Prosecutor Knapp Announces Ceremony to Commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will recognize 2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10-16, with a Recognition and Remembrance Ceremony. The ceremony, honoring victims and advocates of victims’ rights, will take place on Monday, April 11, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the Freeholder Public Meeting Room, 5th Floor, in the County Administration and Records Building on Court Street in Morristown, New Jersey.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is honored to have Patty Sly, Executive Director of the Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS) as its ceremony’s Keynote Speaker.

The Honored Guest this year will be Chief Christopher Wagner, of the Township of Denville Police Department.  Chief Wagner is the President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been a time of national remembrance since 1981. It is an opportunity for communities, victims and their loved ones, and professionals serving victims to join together and reflect on the progress achieved in victims’ rights.

The theme for the 2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.”  This year’s theme highlights the importance of early intervention and services for victims. It highlights the importance of building pathways to create an environment of trust, and re-establishing hope towards recovery.

Thirty years ago, crime victims did not have rights, access to crime victim compensation, or services to help rebuild their lives. They were often excluded from courtrooms, treated as an afterthought by the criminal justice system, and denied an opportunity to speak at sentencing. Today, all states have enacted crime victims’ rights laws and established crime victims’ compensation funds.

Prosecutor Knapp applauds the daily work accomplished by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office’s Victim Witness Unit who serve as advocates in addressing all crime victims’ needs.

All are invited to join the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at the ceremony.  For more information or to RSVP, contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Unit at 973-285-6282 or e-mail [email protected]

Any inquiries regarding this press release can be directed to Executive Captain Richard A. Rose at 973-285-6244 or [email protected]

Morris County Narcotics Task Force Dismantles Drug Trafficking Network and Disrupts Flow of Heroin into Morris County

Morris County Narcotics Task Force Dismantles Drug Trafficking Network and Disrupts Flow of Heroin into Morris CountyMorris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces the arrests of several drug traffickers following a three-month investigation into the importation and distribution of heroin and cocaine in Morris County.

Between December 2015 and March 2016, members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit and Detectives with the Morristown Bureau of Police received information regarding cocaine and heroin distribution by multiple members of the Washington family.

An investigation commenced and intelligence was developed by members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Enforcement Unit/Narcotics Task Force, that Ronald G. Washington and his brother George Washington were obtaining a significant supply of heroin and cocaine from a source in Passaic County. The cocaine and heroin was imported into Morris County and sold throughout Morristown, Victory Gardens, Dover and surrounding areas.

On March 13 and 14, 2016, several court-ordered search and arrest warrants were executed throughout Morris and Passaic Counties by members of the Narcotics Task Force, Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT), Passaic County Sheriff’s Department SWAT and the New Jersey State Police TEAMS Unit.

The investigation resulted in Court authorization for 25 arrests, the seizure of more than 1400 individual folds of heroin, approximately 55 grams of cocaine, various packaging and drug distribution related material, more than $33,500 in United States currency, and handgun ammunition. Additionally, eleven (11) motor vehicles were seized.

The following is a list of individuals charged in the investigation.

1.      Prentice Melton (aka “Prince”), age 47, of Clifton, NJ. (arrested)

2.      Ronald G. Washington (aka “Trank”), age 56, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

3.      George R. Washington (aka “GW”), age 51, of Morristown, NJ (arrested)

4.      Michael A. Washington (aka “Raheem”), age 54, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

5.      Robert L. Washington (aka “Robbie”), age 49, of Morristown, NJ (arrested)

6.      Deborah A. Jones (aka “Auntie”), age 61, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

7.      Derrell A. Jones, age 31, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

8.      David W. Jones (aka “Bones”), age 58, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

9.      Randy Gwaltney (aka “Pee Wee”), age 44, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

10.  William A. Bryant, Jr., age 50, of Morristown, NJ (arrested)

11.  Gregory Blayer, age 34, of Flanders, NJ (arrested)

12.  Otis L. Davis, age 57, of Morristown, NJ (arrested)

13.  Andrew W. Mistkowski, age 50, of Randolph, NJ (arrested)

14.  Jennie E. Maccario, age 36, of Hopatcong, NJ (arrested)

15.  Jessica L. Debonis, age 30, of Flanders, NJ (at large)

16.  Melissa A. Lapinski, age 36, of Budd Lake, NJ (arrested)

17.  Richard J. Hillabrant, age 45, of Rockaway, NJ (arrested)

18.  Korey E. Holloway, age 41, of Morristown, NJ (arrested)

19.  Carla J. Forgione, age 44, of Rockaway, NJ (arrested)

20.  Sheyne V. Jordan, age 45, of Rockaway, NJ (arrested)

21.  Marcelo Fabian, age 44, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

22.  Stephen Rudolph, age 59, of Glen Gardner, NJ (arrested)

23.  Lauren M. Ellis-White, age 52, of Dover, NJ (arrested)

24.  Brandon L. White, age 22, Dover, NJ (arrested)

25.  Ashon J. Hackett-Taylor, age 22, of Morristown, NJ (arrested)

The Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. authorized the warrant complaints and set the bails for most of the defendants. The Honorable Ira Cohen, J.M.C. set bail on Derrell Jones.

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “This investigation uncovered a prolific drug trafficking network that distributed cocaine and heroin on the streets of Morris County. The widespread distribution of heroin has a detrimental impact on the lives of all citizens of Morris County. It remains a priority of this Office to target those offenders responsible for spreading this deadly narcotic drug throughout our communities.  The cooperation of numerous state, county and local law enforcement agencies throughout northern New Jersey made this hugely successful operation possible.”

Prosecutor Knapp wishes to thank the following agencies for their invaluable assistance and commitment to the Task Force: Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Park Police, New Jersey State Police, Morristown Bureau of Police, Florham Park Police Department, Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, Dover Police Department, Roxbury Township Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, Mendham Township Police Department, Chester Township Police Department, Madison Borough Police Department, Chatham Township Police Department, Chatham Borough Police Department, Chester Borough Police Department, Fairfield Police Department, Randolph Township Police Department, Butler Police Department, Mt. Arlington Police Department, Lincoln Park Police Department, Harding Township Police Department, Wharton Borough Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department, Hopatcong Police Department, Hanover Township Police Department, Rockaway Township Police Department, Morris Plains Police Department, and the Clifton Police Department.

The investigation and prosecution is being conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division. Task Force Officer Edward Zienowicz of the Morris County Narcotics Task Force and Detective Scott Pino of the Morristown Bureau of Police were the lead investigators. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant Prosecutor Erin Callahan.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Any inquiries can be directed to Executive Captain Richard A. Rose at 973-285-6244 or [email protected].

Table of Charges

1.      Prentice Melton (aka “Prince”), age 47, of Clifton, NJ. Melton was charged with:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(2) Counts of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(2) Counts of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(2) Counts of Possession of Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(2) Counts of Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(2) Counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, within 500 feet of a public park (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, within 500 feet of a public park (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine, within 500 feet of a public park (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Heroin, within 500 feet of a public park (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

Melton was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $200,000 no 10% bail.

2.      Ronald G. Washington (aka “Trank”), age 56, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz.  (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd degree)

Ronald G. Washington was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $250,000 no 10% bail.

3.      George R. Washington (aka “GW”), age 51, of Morristown, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(2) Counts of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(2) Counts of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Cocaine, within 500 feet of a public park (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine, within 500 feet of a public park (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

George R. Washington was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $250,000 no 10% bail.

4.      Michael A. Washington (aka “Raheem”), age 54, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Heroin, greater than ½ oz.  (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd degree)

Michael A. Washington was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $100,000 no 10% bail.

5.      Robert L. Washington (aka “Robbie”), age 49, of Morristown, NJ:

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Distribution of Heroin within 500 feet of Public Park, less than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

Robert L. Washington was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $100,000 no 10% bail.

6.      Deborah A. Jones (aka “Auntie”), age 61, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin with Intent to Distribute, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd degree)

Deborah A. Jones was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $100,000 no 10% bail.

