Press Releases

2017 Press Releases

NOVEMBER 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MICHIGAN MAN CHARGED IN BRANCHBURG CARJACKING

NOVEMBER 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH

NOVEMBER 13, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - 3rd SUSPECT CHARGED IN SOMERVILLE SHOOTING

NOVEMBER 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH MAN CHARGED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP BANK ROBBERIES

NOVEMBER 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP BANK ROBBERY

NOVEMBER 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - THIRD SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN SOMERVILLE SHOOTING

OCTOBER 30, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY SECOND SUSPECT IN SOMERVILLE SHOOTING

OCTOBER 27, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER

OCTOBER 25, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - STOPit TEAMS UP WITH SOMERSET COUNTY TO TAKE ON OPIOID CRISIS WITH ANONYMOUS REPORTING APP

OCTOBER 18, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BOUND BROOK HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

OCTOBER 17, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - JURY CONVICTS UNION TOWNSHIP WOMAN FOR VEHICULAR HOMICIDE

OCTOBER 16, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - UNION CITY MAN CONVICTED OF CAR THEFT, ELUDING AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER

OCTOBER 16, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - FORMER NYPD SERGEANT FOUND GUILTY

OCTOBER 11, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN MAN CHARGED WITH FIREARM OFFENSES

OCTOBER 10, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION LEADS TO SEIZURE OF TASER, HEROIN AND U.S. CURRENCY

OCTOBER 5, 2017
AMENDED - NEWS RELEASE - TEACHER AIDE CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT, ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD AND WITNESS TAMPERING

OCTOBER 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - TEACHER AIDE CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT, ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD AND WITNESS TAMPERING

SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - HAWAII RESIDENT CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL MISCHIEF AT TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF COURSE

AUGUST 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE ROBBERY AT BOUND BROOK SHOP RITE

JULY 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - OPERATION “UP IN SMOKE”

JUNE 29, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - GRAND JURY ISSUES SEVENTEENCOUNT BURGLARY INDICTMENT

JUNE 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY POLICE YOUTH WEEK TO BE HELD IN JULY

JUNE 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BOUND BROOK MAN SHOT TWICE IN ONE WEEK

MAY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE ARMED ROBBERY IN NORTH PLAINFIELD

MAY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE MULTIPLE SHOOTINGS IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

MAY 26, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT OF MINOR

MAY 17, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFENDANTS RETURNED TO NEW JERSEY

MAY 16, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY AUTHORITIES RECOVER SECOND 16 YEAR OLD MINOR ENGAGING IN PROSTITUTION WITHIN A WEEK

MAY 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CLICK IT OR TICKET MOBILIZATION MAY 22 – JUNE 4, 2017

MAY 11, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NEW YORK COUPLE CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF A MINOR FROM NEW JERSEY

MAY 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT ARRESTED FOR BURGLARIZING THE SAME BUSINESS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS

MAY 3, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN RECENT FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTINGS

MAY 3, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - JERSEY CITY MAN FOUND GUILTY OF IDENTITY THEFT

MAY 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE 3rd FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING IN PAST TWO WEEKS

MAY 1, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

APRIL 27, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - ELIZABETH MAN CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL PRACTICE OF DENTISTRY

APRIL 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

APRIL 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - AUTHORITIES ARREST WANTED RIDGEWOOD WOMAN

APRIL 19, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER HOMICIDE VICTIM IDENTIFIED

APRIL 18, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN CHARGED WITH HOMICIDE AFTER STANDOFF WITH SWAT TEAM

APRIL 18, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - TWO ARRESTED IN WARREN TOWNSHIP ARMED ROBBERY

APRIL 12, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN WARREN TOWNSHIP ARMED ROBBERY

APRIL 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE CONDUCT INVESTIGATION INTO DECEASED FEMALE LOCATED IN BRANCHBURG TOWNSHIP

MARCH 30, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN CHARGED IN NORTH PLAINFIELD ARMED ROBBERY

MARCH 28, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE WARREN TOWNSHIP ARMED ROBBERY

MARCH 28, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION IN MANVILLE RESULTS IN 2 ARRESTS AND THE SEIZURE OF 3 OUNCES OF COCAINE

MARCH 24, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY OR GET READY TO PAY

MARCH 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE MAN SHOT DURING HOME INVASION BURGLARY

MARCH 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRANCHBURG MAN CHARGED WITH MANUFACTURING FICTITIOUS DOCUMENTS

MARCH 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - ONE POUND OF MARIJUANA SEIZED IN FAR HILLS NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION

MARCH 7, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - “PERSONAL SAFETY FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS”

FEBRUARY 27, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATON LEADS TO LARGE SEIZURE OF METHAMPHETAMINE AND HEROIN

FEBRUARY 17, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN THE SEIZURE OF KILOGRAM OF COCAINE

FEBRUARY 13, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRONX MAN CHARGED WITH MANUFACTURING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FEBRUARY 13, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - WANTED MAN SURRENDERS TO AUTHORITIES

FEBRUARY 7, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDSVILLE MAN ENTERS GULTY PLEA IN ARMED ATTACK

FEBRUARY 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN BRIDGEWATER BANK ROBBERY

FEBRUARY 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - “SUPER BOWL FANS DON’T LET FANS DRIVE DRUNK”

JANUARY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER SWAT STANDOFF ENDS PEACEFULLY WITH SUSPECT SURRENDERING

JANUARY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE BRIDGEWATER BANK ROBBERY

JANUARY 30, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NEW BRUNSWICK MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO 1st DEGREE POSSESSION OF COCAINE WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE

JANUARY 25, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - FLEMINGTON MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN STRING OF GAS STATION THEFTS

JANUARY 24, 2017
NEW RELEASE - BLOOD HOUND TRAINING SESSION CONDUCTED AT SOURLAND MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

JANUARY 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - WARREN TOWNSHIP MAN PLEADS GUILTY

JANUARY 12, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS INCREASE REWARD FOR FRANKLIN FATHER AND SON

JANUARY 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

JANUARY 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - ARREST MADE IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP ATTEMPTED BURLARY

JANUARY 4, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

 

 

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NOVEMBER 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MICHIGAN MAN CHARGED IN BRANCHBURG CARJACKING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Al Nicaretta announced the arrest of Kylle L. Alexander, age 23, of West Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, Michigan.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on November 12, 2017, at approximately 9:27 a.m., Bridgewater Police responded to a report of a person selling tools out of a white Dodge pickup truck located in the Home Depot parking lot on Route 202 South. Responding officers observed an unoccupied white Dodge pickup truck with NY license plates in the parking lot, and an NCIC check of this vehicle came back negative. As the officers continued searching the lot, they observed an individual trying to sell a Milwaukee power toolbox to another individual.

After observing this attempted transaction, the officers approached the individual and asked for his identification. He produced a Michigan photo driver’s license and identified himself as Kylle Alexander. Upon further questioning, Alexander claimed to be homeless and that he needed money. The officers advised him that there is a soliciting ordinance in Bridgewater and that what he was attempting to do without a permit is illegal. Alexander left the area and started to walk in a southern direction towards the Wegmans Food Market.

Prosecutor Robertson advised that at approximately 9:59 a.m., one of the responding Bridgewater officers observed Alexander operating the white Dodge Ram pickup in the Wegmans parking lot. The officer activated his marked vehicle’s overhead lights, but Alexander accelerated at a high rate of speed through a portion of the parking lot that did not have an exit. Alexander jumped a curb onto a grassy area and then drove directly into the travel lane of US 202 South. After terminating the pursuit in the parking lot the officer once again ran the vehicle’s plates through NCIC and this time the vehicle came back as a stolen vehicle out of New York.

Prosecutor Robertson advised that at approximately 10:21 a.m., a vehicle crash involving a white Dodge pickup truck and a blue Honda CR-V was reported on US 202 in the area of North Branch River Road in Branchburg Township. The Branchburg patrol officer who was handling the vehicle crash investigation was advised to respond to a nearby hotel to assist with an injured individual who was assaulted. At the hotel, the victim stated that while putting luggage in his vehicle, defendant Alexander, who appeared injured, had approached him and advised him that he was being chased. The victim refused Alexander’s demands to use his cell phone and to give him his car keys. While the victim was walking back towards the hotel entrance, defendant Alexander struck him in the head and proceeded to assault him repeatedly. The victim stated that as he tried to stop the assault, defendant Alexander continued to punch him in his face and head as he forcibly took the car keys from the victim.

After taking the keys, defendant Alexander then took the victim’s vehicle a Honda Pilot SUV and drove off the hotel property. Alexander headed towards Bridgewater Township on US 202 North, where he crashed with another vehicle at the intersection of Milltown Road and Old York Road, in Bridgewater Township. The victim of the other vehicle was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that after crashing the stolen Honda Pilot, Alexander fled on foot in a southern direction near Milltown Road. During their search to locate Alexander, the officers responded to a disturbance at an Old York Road residence. Outside of this residence officers encountered Alexander and arrested him without incident. The owner of the residence stated that he had observed Alexander standing nude near the side of his home and then witnessed Alexander enter the driver’s door of his vehicle that was in the garage. Before being processed defendant Alexander was transported to a nearby hospital for injuries that he incurred during the two motor vehicle accidents
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Prosecutor Robertson stated that defendant Alexander was charged with first degree carjacking, second degree eluding, third degree aggravated assault, fourth degree resisting arrest, third degree receiving stolen property, 2 counts of third degree burglary and numerous motor vehicle summonses.

After processing at Branchburg Police headquarters, defendant was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a bail hearing.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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NOVEMBER 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Montgomery Township Police Director/Captain Thomas Wain stated that on November 9, 2017, at 5:31 p.m., a two vehicle collision occurred in Montgomery Township at the intersection of Burnt Hill Road and Orchard Road.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that Christina Lenzo, age 18, of Flemington, N.J. was driving a 2016 Mazda CX while on Orchard Road when she approached a stop intersection at Burnt Hill Road. Ms. Lenzo had two passengers in her vehicle, Morgan Jones, age 17, of Flemington and Janine Sante, age 44, also of Flemington.

As Ms. Lenzo attempted to make a left turn onto Burnt Hill she pulled out into the path of an approaching Montgomery Township Police Ford Explorer SUV that was responding to an emergency call with the emergency lights and siren activated.

Ms. Lenzo, passenger Morgan Jones, and the Montgomery officer were transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – New Brunswick where they were treated for their injuries.

The driver’s mother, Janine Sante, who was seated in the rear seat of the vehicle, sustained serious injuries and is listed in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – New Brunswick.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crash Analysis Response Team responded and is assisting in the investigation.


Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Director Wain are requesting that anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Montgomery Township Police Department at 908-359-3222 or the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office at 908-541-5042.

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NOVEMBER 13, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - 3rd SUSPECT CHARGED IN SOMERVILLE SHOOTING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announced the arrest of Alquan J. Harris, age 20, of South Gaston Avenue, Somerville, New Jersey.



Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Somerville Police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Third Street and Center Street. The investigation revealed that a motorist from Easton, Pennsylvania was in the area when he was approached by Azikwa D. Rustin and Joseph N. Wright who shot at him while he was seated inside his motor vehicle. During this event defendant Rustin was shot in the buttocks by his accomplice, defendant Wright. The continuing investigation revealed that Alquan J. Harris was also present during the shooting, and participated in events related to the shooting. While investigators are attempting to determine a motive for the shooting, preliminary results are that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual.

On November 3, 2017 at approximately 10:00 a.m., defendant Harris responded to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and turned himself into detectives assigned to the investigation. Defendant Harris has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, and second degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The search for defendant Wright is continuing and detectives are urging him to surrender to law enforcement authorities. Detectives are also urging the public to report and not approach the defendant who is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Defendant Wright has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second degree certain persons not to possess a firearm.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Manning request that anyone with information regarding this shooting incident or defendant Wright’s whereabouts to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Somerville Borough Police Department at 908-725-0331 or via the STOPit app by downloading STOPit to your smart phone at Google Play or the Apple Store and enter the access code SOMERSETNJ.

Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is likewise offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of defendant Wright. Tipsters wanting to remain anonymous and collect the reward monies must call the Somerset County Crime Stopper’s Tip Line at 1-888-577-8477 or submit information at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”.


NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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NOVEMBER 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH MAN CHARGED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP BANK ROBBERIES

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced the arrest of Quintin D. Watson, age 50, of Stratford Court, Hillsborough Township, New Jersey for two recent bank robberies that occurred in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that September 3, 2017, at approximately 12:58 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to an alarm activation at the TD Bank located on Route 27 in the Somerset Section of Franklin Township. Responding Officers met with bank employees who reported that an unknown black male suspect approached a bank teller and handed them a note announcing the robbery. After receiving an undisclosed amount of currency from the teller he fled on foot in an unknown direction.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation. The suspect was described as a dark skinned black male, approximately 6’2” tall and having a muscular build.

