Press Releases

2016 Press Releases

DECEMBER 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION YIELDS 20 GRAMS OF COCAINE

DECEMBER 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION YIELDS 500 DECKS OF HEROIN AND 20 GRAMS OF COCAINE

NOVEMBER 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION IN BRIDGEWATER RESULTS IN THE SEIZURE OF COCAINE AND HEROIN

NOVEMBER 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT IN NORTH PLAINFIELD CARJACKING AND SHOOTING INDICTED

OCTOBER 31, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH SWAT STANDOFF ENDS PEACEFULLY

OCTOBER 28, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE IDENTIFY FAMILY FROM HILLSBOROUGH FIRE

OCTOBER 27, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ARRESTS MADE IN BURGLARY & THEFT OF NBA GAME-WORN JERSEYS & NHL MERCHANDISE

OCTOBER 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE- RARITAN MAN INDICTED ON TWO COUNTS OF MURDER

OCTOBER 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECTS APPREHENDED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

OCTOBER 12, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION IN SOMERVILLE YIELDS ONE ARREST

OCTOBER 12, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BALTIMORE MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN BRANCHBURG

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “QUALITY OF LIFE” INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN THE ARREST OF NEW YORK WOMAN

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH 3 COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO ARREST OF HOMICIDE DEFENDANT

SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE IDENTIFY SUSPECT WANTED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP HOMICIDE

AUGUST 19, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PERTH AMBOY WOMAN ARRESTED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP FOR CREDIT CARD SCHEME

AUGUST 19, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR

AUGUST 17, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT RETURNED TO NEW JERSEY

AUGUST 15, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN ARRESTED FOR FALSE PUBLIC ALARM AT NORTH PLAINFIELD BANK

AUGUST 11, 2016
NEWS RELEASE- NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION IN SOMERVILLE LEADS TO 2 ARRESTS AND SEIZURE OF
198 BAGS OF HEROIN

AUGUST 11, 2016
AMENDED NEWS RELEASE: MANVILLE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A STUDENT

AUGUST 11, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A STUDENT

AUGUST 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PROSTITUTION INVESTIGATION IN SOMERVILLE YIELDS ONE ARREST

AUGUST 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - 2 CHARGED IN BRIDGEWATER CARJACKING

AUGUST 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PARAMUS MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT

AUGUST 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIED FIRE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

JULY 22, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT RETURNED TO NEW JERSEY

JULY 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDSVILLE MAN INDICTED FOR ASSAULT AND BRIEF STAND-OFF WITH POLICE

JULY 18, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NEW YORK CITY MAN CHARGED IN BEDMINSTER BURGLARIES

JULY 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A HANDGUN

JULY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

JULY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

JULY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HANDGUN SEIZED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION

JULY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE- DEFENDANT IN NORTH PLAINFIELD CARJACKING AND SHOOTING APPREHENDED IN NORTH CAROLINA

JULY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FLUSHING NY WOMAN CHARGED WITH PROSTITION IN RARITAN BOROUGH

JULY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ADULT AND JUVENILE CHARGED IN BRANCHBURG CAR BURGLARIES

JULY 6, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN WANTED FOR AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF TWO MINORS

JUNE 30, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN WANTED FOR CARJACKING AND SHOOTING IN NORTH PLAINFIELD

JUNE 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN CONVICTED OF FIRST DEGREE ARMED ROBBERY

JUNE 16, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN SENTENCED TO 55 YEAR

JUNE 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED IN MANVILLE ROBBERY

JUNE 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - VICTIM PHOTOGRAPHS SLEEPING BURGLAR

JUNE 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDS TOWNSHIP MAN ARRESTED FOR MANUFACTURING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

JUNE 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - UNDERCOVER DETECTIVE BUYS 160 GRAMS OF COCAINE FROM NEW BRUNSWICK MAN

JUNE 1 , 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NEW BRUNSWICK MAN CHARGED WITH COCAINE DISTRIBUTION IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

JUNE 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BASKING RIDGE MAN FOUND GUILTY

MAY 27, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT INDICTED FOR PERJURED TESTIMONY AT TRIAL

MAY 27, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIELD MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR THE MURDER OF BROOKLYN WOMAN

MAY 20, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET WOMAN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY

MAY 18, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “CLICK IT OR TICKET” MOBILIZATION MAY 23 – JUNE 5, 2016

MAY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PHILLIPSBURG WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF THEFT

May 10, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - 12 ARRESTED IN NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF TWO HANDGUNS, HEROIN, COCAINE AND MARIJUANA

MAY 9, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDSVILLE MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING ASSAULT AND BRIEF POLICE STAND-OFF

MAY 6, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN ARRESTED WITH LARGE AMOUNT OF HEROIN AND MARIJUANA

May 03, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “POLICE YOUTH WEEK”

MAY 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY GRAND JURY INDICTS SIX IN HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

APRIL 26, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIELD MAN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD

APRIL 25, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY SWAT ACTIVATED IN HILLSBOROUGH

APRIL 25, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - C.A.R.T TEAM INVESTIGATES BRIDGEWATER MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH

APRIL 25, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SECOND NORTH PLAINFIELD CVS ROBBERY SUSPECT IDENTIFIED AND CHARGED

APRIL 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS 107 LBS OF MARIJUANA, FIREARMS, AND CASH

APRIL 12, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “PERSONAL SAFETY FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS”

APRIL 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BE A LEADER, SET THE EXAMPLE

APRIL 4, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATING SOMERVILLE ARMED ROBBERY

APRIL 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - U DRIVE, U TEXT, U PAY

MARCH 23, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - CLINTON MAN CHARGED IN MANVILLE STABBING

MARCH 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - THREE CHARGED IN GAS STATION ROBBERIES

MARCH 18, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS LARGE SEIZURE OF HEROIN

MARCH 17, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION IN WARREN TOWNSHIP YIELDS LARGE SEIZURE OF MARIJUANA, HASHISH AND CASH

MARCH 17, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS FOR THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF 4 FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP POLICE OFFICERS

MARCH 16, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIELD MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING BROOKLYN WOMAN

MARCH 11, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF STUN GUN, HEROIN, COCAINE AND XANAX PILLS

MARCH 11. 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ST. PATTY’S DAY CELEBRATION CHECKLIST

MARCH 10, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF HEROIN, COCAINE AND PERCOCET PILLS

MARCH 10, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - COUNTYWIDE DRE PROGRAM STARTED IN SOMERSET COUNTY

FEBRUARY 22, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRONX MAN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT IN NORTH PLAINFIELD

FEBRUARY 17, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF OVER A QUARTER KILOGRAM OF COCAINE

FEBRUARY 16. 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRANCHBURG HOMICIDE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

FEBRUARY 16, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN SHOOTING INVESTIGATION

FEBRUARY 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRANCHBURG MAN CHARGED WITH 2 COUNTS OF MURDER

FEBRUARY 5, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS

FEBRUARY 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - THREE ARRESTED IN MANVILLE AFTER HANDGUN LOCATED IN TRUNK OF VEHICLE

FEBUARY 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE NARCOTICS INVESTIGTION YIELDS COCAINE, OXYCODONE, OXYCONTIN AND SUBOXONE SEIZURE

FEBRUARY 3. 2016
NEWS RELEASE - 2 CHARGED IN FRANKLIN TOWSHIP ROBBERY

FEBRUARY 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE – RARITAN ATTORNEY FOUND DECEASED IN MOTOR VEHICLE

FEBRUARY 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ASSAULT BY AUTO AND OTHER OFFENSES

FEBRUARY 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE CHARGE RARITAN ATTORNEY FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT

FEBRUARY 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DUNELLEN MAN SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS IN STATE PRISON

FEBRUARY 1, 2015
NEWS RELEASE - GAME PLAN FOR SUPER BOWL 50

JANUARY 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BOUND BROOK MAN CHARGED WITH CDS POSSESSION WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE

JANUARY 20, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN QUICK CHEK ARMED ROBBERY

JANUARY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - TASK FORCE ARRESTS TWO IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

JANUARY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE

JANUARY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BEDMINSTER WOMAN CHARGED WITH RESISTING ARREST AND ESCAPE

JANUARY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN ARRESTED FOR AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ENDANGERING

JANUARY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

JANUARY 5, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A LOADED HANDGUN AND ELUDING POLICE

JANUARY 4, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE CHURCH INVESTIGATION

 

 

 

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DECEMBER 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION YIELDS 20 GRAMS OF COCAINE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Watchung Borough Chief of Police Joseph R. Cina announced the arrest of Rojhaun S. Gray, age 23, of Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that on November 29, 2016 a black male, later identified as Rojhaun S. Gray, would be arriving at the Blue Star Shopping Center in Watchung Borough via a taxi cab and he would be in possession of crack cocaine.

At approximately 2:00 p.m. a surveillance team consisting of Task Force detectives observed a taxi arrive at the Blue Star Shopping Center parking lot. Defendant Gray was observed by detectives exiting the vehicle. As he started to walk across the parking lot detectives approached Gray and advised him of the ongoing narcotics investigation. Defendant Gray consented to a search of his person and voluntarily told detectives that he was in possession of crack cocaine, which he retrieved from inside his pants. The bag contained approximately twenty (20) grams of crack cocaine. Defendant Gray was placed under arrest without incident.

The seized Cocaine has an approximate street value of $2,000.

Defendant Rojhaun S. Gray was charged with 2nd Degree, Possession with the intent to Distribute CDS (Cocaine).

Defendant Gray was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable John F. Richardson, J.M.C. at $200,000 cash or bond.

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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DECEMBER 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION YIELDS 500 DECKS OF HEROIN AND 20 GRAMS OF COCAINE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Watchung Borough Chief of Police Joseph R. Cina announced the arrest of Waleed L. Hosley, age 43, of Irvington, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that on November 29, 2016 a black male, later identified as Waleed L. Hosley, would be at the Blue Star Shopping Center in Watchung Borough and would be in possession of heroin and crack cocaine.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. a surveillance team consisting of Task Force detectives observed defendant Hosley arrive at the shopping center in the front passenger seat of a green Buick Century. After defendant Hosley exited the vehicle and started to walk across the parking lot, detectives approached him and advised him of the ongoing narcotics investigation. Detectives conducted a search of defendant and recovered five hundred (500) decks of heroin from the jacket he was wearing. Detectives also located a clear plastic bag in his left front pants pocket that contained approximately twenty (20) grams of crack cocaine. Defendant Hosley was arrested without incident.

The heroin seized has an approximate street value of $3,500.00 and the cocaine seized has an approximate street value of $2,000.

Defendant Hosley was charged with 2nd Degree, Possession with the intent to Distribution CDS (Cocaine), and 3rd Degree, Possession with intent to Distribute CDS (Heroin).

Defendant Hosley was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable John F. Richardson, J.M.C. at $200,000 cash or bond.
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 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION IN BRIDGEWATER RESULTS IN THE SEIZURE OF COCAINE AND HEROIN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Bridgewater Township Acting Chief of Police Alfred Nicaretta, announced the arrest of Emil Greene, age 20, of Schindler Terrace Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that on November 2, 2016, an unknown black male would be in a white Dodge Stratus in the area of a convenience store located near Route 28 and that he would be in possession of a quantity of cocaine and heroin.

At approximately 7:50 p.m. a surveillance team observed the above mentioned vehicle, with a black male sitting in the front passenger seat. Detectives followed the vehicle and conducted a motor vehicle stop on Morgan Lane.

As the detectives approached the stopped vehicle they identified themselves as police officers. The front seat passenger, later identified as Emil Greene, was removed from the vehicle for questioning. Greene was found to be in possession of approximately 11 grams of cocaine and 114 wax folds of heroin. Greene was placed under arrest without incident.

Defendant Greene was charged with 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Cocaine) and 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Heroin).

Defendant Greene was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable Judge John F. Richardson, J.M.C. at $15,000 cash only.

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 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT IN NORTH PLAINFIELD CARJACKING AND SHOOTING INDICTED

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced this morning a Somerset County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Sedean A. McCoy, age 30, of 5th Street, Plainfield, New Jersey. The indictment charges McCoy with 1st Degree Carjacking, 2nd Degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd Degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, 3rd Degree Aggravated Assault and 2nd Degree Eluding.

On June 24, 2016, at approximately 3:14 a.m. North Plainfield Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting that a person had been shot in convenience store parking lot located on Somerset Street. Responding patrol officers located a 44 year old Plainfield resident victim with a gunshot wound to the thigh portion of his right leg. The victim informed authorities that while he was inside his vehicle, an unknown male also entered the vehicle through the front passenger side door and produced a handgun. During a struggle between the victim and the assailant the gun discharged. The victim further advised officers that after being shot he was able to escape and the assailant drove away in his car. The victim was transported to an area trauma center, where he was treated and released.

Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit conducted the investigation. A video surveillance camera captured footage of the assailant who was observed inside the store moments before the shooting. A Plainfield Police Supervisor reviewing the surveillance footage, positively identified the suspect as Sedean A. McCoy.

On June 30, 2016 defendant McCoy was observed operating a motor vehicle within Plainfield. Plainfield Police Patrols attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop on defendant McCoy, who ignored the officers and a motor vehicle pursuit was initiated. Officers attempted to stop defendant McCoy as he led officers from the Plainfield and Dunellen Police Departments on a pursuit through numerous jurisdictions in Union and Middlesex Counties. The defendant was able to elude the police patrols on Route 287.

On Friday, July 8, 2016, Marshals assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Task Force, in North Carolina located defendant McCoy at a residence in Henderson, North Carolina. Defendant McCoy was apprehended without incident and subsequently extradited back to New Jersey.

The matter was presented to the Grand Jury by Acting Chief Assistant Prosecutor Robert J. Hawkes.

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 31, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH SWAT STANDOFF ENDS PEACEFULLY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell announced that on Sunday, October 30, 2016, at approximately 10:06 a.m. Hillsborough Township Police received a call reporting that John R. Alcalde, age 25, of Amwell Road, Hillsborough Township, New Jersey had discharged a firearm out of his bedroom window.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that responding officers spoke with family members who were safely outside of the residence. Police were unable to make contact with defendant Alcalde who had barricaded himself inside the residence. Hillsborough Township Police immediately established a perimeter and activated the Somerset County Emergency Response Team which consisted of the County SWAT Team, Hostage Crisis Negotiators, Tactical Emergency Medical Personnel, the Somerset County Communications Mobile Command Center, and the Hillsborough Township Office of Emergency Management Command Post.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 12:29 p.m. defendant Alcalde presented himself to SWAT Officers from his bedroom window. Officers gave defendant Alcalde verbal commands and he subsequently exited the residence unarmed and was taken into custody by SWAT Officers without incident.

Defendant Alcalde was charged with Engaging in Threatening/Violent Behavior; Creating a Hazardous/Dangerous Condition; and Possession of CDS (Marijuana under 50 grams) all Disorderly Person Offenses. He was released on his own recognizance pending a Hillsborough Township Municipal Court appearance on November 15, 2016.

NOTE: We are required by the Rule 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 28, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE IDENTIFY FAMILY FROM HILLSBOROUGH FIRE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell announced that authorities have positively identified the individuals who were found in the Hillsborough Township fire on Monday, October 24, 2016.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that at approximately 9:52 p.m. Hillsborough Township Police responded to multiple 9-1-1 calls of an active structure fire at the Hillsborough Garden Apartments located on Farm Road, Hillsborough, New Jersey. Responding Officers upon arrival came upon a fully engulfed fire from an upstairs unit. Officers immediately conducted an evacuation of adjoining units by alerting residents of the active fire.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that Emergency Fire and Rescue Units were activated and responded to the fire scene. Responding agencies consisted of:

- Hillsborough Fire 36 and 36 Ladder
- Hillsborough Emergency Medical Service Units
- Hillsborough Woods Road Fire 37-102 and 37-103
- Neshanic 48 Fire
- Hillsborough 38-151
- Raritan Borough Fire
- Somerset County Communications OEM
- Hillsborough Township OEM
- Red Cross

The fire was subsequently contained, at which time firefighters from Hillsborough Fire 36 were able to make entry into the second floor unit and discovered a resident who was deceased. Two additional deceased residents were subsequently recovered from the same apartment unit.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives from the Hillsborough Township Police Department along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, the Arson Task Force, New Jersey State Fire Investigators/K-9, Hillsborough Township Fire Inspector, and Investigators from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to conduct the fire investigation. The three decedents were transported to the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office for a post-mortem examination and positive identification.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated the New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office with the assistance of a forensic odonatologist were able to positively identify the deceased residents located within the apartment unit. They are identified as Vinod B. Damodaran, age 44; Sreeja Thekkekoical-Sasi, age 38; and Aardra V. Nair, age 13. The decedents, are identified as husband, wife and daughter.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson along with the investigators and first responders extend their sincere condolences to the surviving family members and friends. The circumstances involving the fire, cause and manner of death, is an active investigation pending further studies by investigators and the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

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OCTOBER 27, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ARRESTS MADE IN BURGLARY & THEFT OF NBA GAME-WORN JERSEYS & NHL MERCHANDISE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young, announced the arrest of Mohamed Benhalima, age 28, of Ford Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.; John P. Schnell, age 37, with a last known address of Whitney Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Ryan G. McDermond, age 28, with a last known address of Parnell Drive, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Tuesday morning December 29, 2015, Branchburg Police responded to a complaint of burglary and theft at MeiGray Group, located at 185 Industrial Parkway in Branchburg Township. MeiGray Group holds an exclusive contract with the NBA to act as the authenticator and retailer of game-worn NBA jerseys. MeiGray reported the loss of more than 400 game-worn NBA jerseys along with NHL merchandise valued at approximately $850,000.00. Specifically, MeiGray lost authentic game-worn NBA jerseys belonging to the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Lakers. The jerseys had been worn by notable NBA players Koby Bryant, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Gay, and Andre Iguodala.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated detectives with Branchburg Township, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Task Force, and Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined together and conducted a lengthy investigation.

On September 23, 2016, criminal Complaints were filed in the Superior Court in Somerset County charging each of the defendants with 3rd Degree Burglary, 2nd Degree Theft, and 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit Theft. The complaints were originally filed under Seal pending the arrest of the defendants.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Tuesday afternoon, October 18, 2016, detectives with Branchburg Township, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Task Force, and Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested defendant McDermond without incident on Monroe Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the defendant was turned over to Philadelphia Police pending extradition to New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Friday morning, October 21, 2016, detectives arrested defendant Mohamed at his residence in Brooklyn, New York. That afternoon, a separate team of detectives arrested defendant John Schnell in midtown Manhattan, New York. Mohamed and Schnell were both arrested without incident and turned over to New York City Police pending extradition to New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated the successful investigation and arrest of the defendants was the result of a joint law enforcement operation involving Municipal, County and Federal law enforcement. Following the burglary and theft at MeiGray, Branchburg Police Detective Edward Edgar received a tip that stolen NBA Jerseys were being offered for sale over several internet sites. Detective Edgar confirmed the tip, retrieved several of the stolen jerseys, and ultimately obtained the seller’s internet address and cellular telephone number. During the next several months, Detectives served numerous Subpoenas and Court Orders on cellular telephone companies, internet providers and sites, shipping companies, and financial institutions, which ultimately led to the identification of the three defendants.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson and Chief Young would like to acknowledge the significant investigative support provided by State law enforcement authorities and the FBI. The investigation is continuing.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson said the charges are currently pending a Grand Jury presentation. Since the defendants are incarcerated out-of-State, bail has not been set in New Jersey.