7.      Derrell A. Jones, age 31, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Possession of Marijuana, more than 50 grams (4th Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, more than 1 ounce but less than 5 pounds (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd degree)

Derrell A. Jones was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $2,500 no 10% bail.

8.      David W. Jones (aka “Bones”), age 58, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, greater than ½ oz. (2nd degree)

David W. Jones was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $20,000 no 10% bail.

9.     Randy Gwaltney (aka “Pee Wee”), age 44, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

Randy Gwaltney was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $50,000 no 10% bail.

10.  William A. Bryant, Jr., age 50, of Morristown, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin with Intent to Distribute, greater than ½ oz. (2nd Degree)

William A. Bryant, Jr. was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility.  His bail has been set at $100,000 no 10%.

11.  Gregory Blayer, age 34, of Flanders, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Gregory Blayer was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $10,000 no 10% bail.

12.  Otis L. Davis, age 57, of Morristown, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Otis L. Davis was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $10,000 with 10% option bail.

13.  Andrew W. Mistkowski, age 50, of Randolph, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Andrew W. Mistkowski was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $5,000 with 10% option bail.

14.  Jennie E. Maccario, age 36, of Hopatcong, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Jennie E. Maccario was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $10,000 with a 10% option bail.

15.  Jessica L. Debonis, age 30, of Flanders, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Jessica Debonis is currently at-large.  Her bail has been set at $10,000 with a 10% option bail.

16.  Melissa A. Lapinski, age 36, of Budd Lake, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Melissa Lapinski was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $10,000 with 10% option bail.

17.  Richard J. Hillabrant, age 45, of Rockaway, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Richard J. Hillabrant was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $10,000 with 10% option bail.

18.  Korey E. Holloway, age 41, of Morristown, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Korey E. Holloway was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $10,000 with 10% option bail.

19.  Carla J. Forgione, age 44, of Rockaway, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Carla J. Forgione was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $5,000 with 10% option bail.

20.  Sheyne V. Jordan, age 45, of Rockaway, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Sheyne V. Jordan was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $7,500 with 10% option bail.

21.  Marcelo Fabian, age 44, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Heroin (3rd Degree)

Marcelo Fabian was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility on $10,000 no 10% bail.

22.  Stephen Rudolph, age 59, of Glen Gardner, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

Stephen Rudolph was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility.  His bail has been set at $5,000 with no 10% option bail.

23.  Lauren M. Ellis-White, age 52, of Dover, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd Degree)

(1) Count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, less than ½ oz. (3rd Degree)

Lauren M. Ellis-White was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility.  Her bail has been set at $7,500 with no 10% option bail.

24.  Brandon L. White, age 22, Dover, NJ for:

(1) Count of Possession of Marijuana, less than 50 grams (Disorderly Persons)

Brandon L. White was released on his own recognizance.

25.  Ashon J. Hackett-Taylor, age 22, of Morristown, NJ for:

(1) Count of Possession of Marijuana, less than 50 grams (Disorderly Persons)

Ashon J. Hackett-Taylor was released on his own recognizance.

 

Former Attorney Sentenced to State Prison

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that Neil Gross, age 47 of Livingston, New Jersey, has been sentenced on charges of Theft (second degree), Unauthorized Practice of Law (third degree) and Bad Checks (third degree).

Gross was sentenced by the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. to three (3) years in State Prison on the charge of Theft (second degree) with concurrent three (3) year sentences on the charges of Unauthorized Practice of Law (third degree) and Bad Checks (third degree).

This matter was referred to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office from the New Jersey Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection. An investigation by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit disclosed that while Gross was suspended from the practice of law, he conducted real estate transactions for clients. In one (1) transaction, Gross received $150,000.00 into his Trust account to hold pending receipt of a Tax Clearance Certificate. Gross immediately began to withdraw those funds and convert them to his own personal use.

Criminal charges against Gross were signed on October 23, 2015, by Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Joseph Soulias and the matter was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Rappa.

Prosecutor Knapp thanks the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit, whose efforts contributed to this result.

Any inquiries can be directed to Executive Captain Richard A. Rose at [email protected] or (973) 285-6244.