Category: Toms River

Jackson Man Sentenced To 5 Years In NJ State Prison For Death By Auto

March 1, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on March 1, 2021, Douglas Thompson, 56, of Jackson, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to five years New Jersey State Prison as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Death By Auto in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5a. This sentence is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, meaning that Thompson will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility.  Furthermore, Judge Ryan ordered that Thompson’s driving privileges be suspended for life in connection with his sentence for Death by Auto.  Thompson pled guilty to this offense before Judge Ryan on November 19, 2020

At the time of he was sentenced on the Death by Auto offense, Thompson pled guilty to Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”) in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, for which Judge Ryan sentenced Thompson to 180 days incarceration to run concurrent with the five-year state prison sentence imposed on the Death by Auto conviction.  Judge Ryan suspended Thompson’s driving privileges for a period of ten years relative to the DWI offense, which as a practical matter will be subsumed by the life-time ban on his driving privileges imposed as a consequence of the Death by Auto conviction.  

On October 15, 2019, Toms River Township Police were dispatched to the intersection of Route 9 and Stevens Road for a report of a motor vehicle accident.  Thomas Marciano, 65, of Toms River, was stopped behind a motor vehicle making a left-hand turn when he was struck from behind by a vehicle operated by Thompson.  Mr. Marciano was transported to Community Medical Center and was subsequently flown to Jersey Shore Medical Center due to the severity of his injuries.  Mr. Marciano ultimately succumbed to those injuries on October 28, 2019.  Thompson submitted to chemical breath testing on the date of the crash, which revealed his Blood Alcohol Concentration to be .17 percent – more than double the legal limit under New Jersey law for purposes of alcohol consumption.    

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron who handled the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Toms River Township Police Department Traffic Safety Division, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Toms River EMS, and Silverton EMS, for their combined efforts in this investigation which ultimately resulted in Thompson’s guilty plea, state prison sentence, and life-time ban of his driving privileges.

Toms River Man Sentenced To 5 Years In State Prison For Child Pornography

February 27, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on February 26, 2021, Henry Ziolkowski, 56, of Toms River, was sentenced to five years New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C., as a result of a previously entered guilty plea to Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)iii.  Ziolkowski will also be subject to Parole Supervision for Life.  Ziolkowski pled guilty before Judge Collins on December 1, 2020.

This investigation was the result of several referrals from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children through the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which identified a residence in Toms River as the location of several uploads of child pornography.  On July 7, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit and Toms River Township Police Department executed a search warrant on the subject residence.  As a result, Detectives seized a computer belonging to Ziolkowski which contained numerous images of child pornography.  Ziolkowski was arrested and processed at Toms River Police headquarters.  He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Shanon Chant-Berry who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, for their collective and combined assistance in this investigation leading to Ziolkowski’s apprehension, and ultimately his state prison sentence.

WANTED: Florida Man Charged With Theft By Deception

February 22, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: Woman Rescued From House Fire As Winds Whip Flames In Freezing Temperatures

January 29, 2021

Update to the early morning: BREAKING: House Fire In Toms River

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On January 28th, 2021 at approximately 11:30 PM, multiple Toms River Police, Fire and EMS units responded to Loxley Drive for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival, officers observed a two story, single family home actively on fire. Due to strong winds in the area responding officers evacuated surrounding residences.

Neighbors believed the homeowner was still in the residence at the time of police arrival. Officer Rebecca Sayegh forced entry through the front door and located the homeowner in the foyer who was unable to open the door and exit due to the heavy smoke. Officer Sayegh confirmed that there were no other occupants inside the residence and escorted the homeowner, and her pets, across the street to the neighbors’ residence where she was evaluated by Toms River EMS.

Multiple Fire Departments responded and assisted in extinguishing the fire. Toms River Fire Companies 1 and 2, East Dover Fire Department, Silverton Fire Department, Pleasant Plains Fire Company, and Island Heights Fire Department, as well as, Brick Twp Fire and EMS Mass Care Response Team. Toms River Police Detectives Roger Hull and Travis Seaman were on scene along with Toms River Fire Inspectors Matthew Janora and Dana Mitchell.

Due to freezing temperatures, Toms River Department of Public Works responded to the area to sand and salt the roadways to prevent hazardous road conditions.

One firefighter was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment of a minor injury. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention and is believed to be accidental.

BREAKING: House Fire In Toms River

January 29, 2021

UPDATE: Woman Rescued From House Fire As Winds Whip Flames In Freezing Temperatures

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Just after 11:30 pm last night a fire broke out in the 600 Block of Loxley Drive. The first arriving officer reported a well involved 2nd floor and fire though the roof. Additional fire apparatus was called to the scene. Ariel master streams were set up to combat the heavy fire conditions. A rehab unit from Brick Police Department was requested due to the cold temperatures. There were radio reports of one firefighter transported for a foot injury. No further information was available about the fire.