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

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OCTOBER 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE- RARITAN MAN INDICTED ON TWO COUNTS OF MURDER

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced yesterday a Somerset County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Ramon Cadiz, also known as “Ray”, age 52, of First Avenue, Raritan Borough, New Jersey.

The indictment charges defendant Cadiz with two counts of 1st Degree Murder, two counts of 3rd Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, two counts of 1st Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, and one count 2nd Degree Sexual Assault.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Friday, December 11, 2015, at approximately 3:15 p.m. the Raritan Borough Police Department responded to 46 First Avenue regarding concerns for the welfare of the occupants of the residence. The officers entered the residence and proceeded to the second floor master bedroom and located the deceased body of Kim Streath, age 15. Officers cleared the residence and preserved the house as a crime scene awaiting the arrival of crime scene detectives.

Detectives from the Raritan Borough Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation. Detectives located the deceased body of Sandrar Guiseppe, age 51, Kim Streath’s mother, on the first floor of the residence.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that as a result of the investigation detectives identified defendant Ramon Cadiz as a suspect. A statewide police broadcast was issued for defendant Cadiz and the vehicle which he was believed to be operating.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that just before midnight North Brunswick Police located the suspect’s vehicle parked in a secluded area on Petunia Drive in the Colony Oaks Apartment Complex. At approximately 4:00 a.m. Somerset County detectives approached the subject vehicle and encountered defendant Cadiz sleeping in the front driver’s seat. Defendant Cadiz was placed under arrest without incident.

Defendant Cadiz is currently lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail having been previously set at $2,000,000.00 by the Honorable Julie M. Marino, Judge of the New Jersey Superior Court.
Acting Assistant Prosecutor Frank P. Kolodzieski, II presented the case to the Grand Jury.

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 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECTS APPREHENDED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrests of Ibrahim Sesay, age 22, Jovano A. Clarke, age 22, Maahya S. Walker, age 20, all of whom reside in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at approximately 3:00 p.m. the Franklin Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call from a 20 year old male reporting that he had been robbed by two males in the area of Townsend Court. Responding officers met with the victim who told officers that the unknown males, who were armed with handguns, assaulted him by striking him on his head with the handguns. The suspects then took his backpack and cellular telephone. The victim refused treatment at the scene for a laceration to his forehead.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that Franklin patrol units conducted a motor vehicle stop near the intersection of Beekman Road and Route 27 based on the victim’s description of the actors and their vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle were identified as defendants Ibrahim Sesay, Jovano Clarke, and Maahya Walker. During the motor vehicle stop officers observed two handguns which were seized. The three occupants were placed under arrest without incident.

Franklin Township detectives along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to assist in the investigation. A Somerset County Superior Court Search Warrant was subsequently obtained for the vehicle. During the search of the vehicle the victim’s backpack and cellular telephone were located inside the vehicle.

Each defendant was charged with 1st Degree Robbery, 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 2nd Degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and 2nd Degree Possession of a Handgun without a Permit to Carry. Bail for each defendant was set at $100,000.00 cash only by Honorable Angela Borkowski, J.S.C. and all three defendants were lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson commends the response of the Franklin Township Police Officers, which resulted in the successful arrests of the armed defendants without further injury or incident.

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 12, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTIC INVESTIGATION IN SOMERVILLE YIELDS ONE ARREST

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce the arrest of Stephen Bunner, age 31, of East High Street Somerville, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated on October 11, 2016, at approximately 12:40 p.m. members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force along with members of the Somerville Police Department executed a Superior Court search warrant on defendant Bunner’s residence.

The search resulted in the seizure of approximately 57 grams of cocaine, 250 wax folds of heroin, approximately 6.8 grams of Psilocybin Mushrooms, 2 tabs of LSD, 8 Suboxone films, 3 Alprazolam pills, 1 Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine pill, a quantity of Marijuana (under 50 grams), 3 digital scales, empty plastic bags, and empty glass vials. Detectives also seized $6,344.00 in U.S. currency. Bunner was placed under arrest at his residence without incident.

The seized cocaine has an estimated street value of $4,560.00 and the heroin has an estimated street value of $1,500.00.

Defendant Bunner was charged with 2nd Degree Possession of CDS (Cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Heroin) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Psilocybin Mushrooms), 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (LSD), 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Suboxone), 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Alprazolam), 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Amphetamine), Possession of CDS (Marijuana) under 50 grams, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, both Disorderly Persons Offenses.

Defendant Bunner was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set at $75,000 with 10% to apply by the Honorable William Kelleher, P.J.M.C.

NOTE: We are required by the Rule 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 12, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BALTIMORE MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN BRANCHBURG

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Branchburg Chief of Police David Young announce the arrest of Raheem Bin Newman, age 25, of Newcastle Road, Windsor Mill, Maryland.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated on Monday, October 10, 2016 at approximately 9:22 a.m. the Branchburg Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call at the Edgewood Trailer Park, on Kenbury Road for a report of a male who was acting erratic and threatening to kill the property manager. Responding patrol units located the individual who was identified as Raheem Bin Newman. As officers attempted to place Newman into custody he resisted arrest and assaulted one of the officers. Defendant Newman was subsequently arrested and transported to the Branchburg Police Department for processing.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated a check with the Baltimore City Police Department revealed defendant Newman was a wanted suspect in a murder and attempted murder which had occurred on or about October 9th in the City of Baltimore, Maryland. Defendant Newman’s vehicle was transported to the Branchburg Police Department where it was secured. Based on statements made by defendant Newman to Branchburg authorities a K-9 sniff was conducted of the vehicle for possible explosive materials; however, it was later determined that the vehicle did not contain any explosive materials.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated detectives from the Branchburg 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 assist in the on-going investigation.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated detectives from the Baltimore Police Department responded to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office for their on-going homicide investigation.

Defendant Newman was charged with 3rd Degree Resisting Arrest, 4th Degree Resisting Arrest and 3rd Degree Terroristic Threats. Bail was set at $40,000, cash only, by Branchburg Municipal Court Judge William Kelleher.

Baltimore City Police have charged defendant Newman with 1st and 2nd Degree Murder, 1st and 2nd Degree Attempted Murder, two counts of 1st and 2nd Degree Assault, Weapons Charges, and Reckless Endangerment for the incident that occurred on October 9, 2016 in the City of Baltimore. Defendant Newman was lodged in the Somerset County Jail in default of bail pending extradition proceedings to Maryland.

NOTE: We are required by the Rule 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 30, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “QUALITY OF LIFE” INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN THE ARREST OF NEW YORK WOMAN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell announce the arrest of Kuihna Chang, age 56, of Sandford Avenue, in Flushing, New York.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on September 28, 2016, at approximately 7:56 p.m. an undercover detective assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force entered JK Acupuncture and Massage, located at 249 Homestead Road Unit #12, in Hillsborough Township where he met with Chang. During this meeting, Chang offered to perform a sexual act upon the detective in exchange for U.S. currency. Once the proposition was made Task Force detectives along with members of the Hillsborough Police Department entered massage parlor and placed defendant Chang under arrest.

Chang was transported to the Hillsborough Police Department where she was processed and charged with Prostitution, a Disorderly Persons Offense. Chang is to appear in Hillsborough Township Municipal Court on October 11, 2016.

NOTE: We are required by the Rule 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 20, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH 3 COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce the arrest of Deshawn Swindell, age 21, of Hamilton Street, Somerville, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on September 14, 2016, Somerville Police received a report of a sexual assault. The victim told the responding officers that an unknown male actor had threated her with a weapon while committing a sexual act against her within the jurisdiction of Somerville.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on September 16, 2016, Somerville Police received another report of a sexual assault. The victim told the responding officers that an unknown male suspect displayed a knife and then sexually assaulted her within the jurisdiction of Somerville. After the assault the male actor robbed the victim of her cellular phone before the victim escaped from the area.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on September 17, 2016, Somerville Police Department received a report from a third sexual assault victim. The victim reported that she was sexually assaulted by an unknown male within the jurisdiction of Somerville. The victim was able to get away from her assailant and she was able to obtain help from a local resident. The Good Samaritan contacted the Somerville Police Department on the victim’s behalf.

Detectives assigned to the Somerville Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Unit conducted the investigation. Through the investigation detectives identified defendant Deshawn Swindell as the person responsible for the three sexual assaults.

On September 18, 2016, at approximately 7:00 p.m., defendant Swindell was arrested without incident. Defendant Swindell was charged with 1st Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, 1st Degree Robbery, 2nd Degree Sexual Assault, 3rd Degree Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact, and Possession of CDS (Marijuana) under 50 grams, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

Defendant Swindell was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable Robert E. Reed, Pr.J.C. at $300,000.00 cash only

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor and Chief Manning request anyone with information regarding these incidents to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Somerville Police Department (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 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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SEPTEMBER 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO ARREST OF HOMICIDE DEFENDANT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the whereabouts and arrest of Isaiah J. Bell, aka “Ike”. On September 6, 2016 defendant Bell was charged in Somerset County Superior Court with 1st Degree Murder.

On Monday, September 5, 2016, at approximately 11:23 a.m. a Franklin Township Patrol Unit came upon a single motor vehicle crash which occurred on the north side of Route 27 in North Brunswick, New Jersey. At 11:24 a.m. Franklin Township Police received a 9-1-1 call reporting shots fired in the vicinity of Westminster Road, which is in close proximity to the aforementioned motor vehicle crash.

The officers investigating the motor vehicle crash noted that the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as James M. Kargbo, was bleeding profusely. Mr. Kargbo was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – New Brunswick where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.

During the course of the investigation detectives ascertained that Mr. Kargbo and Isaiah J. Bell, aka “Ike” were involved in a physical altercation in the area of Coventry Lane and Westminster Road. During the altercation Mr. Kargbo sustained injuries which would prove to be fatal. After the altercation defendant Bell fled from the area in a 4 door sedan, which was recovered. Mr. Kargbo, entered his vehicle which his 6 year old son was sitting in, and attempted to drive onto Route 27. Mr. Kargbo’s vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a nearby medical building.

The 6 year old was not injured in the crash and was released to a family member.

Mr. Kargbo’s death was determined to be a homicide by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Newark, N.J.

At this time detectives are searching for the whereabouts of defendant Bell.

Defendant Bell last known address is Brooks Blvd. in Manville, N.J. He is described as being 21 years old, 6’1”, 160 lbs., with brown eyes and brown hair.

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 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.

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SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE IDENTIFY SUSPECT WANTED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP HOMICIDE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce that the investigation into the death of James M. Kargbo, age 24, is continuing.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on Monday, September 5, 2016 at approximately 11:23 a.m. a Franklin Township Patrol Unit came upon a single motor vehicle crash which occurred on north side of Route 27 in North Brunswick, New Jersey. At 11:24 a.m. Franklin Township Police received a 9-1-1 call reporting shots fired in the vicinity of Westminster Road, which is in close proximity to the aforementioned motor vehicle crash.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that officers investigating the motor vehicle crash noted that the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as James M. Kargbo, was bleeding profusely. North Brunswick and Franklin Township Police Officers performed life saving measures along with Emergency Medical Personnel from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – New Brunswick. Mr. Kargbo was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – New Brunswick where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.

Franklin Township Patrol Officers along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, the Franklin Township Police Detective Bureau, and the North Brunswick Detective Bureau responded to the intersection of Coventry Lane and Westminster Road to conduct the investigation.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson further states that during the course of the investigation detectives ascertained that Mr. Kargbo and Isaiah J. Bell aka “Ike” were involved in a physical altercation in the area of Coventry Lane and Westminster Road. During the altercation Mr. Kargbo sustained injuries which would prove to be fatal. After the altercation defendant Bell fled from the area in a 4 door sedan, which was recovered. Mr. Kargbo, entered his vehicle which his 6 year old son was sitting in, and attempted to drive onto Route 27. Mr. Kargbo’s vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a nearby medical building.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that the 6 year old was not injured in the crash and was released to a family member.

This morning a post mortem examination was conducted on Mr. Kargbo by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Newark, N.J. The cause and manner of death was determined to be a homicide by sharp force injury to the victim’s chest.

At this time detectives are searching for the whereabouts of defendant Bell who has been charged with 1st Degree Murder. Detectives are urging defendant Bell to surrender to law enforcement authorities.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding this incident or defendant Bell’s whereabouts to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732) 873-2300.

Those individuals with information requesting to remain anonymous should 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 defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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AUGUST 19, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PERTH AMBOY WOMAN ARRESTED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP FOR CREDIT CARD SCHEME

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of Veronica Cardoza, age 37, of Division Street, Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that an investigation conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department revealed that between March 2015 and December 2015, Veronica Cardoza, an employee of Forever Collectibles, in Franklin Township, had fraudulently credited numerous credit cards belonging to relatives and friends. The total amount fraudulently credited was in excess of $89,000.

The investigation also revealed that the defendant’s brother-in-law, Francisco Reynoso-Batista, age 44, also of Division Street, in Perth Amboy, N.J., had knowingly received credits to his personal credit card and to a credit card in the name of his mother.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on August 17, 2016, at approximately 3:00 p.m. defendant Cardoza was arrested in Holmdel, New Jersey.

Detectives are currently searching for defendant Francisco Reynoso-Batista.

Both defendant Cardoza and Reynoso-Batista have been charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception.
Defendant Cardoza was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable Thomas C. Miller, J.S.C at $35,000 cash or bond.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of defendant Reynoso-Batista to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Special Investigations Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department (732)873-5533.

Individuals wanting to remain anonymous should 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 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 proven guilty.

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AUGUST 19, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of Felipe Dasilva, age 45, of Dayton Avenue, Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on August 11, 2016, it was reported to the Franklin Township Police that the victim, under the age of 13 and known to the defendant, had been sexually assaulted by Felipe Dasilva on June 24, 2016, within the jurisdiction of Franklin Township.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that as a result of an investigation conducted by detectives assigned to Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department defendant Dasilva was arrested on August 17, 2016.

Defendant Dasilva has was charged with 2nd Degree Sexual Assault, and 3rd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Dasilva was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C. at $100,000.00 cash only.

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 17, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT RETURNED TO NEW JERSEY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Manuel Caravela announce the arrest and extradition of Cody Masiello, age 18, of U.S. Highway Route 22, Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on July 18, 2016, Bridgewater Township Police received a 9-1-1 call reporting a carjacking in a corporate parking deck. Responding officers spoke with the victim who stated that while he was seated in his vehicle, two males approached him. The victim described one as a black male and the other suspect as a white or Hispanic male. The victim stated that the black male knocked on the driver’s side-door window and while pointing a black handgun at his head he order the victim to exit his vehicle. Once the victim exited the vehicle both suspects entered the vehicle and fled the area.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that as a result of the investigation, defendant Masiello and a juvenile co-defendant were identified as the actors responsible for the armed carjacking. On July 29, 2016, the juvenile defendant was arrested at his residence.

On August 5, 2016 at approximately 5:45 p.m. Troopers assigned with the Pennsylvania State Police Swiftwater Patrol Unit responded to a Spring Street residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. Defendant Masiello was arrested outside of the residence and lodged in the Monroe County Jail. On August 10, 2016 defendant Masiello waived extradition back to New Jersey.

On Wednesday, August 17, 2016 defendant Masiello was transported back to New Jersey by detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Fugitive Task Force. He was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail to be set.

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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AUGUST 15, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN ARRESTED FOR FALSE PUBLIC ALARM AT NORTH PLAINFIELD BANK

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and North Plainfield Borough Chief of Police William Parenti announce the arrest of Troy C. Crane, age 56, of Coolidge Street, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on Friday, August 12, 2016, at approximately 11:20 a.m. North Plainfield Police responded to the Valley National Bank, on Route 22 East, on a report of a bank alarm. Upon arrival, responding officers were advised by bank employees that an individual, identified as defendant Troy C. Crane, attempted to cash a Valley National Bank personal check made out to him in the amount of $275.00. The transaction was denied by a bank employee until confirmation could be authorized from the account holder. Defendant Crane became upset with the employee and subsequently departed the bank.

A short time later, defendant Crane returned and spoke with a different bank employee and stated that he “needed money”. Defendant Crane also stated that he would “attempt to rob this place”. The bank employee complied with defendant Crane’s request and provided him with a sum of money. Upon receiving the proceeds defendant Crane proceeded to sit down in a chair within the bank. Defendant Crane subsequently proceeded back to the bank employee and placed the money on the counter in front of the bank teller. Defendant Crane then asked the bank employee “how long will the cops take to get here”. Defendant Crane was arrested without incident.

Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to conduct the investigation.
Defendant Crane was charged with 3rd Degree Uttering a Forged Document, and 3rd Degree False Public Alarm. Defendant Crane was lodged in the Somerset County Jail, with bail set by the Honorable Robert B. Reed, P.J.Cr., at $15,000.00 with a 10% option to apply.

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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AUGUST 11, 2016
NEWS RELEASE- NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION IN SOMERVILLE LEADS TO 2 ARRESTS AND SEIZURE OF
198 BAGS OF HEROIN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce the arrests of Qayyim Jibril Reynolds, age 33, of 2nd Street, Somerville, New Jersey and Megan Williams, age 30, of Comstock Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on August 10, 2016, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that Jibril Reynolds would be in possession of heroin while operating a gray Chrysler 200, bearing District of Columbia license plates while on East Main Street in Somerville. At approximately 11:30 p.m. a Task Force surveillance team observed the Chrysler 200 in the area of East Main Street. A motor vehicle stop was conducted, and the driver was identified as Qayyim Jibril Reynolds. A front seat passenger was identified as Megan Williams. Reynolds and Williams were advised of the ongoing narcotics investigation.

Somerset County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Apex” and his handler responded to the scene to assist in the investigation. After performing an exterior sniff of the vehicle, the canine gave a positive indication for the presence of narcotics. Subsequently, detectives obtained a Superior Court Search Warrant for the vehicle. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 198 bags of Heroin located inside the gas cap door of the vehicle. Reynolds and Williams were both placed under arrest without incident.

The estimated street value of the seized heroin is $1,980.00.

Reynolds and Williams were charged with 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Heroin) with the Intent to Distribute.

NOTE: We are required by the Rule 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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AUGUST 11, 2016
AMENDED NEWS RELEASE: MANVILLE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A STUDENT

MANVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announce the arrest of Nicholas Kita, age 23, of North 10th Avenue, Manville, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on March 17, 2016, it was reported to Manville Police that Nicholas Kita had engaged in sexual contact with a 16 year old student while on Manville school property. At the time of the assault Kita was working in the capacity of a substitute teacher with the Manville Public School System.

As a result of an investigation conducted by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit and the Manville Borough Police Department, it was determined that defendant Kita had been communicating with the student through a mobile phone application prior to sexually assaulting the victim. The communications between defendant Kita and the student were of a sexual nature. On Wednesday, AUGUST 10, 2016 defendant Kita was arrested at his residence without incident.

Defendant Kita was charged with 3rd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Contact.

Defendant Kita was lodged in the Somerset County Jail, with bail set by the Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C. at $30,000.00 .