Detectives released a surveillance picture of the suspect asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on November 1, 2017, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to an alarm activation at the Chase Bank, located on Elizabeth Avenue in the Somerset section of Franklin Township. Responding officers met with bank employees who reported that an unknown black male suspect approached a bank teller and handed them a note announcing the robbery as the suspect motioned towards his waistband as if he had a weapon. The suspect fled from the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of currency. A description of the suspect was broadcast to surrounding law enforcement agencies by the Somerset County Communications Center.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, along with Special Agents from the Franklin Township Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) field office, responded to conduct the investigation. The suspect was described as a dark skinned black male, approximately 6’2” tall and having a muscular build, wearing a dark grey ski cap.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of the investigation detectives identified the bank robbery suspect as Quintin D. Watson. On Friday, November 3, 2017 at approximately 7:30p.m. detectives working the investigation were successful in tracking defendant Watson to a restaurant parking lot in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey. Defendant Watson was taken into custody without incident. Detectives subsequently executed a search warrant of defendant Watson’s Hillsborough Township residence.

Defendant Watson was charged with two (2) counts of first degree robbery. Defendant was lodged in the Somerset County Jail without bail pending a detention hearing.

The investigation into a string of recent bank robberies throughout Central New Jersey is continuing and additional charges against defendant Watson are pending.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding either of the bank robberies is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533, FBI Franklin Field Office at (908) 231-2800, or via the STOPit app by downloading STOPit to your smart phone at Google Play or the Apple Store and enter the access code “SOMERSETNJ”, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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NOVEMBER 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP BANK ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced that the investigation regarding last evening’s Franklin Township bank robbery is continuing.



Prosecutor Robertson stated that on November 1, 2017, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to an alarm activation at the Chase Bank, located on Elizabeth Avenue in the Somerset section of Franklin Township. Responding officers met with bank employees who reported that an unknown black male suspect approached a bank teller and handed them a note announcing the robbery while he motioned towards his waistband as if he had a concealed weapon. The suspect fled from the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of currency. A description of the suspect was broadcast to surrounding law enforcement agencies by the Somerset County Communications Center.

Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation. Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Franklin Field Office are also assisting in the ongoing investigation.

The suspect is described as a dark skinned black male, approximately 6’2”, muscular build, wearing a dark grey ski cap. Detectives have release a surveillance picture of the suspect, obtained from video footage, in an attempt to identify him with the public’s assistance.

Detectives are urging the public to report but not approach the suspect if you know their identity and whereabouts.


Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding the bank robbery is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533, FBI Franklin Field Office at (908) 231-2800, or via the STOPit app by downloading STOPit to your smart phone at Google Play or the Apple Store and enter the access code “SOMERSETNJ”, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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NOVEMBER 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - THIRD SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN SOMERVILLE SHOOTING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announced that Alquan J. Harris, age 20, of South Gaston Avenue, Somerville, New Jersey, has been identified as the third individual wanted by law enforcement authorities for his involvement in last Thursday’s shooting in Somerville.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on October 26, 2017, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Somerville Police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Third Street and Center Street. The investigation revealed that a resident from Easton, Pennsylvania was in the area of Third Street and Center Street when he was approached by Azikwa D. Rustin and Joseph N. Wright who opened fire on him while he was seated inside his vehicle. During this event defendant Rustin was shot in the buttocks by his accomplice, defendant Wright. The continuing investigation revealed that defendant Harris was also present during the shooting and participated in events related to the shooting. While investigators are attempting to determine a motive for the shooting, preliminary results are that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual.

The investigation regarding the whereabouts of defendants Wright and Harris is continuing. Detectives are urging the public to report and not to approach the defendants who are considered to be armed and dangerous. Detectives are urging both defendants to turn themselves into law enforcement authorities.

Defendant Rustin has been arrested and charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second degree certain persons prohibited from possessing or controlling a firearm.

Defendant Wright has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm and a second degree certain person not to possess a firearm offense.

Defendant Harris has been charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Manning request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Somerville Borough Police Department at 908-725-0331 or via the STOPit app by downloading STOPit to your smart phone at Google Play or the Apple Store and enter the access code SOMERSETNJ.

Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is likewise offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of defendants Wright and Harris. Tipsters wanting to remain anonymous and collect the reward monies must call the Somerset County Crime Stopper’s Tip Line at 1-888-577-8477 or submit information online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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OCTOBER 30, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - AUTHORITIES IDENTIFY SECOND SUSPECT IN SOMERVILLE SHOOTING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announced that Joseph N. Wright, age 35, of Schindler Terrace, Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, is the second individual wanted by law enforcement for his involvement in last Thursday’s Somerville shooting.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on October 26, 2017, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Somerville Police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Third Street and Center Street. The investigation has revealed that a male from Easton, Pennsylvania, was in the area of Third Street and Center Street when he was approached by Azikwa D. Rustin and Joseph N. Wright who opened fire on him while he was seated inside his vehicle. During this event defendant Rustin was shot in the buttocks by his accomplice, defendant Wright. While investigators are attempting to determine a motive for the shooting, preliminary results are that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual.

Detectives are continuing the investigation regarding the whereabouts of Wright and detectives are urging the public to report and not to approach the defendant who is considered to be armed and dangerous. Detectives are urging defendant Wright to turn himself in to law enforcement authorities.

Defendant Rustin was arrested and charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second degree certain persons prohibited from possessing or controlling a firearm.

A criminal complaint has been filed for defendant Wright charging him with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm and a second degree certain persons offense.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Manning request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Somerville Borough Police Department at 908-725-0331 or via the STOPit app by downloading STOPit to your smart phone at Google Play or the Apple Store and enter the access code “SOMERSETNJ”.
Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is likewise offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of defendant Wright. Tipsters wanting to remain anonymous and collect the reward monies must call the Somerset County Crime Stopper’s Tip Line at 1-888-577-8477 or submit information online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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OCTOBER 27, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce the arrest of Azikwa D. Rustin, age 30, of Mechanic Street, Somerville, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Somerville Police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Third Street and Center Street. Responding officers located the scene of the shooting which was processed by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit. Somerville Police subsequently learned that an individual identified as Azikwa D. Rustin had been taken to Robert Wood Johnson-Somerset for treatment of a gunshot wound and that he was later transferred to an area trauma center for emergency treatment. Detectives from the Somerville Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that subsequent to the Somerville shooting, Franklin Township Police responded to a call of a man who stated that he had been shot while in Somerville. Franklin Police responded to an area on Easton Avenue where the victim, a 26 year old, Easton, Pennsylvania resident, was located in and subsequently transported to an area trauma center for emergency treatment on a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg. Franklin Township Police contacted investigators in Somerville and relayed the aforementioned incident.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the investigation has revealed that the victim from Pennsylvania was operating a motor vehicle in the area of Third Street and Center Street, in Somerville when he was approached by two unknown males who opened fire on him while he was seated inside his vehicle. Investigators have determined that defendant Azikwa D. Rustin was one of the actors who opened fire on the vehicle and its driver.

Investigators are continuing the investigation regarding the identity and whereabouts of the second shooter. Preliminary investigation has revealed that defendant Rustin was shot in the buttocks by his accomplice during the event. While investigators are attempting to determine a motive for the shooting, preliminary results are that the victim may have been mistaken for another individual.

Defendant Rustin was subsequently arrested and charged with first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a firearm, second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second degree certain persons prohibited from possessing or controlling a firearm.

Defendant Rustin is under police guard at an area hospital and upon his release he will be transported and lodged in the Somerset County Jail without bail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Manning request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Somerville Borough Police Department at 908-725-0331, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All calls will be kept confidential.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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OCTOBER 25, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - STOPit TEAMS UP WITH SOMERSET COUNTY TO TAKE ON OPIOID CRISIS WITH ANONYMOUS REPORTING APP

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Somerset County Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor announced that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office has partnered with STOPit, based in Bedminster, N.J., a leading provider of comprehensive, anonymous reporting software solutions that deters and mitigates bullying, harassment, and illegal behaviors.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that with this morning’s launch of “Somerset Strong” all Somerset County residents, including parents, friends and loved ones will have a safe, secure and anonymous way to report or request treatment service information relating to the opioid crisis by way of an app on their mobile devices.

Since its launch four years ago, the Stopit program through their app has helped schools across the nation to protect over 2 million students from cyberbullying, harassment and other harmful and inappropriate conduct. By expanding with the Somerset County law enforcement community, citizens will now be able to assist county and municipal agencies through live text messaging.

The text messages will be received by personnel from the Somerset County Communications Center along with detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office.

Prosecutor Robertson stressed that this app does not replace 9-1-1and that individuals needing immediate assistance are to continue dialing 9-1-1.

The Stopit app can be downloaded for free onto your mobile device from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, you can access “Somerset Strong” by entering the access code: SOMERSETNJ

Todd Schobel - “We’re honored to join forces with Somerset County to help protect our communities from the growing epidemic of opioids.”

Prosecutor Robertson - "I am confident we are on the right path, not only to raise awareness of the dangers associated with heroin and opioid abuse, but also to assist the population in helping others. We need the communities help in fighting this epidemic, and with everyone now having access to the STOPit app, we will continue to save even more lives.”

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OCTOBER 18, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BOUND BROOK HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Bound Brook Chief of Police Vito Bet announced that the homicide investigation surrounding the death of William Roberts, age 27, a resident of Church Street in Bound Brook is ongoing.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on October 16, 2017, at approximately 6:23 p.m., Bound Brook Police responded to numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting shots fired and an individual suffering from a gunshot wound in the area of Church Street and East Second Street. Responding Bound Brook officers located a male victim, who was later identified as William Roberts, suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso. The officers along with medical first responders from the Bound Brook Rescue Squad, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital - Somerville performed life saving measures on Mr. Roberts. He was transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment. Mr. Roberts was rushed into emergency surgery where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Bound Brook Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded and are actively conducting the investigation. Thus far the investigation has revealed that Mr. Williams was shot in the vicinity of Church Street near West Second Street. Detectives have established that the shooting was an isolated incident and the victim was the intended target. Detectives have received limited cooperation from potential eyewitnesses and they are urging anyone that may have been present and/or observed the incident to contact authorities, all calls are confidential.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Bet request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the Bound Brook Police Department at 732-356-0800, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All Crime Stopper tipsters will remain anonymous.

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OCTOBER 17, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - JURY CONVICTS UNION TOWNSHIP WOMAN FOR VEHICULAR HOMICIDE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that this morning a Somerset County Jury found Amie Marroccelli, age 44, of Union Township, New Jersey, guilty of 2nd degree vehicular homicide. This represents the second time a jury has convicted the defendant of this crime, as defendant previously was tried and convicted for this offense on March 17, 2014. After defendant’s conviction in 2014, the Honorable Robert B. Reed, J.S.C., sentenced Amie Marroccelli to seven years in New Jersey State Prison with 85% to be served without parole. However, in 2014 Judge Reed granted defendant Amie Marroccelli bail pending appeal.

The Appellate Division subsequently reversed defendant’s 2014 conviction and remanded the case for a new trial, citing Judge Reed’s failure to permit Ms. Marroccelli the opportunity to introduce a note at trial, wherein the note, purportedly written by her husband, claimed that Amie Marroccelli was not driving the car at the time of the vehicular crash and that her husband was the driver.

The vehicular homicide was the result of a motor vehicle crash that occurred on October 10, 2010, at approximately 7:56 p.m. on Interstate 78 in Warren Township. During the investigation, it was discovered that defendant Marroccelli was driving eastbound in the left lane on Interstate 78. Steven Wall, age 22, of Annandale, New Jersey was also traveling eastbound in the center lane. Marroccelli struck Steven Wall’s vehicle in the center lane when she abruptly changed lanes from the left to the center. As a result of the impact, Mr. Wall’s vehicle was forced off the highway to the right, where it collided with trees. Steven Wall died as a result of injuries he sustained in the crash.

A laboratory analysis revealed that defendant Marrocceli’s blood alcohol content was .087% approximately three hours after the collision; this blood alcohol level alone creates the per se offense of Driving While Intoxicated. An expert for the State testified that at the time of the crash, the presence of ethyl alcohol in Amie Marroccelli’s blood would have been .14%. At the time of her re-trial in 2017, defendant introduced a note wherein her husband purportedly claimed responsibility for driving.

After the verdict, Judge Reed revoked the defendant’s bail and remanded her to the Somerset County Jail pending sentencing on December 8, 2017.

The State was represented by Chief Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Merrill M. Mezzacappa and Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor William A. Guhl, with the assistance of Paralegal Supervisor Amy VanderGoot.

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OCTOBER 16, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - UNION CITY MAN CONVICTED OF CAR THEFT, ELUDING AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that this morning a Somerset County Jury found Luis Lora, age 36, of W. 36th Street, Union City, New Jersey guilty of the third degree theft of an automobile, second degree eluding, second degree aggravated assault during the course of an eluding, and third degree aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, after a thirteen day trial before the Hon. Anthony F. Picheca, Jr., J.S.C. The jury deliberated approximately two hours before delivering the verdict.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that near closing time on June 25, 2013, two men, later identified as defendant Luis Lora and his brother-in-law, Matia Morel-Diaz, met with a salesperson at Open Road Mercedes located on Route 22 in Bridgewater Township. They specifically looked at two pre-owned vehicles, a blue 2010 E550, and silver 2012 S550. At some point, they were able to switch out the real key fobs of the cars and returned phony ones to the sales associate.

About 2:00 a.m., the next morning, June 26, 2013, they walked onto the dealership lot and were able to drive off in the same two vehicles. A security company that monitors the cameras alerted the Bridgewater Police to their presence on the lot.

