18 Year Old Newark Man Pleads Guilty For Sept. 7, 2020 Jenkinson’s Beach Stabbings

May 13, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on May 13, 2021, Juwan Roman, 18, of Newark, pled guilty before the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, P.J.Cr.P., to two counts of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), as well as Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d, relative to an incident that occurred in Point Pleasant Beach during the afternoon hours of September 7, 2020. Roman was 17 years of age when these crimes occurred. Earlier this week, he voluntarily waived jurisdiction of the Family Court — which handles juvenile delinquency matters — and agreed to be prosecuted as an adult; Roman’s guilty plea to these charges was contemplated in connection with his voluntary waiver to Criminal Court. At the time of his sentencing on July 9, 2021, the State will recommend that Roman be sentenced to a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.

On September 7, 2020, at approximately 3:30 p.m., the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department responded to multiple 911 calls for reports of a fight on Jenkinson’s Beach. Responding Officers found Alex Galdamez, 22, and William Mazariego, 18, both of West Haverstraw, New York, suffering from multiple stab wounds. Both individuals were taken to Jersey Shore Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Point Pleasant Beach Police Department revealed that Roman was the individual responsible for stabbing both Mr. Galdamez and Mr. Mazariego. Roman was taken into custody without incident at the scene, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension on September 7, 2020.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the hard work and diligence of Chief Juvenile Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Pierro and Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski who handled the case on behalf of the State. Additionally, Prosecutor Billhimer applauds the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Point Pleasant Beach Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Jenkinson’s Lifeguards, Jenkinson’s security staff and management for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately leading to Roman’s guilty pleas, and soon, his state prison sentence.


Related MidJersey.news coverage:

Arrests Made In Point Pleasant Beach Stabbings, Victims Identified


National Police Week: 2021 Police Unity Tour Chapter 10

March 13, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Riders of the 2021 Police Unity Tour Chapter 10 biked hundreds of miles over a period of three days, despite not being able to ride into Washington, DC.

Organized in May 1997, The primary purpose of the Police Unity Tour “We Ride For Those Who Died” is to raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty. They also raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC.

This years ride began on May 9. Bikers began their first day by riding from Eatontown, NJ to Atlantic City, NJ, totaling 97 miles. During this ride, they made stops at the Ocean County Police Academy for a memorial ceremony, and did a ride-by at the Trooper Castellano Memorial on Route 195 in Howell, before ending their first day in Atlantic City.

The next day, riders began in Atlantic City, and ended their day in Lewes, DE, including the ferry from Cape May, NJ to Lewes. On this day, bikers rode a total of 72 miles.

On day three, the last day of the tour, riders continued from Lewes, DE to Annapolis, MD, totaling 90 miles.

All together, bikers rode nearly 260 miles to honor law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

The Police Unity Tour usually consists of four days, however this year the fourth day was stolen from them by officials of Washington, DC. Unfortunately, officials would not grant the organization permits for the ride, nor ceremony at the memorial, claiming covid concerns and that it could “incite unrest.”

Despite politics stealing their ride through DC, riders did a great job this year to raise support for the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice when they left their families to protect ours.

Mercer County agencies that participated in the ride are Princeton Township Police, East Windsor Township Police, Robbinsville Township Police, Trenton Police, Ewing Township Police, and New Jersey State Police.





Hamilton Township, Hamilton Township School District & Olden Pharmacy Announce COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Students Ages 12+

May 13, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– In a collaborative effort, Hamilton Township, the Hamilton Township School District (HTSD) and Olden Pharmacy will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for students ages 12+ on Monday, May 17, 2021 at Crockett Middle School by appointment only.

It was announced this week that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer vaccine be made available to administer to children ages 12-15 years. Prior to this decision, the Pfizer vaccine was only approved for individuals age 16 and above.

In a formal statement, the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “For vaccination to do its job, we must do our critical part. That means vaccinating as many people as possible who are eligible. This official CDC action opens vaccination to approximately 17 million adolescents in the United States and strengthens our nation’s efforts to protect even more people from the effects of COVID-19. Getting adolescents vaccinated means their faster return to social activities and can provide parents and caregivers peace of mind knowing their family is protected.”

Any parent or guardian seeking an appointment for their child at Monday’s clinic which will be held between the hours of 2 and 6 PM may register for an appointment with Olden Pharmacy directly via their website at www.oldenpharmacy.com/hamilton.

“We are excited to provide the COVID vaccine in one of our district schools to all of our students from the age of twelve years old and up,” stated HTSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Rocco. “This is the result of a tremendous amount of teamwork between the township, Olden Pharmacy, and our school district. In particular, I would like to thank Marta Audino, our Director of Student Services, who has spearheaded our COVID response this year, and Chris Hellwig of the Hamilton Township Health Department, who has worked closely with us throughout the pandemic. Providing vaccines to our students, now that the vast majority of our faculty and staff are vaccinated, provides another level of protection for our students, faculty, and staff.”

Hamilton Township Division of Health reminds residents that all three available COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective and continues to encourage all individuals age 12 and older to get vaccinated. Those seeking vaccination may contact the Division of Health by telephone at (609) 890-3884 or (609) 890-3647 or email covidvaccine@hamiltonnj.com.

“I want to thank Olden Pharmacy and HTSD for their outstanding partnership in bringing vaccine to our area students”, said Mayor Martin. “The more people we can vaccinate, the safer it is for everyone. This is just one more step towards the normalcy we all crave.”

AG’s Office Releases Body-Worn Camera Footage Related to Death of Man Who Was Hospitalized After Police Encounter in Trenton Last Year

May 13, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

TRENTON (MERCER)– The Attorney General’s Office today released two 911 calls and video footage from nine police body-worn cameras related to the death of Joseph Ahr Sr., 64, of Trenton, N.J., who was hospitalized and later died after police used pepper spray during his arrest on July 6, 2020.

The fatal incident remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The recordings are being released in response to a recent OPRA request and pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Prior to today’s release, investigators discussed the matter with Mr. Ahr’s representative and relatives and provided copies of the recordings to them for their review.

Overview of Police Encounter Prior to Mr. Ahr’s Hospitalization and Death:

Officers of the Trenton Police Department responded to Mr. Ahr’s home in the 700 block of Monmouth Street at approximately 5:30 p.m. on July 6, 2020, after police received a phone call from Mr. Ahr’s son. Trenton officers arrived and initially spoke to the son, who answered the front door. Joseph Ahr Sr. then came to the door to speak to the officers. Both the son and Mr. Ahr got into verbal disputes with the officers. After the son went into the house, Mr. Ahr remained on the porch and continued to argue with the officers.

At a certain point, officers tried to detain Mr. Ahr and he pulled away from them. Officers then took Mr. Ahr to the ground, restrained him, and handcuffed him. During that encounter, one officer deployed pepper spray. While the officers were handcuffing Mr. Ahr, he stated several times that he could not breathe. After he was sitting up, Mr. Ahr complained about other medical issues, and officers summoned emergency medical personnel. Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene, examined Mr. Ahr, treated him with oxygen, and transported him to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. Mr. Ahr was admitted to the hospital, where he died 18 days later on July 24, 2020.

The recordings are posted here.

The Attorney General’s Office today released the identities of the Trenton police officers involved in the incident. They are Jeffrey Donaire, Kozell Hodges, Cornell Huff, Bryan Kirk, Angel Pena, Nicholas Piotrowski, Glendy Quijada, Yajaira Torres, and Acting Sgt. Rosemarie Addar. Officer Piotrowski is the officer who deployed pepper spray.

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued by Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed. At present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regular grand juries are not sitting and hearing cases.

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order Implementing Second Phase of COVID-19 Restriction Easing

May 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy last night signed Executive Order No. 239, moving forward with the COVID-19 restriction easing announced last week. The easing includes the complete removal of the outdoor gathering limit; an increased indoor gathering limit; the complete removal of all percentage-based capacity limits for indoor businesses, outdoor businesses, and houses of worship,; and an increased indoor large venue capacity. Additionally, the prohibition on indoor interstate youth sports competitions is being lifted.

“Throughout the pandemic, data and public health needs have guided the hard decisions we’ve made on COVID-19 restrictions,” said Governor Murphy. “With COVID-19 metrics trending in the right direction amidst substantial progress on our COVID-19 vaccination program, we can move forward with these significant steps towards a return to normalcy.”

