much faster. The characteristics of these ‘lakes’ to include unstable shoreline shelves and water composition have been attributed to several drownings which have occurred on the property.

The Manchester Township Police Department would like to remind the public that the Heritage Minerals or “ASARCO” site is private property. It is closed for recreational and/or other use and it is a criminal offense to enter or remain on the property. In the interest of public safety, the Manchester Township Police urges everyone to obey the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site. Trespassers are subject to substantial fines and penalties up to and including incarceration for being on the property.


Other MidJersey.News stories on this property:

62 Year Old Drowns 25 Feet Of Water As UTV Crashes Into A Forming Mining Lake

Howell Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide



Manchester Township Police Department September 2, 2016 reminder of the dangers of the ASARCO site:

The Manchester Township Police Department would like to remind the public that the Heritage Minerals or “ASARCO” site is private property. It is closed for recreational and/or other use and it is a criminal offense to enter or remain on the property. In the interest of public safety, the Manchester Township Police urges everyone to obey the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site. Trespassers are subject to hefty fines and penalties up to and including incarceration for being on the property.

Originally operated by ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company), Inc., the property was sold to and subsequently operated by Heritage Minerals until the cessation of mining operations in the early 1980’s. As a former mining site, the property consists of 7,000 acres that connect the eastern section of the township off of Route 37 to the western section, off of Route 70. During its years of operation, the land was mined so deeply that numerous bodies of water often referred to as ‘lakes’ formed. These ‘lakes’ which are actually groundwater aquifers, litter the landscape on the site. Seemingly unassuming, these bodies of water offer many dangers.

Because the lakes were formed as a result of the mining operation, they do not have stable bottoms or shore lines, the way naturally occurring lakes do. The banks are very unpredictable and dangerously unstable. Those entering the water will quickly realize that after taking a few steps in the soft, unstable sand that the shoreline ‘shelf’ quickly drops off to depths that exceed 60 feet. Some estimates have the largest ‘lake’ on the property as being up to 300 feet deep.

Making matters worse, a recent lack of rain has exposed a greater area of the shoreline shelf putting those near the water perilously close to the steep drop off. Furthermore, unsuspecting vehicle operators and other individuals, including bathers, and families with small children are faced with a higher risk of danger in this exposed area because of its potential to collapse without warning. Under no circumstance should anyone walk or drive on this exposed shelf or approach or enter these waters.

Because these ‘lakes’ are not fed by any streams but rather by a deep underground source, the water is clear but very cold. These ‘lakes’ are filled with mineral-laden spring water from the underground aquifer and as such buoyancy is reduced. Additionally, the water is also much colder, which can result in a swimmer, even an accomplished one, tiring much faster. The characteristics of these ‘lakes’ to include unstable shoreline shelves and water composition have been attributed to several drownings which have occurred on the property.

Enhanced patrols of the area will be in effect this Labor Day Weekend and a strict “no warning” enforcement policy remains in place. Additionally, further criminal charges may result from operating recreational vehicles or lighting bonfires on the property.


Careless Smoking Blamed In House Fire; Family Dog Killed, Homeowner Treated For Smoke Inhalation

June 27, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Friday, June 25, 2021, at approximately 11:39 P.M., Manchester Township Police received a report of an active fire at a residence on Tern Court in the Pine Ridge section of Manchester Township.  Upon arrival, officers observed that the fire had engulfed a large portion of the home with visible flames emanating from the rear door.   The homeowner, who was the sole occupant, escaped from the residence and suffered from smoke inhalation.  However, the family dog was unable to escape and perished in the fire.  The homeowner, was treated on scene and subsequently transported by Manchester Emergency Medical Services to Southern Ocean County Hospital for treatment and evaluation of her injuries. 

The fire was quickly extinguished by members of the Whiting Fire Company, the Manchester Fire Company, the Ridgeway Fire Company, the Lakehurst Fire Company, Joint Base McGuire Fire Department, and the Pinewald Pioneer Fire Department.  The Ocean County Fire Marshall’s office conducted the investigation into the cause and origin of the fire.  It was subsequently determined that the fire was accidental in nature and the result of improperly discarded smoking material.  