Bridgewater Sergeant Michael Maxwell spotted the two stolen automobiles as they were on the entrance ramp to Interstate 287 South. He positioned his vehicle behind the blue one and signaled for it to pull over. The silver car continued south on 287. Officer Brian Schubert continued after the silver car. When Sergeant Maxwell walked up to the blue car, it sped off. When Officer Schubert learned that the blue car had sped off he slowed his patrol vehicle down. The blue Mercedes closed in on Officer Schubert’s vehicle and eventually rammed into the rear of his vehicle causing it to spin out of control, finally crashing into the guardrail. The blue Mercedes came to a stop in the grass median. When other officers approached the Mercedes they discovered that the driver had fled from the vehicle. Officer Schubert suffered injuries as a result of the crash and was out of work for more than a month.

The case remained unsolved for several months.

Detectives obtained a court authorized search warrant of a cellular phone was left behind in the car. The search revealed a Facebook account that was able to be linked to defendant Lora. Fingerprints were also discovered on the vehicle as well on items located inside same.

The vehicle’s deployed airbag and a baseball cap discovered inside the vehicle were taken to the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences. A single DNA profile was developed from the airbag, and the baseball cap was discovered to contain a mixture of two people’s DNA. The DNA from the airbag and the DNA that was the major source from the cap was that of defendant Lora who was in the NJSP database. A subsequent court ordered sample of defendant’s DNA was obtained directly from him. The sample was an exact match of the DNA found on the airbag and of the major source from the cap.

Several of the identifiable fingerprints found on the vehicle belonged to defendant’s brother-in-law, Matia Morel Diaz. An arrest warrant was issued for him; he remains a fugitive.

Upon the return of the verdict this morning, the defendant’s bail of $75,000 was revoked, and he was remanded to the Somerset County Jail pending sentencing scheduled for December 8, 2017. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, with eleven years to be served without parole.

The State was represented by Chief Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Robert J. Hawkes and Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Nicole A. McGrath, with the assistance of Assistant Paralegal Supervisor Ellen Kimmel-Kirschbaum.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges against Matia Morel Diaz are merely an accusation and that Matia Morel Diaz is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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OCTOBER 16, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - FORMER NYPD SERGEANT FOUND GUILTY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that on October 12, 2017, Wanda Anthony, age 47, of Staten Island, New York, was convicted of 2nd degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and disorderly persons criminal mischief following a three-week jury trial in Somerville, New Jersey.

Defendant Anthony’s conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on April 30, 2014, at 3:30 a.m. in Watchung, New Jersey. At that time, defendant Anthony was employed as a sergeant with the New York City Police Department but was off-duty and on a date with a High Tor Drive resident. Shortly after she arrived at a High Tor Drive residence, defendant Anthony was involved in a physical altercation with the girlfriend of the resident. Following the altercation, defendant Anthony brandished her NYPD issued 9mm handgun and fired one round into the High Tor Drive resident's vehicle located in the driveway of the residence. The round shattered the rear driver’s side door window and lodged in the vehicle’s right front A-pillar. Defendant Anthony fled the scene after firing the shot, and was located nearby and arrested by Officer Brian McLaughlin of the Watchung Police Department.

Watchung Police detectives investigated the incident, which included an interview of defendant Anthony, who denied firing her weapon. A forensic technician employed by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office later recovered two projectile fragments from the resident’s vehicle, and a Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office ballistics expert matched the projectile fragments to defendant Anthony’s handgun. After the incident, defendant Anthony was terminated by the NYPD.

Defendant Anthony is scheduled to be sentenced on December 1, 2017, at which time she faces ten years in prison with a mandatory minimum 42 month period of parole ineligibility.

The State was represented by Chief Assistant Prosecutor W. Brian Stack. The Honorable Bradford M. Bury, J.S.C., presided over the trial.

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OCTOBER 11, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN MAN CHARGED WITH FIREARM OFFENSES

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Franklin Township Police Chief Lawrence W. Roberts announced the arrest of Rashan M. McMillan, 44 years old, of Hamilton Street, located in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on October 4, 2017, at 11:50 a.m. Franklin Township Police received a 9-1-1 call reporting shots fired in the area of Hamilton Street near the Douglas Gardens Apartments. The caller stated that a black male, wearing a red or orange t-shirt, gray pants and a red hat was standing near a blue vehicle firing a handgun in the air. Franklin Township Police Sgt. Greg Price and Officer Andre Tirado immediately responded and discovered Rashan McMillan in the area matching the description given by the caller. The officers approached McMillan and were able to take him into custody without incident. A fully loaded revolver with several spent shell casings was recovered from defendant McMillan’s waistband.

Defendant McMillian was charged with 2nd degree, unlawful possession of a handgun, 4th degree, possession of a defaced firearm and 2nd degree, certain persons not to possess firearms.

After processing, he was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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OCTOBER 10, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION LEADS TO SEIZURE OF TASER, HEROIN AND U.S. CURRENCY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announced the arrest of Charles Gordon, age 56, of South Street, Manville, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of a narcotics investigation regarding the distribution of narcotics by Charles Gordon, detectives obtained a search warrant for his residence. On September 27, 2017, at approximately 8:30 p.m. detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office along with members of the Manville Police Department executed the search warrant. With the assistance of the Bound Brook Police Department’s K-9 Unit, “Crusader” and his handler, detectives seized 221 bags of heroin, a black Thunder Power Taser, packaging material (empty baggies, a heroin stamper, two (2) scales, and rubber bands), and $5,066.00 in U.S. currency from the residence.

Defendant Gordon was charged with possession of CDS (Heroin) with the intent to distribute, 3rd degree, possession of a weapon, 4th degree, possession of a weapon while committing a CDS offense, 2nd degree, and Possession of drug paraphernalia a disorderly person offense.

The heroin seized has an estimated street value of $1,500.00.

Defendant Gordon was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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OCTOBER 5, 2017
AMENDED - NEWS RELEASE - TEACHER AIDE CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT, ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD AND WITNESS TAMPERING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Montgomery Township Police Director/Captain Tom Wain, announced the arrest of Daniel E. Fowler, age 35, of Princeton Pike, Lawrence, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on August 30, 2017, it was reported to Montgomery Police that Daniel Fowler had engaged in sexual contact with a 17 year old female student while at the East Mountain School in Montgomery Township. At the time of the assault Fowler was working in the capacity of a teacher aide at the school.

As a result of an investigation conducted by Montgomery Township detectives, it was determined that defendant Fowler had been communicating with the student through a mobile phone application prior to sexually assaulting the victim. The communications between defendant Fowler and the student were of a sexual nature. On Monday, September 25, 2017 defendant Fowler was arrested at his residence without incident, with the assistance of the Lawrence Police department.

Defendant Fowler was charged with 2nd degree endangering the welfare of a child, 2nd degree criminal sexual assault, and 3rd degree witness tampering.

Defendant Fowler was lodged in the Somerset County Jail, without bail, pending a detention hearing.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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OCTOBER 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - TEACHER AIDE CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT, ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD AND WITNESS TAMPERING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Montgomery Township Police Director/Captain Tom Wain, announced the arrest of Daniel E. Fowler, age 35, of Princeton Pike, Lawrence, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on August 30, 2017, it was reported to Montgomery Police that Daniel Fowler had engaged in sexual contact with a 17 year old female student while at the East Mountain School in Montgomery Township. At the time of the assault Fowler was working in the capacity of a teacher aide at the school.

As a result of an investigation conducted by Montgomery Township detectives, it was determined that defendant Fowler had been communicating with the student through a mobile phone application prior to sexually assaulting the victim. The communications between defendant Fowler and the student were of a sexual nature. On Monday, September 25, 2017 defendant Fowler was arrested at his residence without incident, with the assistance of the Lawrence Police department.

Defendant Fowler was charged with 2nd degree endangering the welfare of a child, 2nd degree criminal sexual contact, and 3rd degree witness tampering.

Defendant Fowler was lodged in the Somerset County Jail, without bail, pending a detention hearing.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - HAWAII RESIDENT CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL MISCHIEF AT TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF COURSE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Bedminster Township Chief of Police Karl Rock announced the arrest of Clifford Tillotson, age 61, of Aumoana Place, Kaneohe, Hawaii.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on September 12, 2017, at approximately 8:35 a.m., Bedminster Township Police received a call from the Director of Security at Trump National Golf Club, reporting that sometime during the evening hours of September 11th and early morning hours of September 12th; nine (9) golf course greens had been damaged by an unknown substance. The damage consisted of words written on the putting greens and were defaced by the unknown substance. The estimated damage sustained to the golf course was in the excess of $10,000. Bedminster Police along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office responded to conduct the investigation. A sample from the damaged greens has been sent to a forensic lab for further analysis.

Prosecutor Robertson stated on September 17, 2017, the investigation revealed that Clifford Tillotson had defaced golf courses located in New York. Somerset County authorities working in conjunction with New York authorities were able to identify defendant Tillotson as the individual responsible for the damages at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster.

On September 27, 2017, a criminal complaint was generated and defendant Tillotson was charged with third degree criminal mischief. Defendant Tillotson awaits extradition to New Jersey due to the pending charges he faces in Westchester County for damages he caused at golf courses located in New York.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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AUGUST 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE ROBBERY AT BOUND BROOK SHOP RITE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Bound Brook Chief of Police Vito Bet announced that detectives are continuing to investigate a robbery that occurred yesterday in Bound Brook.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 9:28 a.m. Bound Brook Police responded to a report of a robbery at the Shop Rite located on West Union Avenue. Responding officers were advised by employees that a white male approached a cashier and after stating that he had a weapon he demanded money from the cash register. The cashier gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of currency and the suspect exited the store and drove away in a dark colored sedan. The suspect was described as being approximately 5’5” tall, having a medium build, wearing tan shorts, a black and grey hooded sweatshirt, and white sneakers
Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Bound Brook Police Department in conjunction with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit are investigating the robbery and they have released a still image of the suspect obtained from surveillance camera. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, do not approach the suspect as he may be armed with a firearm.
Somerset County Crime Stoppers, Inc. is offering a reward of up to $250.00 for information regarding the suspect’s identity and his arrest.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Bet request anyone with information regarding this incident or anyone knowing the identity of the male suspect to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Bound Brook Police Department (732) 356-0800.

Individuals wanting to collect the reward monies must call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All Crime Stopper tipsters and tips will remain anonymous and confidential.

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JULY 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - OPERATION “UP IN SMOKE”

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts, and Piscataway Township Chief of Police Scott L. Cartmell announced the arrests of:

• Frank Quezada, aka: “Smoke”, age 38, Forest Drive, Piscataway Township, New Jersey

• Lori Jinotti, age 36, S. Randolphville Road, Piscataway Township, New Jersey

• Ricky Van Ness, age 40, Winder Drive, Bridgewater Township, New Jersey

• Nancy Henriquez-Leon, age 27, Harmony Street, Piscataway Township, New Jersey

The four defendants were arrested between May 23, 2017 and May 26, 2017 following a seven month narcotic investigation regarding the distribution of heroin, cocaine and other controlled dangerous substances in Somerset and Middlesex counties.

Prosecutor Robertson stated as a result of the investigation detectives executed three Superior Court Search Warrants to include the residences of Quezada and Van Ness. Detectives additionally affected 14 arrest warrants. The investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately 370 grams of raw heroin, 2 pounds of marijuana, approximately 1,300 bags of heroin, approximately 44 grams of cocaine, 20 individually wrapped bags of crack cocaine, a hydraulic kilo-press and other drug manufacturing equipment. In addition, detectives located and seized approximately $71,000 in U.S. Currency and a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun.

The seized controlled dangerous substances have the following street values, heroin $70,000.00, cocaine $3,000.00, and the marijuana $6,000.00.

Defendant Quezada was charged with 2nd degree distribution of CDS and 2nd degree conspiracy to distribute CDS. Defendant Jinotti was charged with 2nd degree distribution of CDS and 2nd degree conspiracy to distribute CDS. Defendant Van Ness was charged with 1st degree maintaining/operating a CDS manufacturing facility, 1st degree possession of CDS (heroin) with the intent to distribute, 2nd degree possession of a firearm while committing a CDS offense, 2nd degree certain persons not to have weapons, and 2nd degree endangering. Defendant Henriquez-Leon was charged with 2nd degree distribution of CDS.

The following individuals were all charged with 3rd degree conspiracy and 3rd degree attempt to possess CDS:

Grant Buchanan, age 30, Chimney Rock Road, Bridgewater Township, N.J.
Michael Faligiano, age 40, 13th Street, Somerset section of Franklin Township, N.J.
Kelsey Frost, age 35, Penny Lane, Flemington, N.J.
Jennifer Gallo, age 29, Welshs Lane, Somerset section of Franklin Township, N.J.
Torin Houlihan, age 25, Starview Drive, Hillsborough Township, N.J.
Paul Mason, age 29, Thompson Avenue, Raritan Borough, N.J.
Autumn Benning, age 28, Lee Avenue, North Brunswick Township, N.J.
Brad Mullen, age 36, Route 22, Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Ryan Murphy, age 26, Rutgers Court, Belleville, N.J.
Justin Nowicki, age 24, Courtes Place, Sayreville, N.J.
Nicole Parah, age 29, Wilson Avenue, Hamilton, N.J.
Franklin Perez-Guerra, age 21, Wayne Street, Perth Amboy, N.J.
Evan Stockwell, age 36, Downbury Court, Hillsborough Township, N.J.
John Verden, age 46, Tanglewood Drive, Piscataway Township, N.J.