Edison And Toms River Residents Arrested And Charged In $4.5 Million Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

January 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – Three New Jersey residents were arrested today for allegedly participating in a long-running scheme to defraud the New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund (TBI Fund), a publicly funded health care benefit program, of more than $4.5 million, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Harry Pizutelli, 62, of Edison, New Jersey, and C.R. Kraus, 55, and Maritza Flores, 43, both of Toms River, New Jersey were arrested by special agents of the FBI and IRS this morning and are charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. They are scheduled to appear later today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.

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

The TBI Fund is a publicly funded program run by the New Jersey Division of Disability Services, a component of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The TBI Fund’s purpose is to provide New Jersey residents who have suffered a traumatic brain injury with services and support in order to maximize their quality of life when funding from insurance, personal resources, or other programs is unavailable to meet their needs. Services funded by the TBI Fund include physical, occupational, and speech therapy; service coordination; assistive technology; cognitive therapy; neuropsychological services; pharmaceuticals; wheelchair ramp installation and other home modifications; and general home management and maintenance.

After a prospective patient applies for services, TBI Fund personnel review the application and, if approved, the patient is authorized to secure designated services from a third-party vendor. Once a patient receives services approved by the TBI Fund, the vendor or service provider submits an invoice to the TBI Fund for payment. When an invoice is received, TBI Fund personnel review the invoice to ensure that the patient had been approved to receive the services. If the invoice is approved, an internal payment voucher is generated, authorized by TBI Fund personnel, and then submitted to the New Jersey Department of the Treasury for payment, which issues a check directly to the vendor.

Pizutelli was the manager of the TBI Fund and was responsible for the its day-to-day operation. He supervised, managed, and oversaw the process by which third-party vendors were paid for services rendered to eligible TBI Fund patients. From 2009 through June 2019, Pizutelli, Kraus, Flores, and others conspired to defraud the TBI Fund by misappropriating more than $4.5 million in fraudulent vendor payments for purported services that were never actually provided. Pizutelli orchestrated the distribution of fraudulent vendor payments to Kraus, Flores, and others by generating and processing false invoices and internal payment vouchers. Pizutelli generated these invoices and vouchers to give the appearance that Kraus, Flores, and other conspirators had provided approved services to eligible patients when, in fact, they had not provided any services. Pizutelli then approved and transmitted the internal payment vouchers so that his conspirators received vendor payments even though they had performed no services to eligible patients. Pizutelli orchestrated these fraudulent payments to maintain and further romantic and/or sexual relationships with Flores and other conspirators.

Pizutelli orchestrated the fraudulent payment of more than $4.5 million from the TBI Fund to members of the conspiracy, including more than $4 million in fraudulent distributions to Kraus and Flores, which they used for their own personal benefit and enrichment. To obscure their fraudulent conduct, Kraus and Flores also made material misstatements on their federal income tax returns, by significantly underreporting the income they had derived from the fraudulent scheme.

The health care fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and of $250,000 or twice the gross receipts to the defendants or gross loss sustained by any victims, whichever is greater.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and special agents of the IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Division of Law, and the New Jersey Department of Human Services, for their assistance.

The government is represented by J. Brendan Day, Attorney-in-Charge of the Trenton Branch Office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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

21-034

Defense counsel:
Pizutelli – Benjamin West Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton
Kraus – Bruce L. Throckmorton Esq., Trenton
Flores – Aidan P. O’Connor Esq., Hackensack, New Jersey


Lakewood Man Charged With Narcotics Distribution

January 15, 202`

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force joined forces with Toms River Police Department Special Enforcement Team (SET) to conduct an investigation into the distribution of Heroin, Fentanyl and Cocaine in Ocean County. The joint investigation identified an apartment in the Hampton Gardens Apartment complex in Toms River as being utilized to store and distribute quantities of Heroin, Fentanyl and Cocaine. As a result of the investigation, Detectives obtained a search warrant for the apartment and also obtained probable cause to arrest Rizjoun Smullen, age 20, of Lakewood, for Distribution of Heroin and Fentynl.

On January 13, 2021, Detectives, observed Smullen leave the residence on foot. Smullen was detained and placed under arrest without incident.  Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, and Toms River SET, executed the search warrant at the apartment. As a result of the search warrant, Detectives seized approximately 150 dosage units of Heroin and $2,100 in cash.

Smullen was arrested and charged with Distribution of Less Than One Half Ounce of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); two counts of Possession of Less Than One Half Ounce of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); and two counts of Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1). Smullen was transported to Toms River Township Police Headquarters and charged on a summons pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the cooperative efforts of Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Toms River Police Department Special Enforcement Team and the Point Pleasant Borough Police Department Detective Bureau in this investigation.