Ocean County Man Indicted For Allegedly Falsifying His Academic Credentials To Obtain His Position And Promotions

April 16, 2021

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TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a suspended senior engineer for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) was indicted today for submitting false academic credentials in order to obtain his state position and promotions.

The Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Roger Sequeira, 64, of Whiting, N.J., (Manchester Township, Ocean County, NJ) with second-degree official misconduct, second-degree theft by deception, third-degree theft by deception, and third-degree tampering with public records or information. The NJDOT Office of the Inspector General initially investigated this matter and referred it to the OPIA Corruption Bureau.

The indictment alleges that between Nov. 24, 2007 and June 16, 2020, Sequeira created and reinforced the false impression that he had obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from La Salle University. Sequeira allegedly submitted to the state a fraudulent document that purported to be a university transcript. As a result of this deception, NJDOT allegedly sustained losses of over $75,000 in the form of additional compensation paid to Sequeira based on fraudulently obtained promotions.

The indictment further alleges that between Oct. 22, 2018 and March 20, 2020, Sequeira stole more than $500 by fraudulently taking leave time he claimed was for illness or visits to healthcare providers and submitting false documents purporting to be from healthcare providers to support that leave time.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Jonathan Gilmore and Adam Gerken of the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione.

Attorney General Grewal thanked the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General for their investigation and referral.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The second-degree charge of official misconduct carries a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison without possibility of parole. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Defense Attorney: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Aletha Sheppard Robinson, Mercer County.


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Manchester Man Charged With Leaving The Scene Of Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash

April 14, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on April 13, 2021, Kevin Noonan, 62, of Manchester, was charged with Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1, as well as Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended Driver’s License while being involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-22a, relative to a pedestrian having been struck and killed by a vehicle in Whiting during the afternoon hours of April 13, 2021.

On April 13, 2021, at approximately 3:45 p.m., the Manchester Township Police Department responded to a residence on Yorktowne Parkway in Whiting for a report of a pedestrian having been struck by a motor vehicle.  Responding Officers found Jack Gotfried, 69, of Whiting, laying in the roadway with traumatic injuries to his lower extremities.  Mr. Gotfried was flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that Noonan had stopped at Mr. Gotfried’s residence to pick up of furniture that Mr. Gotfried was giving away.  In the course of loading the furniture onto Noonan’s vehicle, Noonan allegedly backed his vehicle up at a high rate of speed and struck Mr. Gotfried – pinning him between the rear of the vehicle and a truck parked in front of the residence.  Noonan then allegedly fled the scene, leaving Mr. Gotfried injured in the roadway.  A short time later, Noonan was found walking in the area of Western Boulevard in Lacey Township, where he was apprehended by a Detective from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.  Noonan was transported to Manchester Township Police Headquarters, where he was processed and consented to a draw of his blood; the blood draw was subsequently taken at Community Medical Center in Toms River.  Noonan is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail, pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Manchester Township Police Department Patrol Division, Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation.

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



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Howell Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide

January 6, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that on January 5, 2021, Stephen McGuire, 43, of Howell, was charged with Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a, as well as Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.3a, in connection with the death of James Grover, 62, also of Howell, on December 12, 2020.  Additionally, McGuire was charged with three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(2), Criminal Trespass in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3b, and the motor offenses of Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, Driving While Intoxicated with a Minor as a Passenger in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.15, and Reckless Driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96.

On December 12, 2020, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to Heritage Minerals Mine, also known as ASARCO, on Route 70 in Whiting, for a report of a motor vehicle accident with a submersion. Responding Officers spoke to a group of individuals who were operating Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs); the group related to the Officers that a UTV had entered the lake at the center of the property, causing the UTV and its passengers to be submerged in the lake. 