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor and Chief Peltack request anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Manville Borough Police Department (908) 725-1900.
Those individuals requesting to remain anonymous can call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or visit 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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AUGUST 11, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE SUBSTITUTE TEACHER ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A STUDENT

MANVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announce the arrest of Nicholas Kita, age 23, of North 10th Avenue, Manville, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on March 17, 2016, it was reported to Manville Police that Nicholas Kita had engaged in sexual contact with a 16 year old student while on Manville school property. At the time of the assault Kita was working in the capacity of a substitute teacher with the Manville Public School System.

As a result of an investigation conducted by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit and the Manville Borough Police Department, it was determined that defendant Kita had been communicating with the student through a mobile phone application prior to sexually assaulting the victim. The communications between defendant Kita and the student were of a sexual nature. On Wednesday, June 10, 2016 defendant Kita was arrested at his residence without incident.

Defendant Kita was charged with 3rd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Contact.

Defendant Kita was lodged in the Somerset County Jail, with bail set by the the Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C. at $30,000.00 .

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor and Chief Peltack request anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Manville Borough Police Department (908) 725-1900.

Those individuals requesting to remain anonymous can call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or visit 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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AUGUST 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PROSTITUTION INVESTIGATION IN SOMERVILLE YIELDS ONE ARREST

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce the arrest of Yan Liu, age 47, of Maple Street in Flushing, New York.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on August 1, 2016, at approximately 3:56 p.m., an undercover detective assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force entered L&S Massage Therapy located at 87 West End Avenue in Somerville where he met with Liu. During this meeting, Liu offered to perform a sexual act in exchange for U.S. currency. Once the proposition was made additional Task Force members entered the massage parlor and placed defendant Liu under arrest.

Defendant Liu was transported to the Somerville Police Headquaters where she was processed and charged with Prostitution, a Disorderly Persons Offense. Liu is to appear in Somerville Municipal court on August 25, 2016.

NOTE:
We are required by the Rule 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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AUGUST 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - 2 CHARGED IN BRIDGEWATER CARJACKING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Manuel Caravela announce the arrests of Cody Masiello, age 18, U.S. Highway Route 22, Bridgewater, New Jersey and a 17 year old Bridgewater Township juvenile.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on July 18, 2016, the Bridgewater Township Police received a 9-1-1 call reporting a carjacking that occurred in a corporate parking deck located within the township. Responding officers spoke with the victim who stated that while sitting in his Toyota Corolla, two males approached his vehicle. The victim described the first actor as a black male and the other suspect as a white or Hispanic male. The victim stated that the black male knocked on the driver’s side window and pointed a black handgun at him and demanded that the victim exit his vehicle. The suspect continued to point the gun at the victim’s head and stated he was taking the victim’s car. After the black male entered the driver seat the other suspect entered the passenger seat and both suspects fled the parking deck in the victim’s vehicle. The victim’s description of the two actors and the Toyota Corolla was broadcasted statewide to law enforcement authorities.



On Saturday, July 23, 2016, the Seaside Heights Police Department spotted the Toyota Corolla and conducted a motor vehicle stop. The vehicle was being operated by a black male juvenile with three other occupants. One of the individuals, a white male passenger, was identified as Cody Masiello. The juvenile and defendant Masiello matched the description provided by the victim from the July 18, 2016 carjacking incident. Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit along with Bridgewater Police detectives responded to Seaside Heights to continue the investigation.

Defendant Masiello and the juvenile were charged by the Seaside Police with 3rd Degree Receiving Stolen Property and both were subsequently released pending a future court appearance.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that detectives in the furtherance of the carjacking investigation subsequently obtained and executed a Search Warrant on July 23, 2016 at the residence of defendant Masiello. The search yielded evidence belonging to the carjacking victim.

On July 29, 2016, the juvenile defendant was located and arrested without incident by detectives at his residence and he was lodged in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center. At this time law enforcement authorities are searching for defendant Masiello who has not been apprehended.

Both defendants have been charged with 1st Degree Carjacking.
Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor and Chief Caravela request anyone with information regarding this incident or the whereabouts of defendant Masiello is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, the Bridgewater Township Police Department (908) 722-4100.

Those wanting to remain anonymous can submit information 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.

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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AUGUST 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PARAMUS MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor announce the arrest of Mike Karapiperis, age 48, of Gettysburg Place, Paramus, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that an investigation conducted by detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit revealed that between 2012 and 2015 defendant Karapiperis, an employee of Roadtex Transportation, located in Somerset section of Franklin Township New Jersey, received over $1,000,000 in overbilled funds. Defendant Karapiperis was responsible for arranging the cost of the freight deliveries between P & A Trucking & Roadtex Transportation. Banking records revealed that the overbilled funds that had been charged to Roadtex were deposited into Karapiperis’s personal bank account.

This morning defendant Karapiperis was arrested at his residence without incident and was he charged with 2nd Degree Theft.

After processing at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office the defendant was lodged in the Somerset County Jail. Bail was set by the Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C., at $ 75,000 cash only with the condition that should he post bail he is to surrender his U.S. passport.

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.
icious.

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AUGUST 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIED FIRE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that the New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, with the assistance of a forensic odonatologist, has positively identified the two victims that were discovered by emergency responders on July 24, 2016 as Robert Collin, age 72, and his wife Patricia Collin, age 61, both residing at 401 Route 22, Unit 23 H, North Plainfield, New Jersey.

The fire, which originated in the victim’s apartment at the Regency Apartment Complex was reported to the North Plainfield Police at 11:48 a.m. Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Fire Invesigation Unit and the North Plainfield Police Department are conducting the ongoing investigation which at this time does not appear to be susp

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JULY 22, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT RETURNED TO NEW JERSEY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson states that on Monday, July 11, 2016, Sedean A. McCoy, age 30, of 5th Street, Plainfield, New Jersey voluntarily waived extradition to New Jersey and was returned to Somerset County on July 21, 2016.

Since his arrest on July 8, 2016 by the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Task Force, defendant McCoy has been incarcerated in the Wake County Public Safety Center located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Defendant McCoy has been charged with 1st Degree Carjacking, 2nd Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd Degree Possession of a Handgun without a Permit to Carry, and 3rd Degree Aggravated Assault.

Defendant McCoy is currently lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C. at $250,000 cash only.

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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JULY 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDSVILLE MAN INDICTED FOR ASSAULT AND BRIEF STAND-OFF WITH POLICE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces this morning a Somerset County Grand Jury returned an indictment against James Tyrone, age 47, formerly of Old Wood Road, Bernardsville, New Jersey.

The indictment charges defendant Tryone with one count each of 2nd Degree Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd Degree Aggravated Assault, 3rd Degree Aggravated Assault, 3rd Degree Terroristic Threats, 2nd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, two counts of 3rd Degree Criminal Restraint and three counts of 4th Degree Aggravated Assault.

On May 8, 2016, at approximately 2:09 a.m. Bernardsville Police responded to a 9-1-1 call regarding an assault in progress at an Old Wood Road residence. Responding Bernardsville Police Sergeant Jon-Paul Tay and Patrolman Robert Schlittler encountered an injured 42 year old female who was bleeding from a head wound. The investigation revealed that defendant Tyrone had assaulted the female victim while inside the home by striking her in the head with the butt of a handgun. After the victim was able to flee the residence, the officers encountered defendant Tyrone, who aimed a handgun at Sgt. Tay.

After retreating inside the residence defendant, Tyrone grabbed a 39 year old male friend who was visiting him. Tyrone used his friend as a human shield while pointing the weapon at both officers and his friend. The defendant asked the officers to kill him. The defendant continued to threaten to shoot his friend and then himself.

As Tyrone aimed the handgun at his friend’s chest, the victim was able to grab the gun from him. The officers immediately proceeded to retrieve the fully loaded Walther P99, 9mm handgun and place defendant Tyrone into custody without further incident. The female victim was treated at the scene and transported to an area hospital for medical treatment.
Detectives from the Bernardsville Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation.

The case was presented to the Grand Jury by Acting Chief Assistant Prosecutor Robert Hawkes.

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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JULY 18, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NEW YORK CITY MAN CHARGED IN BEDMINSTER BURGLARIES

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, and Bedminster Township Chief of Police Karl M. Rock announce the arrest of Anthony Troyano, age 42, of 119th Street, New York, N.Y.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on June 22, 2016, Bedminster Township Police responded to a Union Grove Road residence on a report of a burglary. A canvass of the neighborhood revealed a second residential burglary on Union Grove Road.

Detectives from the Bedminster Township Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Task Force responded to conduct the investigations. The owners of the first residence reported that jewelry and passports were taken from their residence. The owners of the second residence reported that a safe containing jewelry, passports, checkbooks and a mahogany box containing the ashes of the family pet were taken from their residence.

After viewing video footage obtained from a residential security camera, Task Force detectives recognized the suspect entering one of the residences as Anthony Troyano. The investigation further revealed that vehicle Troyano utilized in the burglaries, bearing New York license plates, is registered to his mother.

Defendant Troyano has been charged with two counts of 3rd Degree Burglary and one count of 2nd Degree Theft by Unlawful Taking.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor and Chief Rock request anyone with information pertaining to this investigation to please contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Task Force Unit at (908) 231-7100, 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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JULY 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A HANDGUN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Manuel Caravela, announce the arrest of Julian Asaph Dale, age 21, of Capricorn Drive, Hillsborough Township, N.J.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on July 11, 2016, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office received information that an individual named Julian Asaph Dale was attempting to make arrangements to purchase a handgun and 100 rounds of ammunition through the internet. After making contact with defendant Dale, an undercover detective made arrangements to deliver the handgun and ammunition to him at a pre-determined secluded parking lot.

On July 13, 2016, detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Hillsborough Township Police, and Bridgewater Township Police set up surveillance where the transaction was to take place. At approximately 10:45 a.m., the surveillance team observed a white male fitting the description of defendant Dale driving a gray Honda Civic. After parking his vehicle, defendant Dale walked over to the pre-determined location and retrieved a cardboard box containing an inoperable handgun and ammunition. As defendant Dale was returning to his vehicle with the cardboard box detectives approached Dale, and he was arrested without incident.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that defendant Dale was charged with 2nd Degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. Bail was set by the Honorable Robert Reed, P.J. Cr. at $100,000 cash or bond.

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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JULY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce the arrest of Halil Sahin, age 39, of North Doughty Avenue, Somerville, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on July 12, 2016, detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit and the Somerville Police Department executed a search warrant on defendant Sahin’s residence. As a result of the search computers and other digital devices containing child pornography were seized.

Members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the New Jersey Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory also assisted in the search.

Sahin was arrested at his residence without incident and charged with 2nd Degree Distribution of Child Pornography, 3rd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child and 3rd Degree Possession of Child Pornography

After processing at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office the defendant was lodged in the Somerset County Jail. Bail was set by the Honorable Robert Reed, P.J. Cr., at $100,000 cash only.

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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JULY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of Efren Merino-Hernandez, age 23, of Harrison Street, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on Thursday, July 7, 2016, detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit along with detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department interviewed the victim, who is under the age of 13. The investigation revealed that defendant Merino-Hernandez had sexually assaulted the victim on approximately five occasions in Franklin Township between June 2014 to February 2016.

This morning at approximately 7:00 a.m. detectives assigned to the investigation located defendant Merino-Hernandez in the vicinity of Woodbridge Avenue and Meadow Road, in Edison, New Jersey. Defendant Merino-Hernandez voluntarily responded to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office in Somerville where he was subsequently arrested and charged with 1st Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, and 3rd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

Defendant Merino-Hernandez was lodged at the Somerset County Jail. The Honorable Kathy C. Quasim, J.S.C. set bail at $300,000, cash only with the condition that should the defendant make bail he is not to have contact with the victim.

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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JULY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HANDGUN SEIZED IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrests of Corey McDaniel, age 33, of Lewis Street, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey and Cecil Kalawa, age 38, of Baldwin Street, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on July 7, 2016, at approximately 10:50 p.m., detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force along with members of the Franklin Township Police Department executed a Superior Court search warrant on defendant McDaniel’s residence. As result of the search detectives seized a loaded Tanfoglio Giuseppe .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun, approximately one (1) pound of marijuana, twenty-nine bags of heroin, two tabs of LSD, and drug paraphernalia. McDaniel was located inside the residence and was arrested without incident.

Cecil Kalawa was also located in the residence and voluntarily gave detectives permission to search his vehicle that was parked outside the residence. As a result of the vehicle search detectives seized one bag of marijuana. Defendant Kalawa was also placed under arrest without incident.

The marijuana seized from the residence has an estimated street value of $3,000.00 and the heroin has an estimated street value of $390.00.

Defendant McDaniel was charged with 2nd Degree Possession of a Weapon While Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd Degree Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (Heroin) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree Possession of CDS (LSD), , and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Persons Offense. Defendant Kalawa was charged with Possession of CDS (Marijuana) under 50 grams, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

Defendant McDaniel was lodged in the Somerset County Jail. Defendant Kalawa was released on his own recognizance and is to appear in Franklin Township Municipal Court on July 20, 2016.

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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JULY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE- DEFENDANT IN NORTH PLAINFIELD CARJACKING AND SHOOTING APPREHENDED IN NORTH CAROLINA

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, North Plainfield Borough Chief of Police William Parenti, and Plainfield Police Director Carl Riley state that law enforcement authorities have arrested Sedean A. McCoy, age 30, of 5th Street, Plainfield, New Jersey.

On June 24, 2016, at approximately 3:14 a.m. North Plainfield Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting that a person had been shot in the Quick Chek parking lot located on Somerset Street. Responding patrol officers found a male victim whom authorities identified as a 44 year old Plainfield resident with a gunshot wound to the thigh portion of his right leg. The victim informed authorities that while he was entering the driver side door of his vehicle, a 2002 Acura, an unknown male also entered the vehicle through the front passenger side door and produced a handgun. During a struggle between the victim and the assailant the gun discharged. The victim further advised officers that after being shot he was able to escape, and the assailant drove away in his car. The victim was transported to an area trauma center, where he was treated and released.

Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit conducted the investigation. A video surveillance camera captured footage of the assailant who was observed inside the store moments before the shooting. A Plainfield Police Supervisor, after reviewing the surveillance footage, positively identified the suspect as Sedean A. McCoy.

On June 30th, 2016 defendant McCoy was observed operating a motor vehicle within Plainfield. Plainfield Police Patrols attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop on defendant McCoy, who ignored the officers, and a motor vehicle pursuit was initiated. Officers attempted to stop defendant McCoy as he led officers on a pursuit through numerous jurisdictions in Union and Middlesex County. The defendant was able to elude the police patrols in Piscataway Township near Exit 6 on Route 287.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that law enforcement authorities requested the assistance of the United States Marshals Services - NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force in an attempt to locate defendant McCoy.

On Friday, July 8, 2016, at approximately 6:30 a.m. Marshals assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Violent Fugitive Task Force, in North Carolina located defendant McCoy at a residence on Debnam Avenue, in Henderson, North Carolina. Defendant McCoy was apprehended without incident. Somerset County authorities will seek to extradite defendant McCoy back to New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that McCoy’s apprehension would not have been possible without the cooperation of numerous law enforcement agencies.

Defendant McCoy has been charged with 1st Degree Carjacking, 2nd Degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd Degree Possession of a Handgun without a Permit to Carry, and 3rd Degree Aggravated Assault.

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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JULY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FLUSHING NY WOMAN CHARGED WITH PROSTITUTION IN RARITAN BOROUGH

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, and Raritan Borough Chief of Police Kenneth McCormick announce the arrest of Meiyue Piao, age 52, of Northern Boulevard, in Flushing, New York.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that last evening detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force, along with members of the Raritan Borough Police Department conducted a quality of life investigation at the Healing Hands Massage Parlor located at 114 Thompson Street.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that upon entering the massage parlor at 10:28 p.m., a Task Force undercover detective was propositioned by Piao. The defendant offered to perform a sexual act upon the detective in exchange for U.S. Currency. After the offer was made additional detectives entered the establishment and placed Piao under arrest. She was transported to the Raritan Police Department where she was processed and charged by the Raritan Borough Police with one count of Prostitution, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

Defendant Piao was released on her own recognizance and is to appear in Raritan Borough Municipal Court on July 11, 2016.

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

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JULY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ADULT AND JUVENILE CHARGED IN BRANCHBURG CAR BURGLARIES

SOMERVILLE. N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young, Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack, and Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano announce the arrests of Jonathan Sasso, age 21, of South 6th Street, Manville, New Jersey, and a 17 year old juvenile.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on June 28th and June 29th, 2016, Branchburg Township Police received four calls from township residents on Breckenridge Drive and Red Crest Lane, reporting overnight burglaries to their parked vehicles. The residents reported thefts of cash, personal items, computer tablets, cellular telephones, GPS units and other electronic items.

Detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Unit, and the Branchburg Township Police Department conducted the investigation. Detectives identified the suspects as defendant Jonathan Sasso and a 17 year old accomplice.

On July 6, 2016, detectives assigned to the investigation along with officers from the Manville Borough Police Department, along with a Somerset County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit executed two search warrants on both of the defendant’s residences. During the course of the search warrants, detectives seized computer tablets, cellular telephones, personal items, assorted gift cards and GPS units which were determined to have been stolen during the car burglaries.

Defendant Sasso was arrested at his residence and charged with 3rd Degree Receiving Stolen Property, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Person Offense. Defendant Sasso was released on his own recognizance.

The juvenile was charged with four counts of 3rd Degree Burglary, one count of 3rd Degree Theft, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Person Offense. They were released to a family member pending a Somerset County Family 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 defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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JULY 6, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN WANTED FOR AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT OF TWO MINORS

SOMERVILLE. N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce that criminal charges have been filed against Daniel Serrano-Urbina, age 57, of Somerset Street, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on Friday, July 1, 2016, Franklin Township Police received a report that two minor children, under the age of 13, had been sexually assaulted by defendant Serrano-Urbina within the jurisdiction of Franklin Township.

An investigation was conducted by detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit.

As a result of the investigation, defendant Serrano-Urbina has been charged him with two counts of 1st Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, two counts of 2nd Degree Sexual Assault, and two counts of 3rd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a child.

Defendant Serrano-Urbina has not been apprehended and is currently a wanted person in connection with these charges. Anyone having information pertaining to his whereabouts is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit at 908-231-7100, the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-2300.

Callers requesting to remain anonymous should call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). Information can also be submitted online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All 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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JUNE 30, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN WANTED FOR CARJACKING AND SHOOTING IN NORTH PLAINFIELD

Somerville, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives John Fodor, North Plainfield Borough Chief of Police William Parenti, and Plainfield Police Director Carl Riley state that law enforcement authorities are searching for Sedean A. McCoy, age 30, of 5th Street, Plainfield, New Jersey who is wanted for a shooting and carjacking that occurred in North Plainfield Borough last Friday.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that on June 24, 2016 at approximately 3:14 a.m. North Plainfield Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting that a person had been shot in the Quick Chek parking lot located on Somerset Street. Responding patrol officers found a male victim whom authorities are identifying as a 44 year old Plainfield resident who was observed to have a gunshot wound to the thigh portion of his right leg. The victim informed authorities that while he was entering the driver side door of his vehicle, a 2002 Acura, an unknown male also entered the vehicle through the front passenger side door and produced a handgun. During a struggle between the victim and the assailant the gun discharged. The victim further advised officers that after being shot he was able to escape and the assailant drove away in his car. The victim was transported to an area trauma center, where he was treated and released.

Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation. A surveillance video camera captured footage of the assailant who was observed inside the store moments prior to the shooting. A Plainfield Police Supervisor, after reviewing the surveillance footage, positively identified the suspect as Sedean A. McCoy.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that detectives have been working in conjunction with the Plainfield Police in an attempt to locate defendant McCoy.

This afternoon, defendant McCoy was observed operating a motor vehicle within Plainfield. Plainfield Police Patrols attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop on defendant McCoy who ignored the officers and a motor vehicle pursuit was initiated. Officers attempted to stop defendant McCoy as he led officers on a pursuit through numerous jurisdictions in Union and Middlesex County. The defendant was able to elude the police patrols in Piscataway Township near Exit 6 on Route 287.

Law enforcement authorities are asking that anyone knowing of McCoy’s whereabouts to contact the police immediately. Do not approach McCoy as he is considered to be armed and dangerous.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fodor, Chief Parenti, and Police Director Riley request anyone with information regarding this crime to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, the North Plainfield Borough Police Department at (908) 769-2937, or the Plainfield Police Department at (732) 620-2209.

Anonymous Tips can be made 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 clicking on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All Crime Stopper Calls and Tips will be kept confidential.

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JUNE 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PLAINFIELD MAN CONVICTED OF FIRST DEGREE ARMED ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that a Somerset County jury has found Luis A. Flores, age 38, last known address Crescent Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey guilty of first degree robbery, and of third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, after a six day trial before the Hon. Robert B. Reed, P.J.Cr.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Bound Brook Police responded to a disturbance in front of a Hamilton Street convenience store. Responding officers observed three individuals in front of the store including Luis A. Flores who was holding a knife. One of the officers disarmed Flores and placed him under arrest.

The investigation revealed that defendant Flores was observed by a store employee stealing items from the store. When confronted by the employee, the defendant pulled out a knife, pointed it at the victim, and lunged toward him. With the assistance of a witness, the employee was able to detain the defendant until the police arrived. The employee sustained abrasions to his hand during the incident.

Defendant was remanded to the Somerset County Jail pending sentencing, which is scheduled for August 22, 2016.

The State was represented by Acting Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Savino French with the assistance of Paralegal Ellen Kirschbaum.

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JUNE 16, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN SENTENCED TO 55 YEARS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that today the Honorable Angela Borkowski, J.S.C., sentenced Timma Kalidindi, age 50, of Francis Drive, Bridgewater Township, New Jersey to serve 55 years in New Jersey State Prison with an 85% parole disqualifier in connection with his murder of his estranged wife.

He will have to serve 46 years and 9 months before he is eligible for parole. On April 14, 2016 a Somerset County jury had found Kalidindi guilty of first degree murder and of third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, after a seven day trial.

On November 14, 2013, at approximately 7:48 p.m. the Bridgewater Police Department received a 9-1-1call from a Francis Drive residence reporting an active dispute. The caller described hearing screaming and loud noises coming from the downstairs portion of the residence. Responding Bridgewater officers encountered Timma Kalidindi at the front door where he immediately voluntarily surrendered.

Once officers entered the residence, officers located an unresponsive 43 year old female, identified as Janaki Dantuluru, lying on the floor of the garage with a braided rope rapped around her neck. The victim had no pulse and was not breathing. The officers performed life saving measures on the female and were able to resuscitate her. The Somerset Medical Center Intensive Care Unit and the Bradley Gardens Rescue Squad transported the victim to a local medical center. On November 16, 2013 Ms. Danuluru victim died from her injuries.

The State was represented by acting Chief Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Merrill M. Mezzacappa.

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JUNE 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE MAN CHARGED IN MANVILLE ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announce the arrest of Benito Ferguson, age 26, of Third Street, Somerville, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at approximately 9:50 p.m. Manville Police were dispatched to the area of Brooks Boulevard and North 3rd Avenue on a report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, responding officers observed Benito Ferguson running west towards North 2nd Avenue, along with the victim, a 20 year old Manville resident. Officers ordered for both individuals to stop running. The victim complied and quickly advised officers that the defendant had stolen his wallet. Officers pursued defendant Ferguson as he scaled a six foot wooden fence into the rear yard of a North 2nd Avenue residence, while ignoring verbal commands from the officers to stop and get on the ground.

Manville Patrol Officers Christopher Morrison and Michael Zangrillo apprehended the defendant after a brief struggle. During the struggle Officer Zangrillo sustained a laceration to his right hand.

The investigation by Manville Detectives revealed that as the victim was walking West on South Street near the rear parking lot of the VFW, defendant Ferguson struck the victim on his back causing him to fall to the ground. While laying on the ground, the accused removed the victim’s wallet from his pants pocket and stole $45.00 in U.S. Currency. The victim pursued the defendant on foot demanding that he return his money.

Defendant Ferguson was charged with Robbery, 2nd Degree, Resisting Arrest, 3rd Degree and Resisting Arrest by Flight, 4th Degree.

Defendant Ferguson was transported to an area hospital for treatment of wounds about his body which defendant Ferguson claimed he had no idea how he received. Defendant Ferguson was turned over to the custody of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office. Upon his release from the hospital defendant Ferguson will be lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Officer Zangrillo received medical treatment for his hand injury at a local hospital.

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 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - VICTIM PHOTOGRAPHS SLEEPING BURGLAR

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell announce the arrest of Alexander T. Torres, age 24, of Canal Road in South Bound Brook, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on June 2, 2016, at approximately 7:40 a.m. the Hillsborough Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a burglary in progress at a Nostrand Road residence. Responding Hillsborough officers met with the victim who related that upon returning home this morning with her 12 year old son she found her garage door opened. Once inside the house they observed items inside their bedrooms thrown onto the floors. In the master bedroom, the homeowner found Alexander T. Torres sleeping on the floor next to her bed. He was lying face down with a black colored back pack on his back. After calling 9-1-1, the victim photographed the defendant before awakening him. Once awoken, the defendant walked out of the house without saying anything to the victims. The victim continued to photograph the defendant as he walked down the street.

Hillsborough Patrol units quickly apprehended defendant Torres on Campbell Road. Nearby in a front yard police located the black back pack bearing the name of the homeowner’s son. The back pack contained electronic items and a U.S. dollar coin that the defendant had taken from the house.

Hillsborough Township Police lodged defendant Torres in the Somerset County Jail.

Defendant Torres has been charged with Burglary, 3rd Degree and Theft, 3rd Degree.

The Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C., set bail at $50,000, 10% to apply with the condition that if the defendant posts bail, he is not to have contact with the victims.

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 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDS TOWNSHIP MAN ARRESTED FOR MANUFACTURING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Bernards Township Chief of Police Brian Bobowicz announce the arrest of Gregory Tannenbaum, age 52, of Privet Way, in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that after receiving information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Bernards Township Police Department initiated an investigation. The investigation revealed that defendant Tannenbaum had engaged in sexually explicit chat and email conversations with a 15 year old male.

On June 2, 2016, detectives executed a search warrant on defendant Tannenbaum’s residence. Detectives seized the defendant’s desktop computer, tablet, cellphone, two external hard drives, and a digital camera.

Defendant Tannenbaum was arrested without incident and lodged in the Somerset County Jail. The Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C., set bail at $150,000 cash only.

Defendant Tannenbaum was charged with Manufacturing Child Pornography, 1st Degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 3rd Degree and Possession of Child Pornography, 3rd Degree.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson and Chief Bobowicz urge anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit at (908) 575-3300, the Bernards Township Police Department at (908)766-1122.

Anyone wanting to remain annonymous should call the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). Information can also be submitted 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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JUNE 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - UNDERCOVER DETECTIVE BUYS 160 GRAMS OF COCAINE FROM NEW BRUNSWICK MAN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, and Franklin Township Police Chief Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of Josue Carrasco, age 33, of Andy Street, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on May 12, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m., an undercover detective assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office’s Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force met with defendant Josue Carrasco in the parking lot of a Somerset Street restaurant. Defendant Carrasco arrived in a white Ford Explorer that he was driving. The detective approached the driver’s side window of the SUV and after a brief conversation defendant, Carrasco sold the detective 10 grams of cocaine.

On May 19, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m. the undercover detective once again made arrangements to meet with defendant Carrasco at the same location. Once he arrived in the parking lot, he exited his Ford Explorer and entered the undercover detective’s vehicle. This time defendant Carrasco sold the detective 20 grams of cocaine.

On May 31, 2016, at approximately 7:30 p.m. the undercover detective made arrangements to meet a 3rd time with defendant Carrasco in the parking lot of a food store located on Somerset Street. Once at this location, defendant Carrasco entered the undercover detective’s vehicle where he sold the undercover detective 130 grams of cocaine. Once the drug transaction was completed additional Task Force detectives approached defendant Carrasco and placed him under arrest without incident.

Defendant Carrasco was charged with Distribution of CDS (Cocaine) 1st Degree.

The approximate street value of the cocaine seized is $16,000.

Defendant Josue Carrasco was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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 1 , 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NEW BRUNSWICK MAN CHARGED WITH COCAINE DISTRIBUTION IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, and Franklin Township Police Chief Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of Pablo Juarez-Ortega, age 47, of Somerset Street, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

On May 12, 2016, at approximately 8:00 p.m. an undercover detective assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force met with defendant Pablo Juarez-Ortega in the parking lot of a Somerset Street restaurant. After arriving on foot, Juarez-Ortega entered the detective’s vehicle and sold the detective 15 grams of cocaine.

On May 26, 2016, at approximately 7:30 p.m. the undercover detective once again met with defendant Juarez-Ortega in the area of Somerset and Ambrose Streets, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey. After arriving on foot, defendant Juarez-Ortega entered the undercover detective’s vehicle and sold the detective 30 grams of cocaine.

On May 31, 2016, at approximately 2:30 p.m. the undercover detective and Juarez-Ortega met for a 3rd time, once again in the area of Somerset and Ambrose Streets. After entering the detective’s vehicle, he sold the detective 160 grams of cocaine. Once the drug transaction was completed, additional Task Force detectives approached the undercover vehicle and arrested defendant Juarez-Ortega, without incident.

Defendant Juarez-Ortega were charged with Distribution of CDS (Cocaine) 1st Degree.

The approximate street value of the cocaine seized is $20,500.

Defendant Juarez-Ortega was lodged in the Somerset County Jail. Bail was set by the Honorable Peter J. Tober, J.S.C. at $200,000 cash only.

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 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BASKING RIDGE MAN FOUND GUILTY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, a Somerset County Jury found Brian Niziolek, age 29, of Basking Ridge, N.J, guilty of 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun following a five day trial in Somerville.

At 3:30 a.m. on March 8, 2014, Hillsborough Police Officers Andrew Chudy and John Carney responded to a single car motor vehicle accident with injuries in the area of New Center Road and Orchard Drive in Hillsborough. Upon their arrival, they observed a vehicle with heavy front end damage, and found the vehicle’s three occupants (including Niziolek) seated outside the vehicle. EMS personnel from the Hillsborough Rescue Squad responded and treated the occupants. While investigating the accident, Officer Chudy observed a handgun on the ground near the passenger door of the damaged vehicle (ultimately determined to be a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun). Immediately upon finding the handgun, Officer Chudy placed Nizioek in handcuffs, and Officer Carney secured the handgun. Niziolek was later transported by ambulance to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment, but attempted to remove himself from the stretcher twice during the trip.


The gun was processed for fingerprints and DNA evidence by the Hillsborough Township Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and DNA Laboratory of the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences. Forensic Scientist Christopher Szymkowiak analyzed the evidence and determined that Niziolek’s DNA was present at four locations on the handgun.


Following his conviction by the jury on the Unlawful Possession of a Handgun indictment, Niziolek waived his right to be tried by a jury and agreed to a bench trial on a related indictment charging 2nd degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Firearms. At the second trial, the State introduced into evidence Niziolek’s prior convictions for sexual assault, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, burglary, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance within 1000 feet of a school, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance within 500 feet of a public park and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Defendant was found guilty of the 2nd degree Certain Persons Not to Possess Firearms indictment by the Hon. Angela Borkowski, J.S.C., following the bench trial.


Based on Niziolek’s criminal history, he is eligible to be sentenced as a persistent offender to twenty years in prison with a ten year period of parole ineligibility. Niziolek’s bail was revoked, and sentencing was scheduled for July 22, 2016.


The State was represented by Acting Chief Assistant Prosecutor W. Brian Stack with the assistance of Paralegal Sharon Janssen.

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MAY 27, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DEFENDANT INDICTED FOR PERJURED TESTIMONY AT TRIAL

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that a Somerset County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Gary Wilson, age 33, currently incarcerated in the New Jersey State Prison, for perjured testimony offered at the trial of his co-defendant, David Granskie, Jr., during September of 2014. Wilson is charged with three counts of third degree perjury and two counts of fourth degree false swearing.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that in September of 2014, during the trial of David Granskie, Jr., on charges of murder, aggravated sexual assault, and conspiracy to commit both murder and sexual assault of Carolyn Stone, Wilson was called as a witness by the defense. While under oath, Wilson testified that he had observed David Granskie, Jr., go inside the residence, and that he was not present for the murder and sexual assault that took place in the backyard area of that residence. Wilson further testified that he had not observed co-defendant Rocky DiTaranto engage in sexual intercourse with the victim, and that he had not observed DiTaranto choking the victim during that act of sexual intercourse. The indictment alleges that these statements materially affected the outcome of that trial, in that they may have led the jury to reach a decision it may not have otherwise reached.

At the end of that trial, David Granskie, Jr., was acquitted of the murder counts that would otherwise subject him to a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. He was also acquitted of purposeful and knowing murder and the lesser-included offense of aggravated manslaughter. The jury could not reach a decision with regard to the remaining counts of first degree felony murder, first degree conspiracy to commit murder, second degree conspiracy to commit sexual assault, and the lesser-included offense of reckless manslaughter.

The Statements that Wilson gave at that trial were at odds not only with what he had previously stated under oath, but also contradicted by statements made subsequently by Granskie, Jr., in his own guilty plea.

Wilson had previously testified during his own guilty plea in July of 2011 that he had, in fact, observed DiTaranto engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim in the backyard of the residence, and while doing so, DiTaranto was choking her. Wilson said nothing about co-defendant Granskie at that guilty plea. Also, David Granskie, Jr., entered a guilty plea on November 30, 2015, wherein he acknowledged that he had not gone inside the residence and he had, in fact, assisted in carrying the victim to the backyard, knowing that Wilson and DiTaranto intended to sexually assault her. Granskie further testified that Wilson’s statements made at trial regarding Granskie’s lack of involvement were not true.

On July 23, 2013, Gary Wilson was sentenced to 45 years New Jersey State Prison, 85% to be served without eligibility for parole pursuant to the No Early Release Act, for the commission of the murder of Ms. Stone. Wilson remains in State Prison.

The matter was presented to the Somerset County Grand Jury by Somerset County Acting Assistant Prosecutor Nathan C. Howe.

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 27, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIELD MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR THE MURDER OF BROOKLYN WOMAN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that today the Honorable Robert B. Reed, P.J.Cr. sentenced Felix Nehemias Graves-Dardon, age 36, of Prospect Place, North Plainfield, New Jersey to life imprisonment in connection with his murder of a 30 year old woman from Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2012. He will have to serve 63 years and nine months before he is eligible for parole. On March 16, 2016 a Somerset County jury had found Graves-Dardon guilty of first degree murder and of third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, after a thirteen day trial.

On August 12, 2012, at approximately 12:27 a.m., the North Plainfield Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a suspicious incident within a first floor apartment on Prospect Place, North Plainfield, New Jersey. Responding officers met with the tenant of the apartment who reported that she had observed defendant Graves-Dardon, who sublets a bedroom, standing naked in the kitchen where he was cleaning up a blood covered floor. Upon seeing the tenant, the defendant fled into the basement area of the residence as the tenant notified police. The officers subsequently located defendant Graves-Dardon in the basement wrapped in blood-soaked bedding. There was also blood in various locations in the apartment, including the kitchen, the basement and defendant Graves-Dardon’s bedroom.

The officers conducted a canvass around the exterior of the residence where they located the dead body of a Hispanic female in an alley on the east side of the residence. The victim, Yadira Blaimayer-Ortiz, suffered severe and visible trauma to her body. Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Squad and the Crime Scene Investigations (C.S.I.) and Forensics Units responded to conduct the investigation. The New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office and the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences also assisted in the investigation and prosecution of the case. The post mortem examination by the Medical Examiner revealed that the victim had been strangled and also had been stabbed repeatedly to her neck, including severing of the jugular vein, and other areas of her body.

The State was represented by acting Chief Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Robert J. Hawkes and acting Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Nathan C. Howe, with the assistance of Paralegal Ellen Kimmel-Kirschbaum.

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MAY 20, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET WOMAN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Manuel Caravella announce the arrest of Fantasia Johnson, age 40, of Norwich Place in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at approximately 3:46 p.m. a loss prevention officer for a store located in the Bridgewater Commons Mall, observed defendant Johnson concealing $154 worth of store merchandise in her handbag. Once defendant Johnson left the store without paying for the merchandise she was approached by the loss prevention officer along with two mall security officers. The defendant was escorted back to the store. Once inside the store the defendant refused to enter the security office and she proceeded to remove a bottle of pepper spray from her purse, and sprayed the chemical into the eyes of the three officers. As the defendant ran from the officers she proceeded to spray the chemical onto store merchandise. Once outside the store, the loss prevention officer was able to apprehend her after the defendant sprayed him a second time in the face.

After processing the defendant Bridgewater Township Police lodged her in the Somerset County Jail. Bail was set by the Honorable Robert Reed, P.J.Cr., at $50,000.

Defendant Johnson has been charged with Robbery, 2nd Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, 3rd Degree, Criminal Mischief, a Disorderly Person Offense.

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 18, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “CLICK IT OR TICKET” MOBILIZATION MAY 23 – JUNE 5, 2016

SOMERVILLE. N.J. - Law enforcement officers from throughout Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties will join with police agencies from around the country in cracking down on unbuckled motorists and passengers as part of the national 2016 “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

Starting on May 23rd and running through June 5th, the “Click It or Ticket” national mobilization initiative will utilize high visibility seat belt checkpoints and saturation patrols 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. In 2013, 21,000 people in the U.S. were killed in traffic crashes, and almost half of them were unrestrained.” said Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.”

Poedubicky added that a key focus for the campaign this year is to promote seat belt usage by adult passengers in the rear seats of vehicles. The front seat belt usage rate in New Jersey currently stands at 91.36%. However, adults riding in rear seats are only buckling up at a rate of 39%. “This is a concern,” he said. “We need to drive home the message that all motor vehicle occupants need to buckle up during every trip, in every seating position.”

During last year’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign, 372 New Jersey police agencies participated. As a result of the 2015 two-week initiative, law enforcement officers issued 26,308 seat belt citations, 4,969 speeding summonses and made 833 impaired driving arrests.

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MAY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - PHILLIPSBURG WOMAN FOUND GUILTY OF THEFT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that on Thursday, May 12, 2016, a Somerset County Jury found Rodica Grecea, age 56, of Phillipsburg, N.J, guilty of 3rd degree Theft by Deception.