The following changes will take effect on Wednesday, May 19th:

  • Complete removal of outdoor gathering limit– Attendees at outdoor gatherings will still be required to remain six feet apart from other groups and existing requirements regarding mask wearing will remain in place. 
  • Indoor gathering limit– The limit for indoor gatherings in private residences will be raised to 50 persons, up from 25 persons. Commercial gatherings and gatherings organized and operated by an overseeing entity (e.g. conferences, expositions, meetings of fraternal organizations, job trainings, events hosted by senior centers) in public spaces will be subject to the 250-person indoor gathering limit that applies to indoor catered events, as long as all attendees can remain six feet apart.
  • Complete removal of all percentage capacity limits for indoor and outdoor businesses, and houses of worship – The following businesses will no longer be subject to any percentage-based capacity restriction, but will instead be guided by the rule regarding six feet of distance between persons or groups of persons.  This would include:
    • Indoor dining – Currently, indoor dining is limited to 50% capacity. This change will remove the 50% limitation but maintain the six feet of required distance between tables, except that tables will still be permitted to be closer than six feet where restaurants use partitions that comply with DOH requirements. Additionally, the prohibition on tables of more than 8 persons will be lifted. As a reminder, outdoor dining has never been bound to a capacity percentage. 
    • Houses of worship and religious services, which are currently at 50% capacity.
    • Retail businesses, which are currently at 50% indoor capacity.
    • Gyms, which are currently at 50% indoor capacity.
    • Personal care services, which are currently at 50% indoor capacity.
    • Indoor amusement and recreation businesses and outdoor amusement and water parks, which are currently limited to 50% capacity.
    • Indoor and outdoor pools, which are both currently limited to 50% capacity.
    • Indoor catered events, funerals, memorial services, performances, and political activities – These events are currently limited to 50% of a room’s capacity, up to 250 individuals.  Beginning on Wednesday, May 19, the 250-person limit will remain in place, but there will be no percentage-based capacity restrictions. Individuals and groups will need to remain six feet apart. 
  • Indoor large venue capacity – The capacity limit for indoor large venues will increase from 20% to 30% and the definition of a large venue would shift from those with 2,500 fixed seats to those with 1,000 fixed seats. The requirement that individuals or groups of individuals that purchase tickets together remain six feet apart will remain in place.
  • Removal of prohibition on indoor interstate youth sports competitions – Athletes, staff, and spectators will still need to abide by all existing health and safety requirements.

For the full text of Executive Order No. 239, click here.


UPDATE: Juvenile has been located–Bordentown Township Police seeking public’s assistance with locating missing 15-year-old

March 13, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

UPDATE: Juvenile has been located

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP (BURLINGTON)– The Bordentown Township Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance with locating Jason Fisher, age 15, of Bordentown Township, NJ.

Jason was last seen at 10:50 am on 5/12/21 at his residence in Bordentown Township. Jason is described as a white male, blue eyes, black and purple hair, 6’00, 180 lbs. He is also known to frequent Hamilton Township in Mercer County.

Anyone with information on Jason’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Bordentown Township Police Department at 609-298-4300.

Update: Colonial Pipeline Back Online

May 13, 2021 –Updated again at 4:40 p.m.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–As we reported Saturday on the Colonial Pipeline that runs though New Jersey and supplies gasoline, diesel fuel and aircraft fuel to the eastern part of the country has announced that the entire pipeline should be operational by noon today. There is no need to hoard gasoline or other fuel and disrupt the local supply chain as seen and reported in other parts of the country.

Locally the pipeline runs though Burlington, Mercer County, Middlesex County on its way to Linden, New Jersey and was shut down to a ransomware cyber attack.

System Restart and Operational Update #2
Update: Thursday, May 13, 4:40 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline has continued to make substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system. We can now report that we have restarted our entire pipeline system and that product delivery has commenced to all markets we serve.

Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during this start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.

This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members across the pipeline who worked safely and tirelessly through the night to get our lines up and running. We are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times.

See update below from the Colonial Pipeline:

Update: Thursday, May 13, 9 a.m.

Colonial Pipeline has made substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system and can report that product delivery has commenced in a majority of the markets we service. By mid-day today, we project that each market we service will be receiving product from our system. The green segments on this map are operational, meaning product delivery has commenced. Blue lines will be operational later today.

This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members across the pipeline who worked safely and tirelessly safely through the night to get our lines up and running. We are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times.


Colonial Pipeline Company, founded in 1962, connects refineries – primarily located in the Gulf Coast – with customers and markets throughout the Southern and Eastern United States through a pipeline system that spans more than 5,500 miles. The company delivers refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil, and fuel for the U.S. Military. Colonial is committed to safety and environmental stewardship across its operations.

Colonial Pipeline is the largest refined products pipeline in the United States, transporting more than 100 million gallons or 2.5 million barrels per day. Colonial transports approximately 45 percent of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, providing refined products to more than 50 million Americans. 

Specifically, Colonial transports various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, jet fuel, and fuels for the U.S. military through a pipeline system. The system is connected refineries in the Gulf Coast and in the Northeast. The majority of the system is underground, with tankage and other facilities at key receipt, storage and delivery points.


Related MidJersey.news coverage on 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



National Police Week: Burlington County Chiefs of Police Association holds annual Fallen Officers Memorial Service

May 12, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

WESTAMPTON TOWNSHIP (BURLINGTON)– The Burlington County Chiefs of Police Association held their annual Fallen Officers Memorial Service at the Burlington County Emergency Services Center

The memorial service has been a longstanding tradition for the Chiefs of Police Association, held every year during National Police Week. The ceremony honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in Burlington County. The service brings the law enforcement community together for a day of solemn remembrance.

Emergency Management Coordinator at Virtua Health, Phyllis Worrell, was the keynote speaker for the service. Burlington County Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina and Riverton Police Chief John Shaw spoke on behalf of the law enforcement community. Senator Troy Singleton also had a chance to speak to honor officers for their ultimate sacrifice.

National Police Week is a week in May to honor law enforcement officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. Unfortunately, a lot of scheduled events for this week have been postponed, modified, or canceled due to Coronavirus, but it is great to see that these officers are still being honored for their sacrifices they took to protect and serve.

Social distancing and all other COVID-19 guidelines were followed.

The memorial was streamed via Facebook Live. You can view that video here.






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

May 12, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MECER)–As reports were coming in of gas stations running out of gas in the south east United States from the hoarding of gasoline and other fuel products the Colonial Pipeline announced the restart of of the pipeline after a ransomware cyber attack. The company states that it may take several days for the delivery supply chain to return to normal. See press releases from Colonial Pipeline below for the latest updates.

Wednesday, May 12, 5:10 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today at approximately 5 p.m. ET. 

Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.

As we initiate our return to service, our primary focus remains safety. As part of this startup process, Colonial will conduct a comprehensive series of pipeline safety assessments in compliance with all Federal pipeline safety requirements. 

This is the first step in the restart process and would not have been possible without the around-the-clock support of Colonial Pipeline’s dedicated employees who have worked tirelessly to help us achieve this milestone. We would also like to thank the White House for their leadership and collaboration, as well as the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, FBI, PHMSA, FERC and other federal, state and local agencies for their ongoing support.

We will continue to provide updates as restart efforts progress.

###

Tuesday, May 11, 5:15 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline continues to make forward progress in our around-the-clock efforts to return our system to service, with additional laterals operating manually to deliver existing inventories to markets along the pipeline. Markets experiencing supply constraints and/​or not serviced by other fuel delivery systems are being prioritized. We are collaborating with the Department of Energy (DOE) to evaluate market conditions to support this prioritization. 

Since our pipeline system was taken offline, working with our shippers, Colonial has delivered approximately 967,000 barrels (~41 million gallons) to various delivery points along our system. This includes delivery into the following markets: Atlanta, Ga., Belton and Spartanburg, S.C., Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C., Baltimore, Md., and Woodbury and Linden N.J.

Additionally, in preparation for our system restart, we have taken delivery of an additional 2 million barrels (~84 million gallons) from refineries for deployment upon restart. 

Consistent with our safety policies and regulatory requirements, Colonial has increased aerial patrols of our pipeline right of way and deployed more than 50 personnel to walk and drive ~ 5,000 miles of pipeline each day. 

