Two Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Employees Commended for Assisting in a Kansas Murder Investigation

On December 19, 2018, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and Chief of Investigations Stephen F. Wilson, Jr. presented commendations to Assistant Prosecutor Erin Callahan and Detective Daniel Gallagher.

AP Callahan and Detective Gallagher assisted the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office in organizing and executing search warrants to access cell phones containing evidence of a murder in Sedgwick County, Kansas. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office assisted in the execution of these warrants because the company utilized to access the cell phone data is located in Morris County.

The evidence found on these phones ultimately aided in the convictions and sentencing of five individuals charged with torturing and murdering 33-year-old Scottie Goodpaster. For their involvement in the crime, Jeff and Heidi Hillard were sentenced to life in prison, Willie Morris was sentenced to at least 73 years in prison, and Brian Bussart and Alexandria Scott are still waiting to be sentenced. Following the convictions, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office expressed their enormous gratitude to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office for their successful assistance.

Prosecutor Knapp said, “AP Callahan and Detective Gallagher’s assistance in this investigation was helpful in putting these criminals in jail for the rest of their lives. We are all proud of their exemplary efforts. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will always look to help our partners in law enforcement any way we can”.

Two Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Employees Commended for Assisting in a Kansas Murder Investigation
From left: Captain Harrison Dillard, Detective Dan Gallagher, AP Erin Callahan, Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, Chief Stephen Wilson Jr., and First Assistant Prosecutor Tom Zelante.

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

Morris County Narcotics Task Force Disrupts Multi-County Drug Trafficking Network

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Chief of Investigations Stephen F. Wilson, Jr. announce the arrests of several drug traffickers following an investigation into the importation and distribution of cocaine in Morris County and other counties.

Between January 2017 and December 2018, members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit/Narcotics Task Force and detectives with the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department received information that Michael Swanson and multiple associates were importing and distributing cocaine in Morris and surrounding counties.

On December 17, 2018, as a result of the wide-ranging distribution network that Michael Swanson operated, directed and controlled, Court-ordered search and arrest warrants were executed in Bergen County—where Michael Swanson lives, and Passaic County—where two of his associates live, by members of the Morris County Narcotics Task Force, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office’s Tactical Narcotics Team, and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office SWAT.

The investigation resulted in Court authorization for 17 arrests, the seizure of more than 150 grams of cocaine, various packaging and drug distribution related materials, and over $5,200 in United States currency. In addition, four (4) vehicles used by Swanson and his network of drug distributors were seized.

The following is a list of individuals charged in the investigation. The charges specific to each individual are included:

  1. Michael Swanson (aka “Brian”), age 41, of Hackensack, NJ. (arrested)
  2. Keisha Swanson, age 42 of Hackensack, NJ (arrested)
  3. Joanny Peon (aka “JoJo”), age 38, of Paterson, NJ (arrested)
  4. James Gaita, age 29, of Paterson, NJ (arrested)
  5. Monique Colon, age 28, of Ringwood, NJ (arrested)
  6. Federico Bado, age 35 of Roselle, NJ (arrested)
  7. Silvana Ferreira, age 33 of Ringwood, NJ (arrested)
  8. Eileen Brennan, age 52, of Lake Hiawatha, NJ (arrested)
  9. Devon Miles, age 53, of Boonton, NJ (arrested)
  10. Roger Kelly, age 70, of Hamburg, NJ (arrested)
  11. Kenneth Poust, age 52, of Wantage, NJ (arrested)
  12. Melinda Romero-Bonilla, age 30, of Dover, NJ (arrested)
  13. Frank Oliver, age 52 of Boonton, NJ (arrested)
  14. Cecile J. Aponte, age 33 of Paterson, NJ (at-large)
  15. David S. Ruddy, age 38 of Metuchen, NJ (at-large)
  16. Keith Andreasen, age 46 of Ogdensburg, NJ (at-large)
  17. William Stivaly, age 59 of Lake Hiawatha, NJ (at-large)

The Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. authorized the complaint warrants for the defendants, all of whom are subject to Criminal Justice Reform.

