Category: State of NJ

Pagans Motorcycle Club Leader Pulled Over In Mercer County, NJ, Admits To Illegally Possessing A Firearm

Law enforcement pulled the vehicle over in Mercer County, New Jersey. Law enforcement recovered a loaded Ruger P345 .45 caliber handgun from a front-seat compartment in the vehicle.


NEWARK, NJ — A Suffolk County, New York admitted today to illegally possessing a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Keith Richter, a/k/a “Conan,” 62, of Bay Shore, New York, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an Information charging him with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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

Richter is the national president of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club (the “Pagans”)—an outlaw motorcycle gang known by law enforcement to engage in illegal activity including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and violent crimes.

On or about February 20, 2021, the Pagans hosted a party in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While Richter was traveling from the party to his home in Suffolk County, New York, law enforcement pulled the vehicle over in Mercer County, New Jersey. Law enforcement recovered a loaded Ruger P345 .45 caliber handgun from a front-seat compartment in the vehicle. As a result, law enforcement obtained a warrant for Richter’s arrest, which was executed on February 26, 2021.

Richter was previously convicted of felony offenses, including conspiracy to commit murder and aggravated assault in aid of racketeering, for which he served a sixteen-year term of imprisonment.

The offense to which Richter pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3. 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Toby C. Taylor; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Timothy D. Sini; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of William A. Daniel; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Frazer, R. Joseph Gribko, and Samantha C. Fasanello, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

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Defense counsel: James R. Froccaro, Jr., Esq., Port Washington, New York


Related article here:

Eleven Members Of The Pagan’s Motorcycle Club Charged With Narcotics Distribution, Firearms Offences and Violent Crimes In Aid Of Racketeering


Governor Murphy and Commissioner Persichilli Strongly Recommend Masking in Indoor Settings with Increased Risk

July 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Following yesterday’s announcement by the Centers for Disease Control regarding masking, Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli today strongly recommended that both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents wear masks in indoor settings when there is increased risk. 

Examples of such situations include:

• Crowded indoor settings

• Indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated

• Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown

• Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease

Governor Murphy and Commissioner Persichilli made the following statement:

“Our metrics are trending in the wrong direction, and new data suggests the Delta variant is more transmissible even among vaccinated individuals, which is why we are making this strong recommendation. 

“Fortunately, our numbers are a fraction of those in many other states, most of which have significantly lower vaccination rates. Should our numbers reach those levels, we reserve the right to take more drastic action, including a statewide mask mandate.

“We have crushed this virus repeatedly like no other state in the nation, and we are proud to boast among the country’s highest vaccination rates. But at this point, given where our metrics are now, we feel the best course of action is to strongly encourage every New Jerseyan, and every visitor to our state, to take personal responsibility and mask up indoors when prudent.

“And we equally encourage every unvaccinated resident or visitor to get vaccinated. The vaccines are proven safe and highly effective, and are the surest way we can end this pandemic.”


Seasonably Warm Weather Today, Smoke Returns

July 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–National Weather Service reports that there will be seasonably warm weather today with a high of 87F and passing shower in the southern half of the region.

Check out Air Now “Fire and Smoke Map” showing our area in relation to the forest fires out west. It does not seem as bad as last week but there could be enhanced sunrises and sunsets depending on how dense the smoke is at the time in the upper atmosphere. These maps were from the Air Now government website this morning.




Dunkin’ of Philadelphia Awards Six South Jersey Students with Academic Scholarships

July 27, 2021

Philadelphia, PA. (July 26, 2021) – Dunkin’ and its greater Philadelphia-area franchisees, in partnership with Scholarship America, today announced the recipients of its twelfth annual Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program. The program helps high school seniors and college students in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware pursue a part-time or full-time undergraduate degree at the institution of their choice.

From over 900 applicants, Dunkin’ and Scholarship America selected 25 students to receive a $2,000 academic scholarship to an accredited two or four-year college, university, or vocational-technical school of their choice for fall 2021. Dunkin’s Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program was open to current part-time and full-time undergraduate students and high school seniors. Dunkin’ awarded a total of $50,000 to the 25 recipients who were selected based on their academic records, demonstrated leadership skills, and overall commitment to their schools and local communities.

To date, the Dunkin’ Philadelphia Regional Scholarship Program has awarded $500,000 in scholarships to 300 outstanding high school seniors and college students. The program was founded in 2009 by Dunkin’s Philadelphia-area franchisees as a way to ease the financial burden of college for students throughout the region.

“On behalf of my fellow Philadelphia franchisees, we are honored to award these 25 exceptional students with the 2021 Dunkin’ Philadelphia Regional Scholarships,” said Perry Shah, local Dunkin’ franchisee and Philadelphia regional advertising committee chairman. “We are proud to continue the tradition to further students’ educational goals in our community as well as celebrate a major milestone this year: providing over half a million dollars to our local students since the program’s inception in 2009!”

The 2021 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarship recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Cherry Street Pier. More details on the awards ceremony to come in the following weeks.

The 2021 Dunkin’ Regional Scholarship recipients are as follows: (Six South Jersey below out of 25 total) Photos provided by: Dunkin Scholarship Program:

Atlantic County 

Recipient: Abigail Smith

Hometown: Hammonton, NJ

High School: Hammonton High School

University: Stockton University

Bio: Abigail Smith is a recent graduate from Hammonton High School, where she was the National Honor Society Vice President. In addition, Smith was a Team Captain for Field Hockey and Track & Field and earned nine Varsity Letters in three sports throughout high school. In her free time, Abigail enjoyed participating in a variety of service-oriented clubs. This fall, Abigail will attend Stockton University, where she plans to pursue a degree in Health Sciences. 


Burlington County

Recipient: Amanda Neve

Hometown: Browns Mills, NJ

High School: Pemberton Township High School 

University: University of Miami

Bio: Amanda Neve is a recent graduate from Pemberton Township High School and Rowan College at Burlington County, Class of 2021, where she received her Associate’s Degree in Biology. Neve graduated with high honors in high school and college and graduated top 10 in her class at Pemberton Township High School. This fall, Amanda will attend University of Miami, where she plans to pursue a degree in Biochemistry And Molecular Bio. 


Camden County 

Recipient: Raphael Littwin

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ 

High School: Cherry Hill High School West

University: University of Pennsylvania

Bio: Raphael Littwin is a recent graduate from Cherry Hill High School West, where he was the Valedictorian of his graduating class. Littwin was involved in Student Government, Peer Leaders, National Honor Society, and a member of the Varsity Volleyball Team. Raphael also held leadership positions throughout high school, including DECA Chapter President, Principal’s Advisory Council Member, Spanish Honor Society President, and Jewish Student Union President. This fall, Raphael will attend the University of Pennsylvania.


Cape May County 

Recipient: Julia Knopp

Hometown: Ocean View, NJ

High School: Ocean City High School 

University: Northeastern University

Bio: Julia Knopp is a recent graduate from Ocean City High School where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Knopp was a member of the National Honor Society and a 4-Year Varsity Spring Track Athlete. In her free time during the summer, Julia worked at an ice cream shop. 


Gloucester County

Recipient: Kelly Wei

Hometown: Sewell, NJ

High School: Washington Township High School

University: Brown University

Bio: Kelly Wei is a recent graduate from Washington Township High School. She held leadership roles during high school, including Class Charge of Class Council Executive Board, Asian American Club President, Yearbook President, Co-President of Freshmen Transition, Secretary of Business Education Honor Society. Wei was also a member of the National English Honor Society. Kelly was awarded Senior Hall of Fame recipient. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and boba. This fall, Kelly will attend Brown University, where she plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science.


Mercer County

Recipient: Alyssa Deevey

Hometown: Robbinsville, NJ

High School: Robbinsville High School

University: Ramapo College of New Jersey

Bio: Alyssa Deevey is a recent graduate from Robbinsville High School, where she was a four-year Principal Honor Roll Student. Deevey participated in Field Hockey and Lacrosse. Alyssa enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, the beach, community service, and church in her free time. Alyssa is a current employee at Dunkin’. 

This fall, Alyssa will attend Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she plans to pursue a degree in Nursing.  


Note: All photos provided by Dunkin Scholarship program.


RGV MMP Brings Closure to the Family of a Deceased Man Found in Delaware River, Trenton, New Jersey

MMP agents and the RGV Joint Forensic Center (JFC), successfully identify the male as Israel Mario Luciano-Alvarado.

Read MidJersey.news story here: June 30, 2020 BREAKING: Body Recovered From Delaware River In Trenton

July 22, 2021

EDINBURG, Texas – Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector (RGV) Missing Migrant Program (MMP) assisted in the identification of a deceased Guatemalan migrant found in the Delaware River in New Jersey. 

On June 30, 2020, an unidentified Guatemalan male was found deceased in the Delaware River.  The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) requested assistance from RGV MMP with their efforts in identifying the subject.  NJSP provided fingerprint images of the individual to the Border Patrol to begin the process. 

Border Patrol’s database contains the biometric information for over 200 million people that are otherwise unavailable to other law enforcement agencies.  MMP agents and the RGV Joint Forensic Center (JFC), successfully identify the male as Israel Mario Luciano-Alvarado. The successful identification was confirmed through collaboration with the family, via the Guatemalan Consulate.

This is only one of the many successes of MMP’s “reunification” mission.  Although the program strives to save lives through the deployment of rescue beacons and location placards throughout the RGV’s area of responsibility, the successful identification of decedents provides closure to mourning families. The collaboration of our local, state, and federal partners is a force multiplier in successfully completing the mission of the Border Patrol as well as of many of the agencies we work with.     

RGV Sector Chief Brian Hastings stated, “The dedication of this team shows the underlying commitment to challenging situations and compassionate efforts made by both MMP and the investigators with the NJ State Police.”

The public is encouraged to take a stand against crime in their communities and report suspicious activity at 800-863-9382.

Please visit www.cbp.gov to view additional news releases and other information pertaining to Customs and Border Protection.  Follow us on Twitter @CBPRGV@USBPChiefRGV and @USBPDepChiefRGV.



Cold Front Brings Severe Thunderstorms, Relief From Smokey Haze On The Way

NJ DEP Issues “CODE ORANGE” Air Quality Alert For Mercer and Burlington Counties

July 21, 2021

MOUNT HOLLY, NJ (BURLINGTON)– The National Weather Service Mount Holly has issued a severe thunderstorm watch and now several warnings throughout the area as a cold front moves though the area. The good news is that this should provide relief from the hazy skies created by wildfire smoke in our area that was picked up by the jet stream. Once the thunderstorms move through the area the weather should improve.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has issued a code orange air quality alert Wednesday for Mercer and Burlington Counties.

A code orange air quality alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children…people suffering from asthma… heart disease or other lung diseases…and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.