See Related MidJersey.news story here: 62 Year Old Drowns 25 Feet Of Water As UTV Crashes Into A Forming Mining Lake

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Manchester Township Police Department revealed that a UTV being driven by McGuire, which included James Grover and three minors as passengers, had entered the lake.  The UTV and Mr. Grover did not resurface.  The other passengers and members of the group attempted to locate Mr. Grover but were unsuccessful.  Manchester Township Police and members of the Manchester, Ridgeway and Whiting Volunteer Fire Companies conducted an underwater dive search and rescue operation and located the UTV overturned and submerged in 25 feet of water.  Mr. Grover was attached to the UTV by his safety harness.  Mr. Grover was removed from his safety harness, and life saving measures were performed by Manchester Township Emergency Medical Technicians and Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics.  Mr. Grover succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In furtherance of the investigation, McGuire was taken to Community Medical Center in Toms River.  A search warrant was obtained for a draw of his blood; laboratory results from the blood draw – received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on January 5, 2021 – revealed that McGuire had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .127 %.  In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.

On January 5, 2021, McGuire was arrested without incident at his residence in Howell by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Officers from Manchester Township Police Department.  He is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Manchester Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Manchester Volunteer Fire Company, Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, Whiting Volunteer Fire Company, Manchester Township Emergency Medical Services, Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics, and Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, for their collaborative efforts relative to this investigation.

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

Three Men Arrested For Narcotics And Weapons Offences In Lakehurst

December 31, 2020

LAKEHURST, NJ (0CEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Lakehurst Police Department, and Manchester Township Police Department Narcotics Enforcement Team conducted a collaborative investigation into the distribution of heroin and cocaine in the Ocean County area.  This cooperative, multi-agency investigation ultimately identified a room at the Travel Inn and Suites in Lakehurst, New Jersey, as being utilized by three individuals to store and distribute quantities of heroin and cocaine.

On December 29, 2020, Detectives observed the subject individuals exit the motel room in question and enter a vehicle.  A motor vehicle stop was conducted by the Lakehurst Police Department, and all three individuals were placed under arrest for possessing quantities of heroin and cocaine.  Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team, and Lakehurst Police Department executed a court-authorized search warrant on the motel room.  As a result, Detectives seized approximately five bricks of heroin, a small quantity of marijuana, and a large 9mm capacity 50 round drum style magazine with hollow point bullets.  Arrested were:





Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Lakehurst Police Department Detective Bureau, Lakehurst Police Department Patrol Division, Manchester Township Police Department Narcotics Enforcement Team, and Manchester Township Police Department K-9 Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

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

Update: Frank has been found safe and sound! –Police Seek Help Locating Missing Person

December 22, 2020

Update: Frank has been found safe and sound!

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–The Manchester Township Police Department currently needs assistance in locating Mr. Frank Montervino, 81, from Whiting, NJ. Frank, who suffers from dementia, was reported missing earlier today and was last seen in the area of the Crestwood Manor retirement community that is located at 40 Lacey Road in Whiting, NJ. Frank is wearing a light green jacket, gray button down shirt, blue jeans, and a camouflage hat.

If you see Frank or have information regarding her whereabouts, please contact the Manchester Township Police Department at 732-657-6111.


62 Year Old Drowns 25 Feet Of Water As UTV Crashes Into A Forming Mining Lake

December 13, 2020

MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Manchester Township Chief of Police Lisa Parker announced that on December 12, 2020, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to Heritage Minerals Mine, also known as ASARCO, on Route 70 in Whiting, for a report of a motor vehicle accident with a submersion. Responding Officers spoke to a group of people who were driving Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV’s), the group related to the Officers that a UTV had entered the lake at the center of the property, causing the driver and the passengers to be submerged in the lake.