Prosecutor Robertson stated that the success of this operation would not have been possible without the active cooperation of the municipal police departments assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force.

Prosecutor Robertson like to thank the following agencies that also assisted in the investigation, Bound Brook Police Department, Branchburg Township Police Department, Hillsborough Township Police Department, Manville Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Piscataway Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Strike Force, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey HIDTA Group 3.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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JUNE 29, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - GRAND JURY ISSUES SEVENTEENCOUNT BURGLARY INDICTMENT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that a Somerset County Grand Jury returned an Indictment against Tyrrek Cook, age 19, of North Second Avenue, Manville, N.J.

Prosecutor Robertson stated defendant Cook was indicted with nine counts of second and third degree burglary, six counts of third and fourth degree theft, one count of third degree unlawful taking a means of conveyance, and one count of fourth hindering apprehension.

Prosecutor Robertson stated eight of the burglary charges involved a series of residential and vehicular burglaries and thefts that occurred in Manville between Wednesday night March 15, 2017, and defendant’s arrest during the early morning hours of Monday, March 20, 2017. Prosecutor Robertson stated the charges also include a residential burglary and theft that occurred in Plainfield, Union County, on March 17, 2017, during which defendant was in possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Prosecutor Robertson stated defendant Cook was taken into custody on Monday, March 20, 2017, after which the Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion seeking to detain the defendant in custody pending trial. The defendant remains in custody while the motion is pending. No trial date has been set.

If convicted of the most serious charge in the Indictment, second degree burglary, defendant could be sentenced by the Court to serve a term in the State Prison system between five and ten years under the “No Early Release Act” (85% provision).

Defendant’s arraignment on the Indictment will be set by the Court in the coming days.

Prosecutor Robertson stated the case has been assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Murphy.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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JUNE 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY POLICE YOUTH WEEK TO BE HELD IN JULY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano and the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police President, Chief William Parenti of the North Plainfield Police Department, announced that the Somerset County Police Academy will conducting a 5 day, “Police Youth Week” next month.

The program will be held from July 17 to 21, 2017 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy located at 402 Roycefield Road, in Hillsborough Township.

The goals of the program are to introduce high school students to a career in law enforcement and to develop positive interaction between students and members of the law enforcement community.

Academy Director Dr. Richard Celeste states the program is modeled after the highly successful Somerset County Police Academy Recruit Training Program which trained police recruits up until 2014. Instruction will be provided by Police Academy staff members and police officers from participating local police departments. The program is being sponsored by the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, and the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.

Participation in Police Youth Week will provide the attending student with an overview of various components of the criminal justice field. The program will be conducted through both classroom and practical based exercises providing the student with not only an academic understanding but also a “hands-on” experience. The program changes every year and is based on a four year curriculum to encourage the student to participate in the program the following year. It should be understood that due to the course design, it is not necessary to attend a previous year in order to attend a following year program.

The program is open to students who:
(1) Are residents of Somerset County or are enrolled in a secondary school within the Somerset County, and
(2) Are entering 9th grade through graduating seniors.

Since 1996, this successful community program has been funded by the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police, and as such, there will be no cost for the program participants.

Registration forms must be received by next Thursday, June 22, 2017.

To register for the program, candidates can download a registration form from our website www.somersetcountypoliceacademy.com, select Community Events, followed by the Police Youth Week icon. Applications may also be obtained at the Somerset County Police Academy located at 402 Roycefield Road Hillsborough N.J. 08844 or through their local police department.

The Coordinator of Police Youth Week, Det. Sgt. William Brown, can be reached by email wbrown@co.somerset.nj.us or by phone 908-541-5035 for any questions pertaining to the program.

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JUNE 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BOUND BROOK MAN SHOT TWICE IN ONE WEEK

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Bound Brook Borough Chief of Police Vito Bet announced the arrest of Isaiah Wilson, age 25, of Fisher Avenue, Bound Brook, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on June 8, 2017, at approximately 9:39 p.m., the Bound Brook Police Department responded to the area of East Main Street and Drake Street for a report of gunshots fired. Responding officers discovered several spent shell casings in the roadway. However, after checking the area, the officers were unable to locate any gunshot victims.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that a short time later the Bound Brook Police Department was contacted by personnel at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital - New Brunswick reporting that they were treating a 38-year-old Bound Brook man for a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his right leg. Detectives from the Bound Brook Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to the hospital and attempted to speak with the victim who refused to cooperate.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on June 12, 2017, at approximately 9:57 p.m., the Bound Brook Police Department responded to the area of East Main Street and Drake Street and discovered that the same 38-year-old Bound Brook man had been shot in his left leg. The victim was subsequently transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital - Somerset where he was treated for a non - life-threatening gunshot wound. Detectives from the Bound Brook Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, responded and were advised by witnesses that Isaiah Wilson was observed running from the area after the shooting occurred.

A short time later, Bound Brook patrols located Isaiah Wilson near his Fisher Avenue residence where he was arrested without incident and lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that Isaiah Wilson was charged with 1st degree, attempted murder, and 2nd degree, possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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MAY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE ARMED ROBBERY IN NORTH PLAINFIELD

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and North Plainfield Borough Chief of Police William Parenti announced that detectives are continuing to investigate an armed robbery that occurred at a North Plainfield restaurant last Friday evening.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on May 27, 2017, at approximately 11:00 p.m., the North Plainfield Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed robbery at the Hunan Royal Chinese Restaurant located at 88 Watchung Avenue. Responding officers made contact with a male employee who reported that he had just returned from a delivery and observed a tall black male wearing a black hoodie holding a knife at the rear door. The victim stated that he also observed another black male run out of the same door as he pointed a handgun at the victim as he remained in his delivery vehicle. Both suspects fled on foot towards a dark colored SUV or van.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that another witness reported seeing two thin black males in their early 20’s exiting a dark colored SUV or van and park on Brook Avenue. One male was wearing a grey hoodie and the other male was wearing a dark blue hoodie with a white stripe running down the arm. The witness observed them walking West towards Watchung Avenue. Approximately four minutes later, the same witness observed both males running back to the dark colored vehicle operated by a white individual. The vehicle was last seen driving East on Brook Avenue.

A second employee reported that while at the cash register, a black male with a gun approached her from behind and forced her to open the register. The suspect then removed an unknown amount of currency from the register. Both individuals then fled using the rear door exit.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department responded to conduct the investigation. Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects. Detectives urge the public not to approach the suspects as they may be armed with a firearm.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Parenti request anyone with information regarding this incident or anyone knowing the identity of the male suspects to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the North Plainfield Township Police Department (908) 769-2937 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential

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MAY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE MULTIPLE SHOOTINGS IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced that multiple shootings that occurred in Franklin Township over this past holiday weekend are being actively investigated by detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit. One of the investigations led to the arrest of David Anderson, age 28, of Henry Street, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Friday, May 27, 2017, at approximately 8:58 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was received by the Franklin Township Police Department reporting gunshots fired at a Minetta Road residence. The resident advised that he heard approximately five gun shots. A bullet hole was located inside the residence in a bedroom wall. No injuries were reported, and no suspects have been identified.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Saturday, May 28, 2017 at approximately 3:03 a.m., a 9-1-1 call was received by the Franklin Township Police Department reporting gunshots fired in the area of Victor Street with a gunshot victim. Responding officers located a 33 year old male in a Victor Street residence suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his right shoulder. Officers provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment. The investigation revealed that the victim was in his second floor bedroom when a stray bullet came through the window and struck him in the shoulder. Several 9mm shell casings were located outside the residence.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation. As a result of the investigation a Superior Court search warrant was obtained for a next door residence. A search of the residence resulted in the seizure of a .22 caliber assault handgun with a magazine capable of holding 50 rounds of ammunition. David Anderson, an occupant of the dwelling, was arrested without incident and charged with second degree possession of an assault weapon, second degree possession of weapon by certain person, and fourth degree possession of a high capacity magazine. Defendant Anderson was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Saturday, May 28, 2017 at approximately 6:50 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was received reporting by the Franklin Township Police Department reporting that three males were observed shooting a handgun across Route 27 towards New Brunswick from the area of Millstone Road and Somerset Street. Franklin Township patrol units and detectives responded to the area to conduct the investigation. Witnesses confirmed hearing gunshots being fired and observed three black males running north on Fuller Street. No injuries were reported.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives are investigating the recent string of shootings in the area that have occurred within the past two months.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding these incidents to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-5533. Those individuals requesting to remain anonymous can call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MAY 26, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT OF MINOR

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts, announced the arrest of David Lutz, age 31, of Whittier Avenue, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at approximately 3:25 p.m. Franklin Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call that was placed from a local business. The caller reported that an individual, later identified as defendant David Lutz, had been observed touching a minor child (4 years of age) in a sexual nature, specifically by grabbing the child’s buttocks. Store employees detained defendant Lutz until the arrival of law enforcement.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department along with detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit responded and initiated an investigation. The investigation revealed that defendant Lutz was observed following the minor child throughout the store. Subsequently the child, who was within close proximity of a parent, was observed being touched by defendant Lutz when the child’s parent was distracted. This was observed by numerous individuals within the store.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that defendant Lutz was charged with second degree sexual assault (a minor less than 13 years of age), and third degree endangering welfare of a child. Defendant Lutz was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MAY 17, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFENDANTS RETURNED TO NEW JERSEY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson stated that defendants Joneigh A. Tempro and Joshua M. Stewart, after waiving extradition in Maryland, have been transported back to New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit conducted an investigation that revealed that defendants Tempro and Stewart had knowingly promoted a 16 year old victim to engage in sexual activity with various clients in hotels located throughout Somerset County.

On May 10, 2017 detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s office, along with detectives from the Elkton Police department responded to a residence in Elkton, Maryland. The residence had been identified by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the location where the defendants were staying. At approximately 11:00 a.m. both defendants were arrested without incident while at the residence. The defendants were lodged in the Cecil County Detention Center located in Elkton, Maryland.

The defendants were each charged with first degree, promoting prostitution (involving a child under the age of 18) and first degree, human trafficking (promoting a child under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity).

Both defendants are currently lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending detention hearings.


NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MAY 16, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY AUTHORITIES RECOVER SECOND 16 YEAR OLD MINOR ENGAGING IN PROSTITUTION WITHIN A WEEK

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell announced the arrest of Danielle Belford, age 20, of South Branch Road, Branchburg Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on May 11, 2017, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office received information that Danielle Belford was engaging in prostitution as well as negotiating arrangements to utilize the victim, a female, age 16, in prostitution.

As a result of an investigation conducted by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit, the Major Crimes Unit, and the Hillsborough Police Department, it was determined that defendant Belford was advertising prostitution services for herself and the victim.

On Friday, May 12, 2017, a Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office undercover detective contacted Belford through her online advertisement and made arrangements to meet with her. During this meeting, defendant Belford negotiated with the undercover detective for a sexual act involving herself and the 16 year old victim. At this time, defendant Belford was placed under arrest by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Hillsborough Police Department.

Defendant Belford was charged with 3rd degree, endangering the welfare of a child, and 4th degree promoting prostitution by procuring a prostitute for a patron.

Defendant Belford was released on her own recognizance. The 16 year old victim was turned over to the care of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.

Detectives are continuing the investigation.


NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MAY 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CLICK IT OR TICKET MOBILIZATION MAY 22 – JUNE 4, 2017

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Law enforcement officers throughout Somerset and Hunterdon Counties will join with police from around the country in cracking down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

Beginning May 22nd and running through June 4th, the annual “Click It or Ticket” national mobilization utilizes high visibility seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols, in combination with local and national publicity efforts, to reiterate the life-saving value of seat belts.

“Using a seat belt is the simplest way for a driver and his or her passengers to protect themselves when traveling,” said Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. "In 2015, it is estimated that 14,000 lives were saved nationally by the proper use of seat belts.”

Poedubicky added that a key focus of this year’s campaign is to promote seat belt usage by adults in all seating positions in the vehicle, both front AND rear seats. The front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 93.35%. However, adults riding in rear seats are buckling up at a significantly lower rate. “For whatever reason there seems to be a disconnect with people feeling they don’t need to buckle up when riding as a passenger in rear seats, and this is a concern,” he said.

During the 2016 “Click it or Ticket” campaign, 387 New Jersey police agencies participated in the two-week initiative. As a result of the effort, law enforcement officers issued 26,551 seat belt citations, 5,517 speeding summonses and made 876 impaired driving arrests.

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MAY 11, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NEW YORK COUPLE CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF A MINOR FROM NEW JERSEY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Chief of Police Matthew Donnelly of the Elkton, Maryland Police Department announced the arrests of Joneigh A. Tempro, age 22, of First Place, Brentwood, New York and Joshua M. Stewart, age 28, of North Thompson Drive, Bay Shore, New York.

Prosecutor Robertson stated last month a Somerset County municipal police department received information that a 16 year old female, whom detectives are only disclosing as a resident of Somerset County, was engaging in prostitution activity under the direction of defendants Joneigh A. Tempro and Joshua M. Stewart in hotels located throughout Somerset County.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit immediately initiated an investigation into the allegations. Their investigation revealed that defendants Tempro and Stewart had knowingly promoted the 16 year old victim to engage in sexual activity with various clients in exchange for U.S. currency.