Between March 1st and July 1st, 2013, while employed by Home Depot in Bridgewater, N.J., defendant Grecea stole approximately $15,000 in U.S. Currency from the home improvement store.

The case was tried before the Honorable Edward M. Coleman, J.S.C. who set the defendant's bail at $10,000, 10% to apply.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 22, 2016.
The State's case was presented by Acting Assistant Prosecutor James C. Lankford.

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 10, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - 12 ARRESTED IN NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF TWO HANDGUNS, HEROIN, COCAINE AND MARIJUANA

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Bound Brook Borough Chief of Police Michael Jannone announce the arrests of Isaiah Wilson, age 24, Cecilia Nieves, age 29 and Juan Gomez, age 32 of Fisher Avenue, Bound Brook, N.J, Jake Reese, age 25, of South Side Avenue, Somerville, N.J. Cortney Healey, age 31 and MaLike Greenway age 19, of West High Street, Bound Brook, N.J., Earl Esaw, age 22 of Astor Street, Springfield, N.J., Najih Jones, age 23 of Thorpe Drive, Edison, N.J., Raekwon Johnson, age 20 of South Bound Brook, N.J., Luz Hernandez age 34, of West 2nd Street, Plainfield, N.J., Sam Forman, age 20, of Washington Place, Somerville, N.J. and John Reilly, age 41, of Glenn Ridge Drive, Bridgewater, N.J.



Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on May 6, 2016, at approximately 6:00 p.m., detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force observed Isiah Wilson as he conducted and hand- to- hand transaction with the driver of a gold colored Honda Accord, later identified as Najih Jones, that was parked in front of Wilson’s Fisher Avenue residence. After completely the transaction defendant Wilson entered the right side door of his residence.

As defendant Jones left the area in his vehicle detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop on Fischer Avenue. As detectives approached the driver’s side of the vehicle they observed ten (10) folds of Heroin laying on the ground next to the driver’s door. Defendants Sam Forman and John Reilly were passengers in the vehicle. Subsequent to obtaining voluntary consent from defendant Jones to search his vehicle detectives found one bag of Marijuana in the vehicle. The defendants were arrested without incident.

Additional Task Force detectives executed a Superior Court Search Warrant on Wilson’s residence. Upon entering the right side door of the residence detectives located defendants Wilson, Jake Reese, Earl Esaw, MaLike Greenway, and Raekwon Johnson in a family room area. Defendants Cecilia Nieves and Cortney Healey, along with 2 minor children, were observed running from the kitchen to a back porch area. In the right back porch area two more minor children were located. Defendant Luz Hernandez was located hiding in the attic of the residence.

On the right side of the residence detectives seized six (6) folds of heroin in the family room. On the right side of the back porch area detectives seized an additional twenty (20) folds of heroin. Hanging on a basement stairwell wall detectives located a red bag containing a HiPoint .40 caliber handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets.

Upon entering the left side door of the residence detectives located Juan Gomez in the kitchen of the residence. A search of the left side of the residence resulted in the seizure of a Glock .45 caliber handgun loaded with a hollow-point bullets in defendant Gomez’s bedroom dresser. In a crawl space area behind the residence detectives located a Sentry Safe containing 572 folds of heroin.

At the time of their arrests Reese voluntarily turned over 13 baggies of cocaine and Wilson was in possession of the key to the safe and $1,130 in U.S. Currency.

Wilson, Gomez, Reese, Nieves, Healey, Greenway, Esaw, Jones, Johnson, Hernandez, Forman and Reilly were transported to the Prosecutor’s Office for processing. Defendant Hernandez was found to have a Municipal Warrant out of Dunellen, N.J. Defendant Healy was found to have an outstanding Superior Court Warrant out of Somerset County regarding a Violation of Probation.

The approximate street value of the heroin seized in this investigation is $9,120.00.

Defendant Isaiah Wilson was charged with 2 Counts of Certain Persons not to Possess a Firearm, 2nd Degree, 2 Counts of Possession of a Firearm During a CDS Offense, 2nd Degree, 2 Counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 2nd Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, 2nd Degree, Distribution of CDS (heroin) 3rd Degree, Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS (heroin), 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS, 3rd Degree, Possession of a Defaced Firearm 4th Degree, 2 Counts of Possession of Hollow Point Bullets, 4th Degree.

Defendant Juan Gomez was charged with Certain Persons not to Possess a Firearm, 2nd Degree.

Defendant Jake Reese was charged with Possession of CDS (Cocaine), 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Heroin) 3rd Degree.

Defendants Cecilia Nieves and Cortney Healey were charged with 2 Counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 2nd Degree, Possession of CDS (Heroin) 3rd Degree.

Defendants MaLike Greenway, Earl Esaw, Najih Jones, Rackwon Johnson were charged with Possession of CDS (Heroin), 3rd Degree.

Defendant Luz Hernandez was charged with Hindering the Apprehension of Another, 3rd Degree.

Defendants Sam Forman and John Reilly were charged with Possession of Marijuana under 50 grams, a Disorderly Persons offense.

The Honorable Kathy Qasim, J.S.C. set bail for Wilson at $100,000 cash only, Gomez at $50,000, 10% to apply, Reese at $10,000 cash or bond, Nieves at $50,000 cash or bond, Healey at $50,000 cash or bond, Esaw at $5,000, 10% to apply, Jones at $10,000, 10% to apply, Johnson at $5,000, 10% to apply and Hernandez at $1,500 10% to apply. Defendants Greenway, Forman and Reilly were released on their own recognizance.

The four minor children were turned over to family members.

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 9, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BERNARDSVILLE MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING ASSAULT AND BRIEF POLICE STAND-OFF

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, and Bernardsville Borough Chief of Police Kevin Valentine announce the arrest of James Tyrone, age 47, of Old Wood Road, Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on May 8, 2016, at approximately 2:09 a.m. Bernardsville Police responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting an assault in progress at an Old Wood Road residence. Dispatchers advised the patrols that the male suspect, later identified as James Tyrone, was armed with a handgun.

Responding Bernardsville Police Sergeant Jon-Paul Tay and Patrolman Robert Schlittler encountered an injured 42 year old female who was bleeding from a head wound. While attempting to remove the victim from the residence, the officers encountered defendant Tyrone, who aimed a handgun at Sgt. Tay and then retreated into the residence.

Once back inside the residence defendant Tyrone grabbed a 39 year old male friend who was visiting him. Tyrone used his friend as a human shield while pointing the weapon at both officers and his friend. The defendant asked the officers to kill him. As the defendant continued to threaten to shoot his friend and then himself, the officers ordered Tyrone to drop his weapon as they told him they were not there to harm him.

After failing to drop the weapon, Tyrone aimed the handgun at his friend’s chest, and the victim was able to grab the gun from him. The officers immediately proceeded to retrieve the fully loaded Walther P99, 9mm handgun, and place defendant Tyrone into custody without further incident. The female victim was treated at the scene and transported to an area hospital for medical treatment.

Detectives from the Bernardsville Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation.

Additional patrol units from Far Hills, Bernards Township, and Peapack-Gladstone responded to assist the officers at the scene.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson commends Sergeant Tay and Patrolman Schlittler for their timely response and heroic actions. Faced with a deadly force encounter these officers demonstrated the utmost restraint and were able to successfully bring this event to a peaceful conclusion.

Defendant Tyrone has been charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd Degree, Aggravated Assault, 3rd Degree, and Aggravated Assault, 4th Degree.

Defendant Tyrone was transported to an area hospital for observation.

The Honorable Kathy Qasim, J.S.C. set bail at $75,000 cash or bond with the condition that should the defendant post bail he is not to have contact with the victims.

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 6, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN ARRESTED WITH LARGE AMOUNT OF HEROIN AND MARIJUANA

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announces the arrest of Luis Carreon, age 27, of Park Street, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on May 4, 2016, at approximately 9:00 p.m., detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force and the Franklin Township Police Department executed a Superior Court Search Warrant on defendant Carreon’s Park Street residence. Shortly after detectives made entry defendant Carreon attempted to elude apprehension by jumping from a third story roof of the dwelling. Defendant Carreon was subsequently apprehended.

A search of the residence resulted in the seizure of 1,064 folds of heroin, a plastic bag containing approximately eight (8) pounds of heroin, eight (8) marijuana plants, and $1,570.00 in U.S. Currency.

Defendant Carreon was charged with Maintaining a CDS Production Facility, 1st Degree, Possession with the Intent to Distribute CDS (Heroin), 1st Degree, Possession with the Intent to Distribute CDS (Marijuana) 3rd Degree, Resisting Arrest by Flight, 4th Degree and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

The seized heroin has an approximate street value of $410,640, and the seized marijuana plants have an approximate street value of $24,000.00.

Defendant Luis Carreon was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

The seized heroin has an approximate street value of $410,640 and the seized marijuana plants have an approximate street value of $24,000.00.

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 03, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “POLICE YOUTH WEEK”

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano and Somerset County Chiefs of Police President, William Parenti, of the North Plainfield Police Department, announce that the Somerset County Police Academy will be conducting a 5 day, “Police Youth Week” this summer.

The program will be held from July 18, 2016 - July 22, 2016, 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 Hillsborough Township, New Jersey.

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

The program is open to the following students:
(1) Are residents of Somerset County or are enrolled in a secondary school within the 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 June 1, 2016.

To register for the program, candidates can download the registration form by visiting www.somersetcountypoliceacademy.com. Forms are also available at the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy/Police Academy.

Det./Sgt. William Brown, the program’s coordinator, can be reached by email at wbrown@co.somerset.nj.us or by phone 908-541-5035 should anyone have questions about the program.

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MAY 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY GRAND JURY INDICTS SIX IN HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy Fitzgerald, and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce that as a result of a ten month Franklin Township homicide investigation, a Somerset Grand Jury indicted 6 individuals on Thursday, April 28, 2016. The criminal offenses include homicide, armed robbery, narcotic and weapons offenses.

The investigation was conducted by detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit, along with detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on June 24, 2015, at approximately 11:20 p.m. Franklin Township Police responded to a Route 27 convenience store on a report of an aggravated assault. Responding officers met with the victim, age 20, who told officers that he went to the Country Side apartments in the Somerset section of Franklin Township to meet with defendant Divendra Bhim. Once the victim arrived at that location, the victim was approached by defendant Bhim and two other males who proceeded to rob and assault him. The investigation revealed that defendant Bhim drove defendant Dashawn Carraker and a third male to the apartment complex, purportedly to sell marijuana to the victim. Once there, defendant Carreker and a third male punched and kicked the victim, and struck him in the head with a handgun. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he underwent surgery for a broken jaw.

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at approximately 8:04 p.m. Franklin Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call in the area of Hempstead Drive, on a report of a male shooting victim lying in the roadway. Responding Officers located the victim who was identified as Francis Vandy, age 35, of Buttercup Lane, Willingboro, New Jersey. Mr. Vandy was pronounced deceased at the scene from an apparent gunshot wound.

The homicide investigation revealed that upon hearing a gunshot, witnesses observed a dark, four door vehicle occupied by two black males flee from the scene. During the investigation detectives learned that the victim had made arrangements to meet with defendant Dashawn Carreker in the area of Hempstead Drive for a suspected marijuana transaction, arranged by defendant Derrick Carreker. The subsequent ten month investigation revealed that defendant Emendo Hill and defendant Daswhan Carreker drove to the area to rob the victim, and that Carreker shot and killed the victim during the robbery.

On July 1, 2015, detectives executed a Superior Court Search Warrant on a Berwick Circle residence, North Brunswick, New Jersey. Defendant Dashawn Carreker was located inside the residence and observed throwing a handgun as he attempted to flee and hide from officers. A quantity of suspected heroin, cocaine, and paraphernalia was seized by detectives during the execution of the search warrant.

On July 8, 2015, at approximately 1:22 a.m. New Brunswick Police responded to a report of a robbery on Hartwell Street. A 32 year old male victim reported to the responding officers that as he arrived home from work and parked his vehicle, two males approached him, pointed guns at him, and demanded money. The victim reported that the suspect struck him on the back of his head with a handgun and stole his wallet, and personal belongings. The victim later identified defendant Dashawn Carreker as one of the men who robbed him.

Defendant Dashawn Carreker, age 23, Seaman Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey was indicted for 1st degree murder (two counts); 1st degree robbery (three counts); 2nd degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose (three counts); 2nd degree conspiracy (three counts); 2nd degree unlawful possession of a handgun (three counts) 2nd degree aggravated assault, and 3rd degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance. Bail was set by the Honorable Bruce Jones, J.S.C. at $250,000 cash or bond.

Defendant Emendo Hill, aka “Sport”, age 27, of Vasser Drive, Piscataway Township, New Jersey was indicted for 1st degree murder (two counts); 1st degree robbery; 2nd degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose; 2nd degree conspiracy; 2nd degree unlawful possession of a handgun, and 3rd degree Hindering apprehension (three counts). Defendant Hill was arrested on Friday afternoon, April 29, 2016 on Bayard Street in New Brunswick by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Franklin Township Police Department. He was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail being set by the Honorable Bruce Jones, J.S.C. at $150,000 cash or bond.

Defendant Divendra Bhim, age 21, of Ray Street, Franklin Township, New Jersey was indicted for 1st degree robbery; 2nd degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose; 2nd degree aggravated assault; 2nd degree conspiracy and 3rd degree conspiracy.

Defendant Darral Black, age 48 , of Berwick Circle, North Brunswick, New Jersey, was indicted for 2nd degree possession with intent to distribute heroin, 3rd degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and 3rd degree possession with intent to distribute an imitation controlled dangerous substance.

Defendant Derrick Carreker, age 25, of Park Avenue, Somerville, New Jersey was indicted for 3rd degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

Defendant Darryl Latney, age 23, of Berwick Circle, North Brunswick, New Jersey was indicted for 3rd degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson stated that the following agencies assisted in this investigation:

- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
- New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office
- New Brunswick Police Department
- North Brunswick Police Department

The State’s case was presented by Acting Chief Assistant Prosecutor W. Brian Stack.


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 26, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIELD MAN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and North Plainfield Chief of Police William Parenti announce the arrest of Marvin Lewis, age 25, of U.S. Highway Route 22, North Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that on April 25, 2016, it was reported to the North Plainfield Borough Police Department that the victim, who detectives are only identifying as being under the age of 13 and known to the defendant, had been sexually assaulted by defendant Lewis within the jurisdiction of North Plainfield.

Detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit and the North Plainfield Borough Police Department initiated an investigation. Last evening, at approximately 7:00 p.m. defendant Lewis was located at his residence and was subsequently arrested without incident.

Defendant Lewis was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault, 1st Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 3rd Degree, and he was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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 25, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERSET COUNTY SWAT ACTIVATED IN HILLSBOROUGH

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell announces that Somerset County SWAT/Crisis Negotiations Team was activated on Saturday, April 23, 2016, for a barricaded suspect in Hillsborough Township.

At approximately 10:51 p.m. Hillsborough Township Police received a 9-1-1 call from a Fairfield Lane residence reporting that a male, later identified as Lawrence Davies, age 58, was in possession of a firearm and he was threatening to harm 2 others inside the residence.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. SWAT members made contact with defendant Davies, who was taken into custody without any further incident. Police recovered a .357 Magnum handgun from inside the residence.

Defendant Davies was transported to an area hospital for observation.

Defendant Davies was charged with Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, 2nd Degree, Terroristic Threats, 3rd Degree and Aggravated Assault, 4th Degree.

Bail was set by the Honorable Kevin M. Shanahan, J.S.C. at $75,000 cash or bond with the added condition that should the defendant make bail he is not to have contact with the victims.

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 25, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - C.A.R.T TEAM INVESTIGATES BRIDGEWATER MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Manuel Caravella announces that the investigation into yesterday’s motor vehicle crash is continuing.

On Sunday, April 24, 2016, at approximately 4:02 a.m. Bridgewater Township Police responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash on U.S. Highway Route 22. Responding officers located 2 vehicles with heavy front end damage. One of the vehicles, a 2002 Honda Civic, operated by Jessica M. Macario, age 28, of Fairview, N.J. was traveling westbound on the eastbound side of U.S. Highway Route 22. Between Vosseler and Thompson Avenues her vehicle struck a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder being operated by Edmund Eziaghighala, age 66, of Plainfield, N.J.

Both drivers were transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-New Bruswick for medical treatment.

The investigation is being conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office C.A.R.T. (Collision Analysis Reconstruction Team) and the Bridgewater Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit.

Anyone having information or who may have witnessed this crash is asked to contact Bridgewater Township Patrol Officer Jason Daunton at 908-722-4111.

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APRIL 25, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SECOND NORTH PLAINFIELD CVS ROBBERY SUSPECT IDENTIFIED AND CHARGED

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, and North Plainfield Borough Chief of Police William Parenti announce the arrest of Rashaun Taylor, age 29, of U.S. Highway Route 22 East, North Plainfield, New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson states that detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit have identified Rashaun Taylor as the second suspect who was with defendant James Munoz during the CVS armed robbery that occurred on April 19, 2016 in North Plainfield. Defendant Munoz was previously identified and charged on April 19, 2016.

Defendant Taylor was arrested and charged with Armed Robbery, 1st Degree and he was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Bail was set by the Honorable Kevin M. Shanahan, J.S.C. at $150,000 cash only.

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 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS 107 LBS OF MARIJUANA, FIREARMS, AND CASH

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell announces the arrest of Craig Ocleppo, age 30, of Zion Road, Hillsborough Township, New Jersey.

On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Hillsborough Township Police Department executed a Superior Court Search Warrant on defendant Ocleppo’s residence. During the search, detectives seized 107 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana, pre-packaged and in clear heat sealed plastic bags, was located in two steamer trunks. The estimated street value of the marijuana was $480,000.00.

Additionally, detectives also recovered nine firearms, to include handguns, rifles and shotguns. One of the weapons, a Sig Sauer Model SIG516 semi-automatic rifle 5.56 NATO, is prohibited under New Jersey law as an assault firearm. Eighteen large capacity ammunition magazines and U.S. Currency in the amount of $69,955.00 were also seized from the residence.

Defendant Ocleppo has been charged with Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute (Marijuana) 1st Degree, Possession of an Assault Firearm, 2nd Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Drug Offense, 2nd Degree and Possession of Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines, 4th Degree.

Defendant Ocleppo was lodged in the Somerset County Jail. At his 1:30 p.m. arraignment, the Honorable Kathy C. Quasim, J.S.C. set the defendant’s bail at $150,000.00 cash only.

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 12, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - “PERSONAL SAFETY FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS”

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and Somerset County Police Academy Director, Dr. Richard Celeste, announce that the Somerset County Police Academy will be offering a community program entitled “Personal Safety for High School Seniors”. This program will be open to all Somerset County students who will be graduating this spring.

As high school students prepare to graduate, many will be leaving home for new educational and job opportunities in unfamiliar areas. In preparation for this exciting, post-graduation time, the academy will be offering this program to prepare our graduates for their new adventures, whatever they may be.

The program is 3 hours and will be offered on two different dates, Monday, May 23, 2016, and again on Monday, June 13, 2016. Participants need to attend only one session. Each class session will be limited to 50 participants.