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

Sandy Fraud Contractors Indicted, 18 Counts Involving Theft Of Funds

January 7, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 6, 2021, Jonathan Price, 43, of Manahawkin, and Scott Cowan, 58, of Demarest, were indicted by an Ocean County Grand Jury for eighteen counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property (Funds) Received in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-9.

An extensive investigation by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit revealed that Price and Cowan established the now-defunct Price Home Group, LLC, in February 2013 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. From March of 2013 through March of 2016, Price Home Group entered into contracts with thirty-one homeowners in multiple towns throughout Ocean and Atlantic Counties to repair Sandy-ravaged homes or elevate their homes to protect them from future storms. The investigation revealed that despite having received considerable compensation in excess of two-million dollars from these individuals, Price and Cowan performed little to no work on the victims’ homes, and instead misappropriated the monies for their own personal use. Price and Cowan were arrested and charged on May 29, 2019.

“These two defendants preyed upon numerous homeowners who were at the lowest, most vulnerable points of their lives following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. They took advantage of people who were utterly helpless, who trusted that the defendants would help them get them back into their homes as quickly as possible,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “Rather than honor their contractual obligations, these defendants betrayed the victims’ trust in favor of their own unjust enrichment, and now they will be made to answer for their unscrupulous behavior,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Stafford Township Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, Toms River Township Police Department, Long Beach Township Police Department, Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs, and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, for assisting the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in conducting this very extensive and thorough investigation.

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

Driver DWI Hits NJ State Police Vehicle At Emergency Scene

January 3, 2021

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Trooper Alejandro Goez from the NJSP Public Information Bureau told MidJersey.news: At 8:16 pm last night, troopers attempted to stop a Nissan Altima for a traffic violation eastbound on I-195 at Mile Post 11 in Upper Freehold Township. The driver failed to stop and troopers using lights and sirens pursued the vehicle. A short time later, the vehicle stopped in the median in the area of Mile Post 12.4.

The driver was arrested and troopers moved the vehicle to a safer location on the right shoulder to continue the investigation. The driver, Joel Morales, 23, of Toms River, NJ, was later charged with eluding and various traffic offenses.

During the on-scene investigation, the right lane was shutdown and a troop car with emergency lights was parked in the right lane. At approximately, 8:37 pm a Chevy Equinox traveling eastbound struck the parked troop car. The troop car was unoccupied at the time. Troopers determined the driver, Michael Costantino, 36, of Staten Island, NY, was under the influence and arrested him for DWI. No injuries were reported to the driver.


MidJersey.News has put out reminders over and over again to SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER at emergency scenes. If you are unfamiliar with NJ Move Over Law you can review it here: Slow Down, Move Over! National Move Over Day



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.

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder Now Has Additional Charges Of Child Porn Found On Phone

An additional search warrant and uncovered over 1000 images of Child Pornography.

December 15, 2020


Related MidJersey.News stories here:

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder

Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township


TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that Angelo Grenci, 44, of Berkeley Township, has been charged with Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)b(ii). This charge is in addition to the charge of Murder previously filed against Grenci on November 24, 2020 relative to death of Carlton Williams, 50, of Seaside Heights, and in furtherance of that investigation.

On November 16, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, and Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, executed a court-authorized search warrant at Grenci’s residence in Berkeley Township in connection with the stabbing of Mr. Williams which occurred in the Manitou Park section of Berkeley Township on November 14, 2020. Grenci was arrested and initially charged with Attempted Murder; he was subsequently charged with Murder on November 24, 2020 after Mr. Williams succumbed to the injuries inflicted upon him by Grenci. During the course of the Murder investigation, a forensic examination of Grenci’s phone was conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit which revealed images of child pornography. As such, a second court-authorized search warrant was obtained to allow for the search of Grenci’s phone specifically for child pornography. A thorough examination of Grenci’s phone recovered additional images of child pornography. Grenci has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since he was apprehended on November 16, 2020.

“We were initially examining Grenci’s phone for evidence relative to the Murder investigation. Upon discovering evidence of another, independent crime, specifically Possession of Child Pornography, Detectives from our High Tech Crime Unit sought an additional search warrant and uncovered over 1000 images of Child Pornography. Grenci was charged accordingly and served with a copy of his complaint today in the Ocean County Jail,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Berkeley Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ocean County Department of Corrections, State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, and New Jersey State Parole Board, for their cooperative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Grenci’s Murder charge, and now this additional charge of Possession of Child Pornography.

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.


Ocean Beach, Toms River Drowning Victim Identified

December 13, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on December 12, 2020, at approximately 6:00 a.m., Officers from the Toms River Township Police Department responded to the Ocean Beach section of Toms River for a report of an unresponsive female lying on the beach near the water. Responding Officers found the deceased body of Jennifer Jack, age 43, of Lavallette. Later in the day, a post mortem examination was conducted by the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office – the results of the examination determined the cause of death to be drowning.