On May 10, 2017 detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s office, along with detectives from the Elkton Police department responded to a residence in Elkton, Maryland. The residence had been identified by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the location where the defendants were staying. At approximately 11:00 a.m. Joneigh A. Tempro and Joshua M. Stewart were arrested without incident while at the residence. A search of the house yielded items pertinent to the investigation.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the defendants were each charged with first degree, promoting prostitution (involving a child under the age of 18) and first degree, human trafficking (promoting a child under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity).

Both defendants were lodged in the Cecil County Detention Center located in Elkton, Maryland pending extradition proceedings back to New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson and Chief Fodor are asking that any additional victims who may have been prompted to engage in prostitution by defendants Tempro and Stewart to contact to Somerset County detectives at (908) 231-7100.
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NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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MAY 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT ARRESTED FOR BURGLARIZING THE SAME BUSINESS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence W. Roberts announced the arrest of Amadou Ba, age 30, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Prosecutor Robertson states that on May 3, 2017, at 4:10 a.m. the Franklin Township Police Department received an activated burglar alarm at a Route 27 business in the Princeton section of Franklin Township. Upon arrival of the initial officer, he observed a male, later identified as Amadou Ba standing inside the business. The officer ordered Ba to come outside so they could speak. Defendant Ba proceeded to hide out of view of the officer. When back-up officers arrived, they made entry into the business and found defendant Ba hiding under a truck. Defendant Ba was in possession of cash from the register as well as two sets of keys for vehicles that were being worked on in the business. It was determined that defendant Ba made entry through a window that he removed. Once inside he removed the alarm panel off the wall in an attempt to silence it.

Defendant Ba was arrested and charged with 3rd degree, burglary, criminal mischief and theft, both disorderly persons offenses. Defendant Ba was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending his 1st appearance. After his court appearance in the afternoon defendant Ba was released from custody.

Prosecutor Robertson states that on May 4, 2017, at 1:19 a.m. the Franklin Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a suspicious person at the same Route 27 business. The officers that handled the call on May 3rd responded to this call. Upon arrival, they immediately saw defendant Ba through a window. Upon making eye contact with officers, he fled to the rear of the business. The manager of the business was contacted and responded with the key. Upon making entry, the officers found defendant Ba seated in the rear office. He was taken into custody without incident. Defendant Ba was charged with 3rd degree,burglary, and lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MAY 3, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN RECENT FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTINGS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is offering rewards of up to $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) involved in the recent non-fatal shootings that have occurred in the Somerset section of Franklin Township between April 20, 2017 and May 1, 2017.

Tipsters must call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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MAY 3, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - JERSEY CITY MAN FOUND GUILTY OF IDENTITY THEFT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, announces that on May 2, 2017 a Somerset County Jury found Saeed Cousar, age 42, of Jersey City, New Jersey, guilty of 3rd degree theft by deception and 3rd degree identity theft, following a six day jury trial in Somerville.

Defendant Cousar’s arrest and conviction stem from an investigation conducted by the Bedminster Township Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit after a Mendham resident reported his identity and money stolen in July, 2013. The victim contacted his bank (located in Bedminster) and the police after receiving his savings account statement and discovering that more than $74,000 was missing from his account. Thereafter, detectives investigated, identified defendant Cousar, and connected him to the theft based on a variety of records, including internet service provider, cellular telephone, bank, and utility records. The investigation revealed that defendant Cousar used the victim’s stolen identifying information to open fraudulent online banking and fraudulent checking accounts in the victim’s name, and thereafter transfer money from the victim’s legitimate savings account to the fraudulent accounts controlled by the defendant. In November, 2013, police executed a search warrant on defendant’s Jersey City residence and found papers containing the personal identifying information of dozens of individuals.

The jury trial commenced on April 24, 2017 before the Hon. Edward M. Coleman, P.J.Cv. (retired and temporarily assigned on recall). The jury deliberated approximately three hours before returning a guilty verdict. Following the conviction, Judge Coleman revoked the defendant’s bail and remanded him to the Somerset County Jail. Defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2017, at which time he faces ten years in prison with a five year period of parole ineligibility based on his extensive criminal history. Defendant’s criminal history consists of seventeen prior indictable and felony convictions, including convictions for 3rd degree computer criminal activity (Ocean County Ind. No. 13-02-00494-I); 3rd degree identity theft (Morris County Ind. No. 10-12-001265A); 3rd degree theft by deception (Essex County Ind. No. 08-09-02665-I); 3rd degree issuing bad checks, 3rd degree wrongful impersonation and 3rd degree theft by deception (Hudson County Ind. Nos. 1000-05-08, 1740-09-08 and 336-02-09)); 3rd degree fraudulent use of a credit card (Bergen County Ind. No. 07-08-1329-A); 3rd degree identity theft (Hudson County Ind. No. 160-2-04Z); 3rd degree attempted theft by deception (Hudson County Acc. No. 337-01); 3rd degree theft by deception (Hudson County Ind. No. 842-98); 2nd degree receiving stolen property, 3rd degree possession with intent to distribute CDS within 1000 feet of a school and 3rd degree attempted theft by deception (Hudson County Ind. Nos. 1021-06-03 and 1186-07-04, and Acc. No. 896-8-04); 3rd degree burglary and resisting arrest (Hudson County Ind. Nos. 126-94 and 125-94); a June 24, 1997 felony conviction for uttering a forged instrument in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (File No. 97CRS004382-02); and (12) a July 18, 1995 felony conviction for uttering a forged instrument in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (File No. 95CRS022316).

The following law enforcement agencies assisted with the investigation: the Union County Prosecutor’s Office; the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office; the Denville, Morris County Police Department; the Manchester Township, Ocean County Police Department, and the Jersey City Police Department.

The State was represented by Chief Assistant Prosecutor W. Brian Stack

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MAY 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE 3rd FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING IN PAST TWO WEEKS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced that the investigation regarding last night’s shooting in the Somerset section of Franklin Township is ongoing.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 8:56 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was received by the Franklin Township Police Department reporting gunshots in the area of Mark and Parkside Streets. Responding officers located a 21 year old male in the area of Millstone Road and Route 27, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his right forearm. Officers provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment. The victim is not cooperating with law enforcement authorities.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to the scene to conduct the investigation. Detectives are investigating the recent string of shootings in the area that have occurred within the past 2 weeks.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-5533. Those individuals requesting to remain anonymous can call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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MAY 1, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced that the investigation regarding the April 28, 2017 shooting in the Somerset section of Franklin Township is ongoing.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 11:48 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was received by the Franklin Township Police Department reporting gunshots in the area of Baier Avenue. Responding officers located an 18 year old female near Baier Avenue, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to her lower extremity. Officers provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene to conduct the investigation. The investigation thus far has revealed that this was an isolated incident and the victim was not the intended target.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-5533. Those individuals requesting to remain anonymous can call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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APRIL 27, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - ELIZABETH MAN CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL PRACTICE OF DENTISTRY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and North Plainfield Chief of Police William Parenti announced the arrest of Jorge Nolivos, age 58, of Orchard Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson states that on April 26, 2017 at approximately 6:00 p.m., detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit executed a search warrant on a Somerset Street apartment in North Plainfield that Jorge Nolivos rented for his unlicensed dental practice. As a result of the search detectives seized dental instruments, hypodermic needles, and over 100 dosages of the numbing medication lidocaine.
Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department and investigators from the Consumer Affairs Division of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General assisted in the search.
Prior to the search warrant execution, an undercover detective from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Unit met with defendant Nolivos inside the apartment. The detective and defendant Nolivos engaged in a brief conversation about the process of receiving dental treatment and the related costs.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the month long investigation was initiated after authorities were alerted that a former patient of defendant Nolivos’ was hospitalized for an infection and required emergency treatment. Detectives are seeking any additional victims that may have used the services of defendant Nolivos.

Defendant Nolivos was arrested without incident and charged with second degree possession with the intent to distribute prescription legend drugs, two counts of third degree unlawful practice of dentistry, and possession of hypodermic needle-syringe, a disorderly person’s offense.

Defendant Nolivos was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Parenti request anyone who was treated by defendant Nolivos to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the North Plainfield Police Department (908) 769-2937 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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APRIL 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced that the investigation regarding yesterday’s shooting in the Somerset section of Franklin Township is ongoing.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 3:35 p.m., multiple 9-1-1 calls were received by the Franklin Township Police Department reporting gunshots fired in the area of Fuller Street in Franklin Township. Responding officers located a 29 year old New Brunswick male outside a Fuller Street residence, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his lower extremity. Officers provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local trauma center for emergency medical treatment.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene to conduct the investigation. The investigation thus far has revealed that this was an isolated incident and detectives are trying to determine the motive.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request that anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-5533 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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APRIL 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - AUTHORITIES ARREST WANTED RIDGEWOOD WOMAN

SOMERVILLE, N.J.- Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young announced that detectives have located and arrested Nicole Barbour, age 26, of Hillside Road, Ringwood, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that since defendant Barbour was charged with the unlawful disposing and concealing of Ashley M. Castro’s body in Branchburg Township on April 5, 2017, detectives have been actively investigating leads regarding her whereabouts.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at approximately 9:30 a.m., detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Branchburg Township Police Department, and Special Agents from the FBI, Franklin Township office, responded to the Red Carpet Inn, located in New Brunswick, and placed defendant Barbour under arrest.

Defendant Barbour has been charged with second degree, disturbing human remains. She was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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APRIL 19, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER HOMICIDE VICTIM IDENTIFIED

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that the homicide victim’s next of kin has been notified and that the victim has been identified as Helen Litwornia, age 61, of Washington Valley Road, defendant Michael Litwornia’s mother.

Yesterday afternoon an autopsy was performed by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, and the cause and manner of death was determined to be sharp force trauma to the neck, classified as a homicide.

The investigation is continuing.

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APRIL 18, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN CHARGED WITH HOMICIDE AFTER STANDOFF WITH SWAT TEAM

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Al Nicaretta announced the arrest of Michael Litwornia, age 27, of Washington Valley Road, in the Martinsville section of Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated last evening, at approximately 8:20 p.m., Bridgewater Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a stabbing victim outside of a Washington Valley Road residence. Responding Officers encountered a 61 year old male homeowner suffering from severe stab wounds/lacerations. The victim told the officers that his son, Michael Litwornia had attacked him. Officers immediately tended to the victim and requested emergency medical personnel. Additional Bridgewater Officers simultaneously arrived at the residence where they encountered a 61 year old female inside the residence also suffering from multiple stab wounds/lacerations. The officers evacuated the victim from the residence and initiated life saving measures. The victim was subsequently declared deceased upon the arrival of medics.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that Bridgewater Officers attempted to make contact with Michael Litwornia who had barricaded himself within the house. At the same time additional officers established a perimeter of the residence and began to evacuate/shelter in place local residents within the operational perimeter.

The Somerset County SWAT and Hostage/Crisis Negotiators were quickly activated and responded to the scene. Detectives from the Bridgewater Township Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, and the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to conduct the investigation.

Upon the arrival of Hostage/Crisis Negotiators an attempt was made to establish communications with Litwornia who refused to communicate. A mechanical robot was introduced into the residence and was successful in locating the defendant who was observed lying on a couch within the residence. At approximately 11:00 p.m. SWAT was authorized to make entry into the residence. Once SWAT members were inside defendant Litwornia attempted to grab a sharp force instrument but was quickly subdued and taken into custody by SWAT personnel. Defendant Litwornia had self-inflicted wounds to his body and was quickly transported to an area hospital for emergency treatment.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the adult male victim was transported to an area trauma center where he underwent emergency surgery and is listed in critical condition.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the investigation into the circumstances leading to this deadly encounter is on-going and detectives are attempting to establish a motive for the assaults. Authorities have not released the identity of the deceased female pending next of kin notifications. An autopsy is scheduled at the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Detectives have charged defendant Litwornia with first degree, homicide, and second degree, aggravated assault. Defendant Litwornia remains at an area hospital under police guard. When released, defendant Litwornia will be lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Nicaretta request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Bridgewater Township Police Department (908) 722-4111 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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APRIL 18, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - TWO ARRESTED IN WARREN TOWNSHIP ARMED ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Warren Township Chief of Police William Keane announced the arrests of Frank E. Kline, age 52, of Belvidere Ave, and David B. Domanski, age 53, of Washington Arms, both located in Washington Township in Warren County, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on March 26, 2017, at approximately 8:39 p.m., Warren Township Police received a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed robbery at the Stirling Road Krauszer’s food store. Responding officers met with an employee who reported that a male, approximately 50 years old, wearing dark clothing, light colored tactical boots and a white baseball hat entered the store. The individual approached the employee and while displaying a handgun demanded cash from the register. The victim complied and gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of currency from the cash register.

During the course of this investigation, Washington Township Police (Warren County) contacted Warren Township Police detectives and advised that defendant Kline fit the description of the suspect they were looking for and that he was also a suspect within their jurisdiction on a similar type of incident.

On Thursday, April 13, 2017 detectives from Warren Township, Long Hill Township (Morris County) and Washington Township conducted a physical surveillance on defendant Kline, in the Washington Township area, and confirmed that he matched the physical description displayed in the still photos obtained from video footage in the Krauszer’s armed robbery. Additionally, he was also wearing clothing that he wore during the armed robbery.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that Warren Township detectives obtained a Superior Court Search Warrant for defendant Kline and his residence.

