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Teaneck Search Results in Drugs and Guns Charges for Alleged Drug Dealer
Posted on April 23, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

teaneck drugs and guns caseA Bergen County man is facing charges involving drugs, weapons, and money laundering, following a recent search conducted by detectives from the Teaneck police department.

According to Robert A. Carney, the chief of police at the Teaneck Police Department, 20-year-old Clarence Javon Childress was under investigation as an alleged drug distributor, which compelled police to obtain a warrant to search his residence. Detectives executed the warrant for said search on Friday, April 18th.

Per reports, police discovered drugs, multiple guns, ammunition, and counterfeit currency in Carney’s home. More specifically, officers seized marijuana, crack cocaine, Oxycodone, a .380 caliber handgun, a muzzle-loading .45 caliber handgun, ammunition, a speed loader for a handgun, numerous digital scales, as well as counterfeit cash. They also found $833 in real currency, which investigators have alleged represents the profits from drug distribution dealings.

As a result, Carney was arrested and charged with drug and weapons-related offenses, in addition to money laundering. He is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail, with his bail set at $150,000.

It is likely that Carney has been charged with possession and distribution crimes involving marijuana, cocaine, and Oxycodone, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition, he is likely facing multiple charges for unlawful possession of a weapon. Further, under the New Jersey Criminal Code, there are additional penalties associated with offenses involving both drugs and guns, to which Carney is also likely to be subject.

New Jersey’s Drugs and Guns Law is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1, which pertains to offenses involving weapons and controlled dangerous substances. According to this statute, an individual who is in possession of any firearm while in the course of committing, attempting to commit, or conspiring to commit any of the specified violations (which include offenses such as possession of marijuana with intent to distribute), is guilty of a crime of the second degree. As such, a conviction for a violation of the Drugs and Guns Law may result in a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years for the defendant.

For more information regarding this case, access the following article: Teaneck police find guns, drugs, counterfeit cash in raid

Woman from “Lockup” TV Show Sentenced for Identity Theft in Bergen County
Posted on April 22, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

lockupA woman with a lengthy criminal history who appeared on MSNBC’s television show “Lockup,” was recently sentenced in Bergen County Superior Court in connection with an identity theft case involving over $100,000 in merchandise.

According to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, 33-year-old Paterson resident Shontera Jennings was arrested following an investigation conducted by Bergen County law enforcement officials known as “Operation Unauthorized User.” She was identified as the leader of a sophisticated identity theft operation that employed fraudulent credit cards to purchase and subsequently sell merchandise valued at over $150,000. The merchandise was reportedly purchased at a variety of stores in Bergen County, such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

In order to obtain the victims’ personal information, Jennings allegedly purchased it from 49-year-old Kyle Davis, an employee with a mortgage company in Paterson. Davis is also facing charges as a result of the investigation and was released pending his court date after posting bail in the amount of $100,000.

Jennings’ criminal record includes over 42 juvenile arrests as well as an adult history of charges originating over 10 years ago, which include aggravated assault on a police officer. She also appeared on the show “Lockup,” which was filmed at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack.

With regard to this case, Jennings was initially scheduled to be sentenced on March 7th, following her guilty plea to impersonation/theft of identity charges. However, she failed to appear on this date and did not surrender herself until Wednesday, April 16th. At her sentencing hearing on Monday, April 21st, Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian sentenced Jennings to a 6-year term of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison, with a 2-year period of parole ineligibility.

In New Jersey, Impersonation/Theft of Identity charges are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17. According to this statute, offenses of this kind involving $75,000 or more, or five or more victims, are classified as second degree crimes. These offenses are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. Since Jennings’ case met both of the aforementioned specifications, she could have been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges at trial.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Ex-con from TV’s ‘Lockup’ gets six years for buying department store goods with stolen IDs

Fort Lee Weapons Case Results in 5-Year Prison Sentence for Defendant
Posted on April 21, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

fort lee weapons possession ohio manA man facing weapons charges out of Fort Lee was recently sentenced to a 5-year term of incarceration in Bergen County Superior Court after reaching an agreement with Bergen County prosecutors.

24-year-old Gary L. Workman, of Columbus, Ohio, was arrested in August of 2012 in connection with a weapons possession case involving three handguns. Officers from the Fort Lee Police Department arrested Workman and another man from Columbus when they were discovered with a 9mm FMK, a.380-caliber Jiminez, and a Charter Arms Undercover 38 Special.

After accepting a plea agreement from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Workman pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon charges in exchange for a 5-year sentence in New Jersey State Prison as well as one year of probation following his release. As part of the agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss another fourth-degree possession charge involving armor-piercing bullets.

Workman will subject to a 16-month period of parole ineligibility per the sentence imposed by Bergen County Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi on Friday, April 11th. As such, he will become eligible for parole in August of 2015.

In New Jersey, charges for Unlawful Possession of a Handgun are governed specifically under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b). According to this statute, these offenses can be classified as crimes of the second or third degree. Accordingly, second degree crimes are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, while third degree crimes entail a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years.

In addition, violations involving subsections (a), (b), and (c) of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5 (Unlawful Possession of a Weapon), are subject to sentencing under the “Graves Act,” which requires those convicted of these offenses to serve a term of imprisonment with a minimum period of parole ineligibility fixed at, or between, one-third to one-half of a sentence imposed, or 3 years, whichever is greater.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Ohio man caught with three guns in Fort Lee could be free in 16 months

Bergen County Police Officer Seriously Injured Following DWI-Related Accident
Posted on April 20, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

lodi teacher injures bergen pdA man from Lodi is facing charges including aggravated assault, DWI, assault by auto, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, after a recent car accident left a Bergen County Police Officer with significant injuries.

According to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, 36-year-old Michael Ettz, a math teacher and coach in Lodi, was driving while intoxicated on Route 46 at approximately 1:50 a.m. on Saturday, April 19th when he crashed his 2012 Ford Fusion into a marked police SUV. Per reports, 39-year-old Bergen County Police Officer Daniel Breslin was in the vehicle at the time and sustained a fractured skull, bleeding, and multiple broken ribs as a result of the accident. He remains in critical condition following surgery.

After the crash, Officer Frank Canaje removed Ettz from his car, at which time Ettz allegedly attempted to flee the scene on foot. He was ultimately taken into custody by Lodi Police Sergeant Michael LaRosa and charged with aggravated assault, DWI, assault by auto, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, hindering apprehension or prosecution, obstruction, and reckless driving.

Ettz was released after posting bail in the amount of $150,000. He has been charged with extremely serious offenses, particularly those for aggravated assault, assault by auto, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.

Aggravated assault offenses are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 and can be classified as second, third, or fourth degree crimes depending on the degree of harm resulting in the specific case.  If the victim is “seriously” injured, the defendant could be facing second degree charges, which are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. In addition, aggravated assault offenses are among those enumerated under the No Early Release Act. As a result, those convicted of these crimes must serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.

In New Jersey, charges for assault by auto (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1) and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1) are also considered egregious offenses. Penalties resulting from a conviction can entail 3 to 5 years in prison for each offense. Further, the New Jersey Criminal Code stipulates that these sentences must be served consecutively if the defendant is found guilty of both charges.

As you can see, Michael Ettz’s legal situation is extremely serious. He would be best served by a knowledgeable defense attorney who is familiar with the nuances involved in DWI-related cases and can provide him with the best possible defense.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Lodi High School teacher released on $150G bail after crash critically injures Bergen PD officer

Closter Man Facing Marijuana Possession, Distribution Charges After Search of his Home
Posted on April 18, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

closter marijuana caseA man from Closter, New Jersey is currently facing charges for possession and distribution of marijuana, distribution of marijuana in a school zone, and possession of drug paraphernalia, after Closter police recently conducted a search of his home.

According to Dennis Kaine, the Chief of the Closter Police Department, 43-year-old Alexander Drazen was under investigation for 3 months prior to the search conducted at his residence on Piermont Road in Closter. During the search, investigations reportedly discovered 4 ½ pounds of marijuana, as well as THC in liquid form and drug paraphernalia. THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and many of the drug’s effects are attributed to this substance.