Actions taken by the Federal Government to issue a temporary hours of service exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting refined products across Colonial’s footprint and actions taken by several Governors to lift weight restrictions on tanker trucks should help alleviate local supply disruptions. This is in addition to the Reid Vapor Pressure wavier issued today by the U.S. EPA that will also help alleviate supply constraints in several states serviced by our system. We would like to thank the White House for their leadership and collaboration in resolving this matter as well as the DOE, PHMSA, FERC and other federal agencies for their ongoing support. 

Our primary focus remains the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We will continue to provide updates as restoration efforts progress.


Related MidJersey.news coverage on Colonial Pipeline incident here:

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


3 More Shot In Trenton On Stuyvesant Ave

May 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 2:00 p.m. shots rang out in the 800 Block of Stuyvesant Avenue with reports of multiple people shot. Trenton Police Department, Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded to the scene. Upon the arrival of the Police Department it was found that three victims were transported by private vehicle to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center prior to the arrival of EMS.

The victims of the shooting arrived in a black vehicle and were rushed into the trauma center for treatment. Trenton Police had the area in front of the trauma center taped off for the investigation. Family members waited in the parking lot one of them holding a small child as they awaited to hear the status of their loved ones.

Trenton Police Department Detective Sergeant Cynthia Hargis confirmed that in the 800 block of Stuyvesant Avenue three male victims sustained gunshot wounds. The victims are being treated at a local hospital.  None of the injuries are fatal at this time. All the victims are in stable condition. The police department says investigation is active and further information may be available later.

Just a few days ago on Sunday May 9, 2021 multiple shootings riddled the city at least 2 people were shot on Spring Street including an Amazon driver. Currently residents say that their Amazon deliveries have been suspended in the area and their money has been refunded. No additional details have been made public in that shooting.

City Of Chaos Continues With Multiple Shootings; 2 Shot Including Amazon Delivery Driver



One Injury In NJ Turnpike Accident

May 12, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Fire Department and EMS, and Bordentown Township Firefighters responded to the NJ Turnpike north bound at mile marker 57.2 for a motor vehicle accident. NJ State Police were on scene requesting paramedics for advanced life support. Robbinsville Township EMS and Capital Health Paramedics transported the victim to the local hospital. No further information is available.

Brick Township Man Sentenced To 40 Years In Prison For Producing And Advertising Child Pornography

May 12, 2021

An Ocean County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 40 years in prison for producing images of himself sexually abusing young children, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Sebastien Attar, 36, of Brick, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Peter G. Sheridan to an information charging him with two counts of sexual exploitation of children. Separately, Attar also pleaded guilty before Judge Sheridan to a superseding indictment charging him with one count of advertising child pornography. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in the case and statements filed in court:

Beginning in mid-2017, federal law enforcement began investigating individuals participating in a private chat messaging group dedicated to the discussion and dissemination of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children. The private chat group was named “Taboo Train 2.0,” and law enforcement identified Attar as a member of that group, operating with the account identifier “Seb Seb.” The investigation revealed that on multiple occasions and in response to requests from other users, Attar, operating as “Seb Seb,” shared with the “Taboo Train 2.0” chat group images depicting adults sexually abusing very young children.

In March 2018, in connection with the investigation of the “Taboo Train 2.0” chat group, federal law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Attar’s Brick, New Jersey residence, and seized a number of electronic devices and electronic storage media. In July 2018, a grand jury sitting in the Northern District of Georgia returned a superseding indictment charging Attar and others with advertising child pornography.

During a forensic review of the electronic media seized pursuant to the search of Attar’s residence, law enforcement discovered graphic images in which an individual – later identified as Attar – had photographed himself sexually abusing two infants. Attar was subsequently arrested and charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of New Jersey. As part of the plea agreement, the superseding indictment filed in the Northern District of Georgia against Attar was formally transferred to the District of New Jersey so that Attar could plead guilty to that charge in conjunction with his guilty plea to the information filed in this district.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Attar to lifetime supervised release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI-Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and special agents of the FBI-Atlanta Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge J.C. Hacker, with the investigations leading to today’s guilty pleas. She also thanked prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, under the direction of Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine, for their assistance.

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

21-209 

Defense counsel: David Jay Glassman Esq., Marlton, New Jersey


Trenton And Philly Men Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison For Drug Trafficking

May 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Two men have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a drug trafficking organization that sold illegal drugs in Mercer County, New Jersey, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Jawaan Foreman, 37, of Trenton, was sentenced today to five years in prison. Foreman previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging him with one count of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base.

Duane Paulino-Escalera, 28, of Philadelphia, was sentenced May 7, 2021, to five years in prison. Paulino-Escalera previously pleaded guilty before Judge Shipp to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.
Paulino-Escalera and Foreman are the ninth and 10th defendants to be sentenced in conjunction with this investigation. Judge Shipp imposed both sentences in Trenton federal court.

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

From June 2018 through May 2019, the defendants and others engaged in a heroin trafficking conspiracy in the areas of Stuyvesant, Hoffman, and Highland avenues in Trenton, and around Barbary Road in Philadelphia.
Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that Robert M. Gbanapolor obtained regular supplies of “bricks” of heroin (approximately 50 smaller, individually packaged glassine envelopes or baggies containing heroin) from Paulino-Escalera, whom Gbanapolor referred to as “Papi.”

Members of the conspiracy distributed the heroin supplied by Paulino-Escalera to other conspirators, distributors, sub-dealers, and end users in and around Trenton. Law enforcement officers intercepted numerous discussions among the conspirators regarding issues such as heroin quality and availability, branding, quantity, and customer satisfaction.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division, Camden Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; and task force officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. She also thanked detectives and officers of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christine Hoffman; detectives and officers of the Gloucester Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Harry Earle; members of the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; detectives and officers of the Bordentown Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Brian Pesce; and special agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig B. Kailimai.

These sentencings are part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric A. Boden and Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

Gbanapolor was charged Feb. 25, 2021, in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. That case remains pending. The charges and allegations against the him are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

21-210

Defense counsel:
Paulino-Escalera: Michael J. Diamondstein Esq., Philadelphia
Foreman: Jerome Ballarotto Esq., Hamilton, New Jersey


UPDATE: Firefighters extinguish house fire in Hamilton

May 12, 2021–Updated

The Hamilton Township Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating and told MidJersey.news that the cause of the fire is undetermined but did not appear to be suspicious in nature.

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Officials are investigating a fire that occurred at a duplex home in Hamilton early Wednesday afternoon.

The fire occurred around 1:30 pm. Hamilton firefighters responded to the area of East State Street and Park Lane on a reported house fire. The first alarm was called when units arrived on the scene with heavy smoke and heavy fire from the rear of 19 Park Lane. Multiple hose lines were stretched into operation to place the fire under control. The bulk of the fire was knocked down around 1:50 pm.

The Fire Marshal’s office reported one firefighter was checked out by EMS at the scene.

Bystanders state that the resident of the home said he was upstairs when he heard a pop and then smelled smoke. Bystanders also said that the resident made another phone call before calling 911.

The Hamilton Township Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating and told MidJersey.news that the cause of the fire is undetermined but did not appear to be suspicious in nature.



BAPS Mandir: Class Action Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Workers Lured From India Paid As Little As $1.20 hr., Stop Work Issued By NJDOL, As Federal FBI Probe Continues

May 11, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–This morning FBI Spokesperson Doreen A. Holder, told MidJersey.news in a statement: “The FBI is there on court authorized law enforcement activity.  No further comment.” when asked about the FBI and other law enforcement activity at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir located at 112 N Main St. in the township.

At the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir FBI agents in unmarked vehicles could be seen leaving and entering the compound. Four large tour busses with what appeared to be workers were leaving the Mandir along with an Monmouth County EMS Taskforce Bus. Up to five of ambulances were also seen at the gate according to witnesses.

Law enforcement sources would not say what they were looking for in the activities at the property.

About the same time as the law enforcement activity at BAPS a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court District of New Jersey with several allegations against the the religious organization over labor practices.

According to the complaint, after being trafficked to the U.S. under false pretenses, the workers’ passports were confiscated, and they were forced to live and work in a fenced, guarded compound. They were not allowed to leave the grounds unaccompanied, and they were under constant monitoring, threats of being fined for infractions, and arrest.

Plaintiffs allege that the trafficked workers were forced to work 12-13 hours a day with only rare days off, performing arduous and sometimes dangerous work for approximately 31,000 – 35,000 rupees (approximately $425 – $450 USD) per month, or less than $1.20 per hour.

