Walkout Ceremony Held for Outgoing Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp

October 13, 2020

 

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, members of the Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp was honored on his last day, having announced that he would be retiring from the position. A walk-out ceremony was held on Court Street outside of the Morris County Courthouse.

The event was led by Master of Ceremonies Detective Sergeant Mark Castellano, with a presentation of the colors by Detective Captain Robert McNally. Presenters included First Assistant Prosecutor Thomas A. Zelante, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Acting Chief of Investigations Christoph K. Kimker, Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, Assemblywoman Aura K. Dunn, Freeholder Director Deborah Smith, and Freeholder Tayfun Selen, 2021 Morris County Bar Association President Joseph Cadicina, Esq., and NJSCNAACP 3rd Vice President and MCNAACP President Vanessa Brown.

Prosecutor Knapp was appointed Acting Morris County Prosecutor on December 14, 2012 by then Governor Chris Christie. After serving in that capacity for approximately 18 months, Knapp and five other prosecutors were confirmed by the New Jersey Senate on June 27, 2014.

During his tenure as Prosecutor, Knapp served as President of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey (CPANJ) for the year 2018 and has served as a Commissioner of the New Jersey Police Training Commission since January 2017 as the delegate of the CPANJ. Prosecutor Knapp was also appointed by Governor Phil Murphy as a Commissioner on the New Jersey Sentencing Review and Revision Commission.

Prosecutor Knapp was named “Prosecutor of the Year” by the New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association in 2017. The New Jersey Bias Crime Officers Association presented Prosecutor Knapp with their “Visionary Leadership Award” in March 2020. On September 16, 2020, the Morris County Police Chiefs Association recognized Prosecutor Knapp for his service and dedication to the Association.

Prosecutor Knapp said, “Having been in this job for nearly 8 years has been an incredible experience. I have met hundreds of people I would never have known otherwise from all over the state, county and the world. People of all races, religions, ethnicities and economic levels. Essentially all need and want to be safe and secure, free of crime and fear. It has been my privilege to work with some of the finest men and women in law enforcement here in Morris County. Although I cannot speak for other jurisdictions, I know that the law enforcement professionals here in Morris County are truly dedicated to serving and protecting all of our residents regardless of who has called.”

“The MCPO is staffed by outstanding lawyers, detectives and support staff. They follow in a tradition of excellence in which I have been very fortunate to be a part. My successor is also very fortunate to be joining them. He and I were colleagues over 30 years ago and we have had a great dialogue about the office. I know Bob Carroll will be a tremendous Morris County Prosecutor and will follow in our tradition.”

“Let me thank Governor Phil Murphy and Governor Chris Christie for having the confidence in me to do this critically important job. Now it’s time to concentrate on family and take some time to reflect upon the future.”

First Assistant Prosecutor Zelante said, “There was always a third person in the room when I met with Prosecutor Knapp, the wellbeing of Morris County. The Prosecutor always put justice and the lives of Morris County’s residents first.”

Morris County Sheriff James Gannon said he will really miss working with Prosecutor Knapp.

Sheriff Gannon stated, “Prosecutor Knapp has always been deeply concerned and invested in the well-being of residents, the rights of victims of crime, and justly pursuing ways to maintain a high quality-of-life in Morris County. A legacy of his administration is his genuine dedication to ending heroin abuse. I’m proud to have partnered with him on many initiatives to save lives by recognizing that addiction is a disease. Prosecutor Knapp poured his heart and soul into a difficult position and will be remembered as a robust and honorable law enforcement leader.”

Acting Chief of Investigations Chris Kimker, “I would like to thank Prosecutor Knapp for his service over the last eight years, and wish him and his family a long, happy retirement. Prosecutor Knapp worked hard to make the citizens of Morris County safer.

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

 

 

Walkout Ceremony Held for Outgoing Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M.  Knapp

Walkout Ceremony Held for Outgoing Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M.  Knapp

Walkout Ceremony Held for Outgoing Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M.  Knapp

Walkout Ceremony Held for Outgoing Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M.  Knapp

 

Walkout Ceremony Held for Outgoing Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M.  KnappWalkout Ceremony Held for Outgoing Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M.  Knapp

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Partners with Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Municipal Police Departments to Participate in Operation Take Back

October 9, 2020

Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Partners with Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Municipal Police Departments to Participate in Operation Take Back

 

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Acting Chief of Investigations Chris Kimker, Hanover Township Chief of Police Mark D. Roddy, Morris Plains Borough Chief of Police Mike Koroski, Morris Township Chief of Police Mark DiCarlo, and Randolph Township Chief of Police David Stokoe announce that on Saturday, October 24, 2020, they will be participating in the annual Operation Take Back program.

Operation Take Back is a semi-annual event coordinated nationally by the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in which law enforcement agencies at the state, county, and municipal level work collectively to host Operation Take Back across the nation.

The goal of Operation Take Back is to encourage the public to anonymously turn over unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medicine for proper disposal.  The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office has partnered with the Hanover Township Police Department, the Morris Plains Borough Police Department, the Morris Township Police Department, and the Randolph Township Police Department in this effort to reduce abuse and misuse of pharmaceutical drugs.  At its conclusion, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and Morris County Sheriff’s Office will collect the discarded prescription drugs and properly destroy them in a safe and non-hazardous manner.

During this event, satellite collection sites will be established at the following locations in Morris County, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.:

 

Shoprite of Greater Morristown

178 East Hanover Ave

Cedar Knolls, New Jersey 07927

 

Stop and Shop Supermarket

245 Littleton Road

Morris Plains, New Jersey 07950

 

ACME Supermarket

690 Millbrook Road

Randolph, New Jersey 07869

 

Due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency, those looking to drop off medicine for disposal are asked to wear protective face coverings or masks at the collection sites.

If you are unable drop off your medication at one of these locations, you can utilize any other permanent drop box locations nearest you, which are listed at http://safehealthymorris.org/dropbox

Prosecutor Knapp said, “Even during this pandemic we must continue removing potentially harmful drugs from the County. Operation Take Back has been a hugely successful project and we hope turnout will be high. Thanks to everyone who participates.”

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

Four Morris County Correction Officers and One Morris County Sheriff’s Officer Plead Guilty to Drug-Related Offenses

October 7, 2020

 

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Acting Chief of Investigations Chris Kimker and Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon announce the culmination of a narcotics investigation that resulted in the arrest and guilty pleas of four (4) Morris County Correction Officers and one (1) Morris County Sheriff’s Officer for drug related offenses.

Today’s guilty pleas arose from a multi-month investigation that was conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit (Narcotics Task Force) after receiving a Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers Program tip forwarded by Sheriff Gannon about illegal drug activity involving use by a Morris County Sheriff’s Officer.  The investigation identified four (4) Morris County Correction Officers employed in the Bureau of Corrections who were engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to purchase cocaine for their own personal use.  Two of these correction officers were also engaged in an ongoing conspiracy to distribute cocaine to their fellow officers. Additionally, this investigation identified a Morris County Sheriff’s Officer within the Bureau of Law Enforcement who was engaged in the ongoing conspiracy to purchase oxycodone prescription pills for his personal use. