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Ridgefield Man Allegedly Sold Oxycodone to Undercover Detective
Posted on October 30, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

ridgefield distribution of oxycodone caseDetectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office were conducting a coordinated investigation with officers from the Ridgefield Police Department for approximately two months before the recent arrest of a Ridgefield man suspected of oxycodone distribution.

In a public statement on Wednesday, October 29th, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced the arrest of 24-year-old Robert Hutcherson of Ridgefield, who is now facing charges for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.

Hutcherson allegedly sold a total of 22 oxycodone pills to an undercover detective during multiple drug transactions over the course of the investigation, which began in September. He is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail, with his bail set at $10,000 and is facing serious punishments if the State successfully proves its case against him.

The New Jersey Criminal Code specifically addresses offenses related to the distribution of prescription drugs in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.5, with the degree of these charges ranging from disorderly persons offenses to second degree felonies depending on the amount allegedly involved in a given case.

Hutcherson has most likely been charged with third degree distribution of oxycodone, as the aforementioned statute mandates this level of charge when the defendant is accused of distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute between 5 and 100 units (pills). Notably, a third degree violation of this statute carries a fine of up to $200,000 in addition to a 3 to 5-year State prison sentence upon conviction.

For additional information regarding this case, access the following article: Ridgefield man charged with selling oxycodone pills, police say

Cliffside Park Guidance Counselor Accused of Sexual Assault
Posted on October 29, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

cliffside park guidance counselor sexual assault caseA man from Teaneck and current guidance counselor at Cliffside Park High School was recently arrested for alleged sex crimes involving a young girl. He is now facing charges including sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Per an announcement made by Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, 60-year-old Teaneck resident Edward C. Meier, the guidance counselor at Cliffside Park High School for over 30 years, was arrested on Sunday, October 26th.

Meier is accused of engaging in sexual activity with a five-year-old female victim, who reportedly corroborated these allegations when she was interviewed by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit.

Officials said that a family member was the first to become suspicious of the relationship between the accused and the young girl. After voicing concerns to the girl’s mother, the family contacted authorities, which spawned the investigation.

Meier is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail in the amount of $250,000. The large sum of his bail reflects the seriousness of his alleged offenses, both of which could result in a prison sentence, mandatory sex offender registration under New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, community supervision for life, and a psychosexual evaluation (also known as an Avenel Evaluation).

A conviction for sexual assault, for example, is punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, in addition to the aforementioned penalties. Further, sexual assault offenses are among those subject to sentencing per the terms of the No Early Release Act (NERA), which requires a defendant to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.

Clearly, these allegations have the potential to catastrophically impact Mr. Meier’s life, not to mention permanently damaging his reputation.

For additional information regarding this case, access the following: Cliffside Park HS guidance counselor charged with sexually assaulting child

Fraud Allegations, Possible Charges Against Garfield School Employees
Posted on October 28, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

garfield fraud caseA recent Garfield Board of Education meeting resulted in serious disciplinary action against thirteen employees of the Garfield school district who were under investigation for alleged fraud offenses.

According to reports from the New Jersey Department of Education, the Garfield school district initially launched its own internal investigation of employee conduct when it was suspected that certain employees may be misreporting their annual salaries in order obtain free or reduced-cost lunches for their children.

Following the investigation, the district requested a review by the State Education Department’s Office of Fiscal Accountability.

Among the employees involved in this case, the identities of whom remain undisclosed, is the secretary to the superintendent, who is accused of fraudulently reporting her income since October of 2008, with drastic discrepancies totaling over $50,000 in a given year. She has since resigned from her position, along with another district employee.

The Board of Education vote, which occurred on Monday, October 27th, resulted in a resolution involving unpaid suspensions, restitution payments to cover the costs of the lunches and the district’s legal fees, and a year-long pay freeze for a total of thirteen employees. The employees’ individual suspension periods range from 30 to 120 days but no one has been fired as of yet.

Officials from the Garfield School District have indicated that the State will now determine whether to file criminal charges against these individuals. If law enforcement officials do, in fact, decide to conduct a criminal investigation, it could result in fraud and/or official misconduct charges against the school employees.

Under New Jersey Law, a conviction for fraud can spell serious consequences, including a term of incarceration, a charge on the defendant’s criminal record, and sizable fines. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the State chooses to prosecute in the case.

For more information, view the following articles:
1. Garfield school board disciplines employees in alleged lunch fraud, report says
2. 13 Garfield school employees disciplined in alleged lunch-form fraud

Elmwood Park Man Arrested for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute
Posted on October 27, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

lodi crack distribution arrestBergen County law enforcement officials recently conducted a surveillance operation in Lodi that resulted in the arrest of an alleged long-time crack distributor from Elmwood Park.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced the arrest of 44-year-old Elmwood Park resident Jasin Penn, which occurred in Lodi on Thursday, October 23rd.

When police stopped Penn in his vehicle, they reportedly discovered him in possession of approximately 30 grams of crack cocaine, the street value of which has been appraised at $2,500. The officers also retrieved $1,800 in cash allegedly linked to drug transactions.

The arrest follows an ongoing investigation of Penn, who is suspected of dealing crack cocaine in Bergen County “for the majority of his adult life,” according to Prosecutor Molinelli.

Penn is now facing charges for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and is being held at the Bergen County Jail on $50,000 bail.

In New Jersey, criminal offenses involving the manufacture, distribution, or possession of cocaine with intent to distribute are considered extremely serious, with those found guilty of these crimes subject to severe punishments. For instance, Penn has likely been charged with a second degree crime because his case is said to involve 30 grams of cocaine, as previously mentioned.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, which addresses these offenses, an individual found to be in possession of between half of an ounce and five ounces of cocaine with the intent to distribute the substance commits a second degree felony, punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.

Second degree crimes entail a presumption of incarceration as mandated by the New Jersey Criminal Code, which means that Penn will undoubtedly serve time in prison if he is ultimately found guilty.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Alleged lifelong crack dealer arrested in Lodi, prosecutor says

Hackensack Police Release Suspect Photos after Incident at Local Restaurant
Posted on October 24, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

hackensack dine and ditch caseLaw enforcement officials are attempting to identify two suspects who reportedly left a Hackensack restaurant without paying their bill and then struck the business manager with a vehicle while fleeing the scene.

The Hackensack Police Department recently released surveillance images of two men, who remain unidentified, after they were recorded at a local Applebee’s at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14th. The suspects allegedly consumed roughly $100 worth of food and beverages before leaving the restaurant with their bill unpaid.

As the suspects proceeded to exit the premises, the restaurant’s manager followed them into the parking lot, at which point they are accused of hitting him with a black Cadillac SUV. The manager did not sustain serious injuries, but the men were able to successfully flee the scene and remain at large.

Officers from the Hackensack Police have requested that any information regarding this incident be forwarded to the department at 201-646-7777. If investigators ultimately identify and charge suspects in this case, they could be facing charges including theft and assault by auto.

In addition, these defendants could face criminal charges for hindering apprehension or prosecution, which is governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3. According to this statute,

“A person commits an offense if, with purpose to hinder his own detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment for an offense or violation he or she…prevents or obstructs by means of force or intimidation anyone from performing an act which might aid in his discovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge against him.”

The allegations involving these men fleeing the scene and injuring a victim who was attempting to stop them could most certainly constitute hindering offenses as defined by New Jersey Law.

For more information regarding this ongoing investigation, access the following article: Hackensack police seek diners who dodged Applebee’s bill, hit manager with pickup truck

Bergenfield Police Call Leads to Arrest on Assault Warrant
Posted on October 23, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

assaultThe Bergenfield Police Department recently received notification of a dispute that ultimately led to the arrest of a man from Teaneck with an outstanding warrant for simple assault charges.