SOMERSET COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES ACADEMY/POLICE ACADEMY
402 ROYCEFIELD ROAD, HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Participants should dress in loose, comfortable clothing since the program is both informative and interactive. It is also recommended that all attendees bring a pad and writing instrument, along with a bottle of water.
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. 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.

Pre-registration is required before Wednesday, May 18, 2016. There is no fee to participate in this program. Parents/guardians are welcome to attend and observe.

Eligible students can register online by visiting the website: www.somersetcountypoliceacademy.com and by clicking on the “Community Events” and “Personal Safety for High School Seniors” tabs.
For more information please contact Detective Sergeant William Brown, at (908) 541-5035 or by email wbrown@co.somerset.nj.us

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APRIL 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BE A LEADER, SET THE EXAMPLE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Driver distraction or inattention is the number one cause of motor vehicle crashes in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties. Nationwide in 2014, there were 15,877 crashes reported to police. In 6,889 of these crashes officers conducting the investigation cited that “Driver Inattention” contributed to the cause of that motor vehicle crash.

While driver distraction or inattention can be caused by a number of activities such as: eating, drinking, reading, fixing the radio or simply talking to other occupants in the vehicle and the use of electronic communication devices, whether hands-on or hands-free , are at the top of the list.

A driver using a cell phone can be distracted in up to three different ways.

Mechanically:

Drivers take a hand off the wheel to work the device. When we learn to drive we are taught to have both hands on the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. When we remove one hand and stop paying attention to our driving it can cause the remaining hand on the wheel to drop or pull down on the wheel. This action will cause the vehicle to drift in that direction. If we aren’t paying attention we can drift off the road or into the oncoming lane.

Visually:

Drivers take their eyes off the road to look at the device. When we look away from the road to check our phone, studies have shown that we look away for between 4 to 6 seconds. When we are traveling at 40 miles per hour that equates to 58 feet per second or about the length of a football field traveled without us seeing what is in front of us.

Cognitively:

Drivers are thinking about what they are reading, hearing, saying or typing. Research is now showing this is the most critical. The human brain is trained to focus on one primary task. When a second task is introduced to the brain it will switch back and forth depending on the strength of the stimulus making one task primary and the second secondary. When a task is secondary the brain often does not process it, encode it or store it. This means we cannot retrieve the memory because we never really saw it.

As a driver have you ever been so engaged in a conversation with a passenger and you suddenly realized that you missed your exit? Have you ever driven somewhere and not remembered a section of your trip because you were thinking about something else? These are all examples of cognitive distraction while driving. Think about when you read something and someone comes over to talk to you, the first thing you do is stop reading so you can listen. While it is the polite thing to do, we do so because we cannot concentrate on what is being said to us as well as comprehend what we are reading.

A video, The Distracted Mind, released by Toyota explains why this is a problem and points out that it is our choice to be distracted by electronic devices. The video is available for viewing by visiting http://www.sctddd.org/the-distracted-mind.

Even though the month of April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month, non-Distracted Driving is important every month. By making smart, responsible choices we can work together to lower the number of crashes caused by distracted or inattentive driving. YOU can help combat this epidemic.

Put the Phone Down……Turn it Off…..Make the Pledge……Take the Challenge.

Be a leader, set the example.

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APRIL 4, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE INVESTIGATING SOMERVILLE ARMED ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce that detectives are continuing to investigate an armed robbery that occurred on Friday evening.

On April 1, 2016, at approximately 7:35 p.m., the Somerset County Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed robbery at a West End Avenue residence. Responding Somerville officers made contact with two (2) female victims, ages 24 and 28, both Somerville residents. The victims related that at approximately 7:30 p.m. an unknown male assailant, who was armed with a firearm, barged into their apartment and forcibly pushed the victims onto the bed while announcing a robbery. The victims stated that they were robbed of various electronic devices and cash.

Detectives from the Somerville Borough Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation.

According to the victims the suspect is identified as a black male, approximately 5’4” to 5’7”, heavy stock build, weighing approximately 250 lbs., and having brown eyes, puffy cheeks and trimmed facial hair. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark colored pants and carrying a backpack in the front of his chest. After committing the robbery the suspect fled on foot towards Main Street. The victims were not injured during the robbery.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson, Acting Chief Fitzgerald, 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 or the Somerville Borough Police Department at (908) 725-0331.

Those individuals wanting to remain anonymous are to call 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.

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APRIL 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - U DRIVE, U TEXT, U PAY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month and the objectives of the national high-visibility enforcement campaign U DRIVE, U TEXT, U PAY are to: conduct intense enforcement of cell phone laws and to convince drivers to obey the law.

From April 8 to April 13, 2016, law enforcement agencies throughout Somerset and Hunterdon Counties will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text or talk on their cell phones while driving.

“Driving and using an electronic communications device is not only dangerous and irresponsible-it’s illegal,” said Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson. “Drivers who violate our State’s cell phone law will be stopped and fined. This is a major problem on our roadways, and violators must realize that if you drive and text, you will pay.”

In 2014, on our nation’s highways, an estimated 3,179 people were killed (10% of all crash fatalities) and an additional 431,000 were injured (18% of all crash injuries) in motor vehicle crashes involv¬ing distracted drivers. Locally, there were 15,877 crashes reported to police in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties during 2014. Of those 6,889 or 43% were a result of driver inattention or distracted driving.

According to a 2014 special article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones.

“The use of an electronic communications device while operating a motor vehicle requires a motorist to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving. This is a recipe for a crash. This behavior is dangerous and illegal and no one has the right to put another person’s life at risk like that,” said Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III.

For more information, please visit www.distraction.gov and www.sctddd.org

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MARCH 23, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - CLINTON MAN CHARGED IN MANVILLE STABBING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Somerset County Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announce the arrest of Zachary T. Falso, age 26, of West Main Street, Clinton Borough, New Jersey.

Last evening at approximately 7:45 p.m., Manville Police received a report of a stabbing that occurred at a residence on South 3rd Avenue. Responding officers found the victim, whom authorities are identifying as a 52 year old Manville resident, on the porch of an acquaintance’s house. The victim was bleeding from a puncture wound to his abdomen and he identified his attacker as Zachary T. Falso.

The victim further informed police that he was involved in a verbal argument with defendant Falso over music. The argument escalated into a physical fight with punches being thrown. During the physical altercation defendant, Falso produced a knife and stabbed the victim in the abdomen. The victim was transported by emergency medical technicians to an area trauma center where the he underwent emergency surgery and is expected to survive.

After stabbing the victim defendant Falso fled from the area in his vehicle. Manville Police Officer Richard Canuso contacted defendant Falso on his cellular phone and the defendant agreed to respond to Manville Police Headquarters where he was subsequently taken into custody without incident. At the time of his arrest defendant Falso was found to be in possession of 2 knives.

Detectives from the Manville Borough Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to conduct the investigation.

Defendant Falso was charged with Aggravated Assault, 3rd Degree and Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, 3rd Degree.

Defendant Falso was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - THREE CHARGED IN GAS STATION ROBBERIES

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Manuel Caravela, Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning and North Plainfield Borough Chief of Police William Parenti announce the arrests of Sahil Ram, age 19, of Paterson Plank Road, in Secaucus, N. J., Jaylen M. Folk, age 19, and Evan Moore, age 21, both of Hamilton Street, in Somerville, N.J.

On January 30, 2016, at approximately 7:20 p.m., two masked males robbed the BP Gas Station located at 1240 U.S. Highway 22 East, in Bridgewater Township. The attendant reported to responding officers that two masked males entered and approached him in the attendant’s booth. One suspect demanded money from him while the other held a knife to his neck. One suspect was wearing distinctive red sneakers. After taking approximately $70.00, one of the suspects dropped the knife in the booth before both suspects fled the area on foot.

Later, at approximately 8:36 p.m., two masked males robbed an attendant at the Shell Gas Station located at 176 West End Avenue in Somerville. The suspects were wearing similar clothing, including distinctive red sneakers. During the robbery, the suspects brandished a knife and punched the attendant. The suspects took a cash register drawer containing approximately $640 and 15 packs of cigarettes. Before fleeing one of the suspects dropped a 12” knife on the floor of the booth.

Approximately one hour after the Somerville robbery, two masked males approached an attendant at the BP Gas Station located at 1292
U. S. Highway Route 22 East in North Plainfield. The attendant became suspicious and called North Plainfield Police. Officers responded immediately and were able to apprehend Jaylen Folk as the suspects attempted to flee the area. At the time of his arrest defendant Folk was wearing red sneakers.

Detectives from the Somerville, Bridgewater Township and North Plainfield Police Departments along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation.

Since defendant Folk’s arrest, detectives actively pursued leads and conducted interviews which ultimately led to the identifications of Evan Moore and Sahil Ram.

On Friday, March 18, 2016, at approximately 11:30 a.m., detectives arrested defendant Moore at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. Defendant Moore was charged with Robbery, 2nd Degree and Attempted Robbery, 2nd Degree. Bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Qasim.

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, at approximately 1:45 p.m., Somerville Police Patrol Sergeant Darrin Dipalma, while on patrol observed defendant Folk in the area of Veterans Memorial Drive. Sergeant Dipalma subsequently approached defendant Folk where he was taken into custody without incident. Defendant Folk was charged with 2 counts of Robbery, 1st Degree and Attempted Robbery, 2nd Degree. Bail was set at $100,000 cash or bond by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Goodzeit.

This morning at 9:15 a.m., with the assistance of the Secaucus Police Department, detectives arrested defendant Ram was at his residence. Defendant Ram was charged with 2 counts of Robbery, 1st Degree and 1 count of Attempted Robbery, 2nd Degree.

All three defendants were lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson and Acting Chief Fitzgerald request anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, 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 defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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MARCH 18, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS LARGE SEIZURE OF HEROIN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce the arrest of William Brown, age 59, of North Gaston Avenue, Somerville, New Jersey.

Subsequent to a three (3) week investigation regarding the distribution of heroin by William Brown, detectives with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force obtained a Superior Court Search Warrant for Brown’s residence.

On March 17, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m. Task Force detectives executed the search warrant. Defendant Brown was located inside the residence and the search resulted in the seizure of 2,156 folds of heroin and $557.00 in U.S. Currency.

The approximate street value of the heroin seized is $21,560.00.

Defendant Brown was charged with Possession of CDS (Heroin) with the Intent to Distribute, 2nd Degree.

Defendant Brown was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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 17, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION IN WARREN TOWNSHIP YIELDS LARGE SEIZURE OF MARIJUANA, HASHISH AND CASH

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Acting Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano and Warren Township Chief of Police William Keane announce the arrest of Kai Peter, age 35, of Warren Township, New Jersey.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that on March 16, 2016, a male later identified as Kai Peter, would be leaving his Mount Horeb Road residence in a gray Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck and he would be in possession of marijuana.

At approximately 8:25 p.m. a Task Force surveillance team observed defendant Peter leave his residence and enter the pickup truck. At approximately 8:30 p.m. a motor vehicle stop was conducted in the area of King George Road.

Detectives approached the vehicle and advised defendant Peter of the ongoing narcotics investigation. Somerset County Sheriff’s Office K-9 “Apex” and his handler responded to the scene to assist in the investigation. Subsequent to conducting an exterior sniff of the vehicle the K-9 gave a positive indication for the presence of narcotics inside the vehicle. Detectives obtained a Superior Court search warrant for the defendant’s vehicle and residence. A search of the pickup truck resulted in the seizure of a yellow bag containing 8 pounds of marijuana. The bag was located on the rear seat of the vehicle.

A search of the residence resulted in the seizure of 98 pounds of marijuana, 4.5 pounds of hashish, 3 pounds of hashish candy and $20,637 in U.S. Currency. Detectives also located an indoor grow for Psilocybin Mushrooms and germinating Psilocybin Mushroom seeds inside a refrigerator.

A packaging area for the marijuana and hashish was located in the basement of the residence. From this area, detectives seized a heat sealer, heat sealer bags, scales, artificial lighting, grow pots, hygrometer, a grinder, fans, gloves, mason jars, flexible ductwork, filters and a Mossberg .22 long rifle. The residence was equipped with an air filtration system.

The street value of the marijuana seized is approximately $477,000, the Hashish approximately $112,500 and the Psilocybin mushrooms approximately $90,000.

Defendant Peter was charged with Possession of CDS (Marijuana) with Intent to Distribute, 1stDegree, Possession of CDS (Hashish) with Intent to Distribute, 1st Degree, Maintaining a CDS Production Facility, 1st degree, Possession of a Firearm While Committing a CDS offense, 2nd Degree, Possession of CDS (Psilocybin Mushroom) 3rd degree, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

Defendant Peter was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set at $300,000 cash only by Honorable Kathy C. Qasim, J.S.C.

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 17, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS FOR THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF 4 FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP POLICE OFFICERS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that Archie L. Ashley, age 27, of Seeley Road, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey, was sentenced today by the Honorable Robert B. Reed, P.J.Cr., to 25 years in state prison. On June 26, 2015 defendant Ashley had pleaded guilty to four counts of Attempted Murder, 1st Degree and one count each of Disarming a Law Enforcement Officer, 1st Degree, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 2nd Degree, Resisting Arrest, 3rd Degree, Burglary, 3rd Degree, Theft, 3rd Degree and Criminal Mischief, 3rd Degree. He had also pleaded guilty to Burglary, 3rd Degree, and Theft, 3rd Degree relating to an incident on June 20, 2013. Defendant must serve approximately 18 years before he is eligible for parole.

On Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at approximately 9:41 p.m. Franklin Township Police were dispatched to a Buttonwood Drive residence regarding an activated burglar alarm. Responding Officers met with the homeowner who related that when she arrived home she noticed that a living room window had been broken and blood droppings were on the floor. The officers cleared the residence with negative results for the suspect.

During the search of the neighborhood, a Franklin Township Officer observed a male, subsequently identified as defendant Ashley, walking towards the rear of St. Mathias Church on Overbrook Road. The officer observed that he was wearing a white t-shirt with stains that appeared to be fresh blood. The officer exited his marked police vehicle and directed defendant Ashley to stop walking to which he complied. During the course of the stop, defendant Ashley refused to cooperate with the officer’s additional commands and became aggressive towards the officer. Subsequent to the arresting officer’s advisement that defendant Ashley was being placed under arrest, a physical altercation ensued. The defendant was taken to the ground where he continued to resist arrest and violently assault the officer. While on the ground, defendant Ashley began to grab at the officer’s duty weapon, and he eventually succeeded in removing the weapon from the holster. The officer struggled to regain control of his weapon. Defendant Ashley continued to fight with the officer and verbally threatened to kill the officer. Defendant Ashley purposely fired one shot—at extremely close range--barely missing the officer.

Acting Prosecutor Robertson further states that additional Franklin Patrol Units arrived to assist the officer who was still on the ground with the defendant. With the original officer and additional officers attempting to remove the weapon from defendant Ashley’s control, defendant Ashley managed to purposely fire a second shot. After being disarmed, defendant Ashley continued to fight with the officers by throwing punches while on the ground. The officers involved in this incident were transported to an area hospital for injuries they sustained during this encounter. They were all treated and released.

Regarding the June 20, 2013 incident, a Cedar Brook Drive home in Franklin Township was burglarized and various items were taken. Exterior security cameras on the home captured the suspect and defendant Ashley was identified as the individual who committed the burglary. Additionally, fingerprint evidence also connected defendant to that burglary.

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

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MARCH 16, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NORTH PLAINFIELD MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING BROOKLYN WOMAN

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announces that a Somerset County Jury has found Felix Nehemias Graves-Dardon, age 35, of Prospect Place, North Plainfield, New Jersey, guilty of first degree murder of Yadira Blaimayer-Ortiz, age 30, a resident of Brooklyn, New York. Defendant was also found guilty of third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose after a 2½ week trial before the Honorable Robert B. Reed, P.J.Cr. The jury deliberated for approximately 10 hours before delivering their verdict this afternoon.

On August 12, 2012, at approximately 12:27 a.m., the North Plainfield Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a suspicious incident within a first floor apartment on Prospect Place. Responding officers met with the tenant of the apartment who reported that she had just observed defendant Graves-Dardon, who sublets a bedroom, standing naked in the kitchen where he was cleaning up a blood covered floor. Upon seeing the tenant, the defendant fled into the basement area of the residence as the tenant notified police. The officers subsequently located defendant Graves-Dardon in the basement wrapped in blood-soaked bedding. There was also blood in various locations in the apartment, including the kitchen, the basement and defendant Graves-Dardon’s bedroom.

Officers conducted a canvass around the exterior of the residence where they located the deceased body of Ms. Blaimayer-Ortiz in an alley on the east side of the residence. The victim had suffered severe and visible trauma to her body. Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department in conjunction with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Squad and the Crime Scene Investigations (C.S.I.) and Forensics Units responded to conduct the investigation. The New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office and the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences also assisted in the investigation and prosecution of the case. The post mortem examination by the Medical Examiner revealed that the victim had been strangled and also had been stabbed repeatedly to her neck, including severing of the jugular vein, and other areas of her body.

Defendant Graves-Dardon had been held in the Somerset County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 cash only bail. Immediately following the verdict, Judge Reed ordered that defendant be held without bail pending sentencing which is scheduled for May 13, 2016. Defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The State was represented by Acting Chief Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Robert J. Hawkes and Acting Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Nathan C. Howe, with the assistance of Paralegal Ellen Kimmel-Kirschbaum.

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MARCH 11, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - NARCOTICS INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF STUN GUN, HEROIN, COCAINE AND XANAX PILLS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Bound Brook Borough Chief of Police Michael Jannone announce the arrest of Brittany Bennett, age 28, and Keith Carluccio, age, 47, both of Fisher Avenue, Bound Brook, New Jersey.

On March 10, 2016, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that a black female with dreadlocks, later identified at Brittany Bennett, would be operating a silver Nissan Altima in the area of Vosseller Avenue and she would be in possession of cocaine and heroin. At approximately 9:45 p.m., a surveillance team consisting of Task Force detectives observed parked silver Nissan Altima with a black female entering the driver’s side of the vehicle. A male, later identified as Keith Carluccio, entered the passenger side of the vehicle. A motor vehicle stop of the vehicle was conducted by detectives on Grove Avenue.

Defendants Bennett and Carluccio were advised of the ongoing narcotics investigation. Bennett gave detectives voluntary consent to search both person and vehicle. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 19 folds of heroin located under the front passenger seat. Detectives also located a grey backpack in the trunk of the vehicle that contained 13 grams of raw heroin, 17 Xanax pills, a Vipertek stun gun and $4,575 in U.S. Currency. Defendant Bennett was also found to have $2,962.00 in U.S. Currency in her wallet

Defendants Bennett and Carluccio were transported to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office for processing. At this location defendant Bennett voluntarily turned over an additional 11 folds of heroin and 2 small baggies containing cocaine, which she had on her person.

The approximate street value of the heroin seized in this investigation is $1,600.00.

Defendant Brittany Bennett was charged with Possession of a Weapon While Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd Degree, Possession of CDS (Heroin) with Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Xanax) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree and Possession of CDS (Heroin) 3rd Degree.

Defendant Keith Carluccio was charged with Possession of CDS (Heroin) 3rd Degree and he was released on his own recognizance.