The UTV and one of the passengers, a 62 year-old James Grover, Howell, did not resurface. The other passengers and members of the group attempted to locate Mr. Grover but were unsuccessful. Manchester Township Police and members of the Manchester, Ridgeway and Whiting Volunteer Fire Companies conducted an underwater dive search and rescue operation and located the UTV overturned and submerged in 25 feet of water. Mr. Grover was attached to the UTV by his safety harness. Mr. Grover was removed from his safety harness and life saving measures were performed by Manchester Township Emergency Medical EMT’s and Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics. Mr. Grover succumbed to his injuries; a suspected drowning, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Chief Parker and I would like to commend the heroic efforts of the Manchester Volunteer Fire Company, Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, Whiting Volunteer Fire Company, Manchester Township Emergency Medical Services, Robert Wood Johnson Paramedics, New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, “ Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Manchester Township Police Traffic Safety Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.


Manchester Township Police Department September 2, 2016 reminder of the dangers of the ASARCO site:

The Manchester Township Police Department would like to remind the public that the Heritage Minerals or “ASARCO” site is private property. It is closed for recreational and/or other use and it is a criminal offense to enter or remain on the property. In the interest of public safety, the Manchester Township Police urges everyone to obey the “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site. Trespassers are subject to hefty fines and penalties up to and including incarceration for being on the property.

Originally operated by ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company), Inc., the property was sold to and subsequently operated by Heritage Minerals until the cessation of mining operations in the early 1980’s. As a former mining site, the property consists of 7,000 acres that connect the eastern section of the township off of Route 37 to the western section, off of Route 70. During its years of operation, the land was mined so deeply that numerous bodies of water often referred to as ‘lakes’ formed. These ‘lakes’ which are actually groundwater aquifers, litter the landscape on the site. Seemingly unassuming, these bodies of water offer many dangers.

Because the lakes were formed as a result of the mining operation, they do not have stable bottoms or shore lines, the way naturally occurring lakes do. The banks are very unpredictable and dangerously unstable. Those entering the water will quickly realize that after taking a few steps in the soft, unstable sand that the shoreline ‘shelf’ quickly drops off to depths that exceed 60 feet. Some estimates have the largest ‘lake’ on the property as being up to 300 feet deep.

Making matters worse, a recent lack of rain has exposed a greater area of the shoreline shelf putting those near the water perilously close to the steep drop off. Furthermore, unsuspecting vehicle operators and other individuals, including bathers, and families with small children are faced with a higher risk of danger in this exposed area because of its potential to collapse without warning. Under no circumstance should anyone walk or drive on this exposed shelf or approach or enter these waters.

Because these ‘lakes’ are not fed by any streams but rather by a deep underground source, the water is clear but very cold. These ‘lakes’ are filled with mineral-laden spring water from the underground aquifer and as such buoyancy is reduced. Additionally, the water is also much colder, which can result in a swimmer, even an accomplished one, tiring much faster. The characteristics of these ‘lakes’ to include unstable shoreline shelves and water composition have been attributed to several drownings which have occurred on the property.

Enhanced patrols of the area will be in effect this Labor Day Weekend and a strict “no warning” enforcement policy remains in place. Additionally, further criminal charges may result from operating recreational vehicles or lighting bonfires on the property.

Man Sentenced To 22 Years In NJ State Prison For Aggravated Manslaughter

November 30, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on November 30, 2020, John T. Mullen, Jr., 51, of Seaside Heights, was sentenced to twenty-two years in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4. This sentence is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2., meaning that Mullen will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Mullen pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter before Judge Ryan on September 23, 2020.

On October 20, 2019, Manchester Township Police responded to the Surf and Stream Campground after receiving multiple 911 calls about a body lying in the entrance driveway to the campground. Upon arrival, Manchester patrol units found the body of Thomas J. Applegate, 34, of Manchester, lying in the driveway of the Surf and Stream Campground with a wound in his chest. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A joint investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Manchester Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit determined that Mullen stabbed Mr. Applegate during the course of a drug deal, which ultimately resulted in his death.

“The law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation – through sheer hard work and resolve – swiftly identified Mullen as the individual responsible for Mr. Applegate’s death and quickly brought him into custody,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The exceptional teamwork displayed by these law enforcement professionals has brought about a lengthy state prison sentence for Mullen, which may, as Judge Ryan pointed out, effectively result in a life sentence given this defendant’s age and longstanding history of substance abuse,” Prosecutor Billhimer continued. “We hope this sentence affords the family of Mr. Applegate some level of peace and closure,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligence of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara 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, Manchester Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, who collectively did an outstanding job investigating and resolving this matter, ensuring that Mullen would be brought to justice.