See full lawsuit below for details.

On April 30, 2021 New Jersey Department of Labor issued a Stop Work Order for Newark-based Cunha’s Construction Inc. was ordered to halt work at current and future projects for the duration of the order, which will remain in effect until the contractor complies with state wage and hour laws and all outstanding back wages and penalties have been paid.  

The NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance conducted site visits at two of the company’s current worksites, BAPS Temple in Robbinsville and BAPS Temple in Edison, after learning of the projects from workers. These inspections found the contractor was paying workers in cash off the books and did not have workers’ compensation insurance.  

Other violations involve the misclassification of construction workers by paying them in cash off the books, failure to pay overtime, failure to keep records, hindrance of the investigation, and unpaid or late paid wages.  See press release below for full details.

A BAPS representative Matthew Frankel of MDF Strategies told MidJersey.news “We were first made aware of the accusations early Tuesday morning, we are taking them very seriously and are thoroughly reviewing the issues raised.”

This is sill a developing story follow MidJersey.news for the latest.


A emailed statement John Nalbone from Robbinsville Township Office of Communications & Public Information said, “Based upon media reports, the Township was made aware of federal law enforcement activity this morning on the BAPS property located in Robbinsville.  The Township’s jurisdiction over the property is limited to land use and Uniform Construction Code (UCC) matters.  At no time in approving BAPS’s land use applications, or in conducting UCC inspections on the property, did Robbinsville Township officials witness, or become aware of any labor issues that may have been present.  The Township was aware of temporary housing on the site and conducted inspections of that housing in April and June of 2020, until in-person inspections were suspended due to COVID-19.  As to not interfere with this ongoing federal investigation, the Township will have no further comment.” 




Press release provided from the law firms of the class action lawsuit:

Class Action Lawsuit filed in NJ again Major Hindu Temple

Today, workers’ rights attorneys filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Indian workers who were trafficked and faced rampant wage theft and shocking abuses by Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Inc. (“BAPS”), reportedly the largest Hindu temple in the United States.    

In addition to the six named plaintiffs – Mukesh Kumar, Keshav Kumar, Devi Laal, Niranjan, Pappu, Brajendra – the case, Kumar v.  Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Inc., is brought on behalf of approximately 200 other Indian nationals who have worked at the temple. According to the complaint, after being trafficked to the U.S. under false pretenses, the workers’ passports were confiscated, and they were forced to live and work in a fenced, guarded compound. They were not allowed to leave the grounds unaccompanied, and they were under constant monitoring, threats of being fined for infractions, and arrest.

Plaintiffs allege that the trafficked workers were forced to work 12-13 hours a day with only rare days off, performing arduous and sometimes dangerous work for approximately 31,000 – 35,000 rupees (approximately $425 – $450 USD) per month, or less than $1.20 per hour.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by attorneys Patricia Kakalec of Kakalec Law PLLC, Daniel Werner of Radford & Keebaugh, LLC, and Andrew Glenn of Jaffe Glenn Law Group, P.A., outlines the defendants’ violations of federal and state laws including the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (“TVPA”), the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and New Jersey wage and hour laws.  Besides BAPS, defendants in the case are BAPS Mercer LLC, BAPS Robbinsville LLC., BAPS Fellowship Services, Inc., Bharat Doe a/k/a Bharat Bhai, Pankaj Patel, Kanu Patel, and Swami Prasanand.  

“This is a horrific case of worker exploitation and it is even more disturbing that it has gone on for years in New Jersey behind the temple’s walls,” said Werner. “These workers were coerced through lies to come to the United States to work and then suffered tremendously – they were basically forced into servitude.” 

The plaintiffs were brought to the United States under R-1 or religious visas, which are available to those who minister or who work in a religious vocation or occupation, but the workers solely performed manual labor.

“These workers came to work in New Jersey to earn wages and help their families,” says Kakalec. “They were taken advantage of and cheated out of millions of dollars in wages. They deserve justice.”

Swati Sawant, an attorney for individuals who worked in the temple, says: “These individuals have suffered greatly – financially as a result of the wage theft, physically as a result of the grueling work they were forced to undertake, and mentally as a result of being forced for stay within the temple compound for months, and for many, years.  They are brave for standing up for their rights.”

The lawsuit seeks the workers’ unpaid wages, an award of money for other damages, and a court order preventing the defendants from continuing to violate the law.

A copy of the complaint can be viewed HERE.


Radford & Keebaugh, LLC. is a Georgia based law firm focused on civil rights and employment litigation specializing in areas such as employment discrimination, wage and hour violations, constitutional claims including false arrest and malicious prosecution, sexual harassment, Americans with Disabilities Act, and whistleblower retaliation. 
For more information, visit: 
https://decaturlegal.com.

Kakalec Law PLLC is a New York based law firm which represents employees in wage and hour, discrimination, and other employment matters, and also represents individuals with disabilities in civil rights and access matters. For more information, visit: https://kakaleclaw.com

Jaffe Glenn Law Group PA is a New Jersey and New York based law firm which represents employees specializing in overtime claims, minimum wage violation cases, as well as other employment related cases.   For more information visit https://jaffeglenn.com.


NJDOL Issues Stop-Work Order Against Construction Contractor, Halting All Current and Future Work

April 30, 2021

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has issued a company-wide stop-work order to Cunha’s Construction Inc. and owner Nuno Cunha based on repeated and ongoing violations of state wage and hour laws. This is the first time the NJDOL has used its authority to pause all work by a single entity rather than on a per project basis.   

Newark-based Cunha’s Construction Inc. was ordered to halt work at current and future projects for the duration of the order, which will remain in effect until the contractor complies with state wage and hour laws and all outstanding back wages and penalties have been paid.  

The NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance conducted site visits at two of the company’s current worksites, BAPS Temple in Robbinsville and BAPS Temple in Edison, after learning of the projects from workers. These inspections found the contractor was paying workers in cash off the books and did not have workers’ compensation insurance.  

Other violations involve the misclassification of construction workers by paying them in cash off the books, failure to pay overtime, failure to keep records, hindrance of the investigation, and unpaid or late paid wages.  

The company has eight unpaid judgments for back wages and penalties dating back to 2007 that have not been resolved by way of compliance or restitution to workers. In addition,  NJDOL concluded the company was not paying its workers on numerous job sites and was not maintaining proper payroll for any projects across the state. 

“With the authority to issue stop-work notices, we can better protect workers from bad actors who repeatedly skirt the law,” said Assistant Commissioner Joseph Petrecca of the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. “Now more than ever, it is important to keep our workers safe, and ensure they are treated fairly.”   

The NJDOL first served the company-wide stop-work order to Cunha’s Construction Inc. on April 1, upon which owner Nuno Cunha appealed the decision to the director of NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance  through his attorney. The NJDOL was represented during the appeal process by Section Chief and Deputy Attorney General Peter A. Basso and Deputy Attorney General Micauri Vargas of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Law, Affirmative Civil Rights & Labor Section. After the presentation of evidence and witness testimony, the appeal determination upheld the actions of the NJDOL.   

“This stop-work order from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is the first of its kind under a law signed by Governor Murphy to strengthen our ability to enforce the state’s labor laws,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “The message to employers should be clear: We are committed to using all of the tools at our disposal to protect New Jersey’s workers.” 

As of July 2019, the NJDOL has the authority to require any employer to cease business operations when significant pay, benefits, or other workers’ rights violations are documented. As Cunha’s Construction Inc. is not a registered public works contractor, the department previously had few options to ensure compliance and payment of restitution.  

For more information on New Jersey’s wage and hour laws, please visit myworkrights.nj.gov


Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News



It was reported that on August 17, 2017 a fatal accident occurred where a 15 year old “volunteer” at the temple was killed in a 45 foot fall. Rescue personnel from Robbinsville Township arrived and performed CPR on the 15 year old and was later pronounced dead at RWJ University Hospital in Hamilton. OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened and investigation and closed the investigation on August 23, 2017 with no notes listed available from the OSHA website. You can access that information at the link below:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.inspection_detail?id=1255956.015

Inspection: 1255956.015 – Baps Northeast Development, Inc
Inspection Information – Office: Marlton
Nr: 1255956.015Report ID: 0213900Open Date: 08/17/2017
Baps Northeast Development, Inc
112 N Main Street
Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Union Status: NonUnion
SIC:
NAICS: 236220/Commercial and Institutional Building Construction
Mailing: 112 N Main Street, Robbinsville, NJ 08691
Inspection Type:Referral
Scope:No Insp/OtherAdvanced Notice:N
Ownership:Private
Safety/Health:SafetyClose Conference:08/23/2017
Emphasis:L:FallClose Case:08/23/2017
Related Activity:TypeIDSafetyHealth
 Accident1254250  
 Referral1254231Yes 
Case Status: CLOSED


One-Time
Monthly

Help MidJersey.news continue to bring you this type of coverage with a one-time donation

Help MidJersey.news continue to bring you this type of coverage with a monthly donation

Choose an amount

$15.00
$25.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthly

Mayor Martin Proposes Municipal Budget with Flat Tax Rate

May 11, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–This evening, the Martin administration introduced the 2021 municipal budget to Township Council which features a flat tax rate. Mayor Jeff Martin’s budget address can be found below:

The last year has been extraordinarily difficult not only for Hamilton, but the World.  The COVID-19 pandemic has caused numerous disruptions both individually and as a community.  However, with our vaccine rollout well underway, brighter days lay ahead.  Likewise, the 2021 budget projects brighter days ahead for Hamilton. 

First, let me begin by recognizing the extraordinary work of Hamilton’s municipal employees.  Throughout the pandemic, they have come to work each day in service to our Township.  Thanks to their dedication and hard work, our town successfully continued operations throughout the pandemic to provide so many essential services to our residents and businesses.  Our Water Pollution Control (Sewer), Police Division, and Health Department answered the call each and every day, unable to take a day off.  My appreciation goes out to their leaders – Carrie Feuer, Chief James Stevens, and Kathy Fitzgerald for steering their respective departments through difficult times. 

The 2021 budget I present to you recognizes the continued responsibilities we have in the face of COVID-19 while respecting the difficult financial hardship many of our residents and businesses continue to face.  In light of that recognition, this budget keeps taxes flat for 2021.  The 2020 municipal tax rate of .822 cents is added to the combined 2020 fire tax rate of .333 cents to create our new combined 2021 tax rate of 1.155.  Even while keeping taxes flat, we recognize the importance of investing in our Township to create a brighter future for Hamilton Township.  

For the first time, Hamilton has created an office of Vacant and Abandoned Properties (VAP).  Under the direction of Director Fred Dumont, our VAP office is charged with identifying abandoned properties and working on turning those properties around.  These properties are eyesores for neighbors – driving down property values; presenting challenges to our public safety professionals, both as fire hazards and use for illegal activities; and many become health hazards over time.  Fixing this problem is not a short term issue, especially as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Furthermore, as there is the potential for a housing crisis, getting ahead of the problem now will pay dividends well into the future.  I hope the importance of addressing this issue in Hamilton will receive commitment from you, our Council, in 2021 and well into the future.

This year is also the first time we present the Hamilton Township Fire Division.  This Administration has worked tirelessly with Chief Richard Kraemer in setting up the Fire Division for short and long-term success.  As the Fire Division operates together as a cohesive unit in 2021 and into the future, we are confident it will provide the continued services our residents have come to expect in a more efficient way.  I’m excited to see Chief Kraemer’s work as the first ever Hamilton Fire Chief. 

The Capital Budget reflects our commitment to investing in Hamilton’s future.  The last year has further proven the need for our municipal government to continue to invest in technology, both as the continued wave of the future, and as a way of providing a more efficient and customer friendly service.  The technology upgrades in this budget put our town on a path of maintaining and improving our technology.

As outdoor recreation demands continue to rise, Hamilton will continue our commitment to providing these services to our residents – both at Veteran’s Park and throughout Hamilton’s 60-plus other parks as well.  $500,000 is provided for upgrades to our tennis courts and thanks to Council, we also are applying for an additional $500,000 for the conversion of more tennis courts into pickleball courts.  Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and our goal for being a destination for pickleball players has resulted in Hamilton being chosen to host a USA Pickleball sanctioned tournament this August that will draw people from all over the region.  The investment we make today will be a boon for tourism for years to come.  Additionally, Hamilton will be receiving new playground equipment at Limewood Park, through a combined partnership of Joey’s Little Angels and Where Angels Play– a $100,000 value at no cost to our residents!

Hamilton will also prioritize the investment and management of our infrastructure.  Thanks to Public Works Director Chris Markley, Hamilton will now have employees dedicated to maintaining our stormwater infrastructure including cleaning out drains and maintaining basins ensuring less flooding concerns here in Hamilton.  Hamilton continues to address our responsibility in maintaining Hamilton’s roads with over $5 million in new road projects – much of it from State grant monies. 

Finally, while our intention was to wait to introduce our 2021 Budget inclusive of monies from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), with the complex set of rules just released this week we did not want to delay budget introduction any further.  Hamilton’s estimated ARP grant is $17.1 million over two years, monies that will go to securing our finances and help us overcome many additional expenses to address the pandemic.  We will present our plan for the ARP monies to Council for your consideration in the weeks to come, but I think it an enormous achievement to present a flat budget without the benefit of the ARP monies. 

I thank the Council for the opportunity to present our 2021 budget and look forward to working with you in continuing to overcome all of the challenges presented to us over the last year.

DEVELOPING: Federal Probe At BAPS Robbinsville, FBI and Homeland Security On Scene

Update here: BAPS Mandir: Class Action Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Workers Lured From India Paid As Little As $1.20 hr., Stop Work Issued By NJDOL, As Federal FBI Probe Continues

May 11, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–This morning around 8:00 am it is reported that Homeland Security and the FBI were conducting law enforcement activity at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Robbinsville Hindu Temple.

FBI Spokesperson Doreen A. Holder, told MidJersey.news in a statement: “The FBI is there on court authorized law enforcement activity.  No further comment.”

There is no word why the FBI and Homeland Security is on scene. This is a developing story please check MidJersey.news for additional details as they are released.


Strober Selected All-Centennial First Team in Singles

May 11, 2021

LANCASTER, Pa. – Washington College sophomore Landon Strober (Millstone, N.J./Allentown High School Class of 2019) has been named All-Centennial Conference first team singles in men’s tennis in a vote conducted by the conference’s head coaches. In addition, sophomore Christian Gruyon (Bronx, N.Y./Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy) was named to the Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team.

Strober, who played No. 1 singles in every match this season, went 5-4 overall and 4-2 in Centennial matches. His five wins tied for tops on the team this spring.

“Landon is one of the hardest workers I have seen since being at Washington College day in and day out,” stated Reynolds. “He competed at the top of our line-up this year, going 5-2 at number one. His ability and perseverance to find ways to stay in matches is something we have been looking for to help our team succeed. This young man is going to continue to get better, and the second half of his career at Washington College is going to be a lot of fun to watch!”

Gruyon was named to the All-Sportsmanship for the first time. Each Centennial Conference member institution was permitted to nominate one student-athlete who exemplifies the best in sportsmanship for the All-Sportsmanship Team.


Firefighters quickly put out church fire in Hamilton

May 10, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire that broke out at a church in the 200 block of Main Street.

Firefighters responded to the New Horizon Baptist Church just before 6:30 pm for a fire alarm activation. While responding, the assignment was upgraded to a reported building fire.

Crews arrived on the scene and reported heavy fire, and the first alarm was called. Two hose lines were stretched into operation to quickly knock down the fire, keeping it isolated to one section of the building. It was placed under control at 6:45 pm.

It appears roof work was being done at the time of the fire, however it is unknown if the construction is related to the cause of the fire.

This building also happens to be the former Groveville District #9 Firehouse, before relocation to their new firehouse on Crosswicks Hamilton Square Road.

AG Grewal And NJ DEP File 9 New Environmental Enforcement Actions Across NJ, Including KAARS, Inc., In Trenton

Locally, the State’s lawsuit against Trenton auto recycling facility KAARS, Inc., and its owner Isam Abuhumoud alleges violations of the Water Pollution Control Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, and the Spill Compensation and Control Act. 

May 10, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today the filing of nine new environmental enforcement actions across the State, including seven to hold polluters accountable for contamination in environmentally overburdened communities.

The seven lawsuits focused on overburdened communities address pollution in Camden, Trenton, Kearny, Secaucus, Edison, Bridgeton and Egg Harbor City. The two additional cases are based in Butler and Vineland.

