Morris County Narcotics Task Force Make First Degree Drug Arrests

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Chief of Investigations Stephen F. Wilson Jr. announce the arrest of several cocaine distributors following a long-term drug investigation that began in June 2018 into the importation and distribution of cocaine into Morris County. This investigation culminated on November 15, 2018 and November 17, 2018, when investigators executed four (4) search warrants resulting in ten (10) arrests and the seizure of over five hundred (500) grams of cocaine, over $10,000 in drug distribution proceeds, and five (5) vehicles utilized in furtherance of drug distribution activity.

The following individuals were arrested as a result of this investigation:

1. Abel Mejia-Lara, age 37 of North Bergen, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of First-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 1 count of First-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 3 counts of Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine

• 3 counts of Second-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 3 counts of Second-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 4 counts of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

Mejia-Lara is currently in custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility pending a Detention Motion.

2. Erlin N. Duarte-Oseguero, age 27 of West New York, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of First-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 1 count of First-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 1 count of Second Degree Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine

• 2 counts of Second-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 2 counts of Second-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 2 counts of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 5 counts of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

• 1 count of Third-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 1 count of Fourth-Degree Possession of Paraphernalia with Intent to Distribute

Duarte-Oseguera is currently in custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility pending a Detention Motion.

3. Cesar D. Acosta-Shuna, age 35 of Union City, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of First-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 1 count of First-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 2 counts of Second-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 2 counts of Second-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 3 counts of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

• 1 count of Second-Degree Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine

Duarte-Oseguera is currently in custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility pending a Detention Motion.

4. Walter O. Cabrera-Martinez, age 36 of West New York, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of third-degree Possession of Cocaine

Cabrera-Martinez was released on a Summons Complaint.

5. Maria G. Ramos, age 36 of West New York, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

Ramos was released on a Summons Complaint.

6. Rudy Mendez-Lopez, age 20 of Morristown, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

Mendez-Lopez is currently in custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility awaiting his First Appearance.

7. Gabriella Pieneda, age 32 of Morristown, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

Pieneda is currently in custody at the Morris County Correctional Facility awaiting her First Appearance.

8. Yassir Martinez, age 40 of Morristown, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 1 count of Third-Degree Distribution of Cocaine

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

• 1 count of Fourth-Degree Possession of Paraphernalia with Intent to Distribute

Martinez was released on a Summons Complaint.

9. Edwin Garcia, age 39 of Morristown, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

• 1 count of Fourth-Degree Possession of Paraphernalia with Intent to Distribute

Garcia was released on a Summons Complaint.

10. Alexander Rodriguez-Bejaran, age 43 of Linden, NJ, was charged with the following:

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute

• 1 count of Third-Degree Possession of Cocaine

• 1 count of Fourth-Degree Possession of Paraphernalia with Intent to Distribute

Rodriguez-Bejaran was released on a Summons Complaint.

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “We are losing too many of our citizens to the disease of addiction. This investigation demonstrates the importance of collaborative law enforcement efforts working together to infiltrate criminal organizations impacting Morris County. Fortunately, the Morris County Narcotics task force, led by the Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit, dismantled a drug trafficking group and the investigation resulted in the removal of a significant quantity of cocaine from our community.”

Prosecutor Knapp wishes to thank the following agencies for their assistance and commitment to the Task Force: Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Morristown Police Department, West New York Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, Town of Dover Police Department and Morris Plains Police Department.

The investigation and prosecution is being conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division.

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

Any inquiries can be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at 973-829-8159 or [email protected]

Defendant is Sentenced on Aggravated Manslaughter and Simple Assault Charges

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Chief of Investigations Stephen F. Wilson, Jr. announce the sentencing of Maurice Pearson, age 31, with a last known address in Pine Brook, New Jersey on Aggravated Manslaughter and Simple Assault Charges.

On or about April 10, 2015, officers with the Fairfield Township Police Department responded to the Knights Inn, located at 55A Route 46 in Pine Brook, New Jersey (Montville Township) on a report of a male choking. As a result of a joint law enforcement investigation by multiple agencies, Pearson was charged and subsequently indicted for various crimes related to the death of a three-year old male and the assault of his adult mother. Members of the Montville Police Department, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Fairfield Police Department, and the Altoona (PA) Police Department all contributed to this investigation and prosecution.

Pearson pled guilty in April 2018, to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter, a crime of the First degree, and one count of Simple Assault, a disorderly persons offense.

On November 16, 2018, the Hon. Stephen J. Taylor, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Morris Vicinage, sentenced the Defendant to 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. Pearson will be required to service eighty-five percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole pursuant to the “No Early Release Act” (NERA). He will also be subject to a five-year period of parole supervision upon his release from prison.

The State was represented by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano and AP Melissa Ercolano in this matter. Prosecutor Knapp acknowledged the outstanding work done by both of these attorneys.

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank all members of law enforcement who contributed to this investigation and prosecution.

Prosecutor Knapp said, “The senseless killing of a defenseless child warranted the significant prison sentence of this defendant. Nothing can be done or said that will ever restore his mother’s loss, however we hope this sentence in some way brings her closure”.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in Partnership with Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Morris County Police Chiefs Association Host Security Seminar for Local Jewish Leaders

On November 13, 2018, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, and Madison Chief of Police and President of the Morris County Police Chiefs Association Darren Dachisen collaborated with leaders of the Jewish community throughout Morris County to host a seminar focused on security and law enforcement resources. This seminar provided these community clergy leaders and educational professionals the opportunity to meet face to face with law enforcement professionals, including the many local police chiefs who attended. The program was held at the Morris County Office of Emergency Management in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Multiple members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office provided information concerning their areas of expertise, and how their efforts will continue to work as a benefit for the Jewish community. Director Jared Maples, Chief of Staff Patrick Rigby and Detective Ehtasham Chaudry of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness also delivered remarks on how their office works in partnership with law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey.

Following the presentations by the law enforcement professionals, all attendees had the opportunity to raise questions and concerns about the information they had just received, as well as anything they felt was not covered throughout the morning program. These questions were fielded by Prosecutor Knapp, Sheriff Gannon, the local Police Chiefs, as well as by representatives from the Anti-Defamation League who were in attendance.

Prosecutor Knapp said, “This was an extremely valuable seminar for the leaders of the Jewish community of Morris County. In the weeks following the horrible incident in Pittsburgh, it was crucial to connect with these community leaders, to ensure they know the resources that are available to them through state, county, and local law enforcement. I would like to thank Sheriff Gannon, Director Maples, and the Morris County Police Chiefs Association for their joint efforts in hosting an extremely successful and fulfilling program with our office”.

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in Partnership with Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Morris County Police Chiefs Association Host Security Seminar for Local Jewish Leaders
Prosecutor Knapp
Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in Partnership with Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Morris County Police Chiefs Association Host Security Seminar for Local Jewish Leaders
MCPO Lt. Jan Monrad

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at [email protected] or 973-829-8159.