“At this point in time, there’s no evidence to suggest there was any foul play or criminal activity involved in this unfortunate incident. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate the manner of death to be sure our information is accurate,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police Marine Division, New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit, New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collective assistance in this investigation.

Prosecutor Billhimer urges anyone who has any information on this matter to contact Detective Denis Mitchell of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit at 732-929-2027 or Detective Ryan Quinn of the Toms River Township Police Department at 732-349-0150 ext. 1361.

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


Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder


Related MidJersey.News stories here:

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder Now Has Additional Charges Of Child Porn Found On Phone

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder

Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township


November 24, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township


Related MidJersey.News stories here:

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder Now Has Additional Charges Of Child Porn Found On Phone

Berkeley Township Man Charged With Murder

Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Berkeley Township


November 17, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Men Arrested In Toms River Murder

October 29, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 22, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 Year Old Bayville Man Dies From Toms River Shooting

October 15, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Toms River Shooting Under Investigation

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

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.

Sayreville Man Admits Role In Area Heroin Conspiracy Distribution In Monmouth and Middlesex Counties

September 22, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man today admitted that he conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin as part of a conspiracy responsible for distributing significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Daniel McHugh, 50, of Sayreville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti via videoconference to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. McHugh also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine.

Today’s guilty plea follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty, including supplier Gregory Gillens and lead defendant Guy Jackson. Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8, 2020, to 10 years in prison. Jackson is awaiting sentencing.

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

From May 2017 to November 2018, McHugh and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that McHugh regularly obtained heroin and cocaine for further distribution from Jackson. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.

On the date of his arrest, McHugh gave consent to search his residence. During that search, law enforcement recovered quantities of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine intended for further distribution.

The heroin conspiracy count to which McHugh pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited Special Agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; Special Agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco, Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief James K. Pigott; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip Meehan; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard A. Derechailo, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations against the two remaining defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Defense counsel: James R. Murphy Esq., Princeton, New Jersey

Vehicle Stops Lead to $33k+ In Cash and 202 Grams Of Cocaine, 2 Charged

September 9, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday, September 8th, 2020, members of the Toms River Police Department Special Enforcement Team were conducting surveillance on the east end of the Township. During this surveillance, officers observed suspicious activity that resulted in two separate motor vehicle stops.

The first motor vehicle stop and subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Jameer Jones, 26 of Toms River. Mr. Jones was found to be in possession of approximately 202 grams of cocaine and packaging material. The second motor vehicle stop, which was related to the first stop, led to the arrest of Gregory Deas, 47 of Asbury Park. Mr. Deas was found to be in possession of $33,703.00 in U.S. currency.

Jameer Jones was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine over 5 ounces with the intent to distribute (first degree) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gregory Deas was charged with obstructing the administration of law, resisting arrest, possession of cocaine and distribution of over 5 ounces of cocaine.

Members from the department Patrol Division and K-9 Unit assisted the Special Enforcement Team with the investigation.

The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

Toms River Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide

September 9, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Roberto Sandoval-Guerrero, 37, of Toms River, has been charged with Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5b(1) relative to the death of Daniel Cintron on September 5, 2020. Sandoval-Guerrero was also charged with Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1; Causing Death or Injury While Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-22a; Assault by Auto in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c(1); and Resisting Arrest in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a(2).

On Saturday, September 5, 2020, the New Jersey State Police received a report of a pedestrian having been struck by a motor vehicle in the area of Garden State Parkway South at or about mile-marker post 86 in Toms River, with said vehicle then fleeing the scene. The investigation determined that Daniel Cintron had previously been involved in a minor motor vehicle accident with another driver, Frank Puglisi. The men exited their vehicles and were in the process of exchanging insurance information on the shoulder of the Parkway when they were struck by a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer operated by Sandoval-Guerrero. Mr. Puglisi was struck on his left arm, while Mr. Cintron was thrown into the lanes of travel where he was run over by passing traffic. Mr. Cintron was pronounced dead at the scene. Further investigation revealed that Sandoval-Guerrero continued to operate the vehicle southbound on the Garden State Parkway; he ultimately abandoned the vehicle on the shoulder and fled on foot. Sandoval-Guerrero was eventually located in the area of Route 9 and Church Road and taken into custody. Sandoval-Guerrero is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to commend the collective efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, New Jersey State Police, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collaborative assistance in this investigation leading to Sandoval-Guerrero’s apprehension.

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

Trump Boat Parade Draws Thousands

September 6, 2020

SHIP BOTTOM, NJ (OCEAN)–Estimates of 2,500 boats participated in a Trump Boat Parade that was also supporting Law Enforcement Officers and Veterans yesterday.