Collectively, the Complaints involve a broad range of alleged environmental abuses by the defendant property owners and other responsible parties, including:

  • Illegal dumping that allowed massive quantities of contaminated soil, construction and demolition debris — along with contaminated old tires and other refuse — to accumulate in near residences;
  • The release of gasoline and other toxic chemicals from underground storage tanks, contaminating soil and groundwater; and
  • Releases of chemical and food waste contaminants into stormwater drains and, ultimately, surface bodies of water.

These cases represent yet another component of the Murphy Administration’s comprehensive effort to address harms disproportionately affecting the health and well-being of the state’s most vulnerable populations.

Including the lawsuits announced today, Attorney General Grewal and the Department of Environmental Protection have filed 39 environmental justice cases since 2018. The lawsuits have yielded nearly $20 million in judgments.  More important, many of these cases also have resulted in court orders requiring responsible parties perform cleanup activities to protect human health and the environment. These orders also achieve cost savings to the taxpayers by holding polluters and other responsible parties financially accountable.

“From Day One of the Murphy Administration, we’ve been committed to ensuring that all New Jersey residents can enjoy clean air, clean drinking water and a safe environment,” said Attorney General Grewal.  “That’s environmental justice, and everyone deserves it.  The cases we’re announcing today are only the latest actions we’ve taken to deliver on our commitment to environmental justice, and the latest reminder to polluters that they will be held accountable – whether they’re illegally dumping waste in our cities or polluting our fields and rivers.”

“To further the promise of environmental justice, we must aggressively enforce our laws in communities disproportionately burdened by pollution,” said Acting DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. “Enforcement actions like these embody our commitment to protecting vulnerable communities and make clear the consequences for creating or contributing to environmental injustice. My DEP colleagues and I are grateful to Attorney General Grewal and his team for their passion for equity and their partnership in action.”

The contaminants at issue in all of today’s lawsuits are linked to serious health problems including respiratory distress and certain lung illnesses, cancer, neurological disorders, kidney disease, liver disease and eye damage.

Today’s nine Complaints seek a variety of remedies, including clean-up of the contaminated properties, compliance with DEP Administrative Orders and other outstanding DEP requirements, payment of civil penalties, and reimbursement to the State for the cost of site investigation, remediation, monitoring and other related work.



Today’s lawsuits include seven cases located in environmental justice communities and two located outside environmental justice communities:

Yaffa & Sons Property, Camden (Environmental Justice)

The State’s Complaint alleges that S. Yaffa and Sons, Inc. and its owner, William Yocco, unlawfully imported and stockpiled solid waste — including contaminated soil, construction and demolition debris, and waste tires — at its property in the City of Camden for years before selling the site to Weyhill Realty Holdings in July 2019.  Weyhill Realty Holdings allegedly failed to remove the waste, and continued to allow illegal dumping on site, receiving more construction and demolition debris and comingling it with contaminated soil. In addition, the State’s Complaint alleges that a 500-gallon underground fuel storage tank potentially remains on the property, which, because of its potential to leak gasoline, would pose a danger.

The Complaint alleges violations of New Jersey’s Solid Waste Management Act and the Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act, and seeks to enforce a prior DEP order and collect penalties for non-compliance.


Delta Service Station, Edison (Environmental Justice)

The State’s Complaint stems from the operations of a former gas station at 1065 Amboy Avenue – and specifically from issues related to underground tanks used to store gasoline. On multiple occasions over the years, DEP has detected gasoline contamination on the property and confirmed the presence of such harmful chemicals as benzene, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), and xylenes in soil and groundwater. The Complaint alleges violations of the Spill Act, the Water Pollution Control Act, and the Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act.

Named defendants in the suit include former property owner James Mezey; Cherokee Equities, LLC; 1065 Amboy Avenue, LLC; ERC7, LLC; 19 Petroleum Distributors, Inc.; G&V Fuel Corporation, Inc., and NJ Petroleum Distributors, Inc. The site currently operates as an auto repair garage and auto body shop, and those business are not defendants.


Thomas Dailey, 885 N. Pearl Street, Bridgeton (Environmental Justice)

The State’s Complaint alleges that defendant Thomas Dailey purchased the property at issue in 1992 and subsequently had two underground fuel storage tanks removed without a required tank decommissioning plan and site investigation. In 2015, DEP inspectors found a third underground fuel storage tank still on the property. The Complaint alleges violations of the Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act in connection with all three tanks by Dailey and/or 330 Angle Sea LLC, a company which Dailey owns and to which he sold the property in 2017. Among other things, the Complaint seeks to compel the removal of the remaining underground storage tank, the hiring of a Licensed Site Remediation Professional to investigate and remediate any hazardous discharges, payment of a civil penalty, and compensation to DEP for any costs it has or will incur in connection with the property.

Wilenta Feed, Inc., Secaucus (Environmental Justice) 

The State’s Complaint against defendant Wilenta Feed, Inc., alleges violation of the State’s Water Pollution Control Act. Wilenta operates a food waste recycling business at 46 Henry Street in Secaucus that involves converting food waste — largely bakery products — into animal feed or animal feed ingredients. According to the Complaint, Wilenta has been unlawfully storing its food waste in open-air piles, thereby exposing the waste to stormwater, which enters the sewer system and, ultimately, into such surface water bodies as Penhorn Creek, a tributary of the Hackensack River. In addition to seeking a court order directing Wilenta to halt its open-air storage of food waste, today’s lawsuit seeks civil penalties against Wilenta and reimbursement to the State for costs it has incurred, or will incur, to investigate, inspect and monitor the property.


KAARS, Inc., Trenton (Environmental Justice)

The State’s lawsuit against Trenton auto recycling facility KAARS, Inc., and its owner Isam Abuhumoud alleges violations of the Water Pollution Control Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, and the Spill Compensation and Control Act. 

According to the Complaint, activity at KAARS involves dismantling cars and trucks to salvage certain parts for sale, which among other things yields solvents, greases and such fluids as brake fluid, anti-freeze and motor oil. Under DEP permitting requirements, KAARS must manage its stormwater run-off so that pollutants generated by its operations do not end up in the sewer system serving the property, which carries stormwater to Assunpink Creek and, eventually, to the Delaware River. The State’s lawsuit alleges that KAARS’ poor management of auto scrap, chemicals and other wastes has resulted in uncontrolled pollutant discharges that threaten water quality in the area, which includes a city park, residences, and an elementary school.


Arlington Diner, Kearny (Environmental Justice)

The State’s Complaint against Isaac Moradi centers on a former gas station at 941 Passaic Avenue in Kearny that backs up to an embankment of the Passaic River and that was contaminated with petroleum products including gasoline prior to Moradi’s acquisition of the property in 2016. According to the State’s Complaint, an investigation of the property in 2007 revealed significant contamination of groundwater and soil, much of it ultimately traced to an out of service, 12,000-gallon underground fuel storage tank. The State’s lawsuit alleges violation of the Spill Compensation and Control Act and the common law of public nuisance.

Gulf Gas Stop, Egg Harbor City (Environmental Justice)

The State’s Complaint centers on a “gas-and-go” service station property at 501 White Horse Pike in Egg Harbor City, and names property owner Arjun Goyal, of West Deptford, as the sole defendant. Five fuel storage tanks containing unleaded gasoline once existed on the property, and although they have been removed, DEP has found evidence that the tanks leaked into the soil. Groundwater sampling has detected excessive levels of such petroleum-related chemical toxins as benzene, ethyl benzene, xylenes, methyl tertiary butyl ether, tertiary-butyl alcohol, toluene and lead. The Complaint seeks enforcement of, and penalties for non-compliance with, a prior DEP order to remediate the site, among other relief.

Main Road Citgo, Vineland

The State’s Complaint against Avalon-based Sasdelli Oil Company, Inc.; its owner, Terry Sasdelli of Asheville, NC; and corporate entities Vineland 820 Main Road, LLC and Vineland Chestnut Avenue, LLC centers on a contaminated gas station property at 820 N. Main Road in Vineland. According to the Complaint, excessive levels of petroleum-product-related contaminants have been found in soil and groundwater on the property, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, lead, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and naphthalene.

The State’s Complaint alleges violations of the Spill Compensation and Control Act and Water Pollution Control Act, and also claims each defendant was unjustly enriched through their failure to perform or fund required remediation work on the property. The Complaint seeks a court order directing the defendants to remediate the property, pay civil penalties and reimburse DEP for related costs incurred by the State.