Following the search, officers arrested Drazen and charged him with the aforementioned offenses. With regard to the charges he is facing, offenses involving the Manufacture, Distribution, or Dispensation of Marijuana in New Jersey are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5. According to this statute, it is a crime of the third degree to manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under your control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, marijuana in a quantity of one ounce or more but less than five pounds.

Since police reportedly found 4 ½ pounds of marijuana in Drazen’s home, he could be facing a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison as well as a fine of up to $25,000.00. In addition, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7, which pertains to marijuana distribution crimes within a school zone, stipulates that these offenses are also considered crimes of the third degree. Further penalties include a period of parole ineligibility that is fixed at or between one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, or three years, whichever is greater, as well as a fine of up to $150,000.00.

Clearly, Mr. Drazen is facing significant penalties if he is ultimately convicted of the charges for which he is accused.

For more information regarding this case, access the following article: Closter police seize 4½ pounds of pot, arrest borough man

Two Men Charged in Bergen County for Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death, As Prosecutors Pursue More Strict Liability Cases
Posted on April 17, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

bergen county heroin od manslaughter caseA Bergen County grand jury recently indicted two men from Bergen County on charges including strict liability for drug-induced death, manslaughter, as well as possession and distribution of heroin, in connection with the fatal heroin overdose of a woman from Emerson, New Jersey.

The seven-count indictment was issued on Tuesday, April 15th against 27-year-old Old Tappan resident Christopher Benvenuto and 26-year-old Closter resident Jessie Kurzweil. The two men are accused of supplying 47-year-old Doreen Leach with the heroin that caused her death on June 11, 2013. Police received a call from another woman who reported the overdose and discovered that Leach was deceased upon arrival.

Authorities believe that Benvenuto injected Leach with the heroin and subsequently fled from her apartment after she appeared to be experiencing an overdose. Further, Kurzweil has been accused of selling the heroin that resulted in Leach’s death. As a result, both have been charged with strict liability for drug-induced death, manslaughter, and possession and distribution of heroin. In addition, Benevenuto is facing charges for hindering apprehension or prosecution.

According to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, the rising rates of heroin use and resulting fatal overdoses in New Jersey have compelled prosecutors in the northern part of the state to pursue the suppliers of the drugs in these cases in order to hold them legally responsible for the deaths of the users.

The New Jersey Criminal Code specifies that strict liability for drug-induced offenses, codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9, are considered extremely egregious crimes, warranting equally serious punishments. Enacted in 1986, the statute classifies these offenses as crimes of the first degree, which are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Two Bergen County men indicted in heroin death of Emerson woman

Accident in Carlstadt Leads to Assault by Auto, DWI Charges for Lodi Man
Posted on April 16, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

carlstadt police department shieldA man from Lodi, New Jersey was recently charged with assault by auto and DWI, among other offenses, after an accident in Carlstadt that left a man and his young son injured.

According to Thomas Nielsen, the chief of the Carlstadt Police Department, 24-year-old Kenneth Haines was driving while intoxicated when he caused an accident with another vehicle on Hoboken Road on Sunday, April 13th. Per reports, Haines was driving a 2012 Nissan Rogue when he crossed a double-yellow line and hit a 2007 Ford Focus, containing a man and his 8-year-old son. Both of the victims sustained injuries during the crash and subsequently received treatment at Hackensack University Hospital.

Law enforcement officials said Haines then left the scene of the accident and drove through a safety checkpoint on Route 17 South, nearly hitting a Carlstadt police officer in the process. He was ultimately taken into custody by officers from the East Rutherford Police Department. Test results showed that Haines registered a blood alcohol content of 0.19% at the time, which is more than double the legal limit.

He was charged with numerous offenses before being released, including: assault by auto, DWI, DWI within 1000 feet of school property, reckless driving, and knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, May 1st.

While some of the charges that Haines is now facing are classified as traffic violations, others are considered criminal offenses. In New Jersey, DWI-related offenses and reckless driving are classified as traffic violations. Violations involving DWI within 1000 feet of school property, governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(g), are subject to penalties including a driver’s license suspension ranging from 1 to 2 years as well as a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail.