Related MidJersey.News story here: Seaside Heights Man Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Manslaughter


One Vehicle Crash Leaves Brick Woman Dead

November 7, 2020

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

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

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


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.

Seaside Heights Man Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Manslaughter

September 23, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 23, 2020, John T. Mullen Jr., 51, of Seaside Heights, pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4, before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C. At the time of his sentencing on November 30, 2020, the State will be seeking a sentence of 30 years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.On October 20, 2019, Manchester Township Police responded to the Surf and Stream Campground after receiving multiple 911 calls about a body lying in the entrance driveway to the campground. Upon arrival, Manchester patrol units found the body of Thomas J. Applegate, 34, of Manchester, lying in the driveway of the Surf and Stream Campground with a wound in his chest. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A joint investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Manchester Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit determined that Mullen stabbed Mr. Applegate during the course of a drug deal, which ultimately resulted in his death. Prosecutor Billhimer commends the fine work of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the collaborative efforts of 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, Manchester Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, who collectively did an outstanding job investigating and resolving this matter. “Through good old-fashioned police work, these law enforcement agencies – acting together – expeditiously solved this heinous crime and identified Mullen as the individual responsible for Mr. Applegate’s death,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “As a result of their tremendous teamwork, for which I am extremely grateful, this dangerous man was swiftly apprehended, and will now be required to answer for his crime with a lengthy state prison sentence. Justice for Mr. Applegate and his family will be served,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Rumson Businessman Charged With Theft

Anthony Goltsch, of Manchester Township in Ocean County, and the owner of the Golden Goose jewelry store located at 7 West River Road in Rumson, was charged today with second degree Theft By Failure To Make Required Disposition of Property Received.

September 3, 2020


Read MidJersey.News update here: 11 More Victims In $560k Jewelry Theft


FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The owner of a Rumson jewelry store was charged with theft today after failing to return jewelry totaling over $260,000 that was left at his store on consignment or for redesign, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Anthony Goltsch, of Manchester Township in Ocean County, and the owner of the Golden Goose jewelry store located at 7 West River Road in Rumson, was charged today with second degree Theft By Failure To Make Required Disposition of Property Received.

Over the last several months, The Rumson Police Department received complaints from three customers of the store who reported that they had left pieces of jewelry for either consignment or redesign at the Golden Goose, and Goltsch has failed to pay them any cash proceeds or return the jewelry despite numerous requests by the customers.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Rumson Police Department uncovered three victims who have failed to receive any payment from Goltsch or a return of the items involved in the theft.

The first victim reported that between July and August 2017, she consigned two rings for sale at the Golden Goose with a combined appraisal value of over $180,000.  To-date she has not received payment for the rings from Goltsch, and he has failed to return the rings, despite the victim’s numerous requests.

The second victim reported that she consigned eight pieces of jewelry to the Golden Goose in March 2019, with a combined appraisal value of approximately $59,000.  She has not received payment for the jewelry from Goltsch despite numerous requests made and he has failed to return any of the pieces.

The third victim reported that in June 2019, she brought three pieces of jewelry to the Golden Goose to be redesigned.  The jewelry had an appraised value of approximately $24,000.  As with the other victims, despite numerous requests for the jewelry to be returned, Goltsch has refused to do so. 

If anyone has information regarding the Golden Goose, please contact Detective Michael Acquaviva of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Financial Crimes Unit at 732-431-7160, ext 2233, or Rumson Police Detective Donald Schneider at 732-842-0500.

If convicted of the Theft charge, Goltsch faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison. 

