Three Enter Guilty Pleas in Connection with October 2018 Home Invasion in Victory Gardens

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, and Rockaway Borough Police Chief Conrad Pepperman announce the guilty pleas of three males in connection with a home invasion robbery that occurred on the evening of October 21, 2018, in Victory Gardens, New Jersey.

On February 11, 2019, Victor Hernandez, age 20, with a last known address in Rockaway Borough, New Jersey, entered a guilty plea to second degree Conspiracy to commit Armed Robbery. The Honorable Catherine I. Enright, J.S.C. presided over the guilty plea. The State will recommend that Hernandez be sentenced to three (3) years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the eighty-five (85) percent parole ineligibility requirements of the No Early Release Act.

On February 11, 2019, Marlon Martinez, age 23, also with a last known address in Rockaway Borough, New Jersey, entered a guilty plea to second degree Conspiracy to commit Armed Robbery. The Honorable Catherine I. Enright, J.S.C. presided over the guilty plea. The State will recommend that Martinez be sentenced to three (3) years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the eighty-five (85) percent parole ineligibility requirements of the No Early Release Act.

On February 27, 2019, Carlos Rodriguez, age 22, with a last known address in Victory Gardens, New Jersey, entered a guilty plea to first degree Armed Robbery. The Honorable Donald G. Collester, J.S.C. (retired and temporarily on recall) presided over the guilty plea. The State will recommend that Rodriguez be sentenced to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison subject to the eighty-five (85) percent parole ineligibility requirements of the No Early Release Act.

In pleading guilty, the defendants admitted to entering a residence located in Victory Gardens on the evening of October 21, 2018. It is alleged that the residence was occupied by the leaseholder and two guests. Hernandez and Martinez both acknowledged that they were armed with weapons, specifically metal pipes, and that they had agreed with Rodriguez and one another to enter the residence to commit theft. Rodriguez acknowledged that he entered the residence with the two other males, both of whom were armed with metal pipes. Rodriguez further acknowledged that he stole a safe and metal chains from the residence while the other males used the metal pipes to threaten the victims.

All three defendants continue to be lodged at the Morris County Correctional Facility. Sentencing for all three individuals has been scheduled for March 29, 2019 before the Honorable Catherine I. Enright, J.S.C. The State is represented by Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn in this matter.

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the New Jersey State Police, the Rockaway Borough Police Department, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit for their efforts in this case.

Any inquiries concerning this press release can be directed to Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200 or [email protected]

Additional Charge Filed Against Woman in Connection with Fatal Drug Overdose in Rockaway Borough

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Chief of Investigations Stephen F. Wilson, Jr. and Rockaway Borough Police Chief Conrad Pepperman announce the filing of an additional charge related to a fatal drug overdose occurring on November 23, 2018.

On November 23, 2018, law enforcement responded to a report of a female who was unconscious and not breathing. The female, who was pronounced as deceased at the scene, was identified as Sasha Truesdale. The investigation would reveal that Truesdale was the victim of a fatal drug overdose.

Through a subsequent investigation, it is alleged that Natalia E. Zyga, age 30, with a last known address in Rockaway Township, distributed heroin and fentanyl to Truesdale in Rockaway Borough on November 23, 2018. It is further alleged that the ingestion of the heroin and fentanyl distributed by Zyga to Truesdale resulted in Truesdale’s death.

Zyga has been charged with Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-9. This statute provides that any person who manufactures, distributes or dispenses any of a number of controlled dangerous substances is strictly liable for a death that results from the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of that substance. This is a first-degree crime, which is punishable by up to twenty (20) years in New Jersey State Prison and is subject to the eighty-five (85) percent parole ineligibility requirements of the No Early Release Act. Zyga was previously charged on December 3, 2018 with other drug-related offenses stemming from this investigation. In accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act, Zyga was lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending future court proceedings.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have been actively involved in this investigation, including the Rockaway Borough Police Department, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Special Enforcement Units.

If anyone has any information related to this investigation, they are encouraged to call the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200.

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

Any inquiries concerning this press release can be directed to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at [email protected]

Additional Charge Filed Against Woman in Connection with Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash in Rockaway Township

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Chief Martin McParland, Jr. of the Rockaway Township Police Department announce the filing of an additional charge related to a motor vehicle crash that occurred during the early morning hours of February 2, 2019.

It is alleged that Samantha Viscardi, 22 years old of Rockaway, NJ, was the driver of a motor vehicle involved in a single vehicle crash that occurred in the area of 435 Green Pond Road in Rockaway. The subsequent investigation revealed that in addition to Viscardi, there was one other passenger in the vehicle at the time of the crash. The passenger, who sustained serious bodily injury in the crash, subsequently died as a result of those injuries. The passenger’s name and identity will not be released at this time.

Viscardi was initially charged with one count of Assault by Auto, a crime of the third degree. Upon the passenger’s death, Viscardi was charged with one count of Reckless Vehicular Homicide, a crime of the second degree.

Members of the Rockaway Township Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office – Crime Scene Investigation, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit contributed to this investigation.

The complaints against Viscardi are merely accusations. Despite these accusations, this Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to contact the Rockaway Township Police Department at (973) 625-4000 or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (973) 285-6200.

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