The Car House, Butler

The State’s Complaints alleges that The Car House, a Morris County used auto dealership, sold a Nissan 350-Z coup in August 2019 that had been tampered with through removal of the catalytic converters that were part of the vehicle’s original emissions control system. The purchaser only learned of the unlawful modification when the car failed an inspection, according to the Complaint.

New Jersey law prohibits the sale of a gasoline-fueled motor vehicle in which an emissions control device installed by the original vehicle manufacturer has been disconnected, detached, deactivated, or in any other way altered or modified from the original design. According to the State’s Complaint, tailpipe emissions from such vehicles cause increased levels of harmful pollutants like hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon monoxide — pollutants known to trigger or aggravate human respiratory diseases.

Today’s lawsuit alleges that dealership violated New Jersey’s Air Pollution Control Act by selling an unlawfully tampered vehicle, and that it has failed to pay a civil penalty imposed two years ago. The suit seeks payment of that civil penalty, as well as restitution to the buyer of the tampered Nissan.

Today’s enforcement actions are being handled by the Environmental Enforcement and Environmental Justice (EEEJ) Section within the Division of Law’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Practice Group, including Assistant Attorney General Aaron Kleinbaum, Section Chief Gary Wolf, Assistant Section Chief Paul Stofa, and Deputy Attorneys General Bethanne Prugh, Willis Doerr, Robert Kinney, Thomas Lihan, Daniel Resler, Matthew Novak, Andrew Verdone, Mark Fisher, Matthew Knoblauch and Pragya Singh.

Updated Amber Alert Canceled : Infant Found Safe

May 10, 2021 –Updated

ACCORDING TO NJ STATE POLICE INFANT HAS BEEN FOUND SAFE:

**AMBER ALERT****UPDATE** Chinna Payne, a 2-week-old baby girl, of East Orange, N.J. has been safely located.


FOUND SAFE!!!

EAST ORANGE, NJ — The New Jersey State Police is activating the Amber Abducted Child Alert Plan. The East Orange Police Department is investigating a confirmed child abduction which occurred on May 10, 2021 at 26 Lindsley Place in East Orange, NJ at 1245 PM. The child, Chinna Payne, is a female infant. and was last seen at 26 Lindsley Place in East Orange. The suspect, Damion Payne, age 27, was last seen operating a 2016 white Nissan Altima bearing VA registration UPF6043. Damion Payne is considered armed and dangerous. Recommended Action: Anyone having information regarding these individuals you are urged to Immediately call 9-1-1. East Orange Police Department 973-266-5000

Missingkids.org link


Missing Since May 10, 2021

Missing From East Orange, NJ

Age Now17 days

Sex Female

Race Black

Hair Color Brown

Eye Color Brown

Height1’0″

Weight7 lbs

Description Light skin complexion


Vehicle Information

Make: Nissan

Model: Altima

Year: 2016

Color: White

License plate: UPF6043

License state: VA


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


Move slider to 3:41 for President Joe Biden’s remarks on the Colonial Pipeline.


May 10, 2021

Update — Monday, May 10, 12:25 p.m.

Colonial Pipeline continues to dedicate vast resources to restoring pipeline operations quickly and safely. Segments of our pipeline are being brought back online in a stepwise fashion, in compliance with relevant federal regulations and in close consultation with the Department of Energy, which is leading and coordinating the Federal Government’s response.

Restoring our network to normal operations is a process that requires the diligent remediation of our systems, and this takes time. In response to the cybersecurity attack on our system, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. To restore service, we must work to ensure that each of these systems can be brought back online safely.

While this situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, the Colonial operations team is executing a plan that involves an incremental process that will facilitate a return to service in a phased approach. This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week. The Company will provide updates as restoration efforts progress.

We continue to evaluate product inventory in storage tanks at our facilities and others along our system and are working with our shippers to move this product to terminals for local delivery. Actions taken by the Federal Government to issue a temporary hours of service exemption for motor carriers and drivers transporting refined products across Colonial’s footprint should help alleviate local supply disruptions and we thank our government partners for their assistance in resolving this matter.

Our primary focus continues to be the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We appreciate the patience of the traveling public and the support we have received from the Federal Government and our peers throughout the industry.


The FBI confirms that the Darkside ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks. We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation. 



REGIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARATION
UNDER 49 CFR § 390.23 

No. 2021-002

ALABAMA, ARKANSAS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MARYLAND, MISSISSIPPI, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, AND VIRGINIA

In accordance with the provisions of 49 CFR § 390.23, the Regional Field Administrators for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Eastern, Southern, and Western Service Centers hereby declares that an emergency exists that warrants issuance of a Regional Emergency Declaration and an exemption from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety (FMCSRs), except as otherwise restricted in this Emergency Declaration.  Such emergency is in response to the unanticipated shutdown of the Colonial pipeline system due to network issues that affect the supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products throughout the Affected States.  This Declaration addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products and provides necessary relief.  Affected States and jurisdictions included in this Emergency Declaration (“Affected States”) are:  Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

By execution of this Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in the Affected States in direct support of relief efforts related to the shortages of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products due to the shutdown, partial shutdown, and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system are granted relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations except as restricted herein.   

This Emergency Declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products into the Affected States during the emergency from shortages due to the shutdown, partial shutdown, and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system.  Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the shortages of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products due to the shutdown, partial shutdown, and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system in the Affected States, or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.  (49 CFR § 390.23(b)).  Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the shortages of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products due to the shutdown, partial shutdown and/or manual operation of the Colonial pipeline system in the Affected States, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399.  When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operation, equals 14 hours.  

All other applicable safety requirements remain in place and will be enforced by the FMCSA.  Specifically, nothing contained in this Emergency Declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements (49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver’s license requirements (49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements (49 CFR Part 387), the hazardous material regulations (49 CFR Parts 100-180), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically authorized pursuant to 49 CFR § 390.23. 

Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA. 

In accordance with 49 CFR § 390.23, this declaration is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until the end of the emergency (as defined in 49 CFR § 390.5) or until 11:59 P.M. (ET), June 8, 2021, whichever is earlier.  FMCSA intends to continually review the status of this Emergency Declaration and may take action to modify or terminate the Emergency Declaration sooner if conditions warrant.


Taft Kelly, Regional Field Administrator
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Eastern Service Center


Darrell L. Ruban, Regional Field Administrator
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Southern Service Center


Scott G. Hernandez, Regional Field Administrator
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Western Service Center


Related MidJersey.news coverage on Colonial Pipeline incident here:

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


Ewing Township Man Charged With Attempted Murder And Other Charges After Road Rage Incident In Jackson

May 10, 2021

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–On Saturday May 8, 2021 at approximately 4:50 pm, officers were dispatched to respond to a report of a stabbing incident which had occurred on Maria Street.

Police Officer Robert Reiff arrived on scene to discover a female who was suffering from a large slash across her face and bleeding heavily. The investigation would reveal that the female had been followed to her residence by an unknown male who initiated a confrontation with her over an alleged road rage incident. It was reported that the male punched the victim and threatened to kill her as he held a knife to her throat and then slashed her face. As a neighbor intervened and called 911, the suspect fled the area.

A description of the suspect and suspect vehicle was obtained and a short time later as Sgt. Michael Kelly was responding to the scene, he observed the vehicle on Toms River Road. Sgt. Kelly activated the patrol unit’s emergency lights and conducted a motor vehicle stop with the suspect. As the sergeant exited his vehicle, the suspect vehicle pulled away from him. A pursuit was then initiated as the suspect fled at a high rate of speed. As the suspect attempted to make a turn from Toms River Road onto West Veterans Highway, he swerved into the opposite lane of travel and struck a vehicle near the intersection. Other officers responding to the scene stopped to render aid to the occupants of that vehicle. The suspect then continued to operate the 2018 Kia he was driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed at which time the sergeant terminated the pursuit.

As the suspect continued at a high rate of speed, he struck another vehicle in the rear on West Veterans Highway and forced it off the road into the woods across from the Switlik School. The suspect vehicle travelled for approximately another 500 feet before it became disabled on West Veterans Highway and the suspect was taken into custody by P.O. Andy Falzarano who had been responding to the scene. The vehicle was later impounded and the knife used in the incident was recovered as detectives responded to assist with the investigation. Officers from the Ocean County Sheriff’s CSI unit and investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutors Office also responded to process the scenes and collect evidence.