Later that day, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Warren Township detectives with the assistance of detectives from Washington Township Police Department, Phillipsburg Police Department and Long Hill Township Police Department detained defendant Kline in Phillipsburg, New Jersey pursuant to the Superior Court Search Warrant. He was transported to the Washington Township Police Department for further investigation.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 6:17 p.m., detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Warren Township Police Department, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, Washington Township Police Department, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and Long Hill Township Police Department executed a Superior Court Search Warrant at defendant Kline’s Belvidere Avenue residence.

During the investigation it was determined that defendant Domanski was also involved in the armed robbery. At approximately 8:30 p.m. Warren Township detectives responded to Domanski’s residence to speak with him. Domanski then voluntarily responded, with the Warren Township detectives, to Washington Township Police Headquarters for further investigation.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Warren Township Police department followed multiple leads which eventually led to the arrests of Kline and Domanski.

At 9:35 p.m. defendants Kline and Domanski were arrested and charged with one count of first degree armed robbery, and one count of second degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Both defendants were lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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APRIL 12, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN WARREN TOWNSHIP ARMED ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is offering a $250 cash reward for information regarding the identity and whereabouts of the individual responsible for the March 26, 2017 armed robbery that occurred in Warren Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 8:39 p.m., a Caucasian male, approximately 50 years old, wearing dark clothing, light colored tactical boots and a white baseball hat entered the store. The individual approached an employee and demanded cash while displaying a handgun. The victim complied with the suspect’s demands and gave him an undisclosed amount of currency from the cash register. The suspect fled from the store on foot in an unknown direction.

Detectives have released still images obtained from surveillance camera footage and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. Detectives urge the public not to approach the suspect as he may be armed with a firearm.

Tipsters wanting collect the reward monies must obtain a “tip number” by calling the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or by going online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”.

All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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APRIL 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE CONDUCT INVESTIGATION INTO DECEASED FEMALE LOCATED IN BRANCHBURG TOWNSHIP

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young announced that detectives are investigating the discovery of a deceased female.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at approximately 1:22 p.m. the Branchburg Township Police responded to a call for service reporting a deceased female located on the center median of Route 22 near Route 28, in Branchburg, New Jersey. Responding Officers located the deaccedent and secured the area as a crime scene.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that Detectives from the Branchburg Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, Investigator’s from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, and Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Franklin Township Field Office), responded to conduct the death investigation.

Detectives are actively following leads into the circumstances surrounding the death, and are attempting to identify the female decedent. A post mortem examination will be performed by the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause and manner of death.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Young request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Branchburg Township Police Department (908) 526-3830 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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MARCH 30, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN CHARGED IN NORTH PLAINFIELD ARMED ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and North Plainfield Chief of Police William Parenti announced the arrest of Matthew Williams, age 33, of Park Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at approximately 7:32 p.m., North Plainfield Police responded to a Walnut Street residence regarding a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed intruder. Once the officers arrived at the residence they located Matthew Williams who was taken into custody. The officers also rendered medical aid to defendant Williams who had a non-life threatening head injury, which he received from the occupants of the residence during the attempted robbery encounter. Defendant Williams was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that the investigation has revealed that defendant Williams approached one of occupants outside the Walnut Street residence and asked him for drugs. The resident advised Williams that he did not have any drugs and entered his home in order to avoid Williams. A short time later, a second resident went outside and was approached by defendant Williams who asked this individual for money and drugs while brandishing a handgun. Williams then forced the individual back into the Walnut Street residence where a brief struggle ensued. The other residents attempted to barricade themselves from defendant Williams by closing an interior door; however, Williams was able to force himself into the room. In an attempt to protect themselves, the residents engaged in a physical confrontation with Williams and were successful in disarming him. After dialing 9-1-1 the residents held defendant Williams until the arrival of patrol officers. The officers retrieved a loaded Lorsin .380 caliber handgun which defendant Williams used during the robbery.
A National Crime Information Center inquiry revealed that the firearm was stolen out of Virginia. Further analysis of the firearm will be conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Ballistics Unit in an attempt to determine if the firearm has been utilized in any unsolved crimes.
Defendant Williams was charged with first degree, armed robbery, second degree, possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, second degree, burglary, second degree, unlawful possession of a firearm, and third degree, receiving stolen property.
After being released from the hospital defendant Williams was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.
NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MARCH 28, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE WARREN TOWNSHIP ARMED ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Warren Township Chief of Police William Keane announced that detectives are continuing to investigate Sunday evening’s armed robbery.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on March 26, 2017, at approximately 8:39 p.m., the Warren Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed robbery at the Krauszer’s food store located on Stirling Road. Responding officers made contact with a male employee of the store who reported that a Caucasian male, approximately 50 years old, wearing dark clothing and a white baseball hat entered the store. The individual immediately walked towards the employee displaying a handgun and demanded cash from the register. The victim complied with the suspect’s demands and gave him an undisclosed amount of currency from the cash register. The suspect fled from the store on foot in an unknown direction.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Warren Township Police Department responded to conduct the investigation and they are being assisted by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit. Detectives have released still images obtained from surveillance camera footage and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. Detectives urge the public not to approach the suspect as he may be armed with a firearm.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor, and Chief Keane request anyone with information regarding this incident or anyone knowing the identity of the male suspect to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Warren Township Police Department (908) 753-1000 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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MARCH 28, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION IN MANVILLE RESULTS IN 2 ARRESTS AND THE SEIZURE OF 3 OUNCES OF COCAINE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announced the arrests of Rodolfo Romero-Rosa, age 34, of Cornell Street, Perth Amboy, N.J. and Luis Torres, age 24, of Catherine Street Perth Amboy, N.J.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that on March 17, 2017, two Hispanic males would be arriving in the Manville Walmart parking lot in a white pickup truck and they would be in possession of a quantity of cocaine.

As a result of receiving this information, Task Force members along with members of the Manville Police Department established surveillance in the area of the Walmart. At approximately 7:30 p.m. the surveillance team observed a white pickup truck occupied by two Hispanic males in the Walmart parking lot. Detectives approached the males and advised them of the ongoing narcotics investigation. Luis Torres was identified as the driver of the vehicle and Rodolfo Romero-Rosa was the front seat passenger.

Defendant Torres voluntarily gave permission to detectives to search his pickup truck. The search resulted in the seizure of approximately three (3) ounces of cocaine located in the cup holder of a child’s booster seat.

Both defendants were arrested without incident and each was charged with 2nd degree, possession of CDS (Cocaine) with the intent to distribute.

The cocaine seized has an estimated street value of $5,000.

Defendant Romero-Rosa and Torres were lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MARCH 24, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY OR GET READY TO PAY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - During the month of April, law enforcement agencies throughout Somerset and Hunterdon Counties will be out in force looking for distracted drivers as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, a high-visibility law enforcement effort to enforce distracted-driving laws.
“Texting and driving is illegal and dangerous yet we see it happen all the time,” said Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson. “During the month of April, there will be increased law enforcement efforts to enforce distracted driving laws. If you text while driving, you will pay.”
Too many drivers are ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel and are distracted with technology, creating a deadly threat on our roadways. Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Advocates are teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make sure all motorists keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.
According to NHTSA, 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. A 9% increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year.
An analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety of 2009-2012 data found that while more than 80 percent of drivers believed it was completely unacceptable for a motorist to text behind the wheel, more than a third of those same drivers admitted to reading text messages while operating a passenger motor vehicle themselves.

“Do the right thing—put your phone away when you get behind the wheel. Save yourself the embarrassment and expense of getting pulled over—or more importantly, maybe save someone’s life,” said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kerns III.
Chief William Parenti, President of the Somerset County Chiefs of Police Association, urges you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. If you need to text, pull over and park your vehicle first. “Texting and driving is a choice, and when you make that choice, you not only endanger yourself, but your passengers and other vehicles around you”.
People can learn more about distracted driving at www.distraction.gov. Community groups can request a 45-60 minute informational presentation by contacting Christopher Rokicki at the Somerset County Prosecutors Office, by email at rokicki@co.somerset.nj.us .
Texting while driving is dangerous and getting caught can be expensive and embarrassing. Save face, your money, and maybe save a life-your text message can wait. Just Remember, U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Participating agencies in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties:


Bedminster
Bernards
Bernardsville
Bound Brook
Branchburg
Bridgewater
Clinton (Town of)
Delaware
Far Hills
Flemington
Franklin – Hunterdon
Franklin – Somerset
Frenchtown
Green Brook
High Bridge
Hillsborough
Manville
Montgomery
North Plainfield
Peapack Gladstone
Raritan Borough
Readington
Somerville
South Bound Brook
Warren
Watchung
West Amwell
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office

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MARCH 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE MAN SHOT DURING HOME INVASION BURGLARY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announced that an investigation is ongoing regarding an off-duty police officer shooting in Manville, New Jersey and the arrest of Tyreek Cook, age 19, of North 2nd Avenue, Manville, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that earlier this morning at approximately 12:07 a.m., a 9-1-1 call was received by the Somerset County Communications Center, reporting a burglary in progress at a North 5th Avenue residence in Manville. Responding Manville Officers located a 19 year old male, subsequently identified as Tyreek Cook inside the residence, involved in a physical confrontation with the homeowner and suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. Manville Officers and the homeowner immediately initiated life-saving medical aid to defendant Cook, who was transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment. The homeowner, whom authorities have only identified as an off-duty police officer, was also transported to a local hospital for examination of injuries sustained during the physical encounter with defendant Cook and traumatic stress related physical conditions.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Manville Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to the scene to conduct the investigation. The investigation thus far has revealed that defendant Cook is suspected of committing and attempting to commit numerous residential and vehicle burglaries in the area. The investigation into defendant Cooks criminal activity is actively on-going.
Defendant Cook has been charged with third degree burglary and was listed in critical condition under police guard at the trauma center.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Peltack request anyone with information regarding this incident or recent residential or vehicle burglaries within the Manville area to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Manville Police Department (908) 725-1900 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

MARCH 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRANCHBURG MAN CHARGED WITH MANUFACTURING FICTITIOUS DOCUMENTS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young, announced the arrest of Patrick M. Grega, age 20, of Mathers Lane, Branchburg Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office received information from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that an individual named Patrick Grega, made multiple purchases of materials that are used in making fictitious documents.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that during the week of February 28, 2017, defendant Grega ordered a large quantity of fictitious document materials to be delivered to his residence. At the time the package was delivered, defendant Grega was on vacation and would be returning home on March 12th according to the individual who received the package.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of the ongoing investigation, detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit obtained a search warrant for defendant Grega’s bedroom.

On March 13, 2017, another package containing fictitious document material was delivered to defendant Grega’s residence. Defendant Grega was home to receive the package.

On the same date at approximately 9:00 a.m., detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Branchburg Township Police Department along with Special Agents from the United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations executed the Superior Court search warrant upon defendant Grega’s bedroom. The search resulted in the seizure of numerous fictitious driver’s licenses, fictitious document materials (laminates and holograms) and devices used to make fictitious documents (laminator, computer and scanner).

Prosecutor Robertson stated that defendant Grega was charged with 2nd degree, manufacturing fictitious documents and 4th degree, possession of fictitious documents. Defendant Grega was released on his own recognizance pending a future court appearance.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

MARCH 15, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - ONE POUND OF MARIJUANA SEIZED IN FAR HILLS NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Far Hills Chief of Police Michael DeCarolis, Peapack and Gladstone Chief of Police Gregory Skinner, and Bound Brook Chief of Police Michael Jannone announced the arrest of Endri Zenelaj, age 23 of Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that on March 9, 2017, an individual known as “Endri” would be driving a black Mercedes - Benz in the area of Peapack Road near the fairgrounds and that he would be in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. a surveillance team observed a black Mercedes-Benz in the area and conducted a motor vehicle stop. At this time Task Force members identified themselves as they approached the driver, who was identified as Endri Zenelaj, and advised him of the ongoing narcotic investigation.

Bound Brook Police Department K-9 “Crusader” and his handler responded and assisted in the investigation. “Crusader” conducted an exterior sniff of the vehicle and gave a positive indication for the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. Subsequent to obtaining a Superior Court Search Warrant a search of the vehicle by Task Force detectives resulted in the seizure of approximately one pound of marijuana and a baby food jar containing approximately three grams of marijuana from inside the trunk of the vehicle.

After obtaining a second search warrant for the defendant’s Peapack-Gladstone residence detectives conducted a search of the home. Task Force members with the assistance of the Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone Police departments seized approximately two additional ounces of marijuana and a digital scale from the defendant’s bedroom.

Defendant Zenelaj was arrested and charged with 3rd degree, possession of CDS (Marijuana) with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia a disorderly persons offense.

The marijuana seized from Zenelaj has an estimated street value of $5,000.00.

Defendant Zenelaj was released on his own recognizance.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

 

MARCH 7, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - “PERSONAL SAFETY FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS”

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Somerset County Police Academy Director Dr. Richard Celeste, announced that the Somerset County Police Academy will be offering a community program titled “Personal Safety for High School Seniors.” The program will be open to all Somerset County high school seniors.

As high school seniors prepare to graduate, many will be leaving home for new and exciting educational opportunities and job opportunities in unfamiliar areas. Some may remain at home in Somerset County taking advantage of the county’s many available resources and opportunities. In preparation for this exciting, post-graduation time, the Academy will be offering this program to prepare graduates for their new adventures, whatever they may be.


The three (3) hour program will be conducted once on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, and again on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Participants need only attend one session, and each session will be limited to 50 participants.