According to Bergenfield Detective Captain Cathy Madalone, a citizen contacted the police department at approximately 2:00 a.m. on October 23rd to report an incident. The caller, who remains unidentified, also disclosed that the other party involved currently had a warrant for his arrest.

41-year-old Teaneck resident Frank Otis Saunders was wanted on charges for simple assault, according to the caller. After officials verified this fact, Saunders was taken into custody and held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail. State documents reveal that his lengthy criminal record includes charges for robbery, aggravated assault, and rioting, in addition to parole and probation violations.

In New Jersey, simple assault is typically classified as a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a). Disorderly persons offenses entail penalties including a county jail sentence of up to 6 months and a maximum fine of $1,000.

However, there are multiple other factors that can influence a simple assault case. For example, if the alleged simple assault was committed during a mutual fight or scuffle, this is considered a petty disorderly persons offense. A petty disorderly persons offense is relatively less serious, as it is punishable by a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

It is also important to note that if a defendant is accused of simple assault in connection with a domestic violence incident, a restraining order may be issued in addition to criminal charges.

To read more about this case, access the following article: Bergenfield police nab Teaneck ex-con on assault, warrant charges

Wanted Man Tied to Teaneck, Englewood Burglaries
Posted on October 22, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

teaneck englewood burglary fugitiveA wanted man from North Carolina was recently connected to a series of burglaries in Bergen County, after a coordinated investigation conducted by detectives from the Teaneck and Englewood Police Departments.

According to Robert Carney, Teaneck’s Acting Police Chief, 42-year-old Antonio D. Singletary had been under surveillance in Bergen County after he was identified as the primary suspect in a string of burglary crimes.

Ultimately, Singletary was taken into custody in Englewood on Monday, October 20th and charged with five counts of burglary, four counts of theft, possession of burglary tools, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Detectives from Teaneck’s Anti-Crime Unit reportedly discovered a host of stolen items, including jewelry, coins, and electronics, while executing a search of his vehicle during Monday’s arrest. They also seized drug paraphernalia, which led to the aforementioned drug charges.

Official documents reveal that Singletary is also an active fugitive facing robbery charges in North Carolina, as well as multiple probation violations in Essex County, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His criminal record reportedly lists arrests for burglary, robbery, and drug-related offenses, the earliest of which occurred in the 1990s.

Following his arrest, Singletary was being held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail totaling $125,000. Notwithstanding his pending criminal cases out-of-state, the crimes for which he is accused in New Jersey could result in a lengthy term of incarceration if he is ultimately found guilty.

For example, burglary is a generally a third degree felony, punishable by a 3 to 5-year State Prison term under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2. As a result, the defendant in this case could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in New Jersey State Prison for the burglary charges alone.

For more information regarding this defendant, access the following article: Detectives nab fugitive accused in Teaneck, Englewood burglaries, police say

Potential Luring Incident Under Investigation in Ridgewood
Posted on October 21, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

ridgewood luring investigationAfter what may have been an attempted luring crime occurred in Ridgewood on Monday, October 20th, officers from the Ridgewood Police Department have launched an investigation into the incident.

According to Ridgewood authorities, a young female was walking on East Ridgewood Avenue in proximity of Hope Street at approximately 3:15 p.m. when she was approached by a driver in a black Ford Econoline van with New Jersey License Plates. The potential victim described the van as having runnings boards and backup sensors on the rear bumper and police have estimated that the van dates to between 2007 and 2013.

As for the potential suspect, the driver of the van was a male believed to be in his early 50’s, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall, and 240 pounds. He allegedly asked the girl if she wanted some candy as he slowed down the vehicle and began to speak to her. He was accompanied by an additional occupant in the vehicle at the time; however, this younger male did not speak to the victim.

If investigators ultimately deem this an attempted luring incident and identify a suspect, he will likely be charged with a luring offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-6. This statute provides the following with regard to these crimes in New Jersey:

“A person commits a crime of the second degree if he attempts, via electronic or any other means, to lure or entice a child or one who he reasonably believes to be a child into a motor vehicle, structure or isolated area, or to meet or appear at any other place, with a purpose to commit a criminal offense with or against the child…”

Not only is luring a crime of the second degree, which entails a presumption of imprisonment between 5 and 10 years, it is also a sexual offense, which requires registration under Megan’s Law in addition to the potential for life-long community supervision.