Defendant Bennett was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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 11. 2016
NEWS RELEASE - ST. PATTY’S DAY CELEBRATION CHECKLIST

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – As one of our country’s most popular holidays, St. Patrick’s Day has long celebrated the roots of 34.2 million Americans with Irish ancestry. But did you know that in 2014, there were 18 people killed on our nation’s highways in drunk-driving crashes on St. Paddy’s Day? This year, if you’ll be consuming alcohol, Somerset County law enforcement officials have some advice for you: Don’t drink and drive. Agencies throughout Somerset County will be conducting supplemental enforcement patrols throughout the holiday to crack down on drunk drivers and keep the roadways safe for everyone.

Tragically, March 17th has become one of the nation’s deadliest holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m., March 16, to 5:59 a.m., March 18), more than a quarter (28%) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The early hours of March 18th were even worse: between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. In fact, from 2010 to 2014, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had BACs well above the .08 legal limit, with 266 drunk-driving fatalities total. Motorists need to keep an eye out for pedestrians who may have had too much to drink; walking while intoxicated can also be deadly as lack of attention and coordination puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting struck by a vehicle.

“We want to encourage everyone to make a plan before heading out to the festivities. Drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. If you are caught driving drunk, you will be arrested,” Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson warned.

Designate a sober driver before you and your friends celebrate. Do not wait until you’ve already been drinking to find a sober driver, and never try to drive when you’re drunk. Even one drink is dangerous if you’re behind the wheel of a car.

In order to make your 2016 St. Patty Day celebrations safe, this party-planning checklist:

- Designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely.
-Find the name of a taxi company and their phone number
-Leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. Ensure your designated driver has committed to a sober evening. If you’re the designated driver, do not drink. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and tweet your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #designateddriver.

“Alcohol not only dangerously impairs your driving skills—it impairs your judgement. If you see a friend drinking alcohol, make sure they don’t plan to drive” said Chief William Parenti, President of the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police.

Not only is drinking and driving an offense that could land you with a hefty court bill and jail time, but you put yourself and others at risk. If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police when it’s safe to do so.
You could save a life.

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MARCH 10, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF HEROIN, COCAINE AND PERCOCET PILLS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Acting Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Franklin Township Police Chief Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of D’Andre Walker, age 28, of Phillips Road, in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

On February 25, 2016, at approximately 8:00 p.m. an undercover detective assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force met with defendant Walker in a parking lot off of Phillips Road. During this meeting defendant Walker sold the detective 50 folds of heroin.

On March 3, 2016, at approximately 9:00 p.m. the undercover detective met once again with defendant Walker at the same location and he sold the detective another 50 folds of heroin.

On March 9, 2016, the undercover detective met with defendant Walker for a third time at the same location. This time defendant Walker sold the detective 50 folds of heroin and 2 small plastic baggies containing Cocaine. Once the transaction was completed Task Force Detectives approached defendant Walker and placed him under arrest without incident. Defendant Walker was found to be in possession of $220.00 in U.S. Currency.

Subsequently, additional Task Force detectives executed a Superior Court Search Warrant on defendant Walker’s residence. The search resulted in the seizure of 105 folds heroin, 3 Percocet pills and a scale, all located in the defendant’s bedroom dresser.

The approximate street value of the heroin seized in this investigation is $2,550.00.

Defendant Walker was charged with 3 counts of Distribution of CDS (Heroin), 3rd Degree, Distribution of CDS (Cocaine), 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Heroin) with Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Percocet), 3rd Degree and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

Defendant Walker was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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 10, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - COUNTYWIDE DRE PROGRAM STARTED IN SOMERSET COUNTY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - As drunk driving rates continue to fall nationwide, a new danger is on the rise, “drugged” driving. Recent studies show a steady increase in motorists operating motor vehicles while under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. This alarming trend is posing challenges for traffic enforcement officials who do not have a roadside test for drugged driving and often have difficulty recognizing the signs.

Thanks to a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (DHTS) awarded to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County now has a new tool to meet this challenge. Starting this month, eight (8) police officers who are specially trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) will be on call throughout the county to assist municipal officers involved in traffic stops where a driver appears impaired but not due to alcohol consumption. These officers from various police departments throughout Somerset County have been trained and certified to conduct an evaluation of impaired drivers who do not have a positive alcohol breath test (Alcotest) reading. The DRE’s findings will be confirmed by toxicological testing.

“We welcome the expertise of these DRE officers,” said Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson. “Police officers are routinely trained in detecting alcohol intoxication, but relatively few are schooled in recognizing when drivers are drug-impaired. These DRE officers can be called in to assist in cases where a driver fails a field sobriety test but does not test positive for alcohol.”

The police departments in Somerset County that employ trained DRE officers are: Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bridgewater, Montgomery, South Bound Brook, Warren Township. Departments without DREs on staff can contact Somerset County Communications and request that one of these DREs respond to assist with their investigation.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office is the latest County agency to set up a County “callout” process through grants from the DHTS.

“These specially trained officers are already proving to be valuable assets in safeguarding New Jersey roadways for the motoring public,” said Gary Poedubicky, Acting Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “They’re being deployed regularly and, as a result, we’re seeing increases in the number of DUI cases where drivers are not under the influence of alcohol. These are cases that might otherwise have slipped through the cracks had it not been for the expertise of the DRE officers.”

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FEBRUARY 22, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRONX MAN CHARGED WITH AGGRAVATED ASSAULT IN NORTH PLAINFIELD

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and North Plainfield Borough Chief of Police William Parenti announce the arrest of Denis Jose Cabrera-Ramierz, age 24, of Hone Avenue, Bronx, New York.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at approximately 12:32 a.m. North Plainfield Police received a 911 call reporting an assault that had occurred outside a Somerset Street social club. Responding officers located the victim, a 23 year old male, who had severe head injuries. The victim was treated by North Plainfield EMTs and was transported to a nearby trauma center. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

Officers met with security personnel from the social club who had detained the suspect identified as Denis Jose Cabrera-Ramierz. The defendant was arrested without incident.

Detectives from the North Plainfield Police Department responded to conduct the investigation.

The investigation revealed that after a verbal argument in the club’s parking lot defendant Cabrera-Ramierz removed an aluminum baseball bat from his parked vehicle and struck the victim in the head with the bat.

Defendant Cabrera-Ramierz has been charged with Aggravated Assault, 2nd Degree, Aggravated Assault, 3rd Degree and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, 3rd Degree.

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, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION YIELDS SEIZURE OF OVER A QUARTER KILOGRAM OF COCAINE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of Juan Jose’ Morales-Bustos, age 28, of Serviss Street, North Brunswick, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on December 4, 2015, at approximately 8:00 p.m., an undercover detective assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force met with Morales-Bustos inside the defendant’s vehicle that was parked in a Route 27 restaurant parking lot. During this meeting defendant Morales-Bustos sold the undercover detective 22 grams of cocaine.

The same undercover detective met with defendant Morales-Bustos in the same restaurant parking lot on five more occasions between December 4, 2015 and February 10, 2016. The total amount of cocaine purchased during these meetings was 165 grams.

On February 12, 2016, the undercover detective once again met with defendant Morales-Bustos in the same restaurant parking lot. During this meeting Morales-Bustos sold the undercover detective 160 grams of cocaine. Once the drug transaction was completed a surveillance team consisting of Task Force detectives approached the defendant’s vehicle and placed Morales-Bustos under arrest without incident.

Subsequently, defendant Morales-Bustos gave detectives voluntary consent to search his bedroom at his residence in North Brunswick, New Jersey. The search resulted in the seizure of one gram of cocaine and drug paraphernalia: plastic bags, scale, spoon and a cutting agent.

The approximate street value of the cocaine seized in this investigation is $34,700.

Defendant Juan Jose’ Morales-Bustos was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Bail was set by the Honorable Peter J. Tober, J.S.C., at $200,000 cash only.

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 16. 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRANCHBURG HOMICIDE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano announces that the New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, with the assistance of a forensic odonatologist, has positively identified the two homicide victims that were discovered by law enforcement personnel this past Saturday, February 13, 2016 in Branchburg Township, New Jersey as Louis Simon, age 78 and his wife Beatrice Simon, age 65, both of 115 Readington Road, Branchburg Township, New Jersey.

The cause and manner of death of both victims was blunt force trauma to the head.

Both deaths have been ruled as homicides.

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FEBRUARY 16, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN SHOOTING INVESTIGATION

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce that there is an active investigation into a shooting that occurred in the early morning hours on Monday, February 15, 2016.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on February 15, 2016 at 12:39 a.m., the Franklin Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting that an individual had been shot on Ambrose Street in the Somerset section of Franklin Township. Several patrol units arrived on scene but were unable to locate a victim. The patrol units did, however, discover a small pool of blood in the roadway. As officers were establishing a perimeter around the crime scene, they were notified by a local area hospital that a gunshot victim, who had just arrived, was being treated.

Officers responded to the hospital and determined that the victim, a 26 year old New Brunswick man, was the individual that had been shot on Ambrose Street. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his hand and torso. The wounds do not appear to be life threatening.

Prosecutor Soriano, Chief Fitzgerald and Chief Roberts request anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533, the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, 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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FEBRUARY 14, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRANCHBURG MAN CHARGED WITH 2 COUNTS OF MURDER

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young and Readington Township Chief of Police Sebastian Donaruma announce the arrest of Ezra Simon – Daniels, age 20, of Readington Road in Branchburg Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that at on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at approximately 5:57 a.m. Readington Township Police received a 911 call from a distraught Simon-Daniels who reported that he was in the Walmart parking lot on Route 22 in Whitehouse. Readington Township Police responded and met with Simon-Daniels who was seated in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle. He was covered in blood but did not have any visible wounds on his body.

At approximately 6:15 a.m. Readington Township Police contacted Branchburg Police and requested that they assist them in conducting a welfare check at the defendant’s residence. After knocking several times and getting no response officers entered the residence where they discovered an elderly male and female, both apparent homicide victims. Both victims had significant blunt force trauma to their heads. A search of the residence by the officers for additional victims proved negative. Branchburg and Readington Township Officers secured the property as a crime scene.

Detectives from the Branchburg Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Somerset County Crime Scene Investigations and Forensic Unit responded to conduct the investigation. An investigator from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiners Office also responded to assist in the investigation.

Prosecutor Soriano states that the preliminary investigation has revealed that both victims were lying in bed when they were assaulted. The suspected murder weapon, an aluminum baseball bat, was located inside the house.

Post-Mortem examinations of the victims will be conducted by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiners Office to confirm their identities, cause and manner of death.

Defendant Simon-Daniels has been charged with 2 counts of Murder, 1st Degree.

After processing at the Branchburg Township Police headquarters defendant Simon - Daniels was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Bail was set by the Honorable Peter J. Tober, J.S.C. at $2,000,000.

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 5, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano announces that Christopher Krafsky, age 33, of Garretson Road in Bridgewater Township, was sentenced today by the Honorable Bruce Jones, J.S.C. to 12 years in state prison. On December 10, 2015 a Somerset County Jury found defendant Krafsky guilty of Strict Liability for a Drug Induced Death, 1st Degree.



Prosecutor Soriano states that on December 24, 2013, at approximately 6:00 a.m. Lisa Johnson found her twenty-two year old son, Richard Johnson, dead in the basement of their Hillsborough Township residence. Various items of narcotics paraphernalia found near Mr. Johnson at the time of his death suggested that he had died of a heroin overdose. The cause of death was later confirmed to be heroin toxicity. An autopsy was conducted at the New Jersey Office of the State Medical Examiner and by a toxicology analysis performed at the State Toxicology Laboratory. Expert testimony presented at trial confirmed that Mr. Johnson’s fatal heroin ingestion was recent, within no more than hours before his death.

The criminal investigation was conducted by the Hillsborough Township Police Department. Detectives found text messages on Mr. Johnson’s cell phone which was in his pocket at the time of his death. The messages revealed that on the evening of December 23, 2013, he had been reaching out via texts to a contact listed as “Mat”. During the texts, it was apparent to detectives that he was attempting to meet “Mat” on the night of December 23rd and that he was asking “Mat” to sell him narcotics. It was also apparent to law enforcement that “Mat”, in response, was agreeing to sell Mr. Johnson drugs where “Mat” communicated the price of the drugs and a quantity.

Police obtained subscriber information associated with the cellular telephone number belonging to “Mat”. Subscriber information revealed that this telephone number was registered to a P.O. Box in California, under the name Christopher Krafsky. Further police investigation revealed that an individual named Christopher Krafsky lived locally in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

In January 2014, a detective from the Hillsborough Township Police Department met Krafsky at the Bridgewater Mall. The detective told Krafsky that he was investigating the death of Richard Johnson. Krafsky, who did not know Mr. Johnson by name, recognized a picture of him and admitted to the detective that he sold Mr. Johnson three bags of heroin for $15.00 per bag on the night of December 23, 2013 in Somerville, N.J.

Prosecutor Soriano states that that this conviction represents defendant Krafsky’s 6th indictable conviction and that he was on probation for possession with intent to distribute when he committed this crime.

Defendant Krafsky must serve 85% of the 12 year sentence in the New Jersey State Prison before being eligible for parole.

At The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Merrill Mezzacappa.

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FEBRUARY 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - THREE ARRESTED IN MANVILLE AFTER HANDGUN LOCATED IN TRUNK OF VEHICLE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announce the arrests of Rashiene Rochester, age 22, of Robert Court, Franklin Township, New Jersey, Malcolm Allen, age 22, of Martin Street, Franklin Township, New Jersey and a 16 year old juvenile from Franklin Township.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on February 2, 2016, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that two black males would be arriving at the Marketplace at Manville and they would be in possession of CDS. Additionally, the vehicle that they would be operating was a black Mazda 3.

At approximately 4:30 p.m. a surveillance team consisting of Task Force detectives, observed a black four-door Mazda 3 arriving at the Marketplace. Three black males exited the vehicle and were were later identified as Malcolm Allen, Rashiene Rochester and a juvenile. Detectives observed the three occupants as they walked to the rear of the vehicle. Subsequent to opening the trunk of the vehicle defendant Rochester and the juvenile walked towards a store in the Marketplace. Detectives approached and detained both individuals without incident.

Additional detectives approached defendant Allen who had returned to the interior of the vehicle. After being advised of the ongoing narcotics investigation defendant Rochester voluntarily consented for detectives to search his vehicle. A search of the vehicle resulted in seizure of a loaded Ruger .22 Caliber handgun with nine (9) rounds of ammunition in the trunk of the vehicle.

All three defendants were charged with Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, 2nd Degree.

Defendants Rochester and Allen were lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Bail for both defendants was set by the Honorable Kevin Shanahan, J.S.C., Defendant Rochester’s was set at $100,000 with 10% option to apply and defendant Allen’s was set at $50,000 with 10% option to apply.

The juvenile was lodged in Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.

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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FEBUARY 3, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - MANVILLE NARCOTICS INVESTIGTION YIELDS COCAINE, OXYCODONE, OXYCONTIN AND SUBOXONE SEIZURE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack and Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano announce the arrests of Travis Decker, age 27, of Thomas Aveune, Tuckerton, New Jersey and Hernan Rosario, age 27, of Jasper Street, Paterson, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on Febuary 1, 2016, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that a Hispanic male, along with a white male passenger, would be arriving at the Marketplace at Manville, driving a black four-door Jeep Wrangler, and they would be in possession of cocaine and prescription pills. Task Force detectives established a surveillance in the area of the Marketplace at Manville. At approximately 3:00 p.m., a black four-door Jeep Wrangler arrived and parked at the Market Place. Detectives approached the vehicle and detained the driver Hernan Rosario and his passenger Travis Decker without incident.

Somerset County Sheriff’s K-9 “Apex” and his handler responded to the scene and conducted an exterior sniff of the vehicle. The K-9 gave a positive indication for the presence of CDS inside the vehicle. Subsequently, detectives obtained a Superior Court Search Warrant for the vehicle and both occupants. Defendant Decker was found to be in possession 4 ounces of cocaine, 50 Oxycodone pills and 57 Oxycontin pills in his pant pockets. Also found in Decker’s wallet were 2 Suboxone strips and $267.00 in U.S. currency.

Defendant Rosario was found to be in possession of 3 grams of cocaine and $1,707.00 in U.S. currency in the inside left pocket of his jacket.

A search of the Jeep Wrangler resulted in the seizure of 1 gram of cocaine, 13 Oxycodone and drug paraphernalia (small zip-lock bags).

The estimated street value of the cocaine seized is $11,720,
Oycodone Pills $1,575, Oxycontin Pills $1,425 and Suboxone strips $50.

Defendants Travis Decker and Hernan Rosario were each charged with Possession of CDS (Cocaine) with Intent to Distribute, 2nd Degree, Possession of CDS (Oxycodone) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Oxycontin) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Suboxone), 3rd Degree and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

Both defendants were lodged in the Somserset County Jail. The Honorable Honorable Kevin Shanahan, J.S.C., set bail for defendant Decker at $150,000.00 cash only and for defendant Rosario the bail was set at $75,000 cash only.

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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FEBRUARY 3. 2016
NEWS RELEASE - 2 CHARGED IN FRANKLIN TOWSHIP ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrests of Bradley St. Clair, age 20, of Fenfield Place, Dunellen, New Jersey and Andre Quinn, age 22, of Buffa Drive in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on February 1, 2016 at approximately 8:56 p.m., Franklin Township Police responded to a report of a robbery in the parking lot of an office supply store located on Easton Avenue. Responding officers met with the victim “Jane Doe” who reported that, upon exiting the store, she observed two (2) males standing in front of her parked vehicle. As she got closer to her vehicle, one of the males approached her, and as she tried to back away he sprayed her in the face with a liquid substance that irritated both her eyes and facial skin. The males then physically grabbed her purse from her. The purse contained her house and car keys, credit cards and personal papers. After taking the purse, the suspects ran back to their vehicle. As the suspects drove away, the victim was able to obtain the license plate and color of the vehicle.

The victim described the suspects as two black males with one suspect wearing a leather jacket.

A short time later, a Franklin Township patrol observed the suspect vehicle, a black Nissan Sentra bearing the reported license plates. The vehicle was occupied with two occupants, and it was traveling on Franklin Boulevard. The patrol followed the vehicle until backup units arrived. Once additional units arrived a motor vehicle stop was conducted on Irvington Avenue. As the officers approached the vehicle, they observed that Bradley St. Clair was wearing a leather jacket and the contents of the victim’s purse were strewn about the floor of the vehicle.

Both defendants were placed under arrest without incident. Defendant St. Clair was found to be in possession of a small quantity of marijuana inside a pink plastic baggie in a pocket of the leather jacket.

The victim’s purse was retrieved from a roadway where the suspects discarded same.
Defendants Quinn and St. Clair were each charged with Robbery, 2nd Degree and Possession of Marijuana (under 50 grams) a Disorderly Persons Offense.

The defendants were lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail being set for each by the Honorable Bruce Jones, J.S.C. at $75,000 cash only.