The classes will commence at 6 p.m. at the Somerset County Public Safety Center located at 402 Roycefield Road, in Hillsborough Township. Participants should dress in loose, comfortable clothing since the program will be both informative and interactive. Additionally, a writing instrument and notebook, along with and a bottle of water or other favorite hydrating beverage are also strongly recommended.


Topics will include victimization, predators, situational awareness, personal safety tips, identifying potential safety issues, dealing with a physical confrontation, being a good witness and basic unarmed defense techniques. It is the intended goal of this program to prepare our graduating seniors with an additional life skill set, namely, the ability to identify potential real world safety concerns and to provide suggestions and training on how to respond to those situations.


Each session is free, and participants must pre-register by Friday, April 7, 2017, parents/guardians are also welcome to attend.

Individuals may register by visiting the Somerset County Police Academy website at www.somersetcountypoliceacademy.com and click on “Community Events”.


Additionally, the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police is sponsoring its annual five (5) day Police Youth Week program from July 17-21, 2017. This program is free and open to all Somerset County high school students.
For receive more information about the Police Youth Week program, please visit www.somersetcountypoliceacademy.com clicking on the “Community Events” tab and then clicking on the tab marked “Police Youth Week.”

For more information about these programs, please contact Detective Brian Giannini, Somerset County Police Academy at (908) 541-5038 or giannini@co.somerset.nj.us

The Police Academy is operated by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office in cooperation with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police.
Somerset County residents are encouraged to visit the Somerset County Police Academy on Facebook page to get updates on law enforcement opportunities, safety tips as well as other community educational opportunities.

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FEBRUARY 27, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATON LEADS TO LARGE SEIZURE OF METHAMPHETAMINE AND HEROIN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Al Nicaretta and Bound Brook Borough Chief of Police Michael Jannone announced the arrest of Gladys Gulle, age 29, of Sycamore Avenue, Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of an investigation regarding the distribution of narcotics by Gladys Gulle, detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force obtained a Superior Court Search Warrant for Gulle’s residence.

On February 24, 2017, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Task Force detectives executed the search warrant with the assistance of the Bound Brook Police Department’s K-9 unit. The search resulted in the seizure of approximately 5 ounces of methamphetamine and approximately 46 grams of heroin. Defendant Gulle, who was present during the execution of the warrant, was arrested without incident.

The seized methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $26,000 and the heroin has a street value of $20,000.

Defendant Gulle was charged with 1st degree, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and 2nd degree, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute.

Defendant was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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FEBRUARY 17, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN THE SEIZURE OF KILOGRAM OF COCAINE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, North Plainfield Chief of Police William Parenti, and Bound Brook Chief of Police Michael Jannone announced the arrest of Jossie A. Lopez, age 29, of 17 Fort George Hill, New York, N.Y.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force along with members of the New Jersey State Police received information that on February 14, 2017, an unknown Hispanic male would be in possession of a large quantity of cocaine and would be arriving in the area of Raymond Avenue in North Plainfield, operating a motor vehicle with New York license plates.

Task Force members established surveillance in the area of Raymond Avenue and at approximately 8:53 p.m. they observed a Silver Nissan Rogue bearing New York license plates. Once the operator parked the vehicle on Raymond Avenue, detectives approached the driver and identified themselves and the ongoing investigation. As the driver, identified at Jossie A. Lopez, was being removed from the vehicle a black plastic bag containing an object fell from his waistband. The object was recovered and identified it as one (1) kilogram (1,000 grams) of cocaine.

The Bound Brook Police Department’s K-9 “Crusader” and his handler responded to the scene and assisted with the narcotic investigation. “Crusader” conducted an exterior sniff of the vehicle and gave a positive indication for the presence of narcotics inside same. The dog also gave a positive indication for narcotics on the object that was recovered from Lopez’s waistband.
Defendant Lopez was arrested and charged with 1st degree, possession of CDS (Cocaine) with the intent to distribute, and 3rd degree, possession of CDS.

The cocaine seized has an estimated street value of $80,000.00.

Defendant Lopez was lodged in the Somerset County Jail without bail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

FEBRUARY 13, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRONX MAN CHARGED WITH MANUFACTURING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced the arrest of Efrain A. Martinez, age 31, of Sampson Avenue, Bronx, N.Y.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 21, 2017, Franklin Township Police received a report that an 8 year old child was engaging in sexually explicit communications via a website with Efrain A. Martinez.
As a result of the information an investigation was initiated by detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit. The investigation revealed that defendant Martinez had directed the child to photograph herself while naked and to transmit the digital images through an instant messaging application.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on February 10, 2017, at approximately 6:00 a.m., detectives from the New York City Police Department and the Bronx District Computer Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at defendant Martinez’s Sampson Avenue residence. Detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Franklin Township Police Department were also present during the execution of the search warrant.

As a result of the search, defendant Martinez’s smartphone was seized and he was arrested without incident. Defendant Martinez was charged with 1st Degree, manufacturing child pornography, 3rd Degree possession of child pornography and 3rd Degree, endangering the welfare of a child. Somerset County authorities will seek to extradite defendant Martinez back to New Jersey.


Prosecutor Robertson would like to remind parents to be aware of the smartphone apps and online sites that your child uses or frequents, and get to know the individuals and friends with whom they are communicating. If your child wants to share digital photos with their friends or classmates via email or a social networking site be sure to know exactly where the images are being stored and who will be receiving the images.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 13, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - WANTED MAN SURRENDERS TO AUTHORITIES

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that Jason Lewis, age 43, charged in a Franklin Township shooting, turned himself into authorities at the Somerset County Jail on February 10, 2017.

On January 3, 2017, Franklin Township Police responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting gunshots in the area of Dewald Avenue. Responding officers located a 31-year old male outside a Dewald Avenue residence, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg.

Detectives conducting the investigation identified the shooter as Jaki N. Hooks-Lewis, age 20, of Dewald Avenue. The investigation also revealed that defendant Jason Lewis assisted his son Hooks-Lewis in fleeing from the area after the shooting.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that upon surrendering on Friday at 5:40 p.m. defendant Lewis was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

On January 4, 2017, defendant Lewis was charged with 3rd Degree, hindering apprehension.

Detectives are still searching for defendant Hooks-Lewis and they are urging him to surrender to law enforcement authorities. Detectives caution the public from approaching him since he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Law enforcement authorities request anyone with information regarding the shooting, or anyone knowing the whereabouts of Jaki Hooks-Lewis, to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-5533.
Tipsters interested in collecting the Crime Stopper reward must call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net, and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All Crime Stopper tips are anonymous and they will be kept confidential.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 7, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDSVILLE MAN ENTERS GULTY PLEA IN ARMED ATTACK

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that on Friday, February 3, 2017, James Tyrone, age 47, of Old Wood Road, Bernardsville, N.J., pled guilty to 2nd degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, 2nd degree aggravated assault, 3rd degree aggravated assault, 4th degree aggravated assault (3 counts), 3rd degree terroristic threats, 3rd degree criminal restraint (2 counts) and 2nd degree endangering the welfare of a child.

On May 8, 2016, at approximately 2:09 a.m., members of the Bernardsville Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call originating from an Old Wood residence reporting an assault in progress. Dispatchers advised the responding officers that a male suspect in the residence, later identified as defendant James Tyrone, was armed with a handgun. Outside the residence, Sergeant Jon-Paul Tay and Patrolman Robert Schlittler encountered an injured woman who was bleeding from a head wound. When the officers entered the residence, they found Tyrone who was holding a man around his neck while pointing a gun at him. Tyrone then pointed the gun at the officers. After a brief stand-off the male victim was able to grab the gun away from defendant. Officers were able to retrieve the handgun, a fully loaded Walther P99 9mm handgun. Defendant Tyrone was taken into custody and the female victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of her head wound.

Detectives from the Bernardsville Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation. Additional patrol units from Far Hills, Bernards Township and Peapack-Gladstone also responded to assist at the scene.

The investigation revealed that prior to police arrival, defendant Tyrone became angry with the female victim and assaulted her. The defendant then retrieved a handgun and advised the female victim that she was going to die that night. The victim was able to escape the room, but the defendant Tyrone chased after her while brandishing the handgun. After fleeing the residence she entered her vehicle and while attempting to exit the driveway, defendant Tyrone struck the front passenger window with the gun and threatened to kill her. The victim then exited her vehicle while calling 9-1-1. Defendant Tyrone grabbed the phone away from her and threw it to the ground and then struck her in the head with the handgun causing injury to her forehead. Defendant then fled back into the house while the victim remained outside awaiting the arrival of the police.

Prosecutor Robertson commends Sergeant Tay and Patrolman Schlittler of the Bernardsville Police Department for their timely response and heroic actions that prevented any additional harm to the victims or themselves. Robertson stated, “these two officers were put in the most stressful situation an officer can face, an individual pointing a gun at them, and they are both to be commended for their actions and professionalism in bringing this incident to a peaceful conclusion. It is an example of all the great work that police officers do each and every day to protect our community and I thank them for their service.”

In exchange for his guilty plea, before the Honorable Robert B. Reed, P.J.Cr., the State is recommending a sentence of seven years in state prison, with 85% to be served without parole.

The State was represented by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Robert J. Hawkes.

FEBRUARY 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN BRIDGEWATER BANK ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is offering a reward of up to $500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of the individual who robbed the Finderne branch office of the Peapack- Gladstone Bank last Monday.

On January 30, 2017, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Bridgewater Township Police responded to an alarm activation at the bank. Bank employees told responding officers that an unknown male suspect approached a bank teller and handed them a note announcing the robbery. The suspect fled from the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of currency.

Detectives from the Bridgewater Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, as well as special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Franklin Township field office, responded to conduct the investigation. K-9 Units from Warren Township and the Bound Brook Police Departments responded to assist in the investigation.

The suspect was described as a white or Hispanic male, approximately 5’8” – 5’10” tall, wearing blue jeans, a dark color Nike hooded sweatshirt, ski mask and red footwear. He was last seen fleeing on foot in the direction of Finderne Avenue.

Prosecutor Robertson stated those individuals requesting to collect the reward monies must call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at either www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper phone and online tips will be kept confidential.

 

 

FEBRUARY 2, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - “SUPER BOWL FANS DON’T LET FANS DRIVE DRUNK”

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Football fans across the country will celebrate America’s most watched national sporting event, Super Bowl LI this Sunday, February 5th. For many, the celebration will include the consumption of alcohol.

That is why Hunterdon and Somerset County highway safety and law enforcement officials are teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a special “Super Bowl Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” reminder to urge all football fans to call the right play on Super Bowl weekend by not driving under the influence of alcohol.

Drunk driving can be deadly. A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment and reaction times enough to make driving unsafe. According to NHTSA, in 2015, 10,265 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States that year were killed in crashes that involved an impaired driver.

Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson stated, “If you plan on consuming alcohol this Super Bowl, remember to pass the keys to a designated driver to help your family and friends get home safely. Drunk driving only leads to disaster and tragedy and with multiple taxi services/rideshare programs available at the touch a fingertip via a smart phone, there is no excuse to be driving under the influence.”

Throughout Sunday afternoon and evening, law enforcement agencies in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties will be conducting supplemental patrols on the lookout for impaired drivers. The extra patrols are funded through a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. Additionally, specially trained officers will be available to assist with drivers that are under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol. It is strongly recommended that fans that are impaired secure a safe ride home by designating a sober driver, using public transportation, or calling a taxi or rideshare program.

In addition, NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, is another resource to help football fans who have been drinking find a sober ride home–by identifying their location and helping to call a taxi or a friend to pick them up.

Designated sober drivers for Super Bowl weekend should refrain from drinking alcohol and enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks instead. They can tweet @NHTSAgov during Super Bowl LI to be featured on NHTSA’s national Wall of Fame.

This Super Bowl weekend, be a team player and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Designate your sober driver before the big game begins and remember: “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk”.

Law enforcement from the following agencies will be participating in this campaign:

Bernards Township
Bound Brook
Branchburg Township
Bridgewater Township
Clinton Township
Flemington
Franklin Township – Somerset
Green Brook Township
Hillsborough Township
Manville
Montgomery Township
North Plainfield
Peapack Gladstone
Readington Township
Warren Township
Watchung
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER SWAT STANDOFF ENDS PEACEFULLY WITH SUSPECT SURRENDERING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Al Nicaretta announced the arrest of Nicholas J. Gargiulo, age 20, of Claire Drive, Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 2:14 a.m. this morning Bridgewater Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call originating at a Claire Drive residence. The caller reported that Nicholas J. Gargiulo was inside the residence and was involved in a verbal and physical dispute with the other occupants. They further related that he was armed with a firearm that contained a large capacity magazine loaded with hollow nose bullets. Defendant Gargiulo brandished the firearm throughout the residence as he yelled at two victims that were located inside. Subsequent to pushing one of the victims onto a bed, Gargiulo began to cause damage to the residence by breaking a rear glass door and by punching a hole in the sheetrock located in a stairwell.

Prosecutor Robertson stated responding Bridgewater Township Police immediately established a perimeter of the residence and requested the activation of the Somerset County Emergency Response Team. The team consists of the County SWAT Team, Hostage Crisis Negotiators, Tactical Emergency Medical Personnel and the Somerset County Communications Mobile Command Center.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that dispatchers with the Somerset County Communications Center were instrumental throughout the event by disseminating accurate and detailed information to all responding personnel and by subsequently directing the occupants of the residence outside towards a safe exit from the residence where they were safely evacuated by SWAT personnel without incident.