Related MidJersey.News story here:

Smoke From Western Wildfires Picked Up By Jet Stream And Brought To Our Area






Air Quality Alert

NJZ015-019-027-220400-
Mercer-Northwestern Burlington-Southeastern Burlington-
850 AM EDT Wed Jul 21 2021

...AIR QUALITY ALERT IS IN EFFECT FOR WEDNESDAY JULY 21...

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has
issued a code orange air quality alert Wednesday for Mercer
and Burlington Counties.

A code orange air quality alert means that air pollution
concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for
sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children...people
suffering from asthma... heart disease or other lung
diseases...and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can
be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.

For more information on ground-level ozone and fine
particles...visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/

$$



DHS announces new cybersecurity requirements for critical pipeline owners and operators

July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, in response to the ongoing cybersecurity threat to pipeline systems, DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the issuance of a second Security Directive that requires owners and operators of TSA-designated critical pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas to implement a number of urgently needed protections against cyber intrusions. 

“The lives and livelihoods of the American people depend on our collective ability to protect our Nation’s critical infrastructure from evolving threats,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  “Through this Security Directive, DHS can better ensure the pipeline sector takes the steps necessary to safeguard their operations from rising cyber threats, and better protect our national and economic security. Public-private partnerships are critical to the security of every community across our country and DHS will continue working closely with our private sector partners to support their operations and increase their cybersecurity resilience.”

The Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) advised TSA on cybersecurity threats to the pipeline industry, as well as technical countermeasures to prevent those threats, during the development of this second Security Directive.  This Security Directive requires owners and operators of TSA-designated critical pipelines to implement specific mitigation measures to protect against ransomware attacks and other known threats to information technology and operational technology systems, develop and implement a cybersecurity contingency and recovery plan, and conduct a cybersecurity architecture design review.   

This is the second Security Directive that TSA has issued to the pipeline sector this year, building upon an initial Security Directive that TSA issued in May 2021 following the ransomware attack on a major petroleum pipeline.  The May 2021 Security Directive requires critical pipeline owners and operators to (1) report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to CISA; (2) designate a Cybersecurity Coordinator to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; (3) review current practices; and, (4) identify any gaps and related remediation measures to address cyber-related risks and report the results to TSA and CISA within 30 days.

Since 2001, TSA has worked closely with pipeline owners and operators, as well as its partners across the federal government, to enhance the physical security preparedness of U.S. hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline systems.  TSA works closely with CISA, the nation’s lead agency for protecting critical infrastructure against cybersecurity threats, to execute this mission.



Related MidJersey.news coverage on the Colonial Pipeline incident here:

Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today; Several days to return to normal

Colonial Pipeline Works To Restore Service, US FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration In 18 States To Control Shortages

Update: Colonial Pipeline System Disruption

Cyber Attack Shuts Down Colonial Pipeline

Banner Plane Makes Emergency Landing on Ocean City, NJ Causeway

July 19, 2021

OCEAN CITY, NJ — At 12:38 p.m. Monday (July 19, 2021), Ocean City police and fire crews responded to a call that a banner plane made an emergency landing on the Route 52 Causeway between Ocean City and Somers Point.

Landon Lucas, an 18-year-old flying for Paramount Air Service, reported that his plane began to experience engine trouble as he was flying near Steel Pier in Atlantic City. He released his banner into the ocean and was attempting to reach Ocean City Municipal Airport when he spotted a gap in traffic in the westbound lanes of the causeway.

The pilot successfully landed with no damage to the plane and no injury to himself or any motorist.

Investigators are on the scene, and crews are working to remove the wings and tow the plane away.

Both inbound lanes to Ocean City are open, and a single lane of outbound traffic is now open while the investigation continues.


Welcome Home NJ Task Force One! Rescue Crews Return From Surfside, FL Building Collapse

July 17, 2021

WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–NJ Task Force One Urban Search And Rescue returned from their two week deployment in Surfside Florida this afternoon. Friends and families of the members were on hand to welcome their loved ones home from their deployment.

Children and family members held signs welcoming everyone home. Once inside members were met with hugs and tears of joy that they returned safely.

Once equipment was unloaded a short debriefing was held, procedural paperwork for the mission was completed and handed in members were allowed to leave to return to their families and homes.

Task Force Members have completed their mission to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts in the Champlain Tower Collapse in Surfside, Florida with a job well done.



Jersey Shore Fire Response Video

Related MidJersey.News articles here:

Federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces arrive in Surfside from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to assist in search and rescue efforts

NJ Task Force One Deploys To Surfside, Miami, Florida For Building Collapse

BREAKING: NJ’s Task Force 1 Called To Respond To Miami- Surfside, FL Building Collapse

New Jersey’s Urban Search And Rescue Task Force One Returns Today After Two Week Deployment At Surfside Florida Building Collapse





New Jersey’s Urban Search And Rescue Task Force One Returns Today After Two Week Deployment At Surfside Florida Building Collapse

UPDATE: Welcome Home NJ Task Force One! Rescue Crews Return From Surfside, FL Building Collapse

July 17, 2021

WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–New Jersey’s Urban Search And Rescue Task Force One that deployed in July 1, 2021 is returning today from a two week deployment at a building collapse in Surfside, Florida.

Check for updates throughout the day.



Related MidJersey.News articles here:

Federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces arrive in Surfside from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to assist in search and rescue efforts

NJ Task Force One Deploys To Surfside, Miami, Florida For Building Collapse

BREAKING: NJ’s Task Force 1 Called To Respond To Miami- Surfside, FL Building Collapse


Photos: New Jersey Law Enforcement Survivors Day, July 13

July 17, 2021

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN)–New Jersey Lt Governor Shiela Oliver, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan, Father Michael Lorentsen of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and John Ciuppa, President, Garden State COPS kick off New Jersey Law Enforcement Survivors Day at Breakwater Beach and Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, N.J. on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. The event is the idea of Mr. Vincent Storino Sr. one of the owners Breakwater Beach and Casino Pier.

Photos and video by: NJ State Police:


AG Grewal Announces Arrests of 31 Alleged Sex Offenders in “Operation 24/7”

Collaborative operation targeting offenders sexually exploiting children online was launched in response to ongoing heightened level of cyber threats to children during COVID 19 pandemic

Attorney General warns parents and offers tips to keep children safe

July 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced arrests of 31 individuals who are charged with sexually exploiting children online. The 31 men were arrested in “Operation 24/7,” a collaborative operation launched to address the continued spike in reports of potential threats to children from online predators during the COVID pandemic.

Two men are charged with sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault children, and two other men are charged with manufacturing or attempting to manufacture child sexual abuse materials by extorting or soliciting sexually explicit images of children they encountered via gaming or social media apps. The remaining 27 defendants are charged with possession and/or distribution of child sexual abuse materials, including, in many cases, child rape videos.

The number of 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)—remains high during the ongoing COVID emergency, with 3,324 tips received in the first six months of 2021. That is 39 percent higher than the total of 2,393 tips for the entire year in 2019, and on pace to exceed the total of 6,130 for all of 2020, which included 10 months of the COVID pandemic. Many cases in the operation stemmed from NCMEC tips, while others stemmed from law enforcement referrals or proactive online investigations.

Operation 24/7 was conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police, ICAC Task Force, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, and Gloucester Township Police Department.

The men arrested in the three-month operation range in age from 18 to 65. They are variously charged with crimes including attempted human trafficking, attempted sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, sharing obscene material with a minor, attempted theft by extortion, and manufacturing, distribution,  and possession of child sexual abuse material.

The arrests, made between April 1 and June 30, 2021, include the following cases:

Ryan Olson. Olson, 20, of Williamstown, N.J., was charged by the Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police for allegedly soliciting underage girls to send him sexually explicit images of themselves. Olson allegedly asked underage victims to play a “game” on social media in which he offered prizes and money in exchange for sexually explicit material, with more explicit photos and videos of the victims earning more points. One 15-year-old victim allegedly sent Olson a sexually explicit video of herself. He allegedly responded by sending her a sexually explicit photo of himself. The investigation began with a referral related to a victim in the United Kingdom.

Ndachi Ndungu. Ndungu, 25, of Jersey City, N.J., allegedly attempted to extort a 12-year-old girl he encountered on the gaming app Discord to send him sexually explicit photos of herself. Further investigation by the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice revealed that Ndungu allegedly chatted with numerous other potential victims between the ages of 7 and 15 on Discord. Ndungu allegedly used the same method with victims. He allegedly would obtain an image of the child and then threaten to share it on social media or threaten to report the victim to Discord. He allegedly would threaten the children until they agreed to send more explicit photos.

Robert Reinhart. Reinhart, 52, of Telford, Pa., was arrested by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly offering to pay $300 to have sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. During the investigation, Reinhart allegedly communicated via text messages with undercover detectives posing as the adult sister of the girl. The girl did not actually exist. Reinhart was arrested on April 1 after he traveled to West Deptford, N.J., allegedly to meet the 14-year-old girl.

Samuel Santiago. Santiago, 54, of Carteret, N.J., is charged with molesting an underage girl and possession of child sexual abuse material. Santiago allegedly assaulted the victim by touching her genitals both over and under her clothing. After Santiago was arrested, investigators discovered that he allegedly had numerous videos of child sexual abuse material on his cell phone.

“Through these collaborative operations with the ICAC Task Force, we are working tirelessly to arrest child predators and those who exploit children by possessing and distributing child sexual abuse materials,” said Attorney General Grewal. “With young people continuing to spend more time on their electronic devices due to the COVID pandemic, we must remain vigilant. We urge parents and guardians to warn children about the threats that exist on social media and popular gaming sites, and to watch for signs that a child has been subjected to online abuse.”

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.

“Through major cooperative efforts like Operation 24/7, we are sending a message to sex offenders that if you threaten or exploit children, we will identify and arrest you,” said Director Lyndsay Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “In addition to pursuing tips from NCMEC, we routinely conduct proactive investigations on social media platforms and peer-to-peer file-sharing networks to identify online predators and offenders distributing child sexual abuse materials. There can be no higher priority than protecting our children.”

“Operation 24/7 is a testament to the success of the cyber tips received through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As law enforcement, we would like nothing more than to be there for every innocent child, so every single tip can potentially save a young victim from a predator,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will never relent in our efforts to root out and arrest anyone involved in the depraved network of criminals who seek children to sexually assault, as well as those who share child pornography online. Parents can join the fight by talking to their children about the dangers of online predators and closely monitoring their online activity.”

“This diverse and robust team of investigators and prosecutors from local, state, and federal law enforcement, as part of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, work 24/7 and identify emerging technologies that predators use to target our children,” said Jason J. Molina, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark. “Bottom line: through our constant efforts, we will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who seek to exploit the most vulnerable members of society.”

“I commend all our law enforcement partners for their diligent efforts to prosecute those who pursue sexual gratification while destroying the lives of the children who have been victimized,” said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina. “This operation demonstrates the determination throughout New Jersey to patrol cyberspace as thoroughly as the streets of our municipalities and punish those who participate in this evil activity.”