Boaters are congregated at the mouth of Tom’s River in Barnegat Bay and split into two major groups north bound and south bound.

The northbound parade started at the mouth of Toms River and past the Mantoloking Bridge, F-Cove and Bay Head.

The southbound parade started from the mouth of the Toms River and went past the Manahawkin Bridge all the way down to Beach Haven. A large group of boaters anchored in Ship Bottom after the parade.



20 Year Old Lakehurst Man Arrested On Numerous Charges In Toms River

Jaylin Evans, 20, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault, Terroristic Threats, Criminal Mischief, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, False Imprisonment, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Simple Assault, Possession of a Large Capacity Magazine.

August 27, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Wednesday August 26, 2020 at approximately 12:00 PM multiple police units responded to the Main Street Apartments in reference to a civil matter involving a handgun. The victim stated suspect Jaylin Evans, 20 of Lakehurst, pointed a handgun at her during an argument. He then struck her in the head and pushed her into the walls of the residence, blocking her path and not allowing her to leave, stating numerous times that he would kill her. Before fleeing the residence, he damaged the victim’s cellular phone and television.

Police officers located the suspect in a neighboring apartment and he was placed under arrest. A consent to search the apartment was signed by the tenant and revealed a backpack owned by the suspect. Inside the backpack was a loaded 9MM handgun which had an extended magazine. An additional magazine containing 4 rounds was located in the backpack as well. Jaylin Evans was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault, Terroristic Threats, Criminal Mischief, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, False Imprisonment, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Simple Assault, Possession of a Large Capacity Magazine. He is lodged on Ocean County Jail.

The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

Toms River Man Sentenced To NJ State Prison For Lakewood Fatal Hit And Run

August 26, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 26, 2020, Alexander Politan, 31, of Toms River, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., to seven years in New Jersey State Prison. On February 25, 2020, Politan pled guilty 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 Driving with a Suspended License in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-40, before Judge Ryan. Judge Ryan also imposed a six-month loss of driving privileges.

On Friday, October 4, 2019, at approximately 9:20 p.m., Lakewood Police were summoned to Oak Street, south of Albert Avenue in Lakewood Township for a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Investigation at the scene revealed that Jesus Lopez-Grande, 15, of Lakewood, and his father, Jesus Lopez-Ramirez, 37, also of Lakewood, were walking near the shoulder portion of Oak Street when they were struck by a vehicle. Jesus Lopez-Ramirez sustained an injury to his elbow. Jesus Lopez-Grande was found lying face down in the driveway of a home on Oak Street. Jesus Lopez-Grande suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Further investigation revealed vehicle debris was left at the scene. Detectives determined from the debris that vehicle parts located at the crash scene belonged to a black 2014 Jeep Cherokee. At that time, the Lakewood Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office launched an extensive search to locate that vehicle. On Sunday, October 6, 2019, a black Jeep Cherokee matching the description of the suspect vehicle was discovered in the driveway of a residence on New Hampshire Avenue in Toms River. The residence was unoccupied. The black Jeep Cherokee had damage to the passenger side. A search warrant was obtained for the Jeep Cherokee.

Further investigation revealed that Politan was operating the vehicle when it struck Jesus Lopez-Grande and Jesus Lopez-Grande. Politan was located and apprehended on October 8, 2019. He has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since the date of his arrest.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy and Assistant Prosecutor Kate Burke who handled the case on behalf of the State, and extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Toms River Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their combined efforts in securing this state prison sentence.


Operation “Screen Capture” 21 Alleged Sex Offenders Busted

Collaborative operation targeting offenders sexually exploiting children online was launched in response to spike in cyber threats to children during COVID 19 pandemic. Attorney General warns parents and offers tips to keep children safe as they return to virtual learning, with more screen time and, in many cases, no in-person teacher supervision

August 26, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced arrests of 21 individuals who are charged with sexually exploiting children online. The 19 men, one woman, and one juvenile male were arrested in “Operation Screen Capture,” a collaborative operation launched in response to a dramatic increase in reports of potential threats to children from online predators during the COVID pandemic.

Three defendants – two men and one woman – are charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault children. Eighteen are charged with endangering the welfare of children for possession and/or distribution of child sexual abuse materials, including, in many cases, child rape videos.

Cyber tips to the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force about potential threats to children online – including tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) – have increased up to 50 percent in New Jersey since the COVID emergency began in March, compared to the same time frame last year. Many cases in this operation stemmed from cyber tips from NCMEC, but others involved undercover chat investigations where perpetrators were attempting to meet children or other individuals online in order to sexually assault children.

Operation Screen Capture was led by the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, ICAC Task Force, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office.The New Jersey State Parole Board assisted with arrests and search warrants.