At approximately 3:20 a.m. defendant Gargiulo voluntarily exited from the residence where he was taken into custody without incident by SWAT members. Defendant Gargiulo was turned over to the custody of Bridgewater Township Police for processing. A subsequent search of the residence resulted in the seizure of a loaded CZ-Scorpion Evo 3 firearm, along with two high capacity magazines and hollow nose bullets.

Defendant Gargiulo was charged with 2nd Degree Possession of an Assault Firearm, 4th Degree Possession of Hollow Nose Bullets and 4th Degree Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine. He was also charged with Assault and Criminal Mischief, both Disorderly Persons Offenses and Improper Behavior, a Petty Disorderly Person Offense.

Defendant Gargiulo was lodged in the Somerset County Jail without bail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 31, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE BRIDGEWATER BANK ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Al Nicaretta announced that the investigation regarding the Peapack-Gladstone bank robbery which occurred yesterday afternoon is ongoing.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 30, 2017, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Bridgewater Township Police responded to an alarm activation at the Peapack-Gladstone Bank, located on East Main Street in the Finderne section of Bridgewater Township. Responding officers met with bank employees who reported that an unknown male suspect approached a bank teller and handed them a note announcing the robbery. The suspect fled from the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of currency. A description of the suspect was broadcast to surrounding law enforcement agencies by the Somerset County Communications Center.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Bridgewater Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, as well as special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Franklin Township field office, responded to conduct the investigation. K-9 Units from Warren Township and the Bound Brook Police Departments responded to assist in the investigation. The suspect was described as a white or Hispanic male, approximately 5’8” – 5’10” tall, wearing blue jeans, a dark color Nike hooded sweatshirt, ski mask and red footwear. He was last seen fleeing on foot in the direction of Finderne Avenue.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Nicaretta request anyone with information regarding the bank robbery is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Bridgewater Township Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau at (877) 660 - 4636, FBI Franklin Field Office at (908) 231-2800 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

 

 

 

JANUARY 30, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - NEW BRUNSWICK MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO 1st DEGREE POSSESSION OF COCAINE WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson stated that on Friday, January 27, 2017, Elvin Guzman-Rodriguez, a.k.a. Joel Matos Santiago, age 38, of Sanford Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey, pled guilty to 1st degree possession of five ounces or more of cocaine with intent to distribute and 2nd degree eluding.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on October 8, 2015 the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that a parcel containing CDS would be delivered to a North Dover Avenue residence in Franklin Township.

Task Force Detectives, along with U.S. Postal Inspection Officers intercepted two packages at the Franklin Township Post Office addressed to a Jessica Rodriguez, residing on Dover Avenue in Franklin Township. Somerset County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Apex” and his handler responded to assist in the investigation. The K-9 conducted an external sniff of both packages and gave a positive indication for CDS being present in both packages.

Task Force members established a surveillance team in the vicinity of the Dover Avenue residence. At approximately 3:30 p.m. defendants Victor M. Santana-Ricardo and Joel Matos-Santiago were observed outside the residence when the postal officer arrived with the packages. Defendant Matos-Santiago immediately left the area in a black Acura TSX. Defendant Santana-Ricardo told the postal officer that he was the husband of Jessica Rodriquez and asked him to put the packages on the front steps of the residence. At this time the surveillance team observed defendant Santiago-Ricardo on his cellphone and defendant Matos-Rodriquez returned in the Acura. After retrieving the packages and placing them in the rear seat area of the Acura, defendant Matos-Santiago left the area via Dover Avenue towards Hamilton Street at a high rate of speed. Task Force Detectives attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop at which time Matos-Santiago attempted to elude them while making evasive maneuvers with his vehicle. While eluding police Matos-Santiago struck a police vehicle on Park Street at which time detectives placed him under arrest.

Detectives obtained a Superior Court Search Warrant for the Acura TSX. A search of the vehicle by detectives resulted in the seizure of two packages in the rear seat containing 5 kilograms of cocaine.

Defendant Santana-Ricardo was arrested at the Dover Avenue residence without incident.

Defendant Rodriguez was arrested without incident at 5:30 p.m. when she arrived home.

The Cocaine had an approximate street value of $500,000.00.

In exchange for his guilty plea, before the Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C., the State recommended a sentence of eleven years in the New Jersey State Prison with forty months of parole ineligibility. Defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31, 2017.

Assistant Prosecutor Jamin Cooper represented the State.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 25, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - FLEMINGTON MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN STRING OF GAS STATION THEFTS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Al Nicaretta and Bound Brook Borough Chief of Police Michael Jannone announced the arrest of Karl M. Bavos, age 29, of U.S. Highway 202, in Flemington, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 23, 2017 at approximately 9:04 p.m., Bound Brook Police responded to the BP Service Station located on West Union Avenue on a report of a theft. An attendant at the station reported that a male walked into the gas attendant’s booth and requested to purchase a cigar. While the transaction was occurring, the unknown white male reached into the cash register and removed an undisclosed amount of currency. The suspect then left the booth and entered a dark colored vehicle. The victim obtained a partial plate of the suspect vehicle which he gave to the responding officers.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 23, 2017, at approximately 11:43 p.m., Bridgewater Township Police responded to a report of a theft at the Valero Service Station located on Route 22 East. The victim, an attendant, reported that a dark colored vehicle had pulled up to one of the gas pumps and requested to purchase fuel and cigarettes. The victim further stated that as he walked back to the attendant’s booth to retrieve the cigarettes, the driver of the vehicle exited his vehicle and began to follow him. The victim further stated that while he was retrieving the cigarettes the suspect reached into the victim’s pocket and removed an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect then ran back to his vehicle and left the area.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 24, 2017 at approximately 8:17 a.m., Bridgewater Township Police responded to the Speedway Service Station located on Route 22 West on a report of an attempted theft. A station attendant stated that a motorist had pulled into the station and asked him for change. When the attendant retrieved currency from his pocket the driver attempted to grab the money. The driver was unsuccessful in taking the currency and he fled the parking lot in his vehicle. The incident was captured on the service station’s video camera. After viewing footage from the surveillance system, detectives were able to confirm the identity of the suspect as Karl M. Bavos.

On January 24, 2017 at approximately 11:15 a.m., a Bound Brook Patrol Officer observed defendant Bavos and the suspect vehicle, a blue Volvo that was parked on Fisher Avenue. Defendant Bavos into custody without incident.
Defendant Bavos was charged with 3rd Degree, Theft by Unlawful Taking and 3rd Degree, Criminal Attempt.
He was lodged in the Somerset County Jail without bail pending a detention hearing.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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JANUARY 24, 2017
NEW RELEASE - BLOOD HOUND TRAINING SESSION CONDUCTED AT SOURLAND MOUNTAIN PRESERVE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - On Sunday, January 22, 2017, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Hillsborough Township Police Department coordinated a training session for “Joker” and “Aleck” two (2) tracking blood hounds utilized by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. The 2 hour session took place at the Sourland Mountain Preserve located in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey.


Front Row (L to R) "Aleck ", Mike Campbell, "Joker" and Debbie Campbell
Back Row (L to R) Captain Brian Hoey, Somerset County Prosecuter's Office
Laurie Huze, Doriana Allyn, Volunteers
Somerset County Parks Manager/Ranger David Dendler
Captain Christopher Penna, Middlesex County Prosecuter's Office
Matthew Vargas, Volunteer
Hillsborough Township PD K-9 Handler Chris Engelhardt


Captain Christopher Penna of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office along with Captain Brian Hoey of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and Officer Chris Engelhardt of the Hillsboro K9 unit accompanied Mike and Debbie Campbell of South Plainfield and their canines who are part of the Middlesex County Canine Search and Rescue Team. The dogs have assisted Middlesex County Law Enforcement authorities in over 50 investigations involving missing and endangered adults and children.

The mandatory monthly training sessions included several volunteers who were also in attendance on Sunday.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank Dan Livak and Ranger David Dendler of the Somerset County Park Commission for assisting Somerset County’s law enforcement community. Prosecutor Robertson stated, “this training session is yet another great example of the relationship between the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office working together to best serve our community, I thank all who participated.”

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JANUARY 20, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - WARREN TOWNSHIP MAN PLEADS GUILTY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson stated that today, Kai Peter, age 36, of Mount Horeb Road, Warren Township, N.J., pled guilty to 1st Degree, Maintaining a CDS Productions Facility, 1st Degree, Possession of Over 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, and 2nd Degree, Possession of Less than 5 pounds of Hashish with Intent to Distribute.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on March 16, 2016, detectives executed a Superior Court Search Warrant on Peter’s residence which resulted in the seizure of over 100 pounds of marijuana and under five pounds of hashish. The residence was equipped with supplemental ventilating and lighting systems. Detectives also located and seized boxes of plastic bags, humidifiers, vacuum sealers, marijuana cultivation books, mason jars, digital scales, recipes for marijuana candy and other drug paraphernalia items.

In exchange for the guilty plea, before the Honorable Robert Reed, P.J.Cr., the State recommended a sentence of ten years in the New Jersey State Prison with three years of parole ineligibility. Defendant Peter is scheduled to be sentenced on March 10, 2017.

Assistant Prosecutor Jamin Cooper represented the State.

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JANUARY 12, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS INCREASE REWARD FOR FRANKLIN FATHER AND SON

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced that Somerset County Crime Stoppers, Inc. has increased their reward to up to $1,000 for information leading to arrests of Jaki Hooks-Lewis, age 20, and his father Jason Lewis, age 43, who have been charged in a January 3rd shooting that occurred in Franklin Township.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 3, 2017, at approximately 7:44 p.m., multiple 9-1-1 calls were received by the Franklin Township Police Department, reporting gunshots in the area of Dewald Avenue, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township. Responding officers located a 31 year old male outside a Dewald Avenue residence, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg. Officers provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives have identified the shooter as Jaki N. Hooks-Lewis, age 20, of Dewald Avenue. Defendant Hooks-Lewis was charged with 2nd Degree, Aggravated Assault. His father, Jason Lewis, age 43, also of Dewald Avenue, was charged with 3rd Degree, Hindering Apprehension.

The investigation has revealed that defendant Jason Lewis assisted his son in fleeing from the area following the shooting. Detectives are searching for both defendants, and urge them to surrender to authorities. Detectives caution the public from approaching either defendant as defendant Jaki Hooks-Lewis should be considered armed and dangerous.

Tipsters interested in collecting the reward must call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept anonymous and confidential.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Download Reward Poster

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JANUARY 6, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - SUSPECT IDENTIFIED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced that detectives have identified the suspect involved in Tuesday evening’s shooting in the Somerset section of Franklin Township.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 7:44 p.m., multiple 9-1-1 calls were received by the Franklin Township Police Department, reporting gunshots in the area of Dewald Avenue. Responding officers located a 31 year old male outside a Dewald Avenue residence, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg. Officers provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment.


Detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit have identified the shooter as Jaki N. Hooks-Lewis, age 20, of Dewald Avenue. A criminal complaint has been filed against defendant Hooks-Lewis charging him with 2nd Degree, Aggravated Assault. Detectives have also filed a criminal complaint against Jason Lewis, age 43, also of Dewald Avenue, charging him with 3rd Degree, Hindering Apprehension. Defendant Jason Lewis is identified as Jaki’s father.


The investigation has revealed that defendant Jason Lewis assisted his son in fleeing from the area following the shooting. Detectives are searching for both defendants, and are urging them to surrender to law enforcement authorities. Detectives caution the public from approaching either defendant as defendant Jaki Hooks-Lewis should be considered armed and dangerous. Somerset County Crime Stoppers has announced a reward for information leading to the apprehension of either defendant.


Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of either defendant to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-5533 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.


NOTE:
We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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JANUARY 5, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - ARREST MADE IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP ATTEMPTED BURLARY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence W. Roberts announced the arrest of Edward A. Rowe, Jr., age 19, of Harrow Drive in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that on January 4, 2017 at 10:54 a.m. the Franklin Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting that an individual was attempting to break into a Cheshire Court residence. The caller was able to give a detailed description of the suspect to the dispatchers.

Patrol officers and detectives responded to the area in an attempt to locate the suspect. Defendant Rowe Jr. was spotted nearby and a short foot pursuit ensued. He was taken into custody by officers on Jordon’s Circle as he was attempting to hide under a residential deck.

Defendant Rowe Jr. was charged with 3rd Degree, Attempted Burglary and Criminal Mischief, a Disorderly Persons Offense. After being processed at Franklin Township Police Headquarters he was released on his own recognizance.

NOTE: We are required by the Rules of Court to include herein a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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JANUARY 4, 2017
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATE FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP SHOOTING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. –Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announced that an investigation is ongoing regarding last evening’s shooting in the Somerset section of Franklin Township.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 7:44 p.m., multiple 9-1-1 calls were received by the Franklin Township Police Department, reporting gunshots in the area of Dewald Avenue. Responding officers located a 31 year old male outside a Dewald Avenue residence, suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg. Officers provided medical aid to the victim, who was then transported to a local trauma center for emergency treatment.

Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department, along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to the scene to conduct the investigation. The investigation thus far has revealed that this was an isolated incident and the victim was the intended target.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-5533 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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