“Multi-jurisdictional task forces like this one are critical when combating child exploitation on such a wide scale, as was done here,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “These insidious offenses are too easily masked or hidden in the recesses of the internet and apps on our children’s phones. By pooling our resources together and working collaboratively, we are best able to protect the most vulnerable—our children.”

“Children should be safe, particularly in the sanctity of their homes. Sadly, since the start of the pandemic, predators have used the internet to invade our homes and put our children at risk. This joint operation is designed to confront what we know is an ongoing threat. It was successful in large measure because law enforcement worked together. Collaboration is always important but especially so when predators literally have a worldwide web to stalk and prey on children. We hope this is just one of many initiatives we will work on together,’’ said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II.

“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. 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,” said Acting Gloucester County Prosecutor Christine Hoffman.

“The individuals arrested in our county all had professions that interact with the public: a medical assistant, a train operator, and restaurant workers. It is unsettling and a testament to the diligent work of our detectives and ICAC Task Force Officers who are unrelenting in their efforts to hold these individuals accountable for their exploitation of our most vulnerable victims. These law enforcement officers deserve our praise and support for their tireless efforts,” said Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey.

“The Warren County Prosecutor’s Office is proud to be involved and benefit from multi-jurisdictional task forces such as “Operation 24/7,” said Warren County Prosecutor James L. Pfeiffer. “There is no greater responsibility than the protection of our children from sexual predators, especially those who use the internet to enter our homes to victimize our children. The hard work and dedication of all law enforcement involved made this operation a success, resulting in three arrests in Warren County, which will make our county safer for all children.”

The 31 defendants arrested in “Operation 24/7” were charged as follows:

  1. Ryan Olson, 20, of Williamstown, N.J. Student and employee of online retailer. Arrested June 29. Manufacturing Child Sexual Abuse Material (1st degree), Sharing Obscene Material with Minor (3rd degree), Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  2. Ndachi Ndungu, 25, of Jersey City, N.J. Temporary Employee. Arrested May 28. Attempted Manufacturing Child Pornography (2nd degree), Attempted Theft by Extortion (2nd degree).
  3. Robert Reinhart, 52, of Telford, Pa. Construction Employee. Arrested April 1. Luring (2nd degree), Attempted Sexual Assault (2nd degree), Attempted Human Trafficking (2nd degree).
  4. Samuel Santiago, 54, of Carteret, N.J. Retired Hudson County corrections officer. Arrested June 30. Impairing or Debauching the Morals of a Child (3rd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree), Criminal Sexual Contact (4th degree).
  5. Peter Eskow, 45, of Perth Amboy, N.J. Technology manager. Arrested June 24. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree, over 1,000 items). Eskow allegedly possessed more than 80,000 files of child sexual abuse material on an external hard drive.
  6. George Oakes, 57, of Belvidere, N.J. Construction employee. Arrested April 14. Manufacturing Child Sexual Abuse Material (1st degree—allegedly took photos with cell phone of child sexual abuse material on his computer), Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3st degree).
  7. Johnathan Valencia, 36, of Wayne, N.J. Restaurant manager. Arrested May 4. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  8. Justin Holtz, 20, of Southampton, N.J. Farm worker. Arrested June 4. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  9. Jonathan Dunston, 53, of Pemberton, N.J. Truck stop employee. Arrested June 4. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  10. Eugene Kim, 20, of Evesham, N.J. Student. Arrested April 16. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  11. Joshua Gamboa, 20, of Bellmawr, N.J. Unemployed/U.S. Army Reserve. Arrested April 20. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  12. Matthew Porch, 19, of Cherry Hill, N.J. Student and HVAC technician. Arrested April 23. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  13. Sean McMichael, 38, of Cherry Hill, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested May 21. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  14. Fabian Cervantes, 18, of West Orange, N.J. Student and restaurant employee. Arrested May 19. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  15. Joshua Hunt, 28, of Paulsboro, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested April 30. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  16. Brian Lusardi, 48, of Glendora, N.J. Skating rink employee. Arrested April 15. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  17. Ryan Becker, 32, of South Amboy, N.J. Warehouse worker. Arrested June 30. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree), Tampering with Evidence (4th degree).
  18. Derrick J. Anannab, 39, of Holmdel, N.J. Medical assistant. Arrested June 17. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  19. Luis Torres-Mendieta, 31, of Neptune City, N.J. Restaurant employee. Arrested May 27. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  20. Carl Aliwalas, 29, of Neptune Township, N.J. Restaurant employee. Arrested May 14. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  21. John Coluzzi, 22, of Manalapan, N.J. Train operator for New York City Transit. Arrested May 5. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  22. Adam Cohen, 45, of Oxford, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested on June 30. Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree), Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  23. Garrett Flynn, 22, of Washington Borough (Warren County), N.J. Retail Associate. Arrested June 23. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2nd degree, over 1,000 items).
  24. Keith Rodenbach, 55, of Mays Landing, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested May 26. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  25. Phong Nguyen, 44, of Pennsauken, N.J. Nail technician. Arrested April 14. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  26. Gordon Strater, 55, of Blackwood, N.J. U.S. Postal Service carrier. Arrested May 12. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  27. Hau Tran, 47, of Pennsauken, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested May 21. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  28. James Camille, 65, of Cherry Hill, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested June 30. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  29. Eugenio Dalessandro, 52, of Woolwich, N.J. Unemployed. Arrested May 11. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  30. Edward Robles, 34, of Sewell, N.J. Employment unknown. Arrested May 3. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (3rd degree).
  31. Franco Grasparil, 21, of Sayreville, N.J. Student. Arrested April 28. Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material (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 unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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 Annmarie Taggart.

He thanked ICAC Task Force Commander Lt. Stephen Urbanski of the New Jersey State Police ICAC Unit and the detectives of the ICAC Unit, as well as the New Jersey State Police TEAMS, K-9, Polygraph, and Crime Scene Investigations 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.

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:

  • Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Warren County Prosecutor’s Office

He also thanked the Gloucester Township Police Department for its assistance in Operation 24/7.



AG Grewal Establishes Standard Operating Procedures For Grand Jury Presentations Of Fatal Police Encounter Investigations

July 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability has established standard operating procedures (“SOPs”) to ensure that grand jury presentations of investigations involving fatal police encounters are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, and with appropriate transparency regarding the process.

In December 2019, Attorney General Grewal issued Directive 2019-4, also known as the “Independent Prosecutor Directive,” which established a mandatory 10-step process for conducting independent criminal investigations in cases involving fatal police encounters. By state law, such investigations must be handled by the Attorney General’s Office. The Independent Prosecutor Directive established clear procedures to ensure thorough, impartial, and transparent investigations in such cases.

As set forth in the SOPs, there are three types of cases where, under both state law and the Independent Prosecutor Directive, the investigation must be presented to a grand jury, once complete, to make the ultimate decision about whether criminal charges will be filed: (1) use of force by a law enforcement officer resulting in death; (2) death of a civilian during an encounter with a law enforcement officer; and (3) death of a civilian in law enforcement custody where the death can be plausibly linked to the actions of an officer, whether through intentional use of force or reckless indifference to human life.

The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (“OPIA”) handles such investigations and grand jury presentations on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office. The SOPs established today by OPIA are designed to ensure that such grand jury presentations will be conducted in accordance with the principles established by the Independent Prosecutor Directive.

“Investigations of fatal police encounters are among the most complex and sensitive matters that our office handles, and it is absolutely critical that we present these cases to the grand jury in a thorough, fair, and transparent manner,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Now that the courts have authorized in-person grand juries, we are prepared to begin presenting these cases. The policies and procedures we put in place today reflect our commitment to conduct these proceedings in accordance with the highest standards and principles of justice.”

“In the months ahead, we will be presenting many cases involving fatal police encounters to the state grand jury, as we deal with the volume of pending cases that resulted from the COVID pandemic and the lengthy moratorium on in-person grand juries,” said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher. “Despite the challenges we are facing, we are taking every step necessary to ensure that these grand jury presentations are handled with the utmost thoroughness, impartiality, and professionalism.”  

The SOPs provide that before presenting a fatal police encounter to a grand jury, prosecutors should instruct the grand jurors on all criminal statutes potentially implicated by such incidents. These instructions must include a description of the legal elements of the following:

  • Criminal Homicide (N.J.S.A. 2C:11-2)
  • Murder (N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3)
  • Aggravated Manslaughter (N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(a))
  • Reckless Manslaughter (N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4(b))
  • Death by Auto (N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5)
  • Aggravated Assault (serious bodily injury, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(1))
  • Aggravated Assault (bodily injury with deadly weapon, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(2))
  • Official Misconduct (N.J.S.A. 2C:30-2)

In addition, the SOPs state that the grand jury should receive instructions on the following justification defenses:

  • Use of Force in Self-Protection (N.J.S.A. 2C:3-4)
  • Use of Force for the Protection of Other Persons (N.J.S.A. 2C:3-5)
  • Use of Force in Law Enforcement (N.J.S.A. 2C:3-7)

The SOPs set forth key principles that must be applied before the grand jury. The first principle is “neutrality”—evidence must be presented in a neutral, objective manner that gives no indication as to the assigned prosecutor’s personal views about whether the subject-officer’s conduct was justified or whether an indictment is warranted. The SOPs further state that, to the extent possible, for the most relevant evidence, the grand jury should be presented with “direct evidence,” including body-worn camera footage and videotaped statements, rather than witness testimony summarizing such evidence.

Link to Independent Prosecutor Directive:


Fourteen Defendants Indicted In Connection With Shooting Of New Jersey State Trooper Last Year In Pittsgrove

July 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that 14 defendants were indicted today by a state grand jury in connection with the shooting of a New Jersey State Trooper last year in Pittsgrove.

Najzeir “Naz” Hutchings 22, Kareen “Kai” Warner, 20, and Tremaine Hadden, 28, all of Bridgeton, N.J., were each indicted today on charges including, among others, Attempted Murder (1st Degree) and Aggravated Assault (2nd Degree). Eleven other defendants were indicted on various charges.

The indictment stems from an investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and New Jersey State Police into the shooting of State Police Detective Richard Hershey. It is alleged that the defendants were part of a five-car caravan that went to the Harding Woods mobile home park in Pittsgrove, Salem County, on the evening of Saturday, April 25, 2020, intending to attack and injure a resident there and damage her home. Members of the caravan were armed with at least two handguns, one knife, and one bottle, and Hutchings, Warner, and Hadden allegedly fired upon Detective Hershey. Detective Hershey was struck by one bullet during this encounter.

Detective Hershey discharged his weapon during the incident, and his use of force is the subject of a separate  investigation under Directive 2019-4, the “Independent Prosecutor Directive,” issued by Attorney General Grewal in 2019. 