The arrests, made between March 18 and July 31, 2020 include the following cases:

Aaron Craiger. Craiger, 34, of Oklahoma, a registered sex offender, was arrested on March 18 at a motel in Atlantic City after he allegedly traveled from Oklahoma to meet two men who offered him access to underage girls for sex. In reality, the defendant had communicated with undercover investigators from the New Jersey State Police and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. One investigator pretended to offer his 12-year-old daughter for sex, and the other, his girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter.Craiger, who had condoms with him when arrested, also allegedly possessed and distributed child sexual abuse materials.

Jason Berry. Berry, 40, of Keansburg, N.J., allegedly sexually exploited a 14-year-old girl he met on social media, manipulating her into sending him naked pictures of herself engaging in sexual acts. He allegedly had the girl carve his initials into her legs. He then tricked the girl into revealing her mother’s phone number and sent those images to her mother.

Alize Tejada. Tejada, 21, of Newark, N.J., allegedly sexually assaulted a very young child.She allegedly videotaped herself performing a sexual act on the child and posted the video on social media.

“Reports to our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force of potential predatory conduct against children are up as much as 50 percent during the COVID emergency as homebound children, starved for outside contact, spend more time on their devices, and opportunistic sexual predators target them online,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We urge parents to be vigilant about the online activities of their children and warn children that the strangers they meet on popular social media sites, apps and gaming platforms may be out to harm them. We will continue to work overtime to arrest child predators and those who participate in the cruel exploitation of children by sharing child sexual abuse materials.”

In past cases, the ICAC Task Force has arrested child predators who used the following chat apps: Kik, Skout, Grindr, Whisper, Omegle, Tinder, Chat Avenue, Chat Roulette, Wishbone, Live.ly, Musical.ly, Paltalk, Yubo, Hot or Not, Down, and Tumblr.Arrests also have been made involving the gaming apps Fortnite, Minecraft, and Discord.Attorney General Grewal urged parents to familiarize themselves with these and other apps and warn their children about sharing information with strangers.

“As children return to virtual learning this fall, they will be spending even more time online, in many cases without any in-person teacher supervision or peer contact,” Attorney General Grewal added. “This may make them even more vulnerable. We want parents to be aware of the dangers— and, as we highlighted in a recent virtual town hall with the State Police and Department of Children and Families, we want everyone to know that there are resources to help children who are struggling with social isolation or who may be victims of trauma or abuse.”

Virtual Town Hall: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMNHjMhVbYA&t=6s

Resources: www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/082620-DCF-Operation-Screen-Capture-Resources.jpg

“Operation Screen Capture is a great example of how law enforcement in New Jersey works together seamlessly through the ICAC Task Force to confront the threat of online predators, raise awareness among parents, and protect our children,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Whether we are running down tips from NCMEC or conducting undercover chats, we use our cyber expertise each day to apprehend those who use the internet to harm, abuse, and exploit children.”

“Our children are at an increased risk to fall victim to opportunistic online predators during this pandemic, as students have no choice but to turn to their devices to connect with friends and family and in many cases to prepare for remote learning,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The State Police will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, and we will be unrelenting in our efforts to keep our children safe, but we cannot do it alone. We urge all parents and guardians to have conversations with your children about the dangers that exist on the internet and to closely monitor their online activity.”

“The internet has been instrumental in allowing our children to continue their educations remotely during this pandemic.However, it has also been used by the very worst among us to exploit them as well,” said Jason Molina, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark. “These various cases, which involve both teenagers and very young children, show the level of depravity of these predators.Some pursue physical contact initiated via online introductions, in some cases even crossing state lines, while others exclusively pursue these innocents online. In either case, the psychological damage to children is long lasting.In the face of that, only a very united effort of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, along with the hypervigilant efforts of parents to monitor their children’s online activity, can be effective to stop them and bring them to justice.”

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said, “More and more, all of us look to the internet for remote connections because of work, school, or simply to surf the web, but this operation is a reminder that there are individuals who use the internet to traffic sexually explicit images and videos of children. We are proud to be part of this effort to identify, arrest, and aggressively prosecute those who are exploiting our children and our increased reliance on virtual connections by accessing and sharing illegal images and videos.”

“It cannot be emphasized strongly enough how important it is for parents to become educated about cyber threats, and take measures to protect their children from becoming victimized,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said. “Our way of life has been altered by this pandemic. It used to be that kids would play outside, and parents would check on them every so often to make sure they were safe. But the dangers they face have become much more direct now that they are spending a greater amount of time online than they ever have before. These threats are not readily visible, and effortlessly gain access to our homes, posing a very real risk to our children. We will continue to do everything legally allowable to find and punish those who are responsible.”

