Acting Morris County Prosecutor Meets with the Morris County Chapter of the NAACP

October 27, 2020

 

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Acting Chief Christoph Kimker, and Detective Supervisor Patrick LaGuerre joined executive members of the Morris County Chapter of the NAACP to be introduced to the incoming acting prosecutor on Thursday, October 22, 2020.

Participating at the meeting for the Morris County NAACP were NJSCNAACP 3rd VP & NAACP Morris County Branch President Vanessa Brown, 1st Vice President Ottawana Anderson, Morris County Correctional Facility Chaplain and Chairman/Criminal Justice for the Morris County NAACP Rev. Herman Scott, and Chair of Legal Redress Robert Warrington, Esq.

The meeting comes following a relationship-building summit held with the previous prosecutor.

Inquiries concerning this press release should be directed to Public Information Officer Meghan Knab at [email protected] or by phone at 973-829-8159.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Meets with the Morris County Chapter of the NAACP

From left to right: Chair of Legal Redress Robert Warrington, Esq., Acting Chief Chris Kimker, Morris County NAACP 1st Vice President Ottawana Anderson, Acting Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, NJSCNAACP 3rd VP & NAACP Morris County Branch President Vanessa Brown, Chairman/Criminal Justice for the Morris County NAACP Rev. Herman Scott, and Det. Supervisor Patrick LaGuerre.

Man Sentenced in Connection with 2019 Jefferson Township Fatal Boating Incident

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan announce the sentencing of Nicholas Zarantonello, 25 years old, of Lake Hopatcong, NJ. The sentence stems from a fatal boating incident that occurred on August 3, 2019.

Zarantonello was sentenced on Friday, October 23, 2020, by the Hon. Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. to three years probation conditioned upon 364 days imprisonment in the Morris County Correctional Facility and completion of 200 hours of community service. The defendant must also forfeit his right to operate a boat for one year and to operate a motor vehicle for three months.

Zarantonello had previously entered a guilty plea on July 20, 2020 to one count of third degree Strict Liability Vehicular Homicide before Judge Taylor. He also entered a guilty plea to the boating regulation violation of Operating a Vessel Under the Influence.

The charges arise from a single-vessel boating incident that occurred on Lake Hopatcong in Jefferson Township on August 3, 2019. The investigation revealed that Zarantonello was the driver of a pontoon boat on Lake Hopatcong with two passengers. While traveling on Lake Hopatcong, one of the passengers went overboard and did not resurface. His body was located in the water in Lake Hopatcong on August 5, 2019. Further investigation revealed that Zarantonello had consumed alcohol prior to operating the pontoon boat and was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Acting Prosecutor Carroll acknowledges members of the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, who contributed to the successful prosecution of this matter.

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

Suspect Arrested By Morris County Auto Theft Task Force for a String of Residential Burglaries and Motor Vehicle Thefts in Morris County

October 23, 2020

 

Morris County Acting Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Morris County Acting Chief of Detectives Chris Kimker, and Chatham Township Police Chief Thomas Miller announce the arrest of an individual for a series of residential burglaries and vehicle thefts in Chatham Township.

During the month of September 2020, Chatham Township Detective Muta Blanford, with the assistance of the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force (MCATTF) began an investigation into a series of residential burglaries and motor vehicle thefts that occurred in Chatham Township. As a result of this coordinated investigation by the MCATTF, Elijah Lott was identified and subsequently charged with multiple offenses related to these incidents. Lott is alleged to have burglarized three residences in Chatham Township and stole items of value from the residences. In addition to the residential burglaries, Lott is accused of burglarizing vehicles at these residences, stealing items from the vehicles, as well as the theft of two of the vehicles themselves.  Some of the residences were occupied by residents at the time of the alleged burglary.

The MCATTF developed Lott as a suspect using an intelligence-driven model of investigation, using shared resources, and a variety of investigative methods that corroborated initial information and ultimately identified him as the prime suspect in these criminal offenses.

 

Background on Morris County Auto Theft Task Force

During 2018, 2019, and 2020, Morris County Law Enforcement identified a significant increase in motor vehicle burglaries and thefts within Morris County.  In total, there were 640 motor vehicles stolen in Morris County during this three year time period. As a result of this crime increase, the impact on the community, and the potential for violent crime to be committed during the thefts or additional crimes committed using the stolen vehicles, the Morris County Chiefs Of Police Association, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Unit, and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office devoted significant investigative resources to develop intelligence and target the individuals responsible for victimizing property owners residing in Morris County. As a result, the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force (MCATTF) was created, which is comprised of local and county law enforcement agencies. The MCATTF also works collaboratively with the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force to identify and focus investigative efforts into the organized criminal auto theft gangs that are negatively affecting the quality of life in North Jersey, including Morris County.

The arrest of Elijah Lott stems from the creation of this task force and as a result of their work, Elijah Lott, age 22, was charged with the following:

  • Six (6) counts of third degree burglary;
  • Five (5) counts of third degree theft;
  • One (1) count of second degree theft; and
  • One (1) count of second degree conspiracy to commit burglary and theft.

Elijah Lott is currently lodged in the Bergen County Jail in accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act. Under the bail reform act, a motion for pretrial detention has been filed.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Carroll stated: “The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to investigating and prosecuting burglars and thieves who prey on our residents and violate the sanctity of their homes. Through the coordinated efforts of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Intelligence Unit, and the Morris County Auto Theft Task Force, and the Chatham Township Police Department, we pledge our commitment to assisting all law enforcement agencies within Morris County with the investigative and legal resources available to solve these types of crimes. The involved police departments and their officers are commended for their efforts and intelligence sharing, which led to this arrest and which demonstrates our collective commitment to keeping Morris County safe.”

Acting Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll also wishes to thank the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Montville Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, Chatham Township, and the East Hanover Police Department for devoting resources and personnel to the Auto Theft Task Force.

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

Any inquiries can be directed to Public Information Office Meghan Knab at (973) 829-8159 or [email protected].