“Detective Hershey was courageously responding to a dangerous situation in the midst of the COVID pandemic when he was shot in an ambush,” said Attorney General Grewal. “I promised at the outset of this investigation to bring all of those responsible to justice. As I said at the time, we won’t tolerate mob violence and we certainly won’t tolerate an attempt to murder a police officer.”

“This indictment is an important step in our efforts to hold all responsible who took part in this violent incident in which Detective Hershey was shot,” said Executive Director Thomas Eicher of the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability. “I commend all of the detectives and attorneys who conducted this investigation and presented this indictment to the state grand jury.”

“The brazen ambush attack of Detective Richard Hershey was a violent assault that put the lives of innocent bystanders in jeopardy. Detective Hershey stood his ground under a barrage of gunfire and his actions undoubtedly prevented this assault from becoming a mass casualty incident,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We never relented in our pursuit to hold these individuals accountable for their cowardly actions. These indictments send a clear message that attempted murder of a police officer will be met with swift justice.”

Hutchings, Warner, Hadden and Colby Opperman, 19, of Bridgeton, N.J., are charged in the indictment with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (2nd degree), and Hutchings, Hadden, and Warner are charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (2nd degree).

Ashley Acevedo-Diaz 23, of Bridgeton, N.J., is charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (3rd Degree) and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (4th Degree). Melissa Romero 23, of Bridgeton, N.J., is charged with Conspiracy to Unlawfully Possess a Weapon (2nd Degree).

Hutchings, Warner, Hadden, Opperman, Acevedo-Diaz, Romero, Shakeem Waters, 32, of Bridgeton, N.J., Noel Lazu, 21, of Bridgeton, N.J., Thomas Nieves, 31, of Bridgeton, N.J., Markese Rogers, 26, of Pittsgrove, N.J., Chayana Diaz, 23, of Bridgeton, N.J., Rovell Mcarthur, 27, of Vineland, N.J., Aisha Mcarthur, 26, of Vineland, N.J., and Jenislen Quiles, 21, of Bridgeton, N.J., are charged in the indictment with Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault (2nd Degree) and Riot (3rd Degree). Hadden faces an additional charge of Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Felon (2nd Degree).

Imari Lazu, 23, of Bridgeton, N.J., who was charged previously in this incident, pleaded guilty this morning to Conspiracy to Commit Witness Tampering (2nd Degree). Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that she be sentenced to three years in state prison.

Hutchings, Warner, and Hadden allegedly opened fire on Detective Hershey at approximately 10:40 p.m. Saturday, April 25, 2020 at the Harding Woods mobile home park on Harding Highway in Pittsgrove. At the time, Detective Hershey was investigating a home invasion that took place at the mobile home park several hours earlier in which a woman was beaten and robbed.

While Detective Hershey was conducting the investigation, a hostile mob of 15 people linked to the assailants in the home invasion arrived in a caravan of five vehicles. Some members of the caravan exited their vehicles and confronted Detective Hershey, who identified himself as a law enforcement officer and issued commands in an effort to control the intruders. Hutchings and Warner allegedly fired at Detective Hershey from one vehicle, and Hadden allegedly fired at him from another vehicle.

Detective Hershey was struck in the upper leg and seriously wounded. He returned fire with his service weapon and the suspects fled the scene.

The case was presented to the state grand jury by Deputy Attorneys General Rachael Weeks and Abigail R. Holmes, under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Debra Conrad, who is Deputy Chief of the OPIA Integrity Bureau, Director Carolyn Murray, and OPIA Executive Director Eicher.

The shooting investigation was conducted by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, Division of Criminal Justice, and New Jersey State Police, specifically the Major Crime Unit South, Troop “A” Criminal Investigation Office, Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Cold Case Unit of the New Jersey State Police. Arrests were made by the New Jersey State Police Fugitive and TEAMS Units. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

First-degree attempted murder carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison, with a period of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed, and a fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory minimum term of five years without parole. Unlawful possession of a weapon carries a mandatory term of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed or 3 ½ years, whichever is greater. Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to eighteen months in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

Defense Attorneys

For Hutchings: Jeffrey S. Hark, Esq.

For Warner: Joseph D. Lento, Esq.

For Hadden: Ronald B. Thompson, Esq.

For Opperman: David R. Banco, Esq.

For Waters: Robert C. Wolf, Esq.

For Acevedo-Diaz: Al Wheeler, Esq.

For Imari Lazu: Margeau J. Ney, Esq.

For Noel Lazu: Amanda H. Mazzoni, Esq.

For Romero: James Joseph Leonard, Esq.

For Nieves: Albert W. Allison, Esq.

For Rogers: Terry B. Stomel, Esq.

For Diaz: Matthew W. Portella, Esq.

For Rovell McArthur: Wayne Powell, Esq.

For Aisha McArthur: Justin Loughry, Esq.

For Quiles: John P. Morris, Esq.


Coast Guard hoists 3 from grounded vessel near Cape May, New Jersey

July 12, 2021

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Coast Guard rescued three mariners after their vessel ran aground approximately 28 miles north west of Cape May, Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Cape May received a relayed call from Cumberland County 911 dispatch regarding a 16-foot pleasure craft with three people aboard which ran aground near Back Creek.

Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay diverted an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City to the scene.

Once on scene, the aircrew was able to safely hoist the three mariners and transport them to Millville Executive Airport.

No injuries were reported.

*Note Back Creek is Cumberland County just south of Sea Breeze.


The Coast Guard rescued three mariners after their vessel ran aground approximately 28 miles north west of Cape May, N.J., July 11, 2021. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City hoisted the three mariners and transported them to Millville Executive Airport in New Jersey. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City/Released

UPDATE: Mother Of Abducted Child Found Dead

July 11, 2021

The mother of a young child who was the subject of an Amber Alert on Friday has been found dead, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Rahway Police Department Director Jonathan Parham jointly announced Sunday.

Tyler Rios, 27, of Highland Park is charged with first-degree kidnapping in connection with the alleged abduction of 2-year-old Sebastian Rios, and additional criminal charges are pending in connection with the death of 24-year-old Yasmine Uyar of Rahway.

An investigation led by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office – assisted by members of the FBI’s Newark Field Office and satellite offices, under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch, Jr.; the New Jersey State Police, under the leadership of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan; and the Rahway Police Department, under the leadership of Director Parham – led to Rios being identified as a suspect in the case after Sebastian Rios did not show up for daycare Friday and Uyar did not arrive for scheduled work shifts, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Grady, who is prosecuting the case. A welfare check was conducted on Uyar’s home by members of the Rahway Police Department Friday morning, but no one was found inside.

Shortly thereafter, the State Police issued an Amber Alert that was sent to privately owned cell phones, broadcast on electronic billboards along highways in New Jersey and beyond, and widely shared via social media.

Sebastian Rios was found unharmed in Monterey, Tennessee early on Saturday, when Tyler Rios was taken into custody without incident. Later in the day, investigators located Uyar’s body in a wooded area nearby, off of I-40.

Tyler Rios remains in custody in Tennessee pending extradition back to New Jersey, after which a first appearance and detention hearing will be scheduled to take place in Union County Superior Court. 

Anyone with information about this matter is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Lt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271 or Detective Richard Acosta at 908-347-0404.

Convictions on first-degree kidnapping charges are commonly punishable by terms of 15 to 30 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.  


Previous MidJersey.News stories here:

UPDATE–ALERT CANCELEDAMBER ALERT: For 2 Year Old Sebastian Rios Last Seen In Rahway, NJ CANCELED

July 10, 2021 Update here: UPDATE: Missing Child Found, Father In Custody, Mother Remains Missing



UPDATE: Missing Child Found, Father In Custody, Mother Remains Missing

July 11, 2021 UPDATE: Mother Of Abducted Child Found Dead

July 10, 2021

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The child who was the subject of a widely disseminated Amber Alert yesterday afternoon has been located safe – although his mother remains missing, and his father, who allegedly abducted both, is now in custody, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Rahway Police Department Director Jonathan Parham jointly announced Saturday morning.

Sebastian Rios, 2, was found earlier Saturday in Monterey, Tennessee, where 27-year-old Tyler Rios of Highland Park was arrested without incident. The boy’s mother, 24-year-old Yasmine Uyar of Rahway, has yet to be found.

An investigation led by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, and assisted by members of the FBI’s Newark Field Office and satellite offices, under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch, Jr.; the New Jersey State Police, under the leadership of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan; and the Rahway Police Department, under the leadership of Director Parham, led to Rios being identified as a suspect in the case after Sebastian Rios did not show up for daycare Friday and Uyar did not arrive for scheduled work shifts. A welfare check was conducted on Uyar’s home by members of the Rahway Police Department Friday morning, but no one was found inside.

Shortly thereafter, the State Police issued an Amber Alert that was sent to privately owned cell phones, broadcast on electronic billboards along highways in New Jersey and beyond, and widely shared via social media.

Tyler Rios remains in custody in Tennessee pending extradition back to New Jersey and the filing of criminal charges in Union County Superior Court.

“While we are relieved that Sebastian Rios has been found safe and that Tyler Rios is in custody, we are still urging anyone with information about the whereabouts of Yasmine Uyar to come forward and tell us what they know, even anonymously,” Prosecutor Ruotolo said.

Anyone with information about this matter is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Lt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271 or Detective Richard Acosta at 908-347-0404.

Yesterday’s MidJersey.news story here:

UPDATE–ALERT CANCELEDAMBER ALERT: For 2 Year Old Sebastian Rios Last Seen In Rahway, NJ CANCELED






Governor Murphy Signs Bills to Advance New Jersey’s Clean Energy Future

Legislation will Increase Solar Development and Facilitate Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure throughout the State

July 9, 2021

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ (OCEAN) – Governor Phil Murphy today signed a package of bills aimed at advancing New Jersey’s transition to a clean energy future to further the Administration’s goal of reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The legislation will increase solar development and facilitate installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the state.

“Three and a half years ago we put forth one of the most aggressive plans in the nation to move New Jersey away from fossil fuels and towards a future based on clean and renewable energy technologies,” said Governor Murphy. “From wind-turbine component manufacturing, to solar energy installation, to electric vehicles, the modernization of our energy sector will not only aid us in addressing climate change, but also drive significant economic growth and create good-paying, union jobs across the state. By signing these bills today, we are marking another milestone on our path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and fueling our clean innovation economy.”

“In order to combat climate change and its devastating consequences, we must do all we can to make it easier for people and families to use and charge electric vehicles whether they live in a single-family home or in a multi-family dwelling. Electric vehicles are the future and everyone should have access to the environmental and economic benefits they provide,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “The legislation that Governor Murphy signed today will go a long way to supporting electric vehicle adoption across New Jersey. In fact, DCA is already at work crafting model ordinances to provide local governments with the ability to safely and efficiently approve the installation of electric vehicle service equipment and parking spaces that are pre-wired for electric vehicle infrastructure. DCA looks forward to continuing to do its part on electric vehicles and the broader effort to protect our environment.”