Megan’s Law is detailed in the New Jersey Criminal Code in sections 2C:7-1 through 2C:7-21. This law, which was implemented on October 31, 1994, mandates sex offender registration for those convicted of a variety of sex crimes in New Jersey. Specifically, sex offender registration involves the disclosure of one’s address to local police, as well as continual updates to law enforcement officials regarding changes in address, occupation, or schooling.

With regard to the aforementioned case, the Ridgewood Police Department has requested that any and all information pertaining to this incident be forwarded to department officials at (201) 251-4536.

For additional information, access the following link: Ridgewood Police Investigate Possible Attempted Luring

Fort Lee Woman Allegedly Leaves the Scene after Hitting Pedestrian
Posted on October 20, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

fort lee leaving the scene, reckless drivingA woman from Fort Lee recently received numerous motor vehicle summonses, including leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, and careless driving, after allegedly hitting a Cliffside Park resident with her car.

According to officials from the Fort Lee Police Department, 68-year-old Fort Lee resident Yap W. Moon was driving in the vicinity of Anderson and Aurora avenues on Sunday, October 19th when she allegedly hit a 40-year-old Cliffside Park man who was walking his dog. Per reports, Moon is accused of leaving the scene of the accident and failing to report it to authorities.

The victim received treatment for his injuries at Englewood Hospital & Medical Center; he and his dog are currently recovering. As for Ms. Moon, she was issued summonses for leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, careless driving, and reckless driving.

In New Jersey, leaving the scene of an accident can result in a motor vehicle summons or a criminal charge, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. With regard to the summons issued to Ms. Moon, these offenses are governed under N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 and the penalties associated with a conviction for a violation of this section are highly variable. The critical determinant of penalties, per the dictates of N.J.S.A. 39:4-129, relates to the extent of damage or injury resulting from the accident. Specifically, penalties are more severe in cases involving the injury or death of another person, while those resulting solely in damage to another vehicle entail less serious consequences.

Since Sunday’s incident resulted in an injured victim, Moon could be facing a variety of penalties if she is ultimately found guilty. Her sentence could include: a county jail term of up to 180 days, a fine ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, a 1-year driver’s license suspension, and 8 motor vehicle points on her license.

Fort Lee driver charged with striking Cliffside Park man, leaving scene

Police Investigate Stabbing at Teaneck High School
Posted on October 17, 2014 by Travis Tormey | 0 Comments

Student Prank VandalismLaw enforcement officials just announced that an 18-year-old male was stabbed during an altercation that occurred outside of Teaneck High School this week.

According to Detective Captain Glenn O’Reilly of the Teaneck Police Department, officers arrived at the school at approximately 9:19 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14th after being notified of an ensuing fight on Teaneck High School property. They reportedly discovered the injured victim, who is not a current student, and he subsequently received treatment for his injuries.

Teaneck Police are currently investigating this incident and have yet to determine the specific sequence of events which led to the stabbing. Further, they have not revealed whether any students at the high school have been identified in connection with the case.

If a suspect is, in fact, identified and charged for the stabbing, he or she could be facing charges for aggravated assault or attempted murder. If the defendant is accused of aggravated assault, said individual could be sentenced to serve up to 10 years in prison for second degree charges, with a minimum 8 ½ years of parole ineligibility mandated by the No Early Release Act (NERA).

On the other hand, charges for attempted murder are classified as first degree crimes, which are the most serious criminal offenses under New Jersey Law. As such, a conviction for a typical first degree crime entails a term of incarceration ranging from 10 to 20 years in State prison.

It remains to be seen if investigators ultimately charge someone in relation to this case, but it is clear that this individual would be facing extremely severe potential consequences.

For additional information, connect to the following link: Man, 18, stabbed outside Teaneck High School