On the other hand, Haines is facing criminal charges for assault by auto (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1) and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1). Depending on the degree of the charges for each offense, Haines may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment if he is ultimately convicted.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Speeding DWI driver flees crash with man, boy, 8, nearly hits officer, Carlstadt police say

College Basketball Player from Hackensack Facing Charges for Kidnapping, Sexual Offenses
Posted on April 16, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

hackensack kidnapping sexual assault caseDetectives from the Bergen County Prosecutors Office and officers from the Hackensack Police Department recently arrested a man who is now facing charges including kidnapping, sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child for alleged crimes against a 14-year-old female victim.

24-year-old Darion Benbow was taken into custody on Friday, April 11th following an investigation by law enforcement officials from Bergen County. Benbow, who is originally from Hackensack, was a former college basketball player for Lafayette University in Pennsylvania.He is now charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and providing alcohol to a minor, according to police records.

Of the crimes for which he is accused, both kidnapping and sexual assault offenses are among the most serious in New Jersey. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1, which pertains to kidnapping offenses, they can be classified as crimes of the first or second degree. Sexual assault, codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, is also considered a first or second degree crime under New Jersey law.

Depending on the degree of the charges against Benbow, he could be facing a sentence of up to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison if he is found guilty. Both first and second degree crimes entail a presumption of incarceration. However, first degree crimes are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years, while second degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Following his arrest, Benbow was being held at the Bergen County Jail, with his bail set at $400,000. His arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16th in Bergen County Superior Court.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Former college ballplayer charged in sex assault, kidnapping in Hackensack

Teaneck, NJ Police Arrest Bogota Teacher for Alleged Sexual Contact with Minor Student
Posted on April 16, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

A Bogota, NJ teacher has been arrested for allegedly forcing an eighth grade student to touch his genitals.

The 39-year-old man, who resides in Teaneck, is suspected of forcing the female student to touch him in 2009. In June 2013, the student came forward with the allegations and told school officials about the teacher’s alleged conduct.

The suspect worked as a teacher at Bogota Junior-Senior High School. Shortly after the allegations against the man surfaced, he was suspended. Initially, the man was suspended for the rest of the school year, which amounted to 10 days. However, prior to the start of the new school year in August 2013, the school board voted to suspend him indefinitely, so that the police investigation could run its course.

Eventually, the police concluded their investigation. The suspect was arrested, and formal charges of aggravated sexual contact were filed against him.

In New Jersey, criminal sexual contact can be classified as either a third degree felony or a fourth degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4, the penalties for aggravated criminal sexual contact include a prison sentence of three to five years, as well as Megan’s Law registration and community supervision for life.

Following his arrest, the suspect was taken to the Bergen County Jail, where he was being held on $50,000 bail.

 

For more information about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Bogota Teacher Accused of Having Sexual Contact with Eighth Grade Student.”

Palisades Park, NJ Man Sentenced to Drug Court for Selling Crystal Meth
Posted on April 14, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

A Palisades Park, NJ man has been sentenced to five years in the Somerset County drug court program.

The 33-year-old defendant had been arrested for selling crystal meth out of his home in Bound Brook, NJ. He pleaded guilty to related drug offenses in January. In exchange for his guilty plea, the defendant was sentenced to a probationary term in the drug court program.

As a result of his entry into the drug court program, the defendant will be required to make regular court appearances, undergo drug treatment, and make himself available for frequent and random drug testing.

The defendant was arrested after NJ State Police conducted surveillance outside his home. They saw him delivering a blue soap dish containing meth and a bottle of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) to a car parked outside his residence. Police eventually seized 36 ounces of GHB, more than four ounces of crystal meth, assorted drug paraphernalia, and more than $4,000 in cash from the defendant’s home.

The defendant previously served as a vice principal at Elizabeth Avenue School in Franklin Township, NJ. He resigned from his position after being charged with a separate offense for possession of meth in Hunterdon County. According to his attorney, he expects to receive probation for that charge. The defendant’s attorney said that he believes his client is on the “right track” toward rehabilitation.

 

For more information about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Ex-Franklin School Administrator Joins Drug Court for Dealing Meth from Bound Brook Home.”