The Governor signed the following four bills into law:

S3223 (Smith, Bateman/Swain, Benson, Lopez, Verrelli, Karabinchak, Zwicker) – Establishes numerical requirements and zoning standards for installation of electric vehicle supply equipment and Make-Ready parking spaces

A1653 (Quijano, Karabinchak, Holley/Smith, Bateman) – Encourages development of zero-emission vehicle fueling and charging infrastructure in redevelopment projects.

A4554 (Karabinchak, Burzichelli, Houghtaling/Smith, Bateman) – Establishes successor program to solar renewable energy certificate program in BPU, including solicitation process for certain solar power generation facilities.

A5434 (Dancer, Armato, Houghtaling/Smith, Bateman) – Establishes dual-use solar project pilot program for unpreserved farmland; allows land used for dual-use solar project to be eligible for farmland assessment under certain conditions.

“I often talk about how significant these past few years have been for greatly expanding and growing renewable energy and electric vehicle capacity in New Jersey to combat climate change,” said Senator Smith. “With the dual-use solar project and utility-scale solar program laws now established, we can significantly increase our renewable energy footprint in a way that both preserves farmland and open-space. This clean energy can then go into the electrical grid to help power the electric vehicles via charging stations installed around the state.”

“In the not-so-distant future, we’ll see the day when most cars on the road are electric. By 2040, over half of all passenger vehicles sold are projected to be electric,” said Assemblymembers Lisa Swain, Daniel Benson, Yvonne Lopez, Anthony Verrelli, Robert Karabinchak, and Andrew Zwicker in a joint statement. “For the sake of our climate future, that day cannot come soon enough. If we want to encourage consumers to shift from buying gasoline-powered cars that emit dangerous fossil fuels into the air and erode our climate, to environmentally conscious electric vehicles that will reduce our dependence on oil and support clean air initiatives, we must invest in EV charging infrastructure in every community. The standards outlined in this law will remove roadblocks faced when installing EV supply equipment and parking spaces, which will expand our EV infrastructure and help New Jersey meet its climate goals.”

“More people are using zero-emission vehicles now than ever before. This is due in part to the hundreds of dollars ZEV drivers save each year on gas,” said Assemblymembers Annette Quijano, Robert Karabinchak, and Jamel Holley in a joint statement. “These vehicles are also better for our planet than gasoline cars because they don’t create byproducts that can harm the environment. The Assembly passed quite a few bills last session to encourage the purchase of ZEVs, and we must continue our efforts of finding ways to make these cars more convenient for both current and prospective owners. This law will encourage municipalities to incorporate charging and refueling stations in their redevelopment plans to increase the number of stations throughout our state. The more places our residents can go to recharge or refuel their ZEV, the more practical and appealing these vehicles will be.”

“Solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that can reliably power homes and businesses throughout our state,” said Assemblymen Robert Karabinchak, John Burzichelli, and Eric Houghtaling in a joint statement. “The Solar Successor Program will incentivize the generation of more solar power to help New Jersey reach our energy goals over the next five years and beyond. This program will not only create new jobs, but help protect our environment as well – ultimately benefitting everyone in our state.”

“This law will allow large-scale solar energy projects to be used as a tool for farmland preservation, and improve long-term viability of New Jersey family-farming operations,” said Assemblymen John Armato and Eric Houghtaling in a joint statement. “Studies have shown that agriculture production and solar generation can coexist on the same land. With a dual-use solar project pilot program, crops would flourish while the State continues its ambition toward 100% clean energy by 2050.”

“A very good balance was struck between maintaining our best agricultural lands while at the same time advancing the state’s Energy Master Plan,” said New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher. “The Department of Agriculture is working closely with BPU as well as with Rutgers University to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved. Thank you to Governor Murphy and the Legislature for continuing to make clean energy a priority that will allow solar interests to be developed while advancing agriculture in the Garden State.”

“Governor Murphy’s actions on these bills today will expand solar energy and electric vehicle infrastructure and continue to advance our efforts to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We are building on the success of New Jersey’s solar industry, which is going strong with over 142,000 installations in the state, as well developing the critical EV infrastructure necessary to help drivers make the switch. The new legislation complements our efforts at the Board and will help deliver on the Governor’s vision of a clean energy future.”

“Increasing the use of solar energy and zero-emission vehicles is not only essential for addressing the threat of climate change, but also creates important opportunities for long-term, sustainable economic growth,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Around the world, clean energy is a major job creator, and Governor Murphy’s strong leadership in signing these bills is a critical step forward that will establish New Jersey as a leader in the fight against climate change while building a stronger, fairer economy.”

“I am proud to stand with Governor Murphy today as he signs legislation that will make it easier for New Jersey’s municipalities to create electric vehicle charging infrastructure in their communities and further advance the state’s clean energy goals,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “Driving electric has numerous benefits for public health, air quality and the environment. We encourage the public to review the many incentives New Jersey offers for purchasing and driving electric vehicles and consider doing so an investment in the state’s clean energy future.”

“Governor Murphy understands that the aggressive and thoughtful pursuit of clean energy and the economy of New Jersey will be the rising tide that lifts all boats,” said Pam Frank, CEO, ChargEVC-NJ. “And importantly, in the name of fairness and in the name of decency, the governor recognizes that for so many generations, so many of our boats, never even left the shore. Putting his vision together with the leadership of these two men, Senator Smith and Assemblyman Benson means a lot is happening.”




*UPDATE*–*ALERT CANCELED*AMBER ALERT: For 2 Year Old Sebastian Rios Last Seen In Rahway, NJ *CANCELED*

July 11, 2021 UPDATE: Mother Of Abducted Child Found Dead

July 10, 2021 Update here: UPDATE: Missing Child Found, Father In Custody, Mother Remains Missing


July 9, 2021


AMBER Alert CANCELED

As of this morning (7/10/2021) the alert has been canceled.

An Amber Alert was just issued for Sebastian Rios, a 2-year-old black male, who was last seen in Rahway. According to the Amber Alert, the suspect is his father, Tyler Rios, age 27. Be on the lookout for a silver four-door Ford Fiesta with license plate S34NVH.

Dial 9-1-1 to report any information regarding this abduction. Normal business hours 9am-5pm M-F, 609-882-2000 ext 2894. After normal business hours call 609-963-6900 – Choose Option “1” E-Mail Contact: missingp@njsp.org


NIC #CASE #
M06631211521-18357
Date of Last ContactCounty
07/08/2021

Biological Information

NameRIOS,SEBASTIAN
SexMale
RaceBlack
Date of Birth08/14/2018
Height3′ 05”
Weight47
HairBrown
EyesBrown
Complextion



AG Grewal Launches New Jersey State Police Traffic Stop Dashboard

State-of-the-art online database presents one of the most comprehensive data sets in the country for traffic stop information

July 8, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced the launch of the New Jersey State Police Traffic Stop Dashboard (the “Dashboard”), which will enable the public to view detailed information on more than six million traffic stops conducted by the New Jersey State Police over a period of more than 10 years, from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2020.

Operated by the Attorney General’s Office and developed in partnership with SAS, the Dashboard provides one of the most comprehensive statewide databases in the country for traffic stop information. The data is organized by a variety of metrics, including driver race, and users can download the full dataset for their own review. Researchers, reporters, and members of the public can access the Dashboard on the Attorney General’s Office website at njoag.gov/trafficstops.

“The New Jersey State Police Traffic Stop Dashboard is another powerful tool to promote transparency and accountability in policing in New Jersey,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It presents more than a decade of data in a format that will facilitate analysis and encourage public dialogue about this critical area of policing. Just as we are enabling law enforcement, the media, researchers, and the public to better understand how force is used by police with our Use of Force portal, this new Dashboard will give stakeholders an unprecedented look at how and why the State Police conduct traffic stops.”

“The Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards supports the New Jersey State Police with legal advice and objective monitoring designed to ensure that their policies and procedures address evolving legal principles as well as any issues identified in reported data,” said OLEPS Director Christina M. Glogoff. “With this new public dashboard, we invite citizens, advocates, and reporters to examine State Police traffic stop data themselves and perhaps contribute to a public conversation about best practices in this area.”

“The New Jersey State Police is committed to providing professional and compassionate service to the public in partnership with our communities, and we are committed to promoting transparency and accountability. We hold New Jersey State Troopers to the highest standards, which is why we have implemented multiple layers of oversight over the last two decades to identify potentially deficient patrol practices or behaviors before they become a problem,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The Dashboard will be a window through which the public can view the data that we utilize to enhance and improve our training for both enlisted members and for recruits in training, and we welcome the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about how we conduct traffic stops.”

By statute, the Attorney General’s Office is required to periodically publish aggregate data of New Jersey State Police motor vehicle stops. After collecting traffic stop data for over a decade and publishing written reports, the Attorney General’s Office has now created the Dashboard to present this extensive dataset in a variety of visual and interactive displays. Throughout, the information is broken out by driver race.

The Dashboard includes graphical representations that illustrate trends over time about the reasons a state trooper stopped a motor vehicle, and the actions, if any, the trooper took after the motor vehicle stop with respect to the driver and any other occupants, including:

              • Summonses issued 

              • Warnings issued 

              • Arrests 

              • Consent searches conducted 

              • Probable cause searches conducted 

              • Uses of force 

              • Vehicle exits 

              • Frisks 

              • Canine deployments 

The Dashboard continues to be a work in progress, and the Attorney General’s Office encourages users to complete a short survey at this link to offer feedback on the site: Traffic Stop Dashboard Feedback.

Since October 2020, all police officers in New Jersey have been reporting detailed information on every use of force by police through the Attorney General’s Use of Force Portal. In March, Attorney General Grewal launched a public-facing version of the statewide use of force database called the Use of Force Dashboard. The Use of Force Dashboard is accessible at njoag.gov/force.

To learn more about recent policing reforms in New Jersey, visit njoag.gov/policing.


Governor Murphy Signs Legislation to Protect New Jersey Workers, Employers From Unlawful Misclassification

July 8, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Building on his commitment to making sure that workers and employers in New Jersey are treated fairly, Governor Phil Murphy today signed a four-bill legislative package furthering state efforts to stop employee misclassification. 

Misclassification is the practice of illegally and improperly classifying employees as independent contractors. This practice deprives workers of the right to earn minimum wage and overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment, earned sick leave, job-protected family leave, temporary disability, and equal pay, and leaves them unprotected against discrimination. It also hurts the vast majority of employers who play by the rules, by putting them at a competitive disadvantage against those who flout the law. 
Through today’s action, a new Office of Strategic Enforcement and Compliance within the Department of Labor (DOL) will be created and DOL will create a database to track payroll projects, critical steps to tracking and eliminating misclassification. The others bills in the package will simplify the process for identifying misclassified workers and implement stop-work orders at worksites where misclassification is identified. 