“It is a disturbing reality that predators are using the pandemic as an opportunity to target children as their online activity increases,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer. “This operation, and the resulting arrests, show that law enforcement agencies in New Jersey and the ICAC Task Force are working diligently together to identify, catch, and arrest these individuals.My message to anyone out there who is using the internet to target children— we are watching and you will be caught. Parents need to be mindful that as we enter a school year with remote learning, there will be predators online looking for potential victims. We encourage all parents to take this time to talk to their children about internet safety, even if you’ve had this discussion before. Keeping our children safe is something that can never be discussed too much.”

“Crimes against children are among the most disturbing, yet often the toughest to prosecute,” said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II. “This joint effort underscores the willingness of law enforcement at all levels to work together to protect our most vulnerable from those who would use the internet and other means to prey upon children. In this age, when so many children are relying on computers for their education, entertainment and social life, we are committed to make the internet community as safe as possible.”

“The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office eagerly participated in this joint law enforcement effort focusing on individuals who felt our attention to their bad acts targeting vulnerable children was diverted,” said Acting Gloucester County Prosecutor Christine Hoffman. “To the contrary, we remain committed and vigilant, and never allow geography or jurisdictional boundaries to slow our collective efforts. We’ll continue to use every investigative tool available to identify, apprehend and convict those who prey on our children.”

“The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office was proud to take part in Operation Screen Capture with our Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force partners,” said Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri. “The success of the operation highlights how important it is that parents and guardians know that these online predators are out there, especially as remote learning begins again and children spend more and more time on their screens. And it’s just as important that anyone who would use the internet as a tool to harm our kids knows that my office will continue to use every resource at its disposal to identify, investigate, and arrest you before you have the chance to do it.”

“The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office welcomed the opportunity to participate in Operation Screen Capture as a member of the ICAC Task Force,” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone. “This statewide investigation illustrates the fine work and collaboration of many law enforcement agencies in New Jersey. These agencies are dedicated to protecting our communities, especially our children. We thank all of the participating agencies.”

“Our relationship with ICAC has proved to be vital in protecting and safeguarding children from sexual predators,” said Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer. “We will continue to collaborate with all of our law enforcement partners to do everything we can to root out those individuals that prey on our children. To that end, it is imperative for all parents to keep an eye on the online activities of their children.”

“The Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office was a proud participant in Operation Screen Capture,” said Sussex County Prosecutor Francis A. Koch. “This statewide operation demonstrates the dedicated collaboration of all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey to proactively protect all children. As important as today’s announcement of the arrests of these defendants is, the message to parents and children to be even more vigilant and guarded while online is equally important. Today, children are required to have an increased online presence that subjects them to predators looking to take advantage of them. We therefore ask all parents and guardians to take an even greater role in their children’s online activities. We in law enforcement pledge to continue to commit ourselves to do all we can to help protect all children and to root out the despicable predators preying on them.”

Craiger, Berry, and Tejada are being prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice.They were ordered detained in jail pending trial.The Division of Criminal Justice is also prosecuting six defendants charged with possessing and/or distributing child sexual abuse materials.The 12 other defendants are being prosecuted by the nine county prosecutors’ offices.

The 21 defendants arrested in “Operation Screen Capture” were charged as follows:

1. Aaron Craiger, 34, of Oklahoma. Gas station attendant.Arrested March 18.Two Counts of Attempted Aggravated Sexual Assault (2nd degree), Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree), Two Counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (3rd degree), Two Counts of Attempted Distribution of Marijuana (4th degree), Possession of Marijuana (Disorderly Persons Offense).

2. Jason Berry, 40, of Keansburg, N.J. Unemployed.Arrested June 18.Manufacturing Child Pornography (1st degree), Sexual Assault (2nd degree), Child Abuse (2nd degree), Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree), Theft by Extortion (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

3. Alize Tejada, 21, of Newark, N.J. Babysitter.Arrested July 15.Aggravated Sexual Assault (1st degree), Manufacturing Child Pornography (1st degree).

4. Michael Gilpin, 42, of Union Beach, N.J. Pipe fitter.Arrested July 26.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

5. Raymond Radziewicz, 53, of Bloomfield, N.J. Former teaching assistant at child care center who was terminated as a result of this arrest.Arrested July 7.Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

6. Brett Warfield, 21, of Carney’s Point, N.J. Private security guard.Arrested July 15.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

7. Loic Atse, 18, of Aberdeen, N.J. College student.Arrested July 23.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

8. Donovan Falconer, 25, of Plainsboro, N.J. Employee of marketing firm.Arrested June 25.Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

9. Michael Ascough, 39, Pompton, N.J. Retail employee.Arrested July 5.Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

10. Joseph Benestante, 65, of Bergenfield, N.J. Retired.Arrested July 21.Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree).