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Nelsen.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

NJ’s Two Largest Wine & Spirits Wholesalers and 20 of Their Biggest Retail Customers to Pay a Total of $10.3 Million for Engaging in Discriminatory Trade Practices

Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Imposes Record-High $4 Million Penalties on Wholesalers Allied Beverage Group & Fedway Associates Following Two-Year Investigation into Their Misuse of Rebate Programs.

September 1, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) today announced that New Jersey’s two largest wine and spirits wholesalers will pay $4 million each to resolve findings that they engaged in discriminatory trade practices that unfairly favored their largest retail customers. In addition, twenty retailers statewide will pay a total of $2.3 million for their part in the unlawful scheme.

In separate Consent Orders with ABC, wholesalers Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates agreed to pay record-high monetary penalties and change their business practices to resolve trade violations uncovered during a sweeping two-year investigation by ABC’s Enforcement and Investigations Bureaus.

The investigation found that the wholesalers – which together account for approximately 70% of all wine and 80% of all spirits sold at wholesale in the State – unfairly favored 20 of the State’s largest wine and spirits retailers and put smaller retailers at a competitive disadvantage by manipulating the retailer incentive program (RIP), granting credit extensions and interest-free loans, and engaging in other discriminatory practices.

 “Simply put, Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates rigged the market in favor of a handpicked group of powerful retailers, leaving smaller businesses struggling to compete.  The unprecedented monetary penalties imposed reflect the egregiousness of this conduct and the widespread negative impact it had on New Jersey consumers and retailers,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “This settlement sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this manipulative and anticompetitive behavior.” 

The RIPs provide cash rebates payed to retailers by wholesalers for purchasing certain quantities of alcoholic beverages.  ABC regulations control the program by making RIPs available to all retailers on a non-discriminatory basis, by keeping the RIP payments to retailers relatively small, and by not allowing wholesalers to substitute RIPs for interest-free loans.

The investigation found that Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates were giving chosen retailers a financial advantage by issuing rebates more often and in greater amounts than allowed. They also failed to wait the required 30 days before issuing rebates, thus allowing those retailers to use that money to pay for the orders for which the rebates  were issued, which is against ABC regulations. Retailers who do not pay for orders within 30 days are put on an industry-wide cash-only delivery status, so the early rebates ensured that the larger retailers would have a ready cash flow to pay for their orders on time, giving them an unfair edge over smaller retailers who had to use their own money to pay for their wine and spirits orders within the required 30-day window. The investigation also found that Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates falsified records related to RIPs and/or used undocumented gift cards to make cash payments to chosen retailers that were not accounted for.

“Retail incentives are a legitimate marketing tool as long they are above board and available equally to all retailers. Discriminatory practices like these foster instability in the market by harming smaller retailers,” said James Graziano, Acting Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. “If left unchecked, the ability of small retailers to remain in business may have been jeopardized and consumers would have less access to retail stores and the specialized product selections that they offer. We will continue to monitor industry practices to ensure an equal playing field in New Jersey’s alcoholic beverage retail industry and hold violators accountable for noncompliance.”   

The monetary payments from Allied and Fedway are the largest in ABC’s history, and in addition, both entities each agreed to adopt a corrective action plan; employ a compliance monitor for two years; make upgrades to their computer systems; and facilitate the retirement, resignation and/or termination of certain employees.

The following retailers were charged with ABC violations that included accepting the delivery of alcoholic beverages from Allied and/or Fenway upon terms that violated ABC regulations; accepting a loan from a wholesaler to pay a wholesaler and/or avoid being placed on cash-on-delivery status; receiving a RIP before paying the invoice, receiving a RIP in excess of allowed maximum on a product. Each retailer entered a Consent Order with ABC to resolve the charges, with the following settlement terms:  

  •        Leiham Corp., t/a Bayway World of Liquors: $375,000 monetary offer in compromise in lieu of suspension plus phased-in               retirement of manager and other corrective action. (ELIZABETH)
  •        SVGS Inc., t/a Vingo Wine and Spirits: $90,000 (including $62,500 unaccounted for cash seized from the store) monetary offer in compromise in lieu of suspension plus corrective action. (EATONTOWN)

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.