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “This investigation uncovered a far-reaching cocaine distribution network controlled, organized, and directed by Michael Swanson who employed several subordinates to travel throughout Morris County and surrounding counties in their quest to be a full-service drug distribution network. This network included Swanson’s customers who, in turn, were re-sellers that further distributed the cocaine in several locations. This Office remains steadfast in its efforts to battle drug distribution throughout Morris County. I am extremely proud of the efforts and cooperation of all agencies involved. ”

Prosecutor Knapp thanks the following agencies for their invaluable assistance and commitment to the Narcotics Task Force: the various units within the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office led by the Special Operations Division and the Special Enforcement Unit/Tactical Narcotics Team, Morris County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office/Bergen County SWAT, Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, Town of Boonton Police Department, Boonton Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Morristown Bureau of Police, Dover Police Department, Morris County Park Police, Butler Police Department, Lincoln Park Borough Police Department, Rockaway Borough Police Department, Kinnelon Borough Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department, Hanover Township Police Department, Denville Township Police Department, Hackensack Police Department, and Woodland Park Police Department.

The investigation and prosecution is being conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division. Task Force Officer George Tsimpedes of the Morris County Narcotics Task Force is the lead investigator. Assistant Prosecutor Erin Callahan is assigned to the prosecution.

Table of Charges

1. Michael Swanson (aka “Brian”), age 41, of Hackensack, NJ. Swanson was charged with:

(1) Count of Leader of a Drug Trafficking Network (1st degree)
(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)
(15) Counts of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(9) Counts of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(9) Counts of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(5) Counts of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)
(5) Counts of Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree)

Swanson was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility. Pursuant to Criminal Justice Reform, a motion for pretrial detention has been filed and will be heard on Thursday, December 20, 2018.

2. Keisha Swanson, age 42, of Hackensack, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)

Keisha Swanson was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility. Pursuant to Criminal Justice Reform, a motion for pretrial detention has been filed and will be heard on Thursday, December 20, 2018.

3. Joanny Peon, (aka “JoJo”) age 38, of Paterson, NJ:

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)
(9) Counts of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(8 ) Counts of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute (3rd degree)
(8) Counts of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)
(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree)

Joanny Peon was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility. Pursuant to Criminal Justice Reform, a motion for pretrial detention has been filed and will be heard on Thursday, December 20, 2018.

4. James Gaita, age 29, of Paterson, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)
(5) Counts of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(4) Counts of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute (2nd degree)
(4) Counts of Distribution of Cocaine (2nd degree)

James Gaita was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility. Pursuant to Criminal Justice Reform, a motion for pretrial detention has been filed and will be heard on Thursday, December 20, 2018.

5. Monique Colon, age 28, of Ringwood, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)

Monique Colon was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

6. Federico Bado, age 35 of Roselle, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)

Federico Bado was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

7. Silvana Ferreira, age 33 of Ringwood, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)

Silvana Ferreira was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

8. Eileen Brennan, age 52, of Lake Hiawatha, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)

Eileen Brennan was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

9. Devon Miles, age 53, of Boonton, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)

Devon Miles was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

10. Roger Kelly, age 70, of Hamburg, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)
(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)

Roger Kelly was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and was later released with conditions.

11. Kenneth Poust, age 52, of Wantage, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)

Kenneth Poust was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

12. Melinda Romero-Bonilla, age 30, of Dover, NJ

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)

Melinda Romero-Bonilla was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

13. Frank Oliver, age 52 of Boonton, NJ

(1) One Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)
(1) One Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)

Frank Oliver was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility and later released with conditions.

14. Cecile J. Aponte, age 33, of Paterson, NJ (at-large)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)

15. David S. Ruddy, age 38 of Metuchen, NJ (at-large)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession of Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine (3rd degree)
(1) Count of Distribution of Cocaine (3rd degree)

16. Keith Andreasen, age 46 of Ogdensburg, NJ (at-large)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree)

17. William Stivaly, age 59 of Lake Hiawatha, NJ (at-large)

(1) Count of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine (2nd degree ) (at-large)

If you have information as to the whereabouts of the at-large defendants, please contact your local police department or the Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers at www.copcall.org,973-COP-CALL, or use the free “P3 Tips” app on any mobile device.

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

Morris County Narcotics Task Force Disrupts Multi-County Drug Trafficking Network

Please direct inquiries to Public Information Officer Peter DiGennaro at (973) 829-8159 or [email protected]