Tackling worker misclassification has been a priority of the Murphy Administration since day one, and these efforts build on the significant progress that already has been made. In 2018, a Department of Labor audit found more than 12,300 cases of workers being misclassified, resulting in more than $460 million in underreported gross wages and $14 million in lost state unemployment and temporary disability contributions. The audit covered just 1 percent of businesses, suggesting that the real cost of misclassification is much, much higher.  

During his first year in office, Governor Murphy signed an executive order creating a Misclassification Task Force to determine the scope of the problem and propose measures to alleviate it. The Task Force was the result of a partnership between the Administration, the Legislature, and key labor and workforce stakeholders, that subsequently led to  laws stiffening penalties and providing new enforcement tools to tackle misclassification. Today’s bill signings continue this progress. 

“Workers who are misclassified as independent contractors miss out on fair wages and benefits,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “These business practices are unfair, abusive, and illegal and they cannot be tolerated. Today’s action will give the state more tools to root-out and prevent misclassification. I am honored to sign these bills today on behalf of New Jersey’s workers.” 

“We should all be proud that New Jersey is the best state in which to be a worker in the entire country. Because of the wages, rights and benefits New Jersey guarantees, we’re also the state whose workforce delivers the biggest value to employers,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “The action taken by the Governor here today will only bolster New Jersey’s workforce — the employees who deserve the protections put in place for them – and the employers who play by the rules and properly classify their workers.”

“Employee misclassification has been a growing issue in New Jersey and I’m pleased to see further legislation signed into law that combats this abhorrent practice,” said Senator Fred Madden, chair of the Senator Labor Committee and sponsor of A-5891. “It may sound like a simple bureaucratic problem, but it is far more onerous: misclassification results in hard-working New Jerseyans being denied basic benefits such as overtime, medical leave, unemployment insurance, and safe workplaces, and their unscrupulous employers benefit. I’m confident this package of bills will go far in eradicating this practice and ensuring that our workers are treated fairly.”

“For too long, some contractors working for the state have been less than forthcoming about how they’re paying their employees,” said Senator Troy Singleton, sponsor of  A-1171. “The creation of a centrally located, publicly available, database of payroll certifications will go far to ensuring that workers are being paid proper wages when working on public contracts. That is good for the workers and taxpayers alike, and I’m pleased to see the measure now signed into law.”

“It is necessary to increase the Department of Labor’s enforcement powers.  We have seen far too many violations of State wage, benefit and tax laws,” said Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, sponsor of A-5890.  “This law will further the department’s responsibility to mitigate bad actors from misclassifying employees and lessen violations against laws previously enacted.” 

“Creating a centralized office for the coordination of workforce and labor-related efforts will help ensure greater enforcement and compliance with New Jersey wage, benefit and tax laws,” Assembly sponsors of A-5891  Joseph Egan and Robert Karabinchak said in a joint statement. “This office will oversee the preliminary review of any business seeking State assistance to make sure they are complying with necessary regulations regarding employee compensation and contributions to unemployment and disability benefits funds. Ultimately, the coordination of these efforts will prove beneficial to our state, to employees, and to law-abiding businesses that deserve our assistance.”

“Misclassifying workers as independent contractors just to get out of paying insurance premiums harms hard-working people who deserve the same benefits and protections as other company employees,” said Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, sponsor of A-5892. “Not only will misclassification for the purpose of evading insurance premiums be a violation of our state’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, but this law will also provide additional resources to help streamline the identification of employee misclassification.”

Today, Governor Murphy took action on the following legislation:

A-5890/S-3920 (Verrelli/Madden, Greenstein) – Concerns enforcement of employee misclassification and stop-work order laws.   

A-5891/S-3921 (Egan, Karabinchak, Space/Madden, Oroho) – Creates “Office of Strategic Enforcement and Compliance” in DOLWD; appropriates $1 million from General Fund.

A-5892/S-3922 (Sumter/Madden, Lagana) – Streamlines identification of employee misclassification.

A-1171/S-1260 (Freiman, Karabincak, Verrelli/Singleton, Oroho)– Requires Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to create Statewide database of certified payroll information for public works projects. 

                 


Coast Guard urges hurricane preparedness ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa

July 8, 2021

The Coast Guard urges caution to Mid-Atlantic mariners, boaters and beachgoers as Tropical Storm Elsa impacts the region.

Tropical storms are dangerous, can create treacherous conditions and can cause gale-force winds sooner than anticipated.

Mariners, boaters, and beachgoers alike should stay safe, alert and follow advisories as harsh weather, seas, and winds impact their area, as well as consider the following: 

  • Remain in port. Mariners should consider altering plans to avoid possible hazardous conditions. Remain in port, seek safe harbor, alter course, and/or secure the vessel for severe wind and waves.
  • Prepare for heavy winds. Heavy winds associated with tropical storms can lead to life threatening conditions if boaters or mariners are unprepared. Follow precautions and weather advisories. 
  • Stay off the water. Boaters can find themselves in trouble as sea states intensify beyond what their vessel can safely operate within. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue capabilities degrade as storm conditions strengthen. This means help could be delayed. Boaters should heed weather watches, warnings, and small craft advisories.
  • Secure belongings. Those who are leaving their boats in the water are reminded to secure life rings, lifejackets, and small boats. These items, if not properly secured, can break free and require valuable search and rescue resources be diverted to ensure people are not in distress.
  • Be cautious on beaches. Beachgoers should heed warnings from local lifeguards and weather services in regards to the approaching storm. Wave heights and currents typically increase before a storm makes landfall. Even the best swimmers can fall victim to the strong waves and rip currents caused by tropical storms or hurricanes. 
  • Label and secure your paddlecraft: Storms can cause unsecured paddlecraft to break loose, which will result in search and rescue cases. if gear and craft are labeled properly, search and rescue coordinators can reach out quickly to see if an individual was in distress. 
  • Stay informed. The public should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through local television, radio, and the Internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16. Information can also be obtained on small craft advisories and warnings on VHF radio channel 16.





Murphy Administration Enforces Strong Building Codes and Multi-Unit Housing Inspections Across the State

State of New Jersey Has Among the Highest Building Code Standards in the Nation

July 8, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Today, Governor Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Oliver reminded the public that the Division of Codes and Standards in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is at the forefront of enforcing building codes, in partnership with municipalities in the state, to protect the health and safety of people who live, work, and visit New Jersey.

“The Florida condominium collapse is a sobering reminder that inspections and enforcement of building codes are critical tools that keep people safe,” said Governor Murphy. “New Jersey’s building codes are among the strongest in the nation, and our residents can rest assured that the Department of Community Affairs goes above and beyond the nationwide standard. Through continued vigilance, we can prevent tragedies and save lives.”

“The kind of tragedy that happened in Florida last month is the reason why New Jersey has one of the strongest building codes in the nation and why DCA has a capable team of building codes experts who establish and enforce these rigorous health, welfare, and safety standards,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The Uniform Construction Code is the national standard, and New Jersey is one of the few states that consistently adopts it statewide, which demonstrates our commitment to protecting the public.”  

The Uniform Construction Code (UCC) implements subcodes that regulate such aspects of the built environment as building, plumbing, electrical, fire protection, energy, mechanical, fuel gas, rehabilitation, barrier-free, asbestos, radon, and elevators. The State’s current adopted codes and standards can be reviewed at https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/codreg/ on the DCA website. All of these codes and standards adopted at the state level must be followed by each local governmental entity across the state to ensure the same high standards are consistently applied in all communities across New Jersey.

Additionally, under the New Jersey Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, DCA’s Bureau of Housing Inspection within the Division of Codes and Standards oversees regular inspections of hotels, motels, and multiple-family buildings that contain three or more housing units. The cyclical inspections help the State and local governments ensure that buildings in which multiple people and families are residing are being properly maintained by the property owner and meeting health and safety standards. The inspections include a visual look at foundation and structural members of the building that are accessible. They also cover such standards as heat, infestation, and lead hazards to make sure the building is safe for human habitation. 

If a complaint is received, alleging a violation of the New Jersey Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law, then inspectors within the DCA Bureau of Housing Inspection go out to inspect the issue at hand and anything easily visible at the time of the complaint, regardless of where the building is in its inspection cycle. If violations are found, a notice is issued and a re-inspection is conducted to ensure the violation is abated.

Health and safety complaints about hotels, motels, and multiple dwelling buildings can be submitted with the local building code office. Complaints can also be filed with the Bureau of Housing Inspection at (609) 633-6227 or BHIInspections@dca.nj.gov.  

DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.


29 Year Old Middlesex County Man Killed By Drunk Driver In New Hampshire

July 7, 2021

SEABROOK, NH –WOODBRIDGE TWP/COLONIA, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Yesterday, a Woodbridge Township man from the Colonia section of town was killed in a serious motor vehicle crash in Seabrook, New Hampshire according to NH State Police.

On Tuesday, July 06, 2021 at approximately 12:09 p.m., troopers from New Hampshire State Police-Troop-A responded to a report of a serious motor vehicle collision on Interstate 95 South in the Town of Seabrook. Once on scene, troopers were able to determine that a 2020 Subaru Outback, driven by Sue Sargent, age 66 of Eliot Maine was traveling northbound in lane 3 when her vehicle started to drift to the left, departing its lane of travel. The Subaru crossed into lane 4, which was occupied by a 2019 Toyota Sienna, resulting in a sideswipe impact between the two vehicles.  The Toyota Sienna was driven by Shannon Geoghegan, age 50 of Franklin, Massachusetts, who had two passengers with her at the time, Lawrence Geoghegan, age 58, and a juvenile male, all of whom were uninjured.   After this impact, the Subaru continued drifting to its left and through the center median, crossing over into the southbound lanes of travel.  Upon doing so, the Subaru collided with a 2016 Jeep Wrangler, which was driven by Joseph Hoffman, age 29 of Colonia, New Jersey.  Hoffman had three passengers with him who are identified as Matthew Santangelo, age 29, of Colonia, NJ, Jamerson Tisch age 27, of Keyport, NJ, and Michael Hoffman, age 27, of Colonia, NJ.  The force of this impact caused the Jeep to rollover and come to a position of rest off the western edge of the roadway on its roof. The Subaru was disabled due to the impact and came to a position of rest in the southbound travel lanes.   During this post-impact sequence, Michael Hoffman was ejected from the Jeep, resulting in serious, life-threatening injuries.  He was transported to the Seabrook Emergency Room of the Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.  Joseph Hoffman, Santangelo, and Tisch were also transported to the Seabrook Emergency Room for treatment of minor injuries.

Due to the nature of the crash and at the request of Troop A, the New Hampshire State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction (C.A.R.) Unit responded to the scene and assumed control of the investigation.