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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FEBRUARY 2, 2016
NEWS RELEASE – RARITAN ATTORNEY FOUND DECEASED IN MOTOR VEHICLE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano states that at approximately 6:51 a.m. the Raritan Borough Police Department responded to a welfare request regarding Richard P. Schubach who was thought to have been at his law office located at 1124 Route 202. At 7:35 a.m., responding officers located Mr. Schubach in his personal vehicle parked outside an office complex adjacent to Mr. Schubach’s law office. Mr. Schubach was unresponsive with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes detectives responded to the scene to assist Raritan Borough police. Mr. Schubach was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:05 a.m. by EMT’s from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset.
Mr. Schubach was transported to the New Jersey Northern Medical Examiner’s Office where a post mortem examination will be conducted.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - HILLSBOROUGH MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ASSAULT BY AUTO AND OTHER OFFENSES

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano announces that Clint T. Benson, age 24, of Amwell Road in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, pled guilty in Superior Court today to charges of Assault by Auto, 3rd Degree, Possession of Hollow Point Bullets, 4th Degree and Possession of Narcotic Paraphernalia, a Disorderly Persons offense. Defendant Benson also pled guilty to a series of motor vehicle summonses charging him with possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle; reckless driving; failure to report a motor vehicle accident; leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and driving while intoxicated. The State will move to dismiss the remaining counts of the indictment after sentence is imposed, specifically Aggravated Assault, 2nd Degree; Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, 3rd Degree and Endangering an Injured Victim, 3rd Degree as well as remaining motor vehicle charges.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at approximately 2:59 a.m., Branchburg Police responded to Woodfern Road on a report of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle. Responding officers located Richard Lachner, age 26, of Flemington, New Jersey lying in the roadway. The Branchburg Rescue Squad, along with Somerset Medical Center Paramedics, responded and transported the victim to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Trauma Center. Mr. Lachner was treated for internal injuries, a fractured skull, a broken hand and lacerations about his body.

The investigation conducted by Branchburg Township Police Department detectives revealed that Mr. Lachner had confronted defendant Benson about his reckless driving while Benson was seated behind the wheel of his vehicle. After the confrontation, defendant Benson accelerated his Nissan Frontier pickup truck and struck Mr. Lachner from behind as he was walking back toward a restaurant on Woodfern Road. After impact, defendant Benson continued in a southerly direction on Woodfern Road. A short distance away, defendant Benson crashed his vehicle into a guard rail near the intersection of Lehigh and Woodfern Roads causing the vehicle to become inoperable. Defendant Benson and a passenger were located at the second crash scene. Further investigation revealed that defendant Benson’s BAC to be .20%.
A Superior Court Search Warrant was executed on the truck driven by defendant in this incident. Police seized fifty (50) .22 caliber hollow point bullets in the center console.

On March 20, 2013 the defendant posted bail in the amount of $100,000.00 cash. As conditions of his bail he was ordered not to have contact with the victim and he is not permitted to drive between sunset and 4:00 a.m. .

Sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2016.

The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Frank P. Kolodzieski, II.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - POLICE CHARGE RARITAN ATTORNEY FOR CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald announce the arrest of Richard P. Schubach, age 58, of Pine Hill Road, Stockton, New Jersey.


Prosecutor Soriano states that in December of 2015, a concerned citizen contacted the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office in reference to allegations involving Richard Schubach in connection with his legal practice. The information received from the citizen revealed how Schubach offered some of his female clients a reduced price for his legal fees in exchange for sexual favors.

In response to the allegations received, a female undercover detective met with Schubach on January 28, 2016 at his law office located at 1124 Route 202 in Raritan to discuss a matter under the guise that the undercover detective was facing criminal charges. During this initial meeting, Schubach requested that she return to his office the next day with further documentation about her criminal matter. Prior to leaving this initial meeting, Schubach asked the undercover detective to wear something “pretty” for their next meeting.

On January 29, 2016, the undercover detective met again with Schubach at his law office for their arranged meeting. During this meeting, as the detective was seated in a chair, Schubach approached her and without permission or prompting, placed his hand into/under the undercover detective’s blouse and began fondling her breast. After briefly stepping away he, again, approached her and placed his hand into/under her blouse and onto her breast a second time. During this meeting Schubach also placed his hand on the inner thigh of the detective.

Thereafter, the undercover detective stood up while telling Schubach “I don’t like this” and attempted to leave his office. Defendant Schubach asked her to “hold on” before she opened the door to exit his law office. He approached her by the exit door, and he proceeded to expose her right breast and place his mouth onto her breast. Before she exited the building he instructed her to turn around to face him while he proceeded to lift up her skirt.

On Friday, January 29, 2016 detectives arrested defendant Schubach after his meeting with the undercover detective. Defendant Schubach was charged with 3 counts of Criminal Sexual Contact, 4th Degree.

Bail was set by the Honorable Robert Reed, P.J. Cr., at $2,500 with a 10% option to apply. After posting bail, Defendant Schubach was released.

Prosecutor Soriano and Chief Fitzgerald state that the investigation is ongoing and request anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Unit at (908) 231-7100, 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 proven guilty.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - DUNELLEN MAN SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS IN STATE PRISON

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano announces that Owen R. Harshaney, age 24, of Mountainview Terrace, Dunellen, New Jersey was sentenced on January 29, 2016 by the Honorable Bruce A. Jones, J.S.C. to five (5) years in State Prison. Defendant Harshaney was found guilty of Arson, 3rd Degree (3 counts) on November 16, 2015 after a jury trial. He was found not guilty of Attempted Murder, 1st Degree (3 counts) and Aggravated Arson, 2nd Degree (3 counts).

Prosecutor Soriano states that the charges in this case stem from the investigation of a structure fire to a single family dwelling at 42 Brandywine Rise, Green Brook Township. Detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Task Force determined that the home was intentionally set on fire with an ignitable liquid along the west side of the structure. Samples of the structure and soil along the west side of the home were tested positive by the New Jersey State Police Lab personnel for the presence of gasoline. Three residents were sleeping in the home at the time were awakened by the fire and escaped without physical injury. An investigation conducted by the Major Crimes Unit of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office led to the arrest of the defendant. Defendant Harshaney had been involved in a verbal dispute with friends of the homeowner’s daughter during the early morning hours prior to the fire. The dispute occurred by cell phone and was not in person. Defendant is the ex-boyfriend of the homeowner’s daughter. Defendant challenged to meet the daughter’s friends in Newark that morning prior to the fire to settle the dispute. While the defendant appeared in Newark to confront the daughter’s friends, the meeting never occurred as the friends did not show up. Defendant left Newark. On his way back to Dunellen, a red light camera filmed defendant’s truck driving through a red light in Newark at 3:17AM for which he was later issued a summons. Court ordered cell phone records for defendant’s cell phone indicate that at 3:57:56 hours and 3:58:18 hours the phone was on Brandywine Rise. Defendant had this phone in his possession when he was arrested.

Defendant Harshaney was also ordered that he have no contact with the victims.

The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Frank P. Kolodzieski, II.

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FEBRUARY 1, 2015
NEWS RELEASE - GAME PLAN FOR SUPER BOWL 50

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – On Super Bowl Sunday, February 7th there will be a great deal of game day socializing that may include drinking. That is why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the New Jersey Division of Highway Safety and law enforcement officials in Somerset County are urging football fans to call the play now: drinking OR driving. If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely.

NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road. According to data from NHTSA, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States in 2014 —31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation. The numbers go even higher on weekends. (There were 5,447 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, making up 40 percent of all fatalities that occurred during weekends.) A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, the set limit in all states. This February 7, don’t become a tragic Super Bowl stat.

“Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or Drive - but never do both.”

Chief William Parenti, President of the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police, had this advice, “If you plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, ride share, or public transportation. If you plan to drive, refrain from consuming any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role to a victory on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life.”

Fans can use NHTSA’s new SaferRide mobile app. The app helps people who have been drinking get a safe ride home; it helps users call a taxi or a friend and identifies their location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl 50 party, designate a responsible driver before the game begins. One way to thank your designated driver is by tweeting NHTSA his or her name during Super Bowl 50. All names of designated drivers will appear on NHTSA’s Wall of Fame on its website.

On Super Bowl Sunday make the right call, Don’t Drink and Drive.

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JANUARY 21, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BOUND BROOK MAN CHARGED WITH CDS POSSESSION WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Bound Brook Chief of Police Michael Jannone announce the arrest of Jose Lopez, age 26, of Hamilton Street, Bound Brook, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that subsequent to receiving information that Jose Lopez was distributing CDS from his Hamilton Steeet residence the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force initiated an investigation.

On January 20, 2016, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Task Force detectives executed a Superior Court Search Warrant upon defendant Lopez residence. The search resulted in the seizure of 74 wax folds of Heroin, 14 grams of Marijuana, 7 grams of cocaine, 3 scales and manufacturing materials.

Bound Brook Police K-9, “Crusader” and his handler also assisted in the search of the residence.

Defendant Lopez was charged with Possession of CDS (Heroin) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Cocaine) 3rd Degree, Possession of CDS (Marijuana) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, both Disorderly Persons offenses.

Defendant Jose Lopez was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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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JANUARY 20, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - CRIME STOPPERS OFFERS REWARD IN QUICK CHEK ARMED ROBBERY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano announces that Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual who robbed the Quick Chek located in the Finderne section of Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on January 19, 2016 at approximately 3:10 a.m. Bridgewater Township Police responded to the Quick Chek on a report of an armed robbery. A store employee reported to the officers that a male suspect entered the store with a shotgun and ordered her to open a cash register. After opening same, the suspect took an undetermined amount of cash and cigarettes before fleeing the store. The suspect was last seen running eastbound in the store’s parking lot.

The suspect was described as a thin built male wearing a blue colored front zip style hooded jacket, jeans, dark colored shoes or boots, light colored gloves and a nondescript mask covering his face.

Anyone having information regarding this incident is asked to contact 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 tips will be kept confidential.

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JANUARY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - TASK FORCE ARRESTS TWO IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrests of Byron D. Martin, age 29 of Putnam Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey and David Smith, age 34 of Campbell Street, Rahway, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on January 12, 2016, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that a male, later identified as Byron D. Martin would be traveling to a Cedar Grove Lane hotel in Franklin Towsnhip. He would be possession of cocaine and he would be arriving in a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee.

At approximately 7:00 p.m., the vehicle arrived at the hotel and defendant Martin was observed exiting the passenger side door and entering the hotel lobby. As detectives attempted to approach defendant Martin he attempted to flee by running towards the rear of the hotel and exiting a side door that leads to a courtyard. Martin was observed by Task Force detectives throwing a plastic bag containing seventeen (17) grams of suspected cocaine into a bush. Subsequently, Detectives were able to apprehend Martin and retrieve the suspected cocaine from the bush. Martin was placed under arrest without further incident. Detectives located an additional five (5) grams of cocaine in Martin’s right front pants pocket.

Detectives approached David Smith, the driver of the Grand Cherokee and as Smith retrieved his driver’s license they observed in plainview a Suboxone Strip in Smith’s wallet. Smith was placed under arrest without incident.

The seized cocaine has an approximate street value of $2,200.00 dollars in US currency.

Defendant Byron D. Martin was charged with Possession of CDS (Cocaine) with the Intent to Distribute, 2nd Degree and Resisting Arrest, a Disorderly Persons Offense. Defendant David Smith was charged with Possession of CDS (Suboxone), 3rd Degree.

Defendant Byron D. Martin was lodged in the Somerset County Jail and defendant David Smith 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 defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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JANUARY 13, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION WITH THE INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano and Franklin Township Police Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest Takezo Dundon, age 22 of Foxwood Drive, Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that on January 12, 2016 a male, later identified as Takezo Dundon, would be arriving at a Home Street residence and he would be in possession of marijuana.

At approximately 7:40 p.m., Task Force detectives observed a blue four door vehicle as it arrived on Home Street with defendant Dundon as a passenger. Dundon exited the vehicle with a black backpack and started walking towards a residence.

Prosecutor Soriano states that detectives approached defendant Dundon and advised him of the narcotic investigation. Somerset County Sheriff K-9 “Apex” and his handler responded to the scene and conducted an exterior sniff of the black backpack. Apex gave a positive indication for the presence of CDS. After securing a Superior Court Search Warrant detectives searched backpack and seized one pound of marijuana. Defendant Dundon was arrested without incident.

The marijuana has an approximate street value of $3,000.00.

Defendant Takezo Dundon was charged with Possession of CDS (Marijuana) with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree.

Defendant Takezo Dundon was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

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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JANUARY 8, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BEDMINSTER WOMAN CHARGED WITH RESISTING ARREST AND ESCAPE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and Peapack - Gladstone Chief of Police Gregory Skinner announce the arrest of Jenna M. Brach, age 20, of O’Brien Court, Bedminster Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on December 31, 2015, at approximately 11:07 p.m., the Peapack – Gladstone Police Department responded to a noise complaint regarding a Hillcrest Avenue residence. The responding patrol officer observed a large group of individuals, in excess of 40 people, at the residence with beer cans and bottles discarded throughout the yard and driveway. Once the individuals saw the officer they began to yell “police run”. Through the Somerset County Communications Center the patrol officer requested backup units. Patrols from Bedminster Township and Far Hills responded to the scene.

As the uniformed officers approached the residence they observed many of the individuals fleeing the house and property. Inside the residence officers located William Howes, age 18 and the son of the homeowners. William Howes related that his parents were not home. The officers gathered up the remaining individuals on the property to the front porch of the house in order to ascertain their ages and conditions since some were showing signs of intoxication. At this time, defendant Brach who was in the group pushed her way past the officers and ran down the driveway barefooted in an attempt to flee. She was apprehended and while being escorted back to the porch she was flailing her arms and yelling incoherently in an attempt to break free. Defendant Brach was handcuffed and placed in the rear seat of a patrol vehicle.

As the officers continued gathering the names and ages of the other individuals, defendant Brach escaped from the vehicle and ran into a nearby wooded area. During a search of the area, which was unsuccessful, defendant Brach’s brother was located passed out in the woods.

Police patrol units from Bernardsville Borough, Bernards Township and New Jersey Transit also responded to assist in the search of defendant Brach.

A short time later, defendant Brach was transported back to Hillcrest Avenue by a friend who resides in Bernardsville.

At 12:48 a.m. (January 1st) defendant Brach was transported to the Peapack- Gladstone Police Department. After processing, defendant Brach was released on her own recognizance to the custody of her mother.

At 1:25 a.m. the N.J.S.P. Aviation Unit and the Warren Township K-9 Unit responded to search the wooded area for any individuals who fled the residence and were in need of medical attention due to alcohol consumption and the cold temperature. At 1:41 a.m. they cleared the area with no additional individuals being located.

Defendant Brach was charged with Escape, 3rd Degree and Resisting Arrest, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

William Howes was charged in Municipal Court with Maintaining a Nuisance, a Disorderly Persons Offense, L.O. 728:4-5.4 Noise Violation, L.O. 936:3-4.1 Possession/Consumption of Alcohol on Private Property and L.O. 728:4-5.2 Disturbing the Peace.

Justin Brach was charged with L.O. 936:3-4.1 Possession/Consumption of Alcohol on Private Property and L.O. 728:4-5.2 Disturbing the Peace.

Thirteen additional individuals at the residence were charged in Municipal Court with L.O. 728:4-5.2 Disturbing the Peace.

Seven (7) juveniles that were also present were turned over to their parent/guardian.

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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JANUARY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER MAN ARRESTED FOR AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ENDANGERING

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Manville Borough Chief of Police Mark Peltack announce the arrest of Arthur Wildgoose, Jr., age 32, of East Main Street, in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on November 22, 2015, it was reported to the Manville Borough Police Department that the victim (age 12, and known to defendant) had been involved in an improper relationship with Wildgoose, Jr. consisting of cellular phone communications. On December 29, 2015, the victim further advised a detective, assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse, that in addition to receiving inappropriate phone communications, she had been sexually assaulted by defendant Wildgoose, Jr. within the jurisdiction of Manville, New Jersey.

On January 5, 2015, defendant Wildgoose Jr. was arrested at his residence without incident. He was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault, 1st Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 3rd Degree.

Defendant Wildgoose Jr. was lodged in the Somerset County Jail.

Bail was set by Honorable Bruce A. Jones J.S.C. at $200,000 cash only with the condition that should the defendant make bail he is not to have contact with the victim.

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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JANUARY 7, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, Somerset County Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano and Bridgewater Township Chief of Police Manuel Caravela announce the arrest of Anthony Palkowitz Jr, age 29, of East Main Street, Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that the investigation was conducted by detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Task Force, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC).

The investigation revealed that on April 12, 2015, an email account used by defendant Palkowitz was utilized to send emails containing image files depicting the sexual exploitation or abuse of a child. These emails were sent from an IP address registered to defendant Palkowitz’ residence.

Prosecutor Soriano stated that on October 20, 2015 Task Force detectives, along with the assistance of the Bridgewater Township Police Department, executed a search warrant on defendant Palkowitz’s residence. As a result of the search warrant numerous electronic devices were seized to include personal computers and cellular telephones.

Prosecutor Soriano stated that through follow up investigative measures it was ascertained that defendant Palkowitz was in possession of child pornography.

On January 6, 2016, defendant Palkowitz was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Possession of Child Pornography) 3rd Degree.

This morning the Easton Police Department in Pennsylvania apprehended defendant Palkowitz at his mother’s residence. He is currently awaiting extradition back to New Jersey.

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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JANUARY 5, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A LOADED HANDGUN AND ELUDING POLICE

SOMERVILLE, N.J. - Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Franklin Township Chief of Police Lawrence Roberts announce the arrest of Donte Dowdell, age 20, of Voorhees Avenue in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Prosecutor Soriano states that on January 4, 2015, members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force received information that a black male, later identified as Donte Dowdell would be arriving in a red Chrysler Sebring in the area of Mark Street, Franklin Township, N.J. and he would be in possession of a .32 Caliber handgun.

At approximately 4:25 p.m. detectives assigned to the Task Force and the Franklin Township Crime Suppression Unit observed Dowdell on Mark Street operating said vehicle. Detectives attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop at which time defendant Dowdell attempted to elude police by conducting evasive maneuvers. Detectives observed Dowdell throw a white plastic bag out of the driver’s side window while on Victor Street. Dowdell continued to elude police until he struck a parked van and an unmarked police vehicle. Dowdell was apprehended at 4:36 p.m. at the intersection of Lewis Street and Norma Avenue.

Detectives immediately retrieved the white plastic bag on Victor Street that Dowell had previously thrown from the red Chrysler Sebring. The plastic bag contained a loaded .32 Caliber handgun and with nine (9) additional .32 Caliber rounds.

Defendant Dowdell was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, 2nd Degree and Eluding, 2nd Degree.
Defendant Donte Dowdell was lodged in the Somerset County Jail with bail set by the Honorable Michael F. O’Neill, J.S.C., at $100,000 cash only.

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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JANUARY 4, 2016
NEWS RELEASE - SOMERVILLE CHURCH INVESTIGATION

SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald and Somerville Borough Chief of Police Dennis Manning announce that the investigation regarding two small fires at Immaculate Conception Church at on New Year’s Eve is continuing.

Prosecutor Soriano states that at approximately 11:25 p.m. two small fires were discovered by a parish priest in the church’s sacristy. The priest quickly extinguished both fires and notified the Somerville Police Department. Detectives from the Somerville Police Department along with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations and Forensic Unit responded to initiate an investigation.

Prosecutor Soriano, Chief Fitzgerald and Chief Manning request that anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office at (908) 231-7100, the Somerville 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.

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