11. Shawn Daily, 45, of Browns Mills, N.J. Laborer.Arrested June 12.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

12. Roy Dantz, 71, of Mount Laurel, N.J. Retired.Arrested June 18.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

13. Christopher Crispino, 45, of Bellmawr, N.J. Unemployed.Arrested July 31.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

14. Dwayne McCormick, 25, of Orange, N.J. Unemployed.Arrested July 8.Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

15. Juvenile Male, 15, of Gloucester County, N.J. Unemployed.Arrested July 22.Distribution of Child Pornography (2nd degree), Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

16. Julian Ceballos, 31, of Hamilton (Mercer County), N.J. Restaurant worker.Arrested June 26.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

17. Timothy McMahon, 46, of Piscataway, N.J. Electrician.Arrested May 21.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

18. Edward Kross, 66, of Carteret, N.J. Part-time firefighting instructor.Arrested May 28.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

19. Henry Ziolkowski, 66, of Toms River, N.J. Surgery technician.Arrested July 10.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

20. Kevin Carrierri, 34, of Toms River, N.J. Chef.Arrested July 10.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

21. Matthew Marzullo, 20, of Hopatcong, N.J. Restaurant food server.Arrested July 1.Possession of Child Pornography (3rd degree).

First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three of five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges against the defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Attorney General Grewal thanked the attorneys, detectives, and staff in the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau who worked on this operation under the supervision of Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter, Deputy Bureau Chief Lilianne Daniel, and DCJ Deputy Director Robert Czepiel.

He thanked ICAC Task Force Commander Lt. John Pizzuro of the New Jersey State Police ICAC Unit and the detectives of the ICAC Unit, as well as the New Jersey State Police TEAMS and K-9 Units.

Attorney General Grewal thanked U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Newark and Cherry Hill, under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina and Assistant SAC Richard Reinhold.

He thanked the New Jersey State Parole Board, under the leadership of Chairman Samuel J. Plumeri Jr., for its valuable assistance with arrests and search warrants.

Finally, Attorney General Grewal thanked all of the prosecutors, detectives, investigators, and staff of the following county prosecutors’ offices, which participated as members of the ICAC Task Force:

  • Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office

Monmouth County, Matawan Man Charged With Child Porn And Invasion Of Privacy After Recording Six Females Including 16 Year Old In Brick

Michael Mattina, 54, of Matawan, secretly recorded six female victims, including one sixteen-year-old victim, utilizing a hidden camera located in the bathroom of a residence in Brick Township. Further investigation revealed that Mattina posted the videos of the victims on two adult websites.

August 20, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Brick Township Police Chief James Riccio announced that an investigation conducted by the Brick Township Police Department Detective Bureau and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit has revealed that Michael Mattina, 54, of Matawan, secretly recorded six female victims, including one sixteen-year-old victim, utilizing a hidden camera located in the bathroom of a residence in Brick Township. Further investigation revealed that Mattina posted the videos of the victims on two adult websites. Accordingly, Mattina was charged with five counts of Invasion of Privacy for recording the videos in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-9b(1); six counts of Invasion of Privacy for posting the videos in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-9c; and Distribution of Obscene Materials in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:34-2b. Additionally, with regard to the crimes committed against his sixteen-year-old victim, Mattina was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a(1); Manufacturing Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(4); and Distribution of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i). Mattina was processed at Brick Township Police Headquarters and released on a summons pending a future court appearance.

Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Riccio commend the Brick Township Police Department Detective Bureau and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit for their cooperative assistance in this investigation leading to these charges against Mattina.

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.


Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Toms River Murder

August 19, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 19, 2020, Anthony Barksdale, 26, of New York, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., in connection with the murder of Steven Stallworth in Toms River on March 5, 2018.

Barksdale was found guilty of Murder on June 29, 2020 following a jury trial that commenced in early March of this year – prior to the onset of the novel coronavirus – which needed to be suspended due to health and safety concerns related to the pandemic. The jury also found Barksdale guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, and Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Person.

Prosecutor Billhimer extends his gratitude to Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Robert Cassidy, who together tried the case on behalf of the State, for their skill and dedication in prosecuting this horrendous murder – particularly in light of the adverse conditions emanating from Covid-19. The Prosecutor likewise extends his gratitude to 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, Toms River Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collective assistance which led to Barksdale’s arrest, conviction, and sentence to life in prison. Prosecutor Billhimer stated: “This was a brutal and senseless murder. I am beyond proud of the teamwork exhibited by members of my office, along with the other law enforcement agencies involved in solving this heinous crime, for their exceptional and combined efforts which ultimately resulted in this defendant being brought to justice.” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded: “It is my sincere hope that Barksdale being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole provides some measure of peace and closure to Mr. Stallworth’s family, who have been forced to endure needless and unspeakable suffering since that horrible day in March 2018. Justice has finally been accomplished in Steven’s name, and for his family.”