Sue Sargent was transported to the Portsmouth Regional Hospital for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the collision.   As a result of the investigation, Sargent was placed under arrest for Aggravated Driving While Under the Influence.  She was released on personal recognizance bail and left in the care of the hospital for medical treatment. An arraignment date in the Rockingham Superior Court will be determined pending her medical release.

Due to the collision, three lanes of I-95 South were closed for approximately 5 hours while the scene was documented and the vehicles were recovered.  The New Hampshire State Police were assisted on scene by the Seabrook Police Department, Seabrook Fire Department, and the NH Department of Transportation.

Although physical impairment appears to be a contributing factor, all aspects of this crash remain under investigation.  Anyone that may have further information related to this crash, please contact Trooper Eric Torrens at 603-223-4381 or email at Eric.M.Torrens@dos.nh.gov.


NJ State Troopers From Troop “C” Presented With Awards

Trooper Travis performed CPR on a 7 year old child on vacation saving the child’s life. Trooper Waldrop on patrol on I-295 in Hamilton Township saved a woman from jumping from a bridge.



July 6, 2021– Updated July 7, 2021

WEST TRENTON – EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 17, 2021 Lt. Colonel Geoffrey Noble, Lt. Colonel Terence Carroll, and Major Brian Polite presented Division awards to troopers from Troop “C” at the historic log cabin at Division Headquarters.

On August 23, 2019, Trooper I Charles Travis was off-duty on a family vacation at a hotel pool in Orlando, FL, when he heard someone calling for help. He immediately ran over and discovered a child unconscious and not breathing in the adjacent pool. Without hesitation, he grabbed the seven-year-old child and began performing life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). After administering several rounds, the child coughed up water and regained consciousness. Trooper I Travis was honored for his quick and decisive actions while off-duty which ultimately saved the child’s life.

On April 14, 2020, Trooper Robert Waldrop was on patrol on Interstate 295 northbound in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, when he observed a vehicle parked under an overpass. As he approached the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle made him aware of a female standing outside of the protective fencing on the ledge of the overpass in an apparent suicide attempt. Trooper Waldrop immediately informed dispatch and ran towards the victim. He spoke calmly to the woman and slowly gained her trust before convincing her to come down from the narrow ledge. He held on to her clothing through the chain link fence until she was safely on the ground. Trooper Waldrop was honored for his life-saving efforts.

During the ceremony, Senior Security Officer Michael Cheeseborough, Guard Richard Allen, Guard Douglas Hoyt, and Guard Ryan Herbert were also honored for their service in the armed forces and presented with Certificates of Military Service.

The actions of the award recipients have brought great pride and distinction to themselves and the Division. Their commitment and dedication embody the core values of the New Jersey State Police: Honor, Duty, and Fidelity.

See related MidJersey.News story here: NJ State Trooper Rescues Suicidal Woman From I-295 Bridge At Scenic Overlook





NJ State Police Deploy Additional Patrols Statewide for July 4th Holiday Weekend

July 3, 2021

West Trenton, N.J. – The New Jersey State Police would like everyone to enjoy their holiday weekend as the State continues to open after the COVID-19 pandemic. With residents celebrating Independence Day for the first time in two years, we understand that everyone wants to reconnect with family and friends whether at a barbecue, driving to the Jersey Shore, or spending time on the water. We would like everyone to dust off their safety playbook and give it a read before heading out for the holiday weekend.

During the July 4th holiday last year, there were eight fatal crashes that resulted in nine deaths, with alcohol or drugs as a contributing factor in four of them. These types of tragedies can often be avoided by calling a taxi, using transportation applications such as Uber and Lyft, making plans to stay with friends or family, or having a designated driver. We also want to remind motorist that fatigued drivers can often display the same signs as intoxicated drivers. If you are planning a long road trip, please ensure that you are well-rested before driving and utilize service areas to stop and rest.

The New Jersey State Police have planned to increase traffic enforcement details across the state from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 2 to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5. During this period, more than 60 additional troopers will be on special details targeting aggressive driving, speeding, seatbelt usage, distracted driving, and DWI in addition to regularly scheduled patrols.

Motorists are reminded that when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road to move over. According to New Jersey’s Move Over Law, drivers approaching stationary emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and other highway safety vehicles displaying flashing lights must move over to leave an empty lane next to those vehicles. If it is not safe to move over, drivers must slow down below the posted speed limit.

The State Police Marine Bureau will also be patrolling the state’s waterways this weekend, and troopers will be looking for signs of boaters under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reckless operation of boats and personal water crafts. For additional information on boating safety and requirements please visit www.njsp.org/marine-services/index.shtml.

“New Jersey and the rest of the country have reason to celebrate. We are celebrating our nation’s independence, and we are celebrating the end of many of the sacrifices we made together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “While enjoying all that New Jersey has to offer this holiday weekend, we remind everyone to do it responsibly. On behalf of the New Jersey State Police, I would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.”


Federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces arrive in Surfside from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to assist in search and rescue efforts

July 2, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett for a press briefing to provide updates on the Surfside Building Collapse response.

Full remarks regarding the current response from this morning’s press conference are available here. Vicegobernadora Jeanette Nuñez también pronunció comentarios en español. Los comentarios comienzan en 4:05.

There are currently more than 500 first responders and state workers on-site to support ongoing search and recovery efforts. State response efforts include:

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

At the direction of FDEM Director and State Coordinating Officer Kevin Guthrie, five federal Type 1 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been deployed to Surfside to ensure additional first responders are available in the event of severe weather in Florida. USAR Task Forces from Virginia, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania are on-scene. The New Jersey USAR Task Force is en route to the scene.

To date, the state has completed more than 110 resource requests for the Surfside Building Collapse, and 22 additional requests are being mobilized today.

FDEM continues to provide PPE, spare boots and other clothing items to USAR responders to ensure added protection and safety while working on-site. The Division has distributed 450 pairs of boots, 2,700 pairs of socks and 360 pairs of heavy-duty demolition gloves.

To date, FDEM personnel have assisted more than 60 individuals in registering for FEMA Individual Assistance.

In collaboration with FDEM, Royal Caribbean Group docked Royal Caribbean International’s Explorer of the Seas at PortMiami to provide free housing and support for the tireless efforts of search and rescue teams working at the Surfside Building Collapse.

The Division coordinated with FEMA and has already received $20.5 million within a week to support ongoing response efforts in Surfside.

The State Emergency Response Team is providing meteorological updates on Hurricane Elsa to responding teams in Surfside and has contingency plans in place to respond to concurrent disasters if needed.

FDEM issued Emergency Order 21-004, which waives certain requirements that pertain to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s affordable housing programs, to make additional housing units available for individuals impacted by the collapse.

The state has mental wellness teams and critical incident stress management resources on-site to support the mental health of USAR responders.

The State Mental Health Coordinator is on-site and working with the Florida Crisis Response Team and local organizations to centralize available mental health resources.



Governor Murphy Signs Legislative Package to Address New Jersey’s Opioid Epidemic

July 2, 2021

ASBURY PARK, NJ (MONMOUTH)—Reaffirming his commitment to end New Jersey’s opioid epidemic, Governor Phil Murphy today signed a comprehensive legislative package into law to address the state’s opioid crisis through overdose prevention and recovery resilience. The six bills focus on overdose prevention by expanding low-barrier access to naloxone and bridges to medication assisted treatment; strengthens public health data; and builds resiliency among children and families impacted by the opioid crisis.

“Over the last three years, my Administration, alongside our partners in the Legislature and many passionate advocates, has worked to meaningfully combat the opioid crisis that has held our state in its grip for far too long,” said Governor Murphy. “We have worked tirelessly to erase the stigma associated with opioid use disorder and people who use drugs, close gaps in treatment, expand access and use of life-saving medicines like naloxone, and support the work of syringe exchange programs and harm reduction centers. The fight against the opioid epidemic has required a focus on harm reduction by providing safe and compassionate access points to care and by securing funding for vital programs and recovery services. By signing these bills today, we are strengthening the foundation of these critical resources and programs, keeping families together, and furthering our commitment to saving lives and ending the opioid epidemic in New Jersey.”

“The opioid epidemic is a national public health crisis that devastates families every day,” said U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone. “We know that harm reduction is critical to saving lives and getting the help individuals who suffer from opioid use disorder need to combat this epidemic. As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve helped pass legislation in Congress to address this crisis and will continue to work at the federal level to save lives. I’m proud to join Governor Murphy today as we take another step forward in expanding access to treatments and lifesaving medications in our state.”

Governor Murphy signed the following six bills into law:

S3491 (Vitale, Lagana, Vainieri Huttle/Verrelli, Benson) Revises and expands authorization for any person or entity to obtain, distribute, and administer opioid antidotes.

S3803 (Vitale, Schepisi/Conaway, Vainieri Huttle, Verrelli) Permits certain paramedics to administer buprenorphine.

A5595 (Verrelli, Benson, Holley/Gopal, Lagana) Requires Division of Consumer Affairs to publish retail price of certain opioid antidotes.

A5597 (Conaway, Jimenez, Speight/Vitale, Turner) Permits school districts to administer student health surveys after prior written notification to parents and legal guardians.

S3814 (Madden/Conaway, Mosquera, Tully) Requires DCF or court to consider placement of children with relatives or kinship guardians when making placement decision; makes changes to certain standards for initiating petitions to terminate parental rights.

A5703 (Armato, Verrelli, Conaway/Addiego, Lagana) Requires certain health insurers, Medicaid, NJ FamilyCare, SHBP, and SEHBP to cover naloxone without imposing prior authorization requirements.

“I would like to thank the Governor for signing these crucial and life-saving bills into law today,” said Senator Joseph Vitale. “Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with opioids being the most common drug, causing approximately 70 percent of all drug overdose deaths. Many of these lives could have been saved with the use of opioid antidotes, however; there is currently only a limited amount of individuals authorized to administer these antidotes. These new laws will expand who can deliver antidotes to a larger group of individuals, which will be crucial in saving countless lives from overdose.”

“This bill keeps reunification the focus by removing barriers to relatives becoming Kinship Legal Guardians so that the child’s relationship with their birth parents can be preserved,” said Senator Fred Madden. “Kinship relationships increase the emotional well-being of a child and reduce their number of placements in foster care. This legislation will allow case precedent to better reflect new research.”

“It’s important that we have accurate data on the social, emotional and physical well-being of our students,” said Senator Shirley Turner. “This legislation will help to provide that, by ensuring we are allowing as many students as possible to participate in these valuable surveys. I am grateful to see the Governor signing this measure into law and I look forward to seeing the impact it has on our public health initiatives.”