The stabbing victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment and the occupants of the two vehicles struck by the suspect were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Arrested:

Michael Mahan, age 38 of Ewing Township, NJ. He was charged with: attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, terroristic threats, eluding, aggravated assault (causing bodily injury during a pursuit: 6 counts), driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to breath testing and multiple other motor vehicle offenses. He was processed and transported to the Ocean County Jail.

As the investigation proceeded during the evening, it was also discovered that Mr. Mahan had been involved with a separate incident with a Lakehurst Avenue resident just before the stabbing where he reportedly threatened the victim after parking in front of his residence. Complaints are pending with that incident.

– The media and the public are reminded that any persons arrested or charged with any offenses or crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

Charges from Ocean County Jail Website:

Case #Offense DateCodeDescriptionGradeDegree
W202100012915112C:5-1A(1)CRIM ATTEMPT-CONDUCT PURPOSFUL
W202100012915112C:11-3A(1)MURDER – PURPOSELYA
W202100012915112C:12-1B(1)AGG ASSLT SBIB
W202100012915112C:39-4DWEAPON POSS UNLAW PURPOSE-OTHERC
W202100012915112C:12-3BTHREAT TO KILLC
W202100012915112C:39-5DUNLAW POSS WEAP-OTHERD
W202100013015112C:29-2BELUDING LEO-FAIL TO STOPC
W202100013015112C:12-1B(3)AGG ASSLT W/DW-BI-RECKLESSB

Old York Road, CR 539 Milling And Paving Plan Alternate Route Tuesday – Thursday

May 10, 2021

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)-ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)– A milling and paving project is scheduled for Tuesday May 11, 2021 though Thursday May 13, 2021. The resurfacing project will be on Old York Road County Road 539 in the area of New Sharon between Herbert Road and Gordon Road.

The work is scheduled to start at 7:00 a.m. and conclude by 3:00 p.m. each of the three days so plan an alternate route if traveling in the area.

The west side of Old York Road is Robbinsville Mercer County, and the east side of the road is Upper Freehold Township, Monmouth County.


The paving limits are from Walters Road to New Street. Old York Road 539 will be milled on Tuesday, May 11, paved on Wednesday, May 12 and painted on Thursday, May 13. There will be detour signs to assist drivers in moving around the project.

Tom Arnone

Director of the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners

Liaison to Public Works


Update: Colonial Pipeline System Disruption

Update — Sunday, May 9, 2021

On May 7, 2021 Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack and has since determined that the incident involved ransomware. Quickly after learning of the attack, Colonial proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat. These actions temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems, which we are actively in the process of restoring.

Leading, third-party cybersecurity experts were also immediately engaged after discovering the issue and launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident. We have remained in contact with law enforcement and other federal agencies, including the Department of Energy who is leading the Federal Government response. 

Maintaining the operational security of our pipeline, in addition to safely bringing our systems back online, remain our highest priorities. Over the past 48 hours, Colonial Pipeline personnel have taken additional precautionary measures to help further monitor and protect the safety and security of its pipeline.

The Colonial Pipeline operations team is developing a system restart plan. While our mainlines (Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4) remain offline, some smaller lateral lines between terminals and delivery points are now operational. We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.

At this time, our primary focus continues to be the safe and efficient restoration of service to our pipeline system, while minimizing disruption to our customers and all those who rely on Colonial Pipeline. We appreciate the patience and outpouring of support we have received from others throughout the industry. 


Related MidJersey.news coverage on Colonial Pipeline incident here:

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


City Of Chaos Continues With Multiple Shootings; 2 Shot Including Amazon Delivery Driver

May 9, 2021 – Updated

“This is a terrible incident and we are supporting the driver, who is recovering. We are working closely with local law enforcement as they investigate the incident.” — Amazon Public Relations, Amazon Operations

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Shots rang out again this Mother’s Day around 4:40 p.m. this time in the 200 Block Spring Street. Trenton Police responded to the reports of gun shots and found two people shot including an Amazon Delivery Driver.

Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics transported two victims to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center with trauma alerts called.

Trenton Police are still on scene at the time of this report investigating.

There were other reports of shots fired on Monmouth Street and other locations within the City this afternoon as gunfire erupted.

Earlier this afternoon at 2:27 p.m. a shooting on Brunswick Avenue left a trail of bullet casings almost 8 blocks long and at least once vehicle shot up in the area of Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

Sources say the Trenton Police are looking for a black Jeep Wrangler with no tags and chrome bumper. The vehicle was occupied by three people and connected to three separate shootings, Miller Street near Brunswick Avenue, Walnut Avenue and Spring Street.

You can read about the earlier shooting this afternoon here:

BREAKING: Multi Block Shooting On Brunswick Avenue Near Capital Health Regional Medical Center


Earlier this week on Tuesday May 4, 2021 Governor Phil Murphy and other officials visited the $4.5 Million Dollar “Real Time Crime Center”

NJSP Colonel Patrick Callahan was joined by Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Senator Shirley Turner, Mayor Reed Gusciora of Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri, and Trenton Police Director Sheilah Coley for a tour of the new Real Time Crime Center Central facility.

The new crime center utilizes advance technologies like Shotspotter, automated license plate readers, and city camera systems to quickly identify suspects related to violent crimes in the central region of New Jersey.

It is unknown if the “Real Time Crime Center” has been utilized or made a difference in today’s gun violence.

Governor Murphy Visits Trenton’s “Real Time Crime Center”


This is a breaking news report. MidJersey.news has reached out to official police sources for information on the shooting. Sources in this report are from radio, on scene and witness reports. Once updated information is received the story will be updated and any corrections made.

As of 11:10 pm there has been no reply from official police sources so we are telling you what we know.



Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

BREAKING: Multi Block Shooting On Brunswick Avenue Near Capital Health Regional Medical Center

May 9, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—At 2:27 pm Trenton Emergency Medical Services and Paramedics reported hearing multiple gun shots in the area of Capital Health Regional Medical Center on Brunswick Avenue. Moments later police reported multiple 9-1-1 calls for shots fired and also a vehicle crashed with bullet holes in it. An ambulance was dispatched for a gun shot victim but no victim was found and the car was reported empty. Trenton Police Shooting Response Team is on scene with a crime scene on Brunswick Avenue that extends a half mile, 8 blocks, from Evans Ave to Heil Avenue. No further information is available at this time.

Related: City Of Chaos Continues With Multiple Shootings; 2 Shot Including Amazon Delivery Driver


This is a breaking news report. MidJersey.news has reached out to official police sources for information on the shooting. Sources in this report are from radio, on scene and witness reports. Once updated information is received the story will be updated and any corrections made.

As of 11:10 pm there has been no reply from official police sources so we are telling you what we know.



Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

Car Fire In Lawrence Township Extinguished

May 9, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Shortly after 7 a.m. today (May 9, 2021) the Lawrence Township Fire Department and the Lawrence Township Police Department were alerted to a possible vehicle fire on Freedom Boulevard in the Project Freedom development off Princeton Avenue. Police were the first to arrive and found the engine compartment of a parked Ford Fusion heavily involved in fire. The blaze was quickly knocked down and extinguished after firefighters arrived. There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire was unknown.

Locust Hill Cemetery Clean Up

May 8, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A spring clean up of the Locust Hill Cemetery on Hart Avenue was held earlier today. The cemetery contains the remains of 76 or more Africans and included 10 or more Civil War Veterans. It is also reported that graves of Leni Lenape, Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands are also buried in the cemetery.

According to find a grave:

Pre 1850

Originally between Gordon Street and Humboldt Street (extended to Princeton Avenue); fronted on Gordon Street from 150 feet northwest of Princeton Avenue to 500 feet from Princeton Avenue.

This was a 2 1/4 acre tract containing 572 burial lots established by Elisha Gordon in 1837 as Trenton Cemetery, but known locally as Gordon Cemetery. After some burials the place was abandoned because the high water table made it unfit as a cemetery. The disposition of buried remains is unknown.

In 1861 this plot was bought by The Mount Zion AME Church to re-inter burials from another cemetery. Then the remains from Mount Zion AME Churchyard were moved here. All that is left now is a strip from Oak to Hart. Maintained , but no tombstones are left.

Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News