“In 2020 alone, New Jersey had thousands of suspected opioid overdose deaths,” said Senator Joseph Lagana. “It is evident that when we increase the availability of opioid antidotes, we can equip ourselves with the resources needed to greatly diminish the amount of deaths we have each year. Additionally, having the prices of these antidotes readily available will encourage those suffering from addiction to seek out antidotes that can be life-saving in dire times. I commend the Governor for signing this bill package today and I know we will save more lives because of it.”

“Complete and utter transparency between the Division of Consumer Affairs and consumers is essential,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “Antidotes like Narcan save lives and its accessibility can be the difference between a fatal drug overdose and someone’s resuscitation. This legislation will ensure that consumers can identify which opioid antidotes they can afford and encourage them to purchase one to keep on them in case of emergency.”

“Naloxone is crucial in treating an opioid overdose in the event of an emergency,” said Senator Dawn Addiego. “When properly administered, the drug has been proven to significantly decrease the likelihood of death following an overdose, saving countless lives to date. It is imperative that we make this life-saving medication as accessibly as possible to our residents.”

“As a doctor, I know just how important it is to prepare for and respond to medical emergencies patients may encounter,” said Assemblyman Herb Conaway. “With thousands of lives lost to overdoses each year, we need a system in place to help residents struggling with substance use disorders who may be at risk for overdoses.”

“Having immediate access to an opioid antidote when helping someone experiencing an overdose can mean the difference between life and death,” said Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli. “It might be too late if a patient has to wait for treatment until they reach the hospital, which is why we must improve access to these medicines in our state.”

 “Every life lost to an overdose is a tragedy that might have been avoided with the right resources and support,” said Assemblyman John Armato. “We must do everything in our power to help prevent the needless loss of life caused by drug overdoses throughout our state.”

“Due to the addictive nature of these drugs, unfortunately it is quite possible for someone who overdosed once to accidentally overdose again,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle. “We must take a holistic approach to combating overdoses by also treating opioid use disorder itself with medicines such as buprenorphine.”

“Studies have shown that children often fare better when placed with relatives rather than someone they do not know in foster care,” said Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera. “More residents with happier, stable childhoods will help reduce the number of people throughout our state who struggle with substance use disorder.”

“A safe and loving home environment helps pave the way for children to lead healthier lives,” said Assemblyman Christopher Tully. “This legislation provides solutions to one of the key factors contributing to substance use disorder by ensuring more children end up with family or friends who know them and can care for them when their parents cannot.”

“When you consider the prevalence of overdoses in our state and just how effective opioid antidotes can be in those situations, it is clear we must do everything we can to make this medication widely available,” said Assemblyman Daniel Benson. “Allowing anyone to obtain opioid antidotes and give them out or utilize them in emergency situations is one way we can help get this life-saving medicine into the hands of the many residents who need it.”

“Opioid antidotes save lives – it’s as simple as that,” said Assemblyman Jamel Holley. “There can be no confusion about pricing and accessibility when it comes to helping our community members acquire these medicines.”

“With drug use sometimes beginning as young as 12-years-old, it is vital our State gathers information on the various health issues affecting our students,” said Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez. “Knowing just how many children have already been exposed to harmful substances will help us better understand the scope of the issue and how to address it before it becomes more severe in adulthood.”

“We need to know more about the health challenges facing New Jersey students today,” said Assemblywoman Shanique Speight. “Understanding how many students are actively using harmful substances will make it easier for us to reach out and provide support to the children in our communities who need our help.”

“Governor Murphy and the Legislature are committed to saving lives by reaching those in need and removing barriers to treatment, and that includes making life-saving opioid antidotes as accessible as possible,” said New Jersey Department of Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “We’ve worked to get the opioid overdose antidote naloxone into as many hands as possible, distributing 62,000 free doses to residents at more than 300 pharmacies and giving more than 70,000 free naloxone doses to police, EMS, homeless shelters, libraries, reentry organizations and county mobile outreach units. Naloxone saves lives, and these new laws will help reinforce these efforts to get it into as many hands as possible in as many ways as possible.”

“Today, New Jersey is making a strong and lasting statement with several new laws that support substance use treatment, recovery and family connections,” said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “Through our work in child welfare, we know that substance use and addiction are often underlying factors of family separation, with resulting trauma that can have long term, negative effects on everyone involved. This new law will help create placement stability for children who are removed due to a caregiver’s opioid abuse, and will ensure that the preference for kinship placements is preserved.”

“Today’s actions further demonstrate Governor Murphy’s commitment to end the opioid epidemic in New Jersey. By removing barriers to life-saving treatments like naloxone, and addressing the impact of addiction on families, these new laws will make it easier for people battling with substance abuse to receive the help they need and will ultimately save lives,” said New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride.

“New Jersey remains resolute in its commitment to ending the addiction crisis that continues to claim lives in communities across New Jersey,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “These bills bolster our efforts by expanding access to life-saving medications and giving those on the front lines additional resources to fight this epidemic.”

“Taken together, these bills provide powerful tools to address the overdose epidemic,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Fundamentally rooted in science, compassion and harm reduction, these bills will help reverse the tide of the overdose epidemic, which has robbed us of too many people we love. These bills come at a crucial time, especially as we worry about an uptick in overdoses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Breaking down barriers to affordable high-quality healthcare is the hallmark of what we do at the VNACJ Community Health Center,” said Christopher R. Rinn, CEO of the VNACJ Community Health Center. “Today’s initiatives not only underscore Governor Murphy’s ongoing commitment to end the opioid epidemic but also empower those at the community level to improve access to a whole host addiction services. We are especially grateful for the support of our Medication Assistant Therapy (MAT) programs. The opioid epidemic continues to impact thousands of lives in the communities we serve. Thanks to the Governor’s and the Legislature’s leadership, we are saving lives and empowering patients onto the journey of recovery.”

“Expanding New Jersey’s naloxone standing order will make it much easier for people who use drugs to access this life-saving medication,” said Jenna Mellor, Executive Director, New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition. “When naloxone is widely available, people who are most likely to witness an overdose can act as first responders and save the life of a friend or family member. This legislation will get naloxone into as many hands as possible, which is one of the few proven ways to prevent overdose deaths. We sincerely thank Governor Murphy, Senator Vitale, and Assemblywoman Vaineri Huttle for their leadership on this issue, and look forward to finding new ways to expand harm reduction services across the Garden State.”

“The bills signed today ensure that cost, location, and stigma never stand in the way of naloxone access for people who use drugs, people who used to use drugs, and our loved ones,” said Caitlin O’Neill, Director of Harm Reduction Services and co-founder, New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition. “Having naloxone on-hand is critical to keeping one another alive, and this bill makes widespread naloxone distribution possible. I commend Governor Murphy, Senator Vitale, and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle for responding with true leadership when people who use drugs when we told you we need widespread community naloxone access to survive, and I look forward to continuing to expand harm reduction services throughout the Garden State.” 





NJ Task Force One Deploys To Surfside, Miami, Florida For Building Collapse

July 1, 2021

WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The NJ Urban Search And Rescue Task Force One has deployed to Surfside, Miami, Florida for a building collapse. The team left this morning around 6:45 a.m. and was spotted in Robbinsville, NJ at New Jersey Turnpike Exit 7A with a police escort en route to Florida.

Known locals responding and/or on the team are: Brad Ladislaw, Jay Ryan, Joe Flynn, Jeff Barlow from Hamilton Township Fire Department. Lt. Michael McMahon, Planning Team Manager, from West Windsor Police Department. Scott Cook, Rescue Specialist from West Windsor Fire & Emergency Services. Mike Yeh, Task Force Leader, Princeton Emergency & Safety Services-Princeton Junction Fire Company. Trenton Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Smolka, Technical Search, Deputy Chief Anthony Moran, Safety, and Joe Szabo, Rescue Specialist. (list updated as we get it)

Yesterday’s MidJersey.news story about the deployment: BREAKING: NJ’s Task Force 1 Called To Respond To Miami- Surfside, FL Building Collapse

New Jersey Task Force 1 Deploys to Miami

New Jersey Task Force 1 (NJ-TF1) has been activated as 1 of the 28 teams of the National Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Response System and will be deploying tomorrow morning to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts resulting from the Champlain Tower Collapse.

NJ-TF1 is deploying as a Type 1 US&R Team consisting of 70 team members, in 21 technically skilled positions, and 10 ground support personnel. The team will be responding via; two crew carriers, three tractor-trailers, two box trucks, five F-450 crew trucks, two passenger vans, two K-9 units, two utility terrain vehicles, and a fleet service truck. A water rescue component of six boats with trailers and a water support trailer are also being deployed.

NJ-TF1 is deploying to a staging area in Miami, Florida. This will be the team’s eighth deployment as a FEMA US&R Team since 2016. The team has past experience in structural collapse from 9/11, Tropicana Hotel Parking Garage Collapse and the Hackensack Parking Garage Collapse among others.

NJOEM & NJ-TF1 continue to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by this deadly tragedy.

Our hearts go out to the brave first responders who are working around the clock in search of survivors. We’ll see you soon.

#ReadyNJ #surfside #miami #searchandrescue

Learn more about NJ-TF1 at njtf1.org

State of New Jersey

New Jersey State Police

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency








BREAKING: NJ’s Task Force 1 Called To Respond To Miami- Surfside, FL Building Collapse

7/1/2021 update here: NJ Task Force One Deploys To Surfside, Miami, Florida For Building Collapse

June 30, 2021– Updated

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–MidJersey.news has learned that NJ Task Force One, Urban Search And Rescue Team will be responding to Miami for the building collapse, at Champlain Towers South condo, located at 8777 Collins Ave, Surfside, FL 33154. Final preparations are being made at the Task Force’s Headquarters for the trip.

UPDATE:

New Jersey Task Force 1 Deploys to Miami

New Jersey Task Force 1 (NJ-TF1) has been activated as 1 of the 28 teams of the National Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Response System and will be deploying tomorrow morning to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts resulting from the Champlain Tower Collapse.

NJ-TF1 is deploying as a Type 1 US&R Team consisting of 70 team members, in 21 technically skilled positions, and 10 ground support personnel. The team will be responding via; two crew carriers, three tractor-trailers, two box trucks, five F-450 crew trucks, two passenger vans, two K-9 units, two utility terrain vehicles, and a fleet service truck. A water rescue component of six boats with trailers and a water support trailer are also being deployed.

NJ-TF1 is deploying to a staging area in Miami, Florida. This will be the team’s eighth deployment as a FEMA US&R Team since 2016. The team has past experience in structural collapse from 9/11, Tropicana Hotel Parking Garage Collapse and the Hackensack Parking Garage Collapse among others.

NJOEM & NJ-TF1 continue to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by this deadly tragedy.

Our hearts go out to the brave first responders who are working around the clock in search of survivors. We’ll see you soon.

#ReadyNJ #surfside #miami #searchandrescue

Learn more about NJ-TF1 at njtf1.org

State of New Jersey

New Jersey State Police

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency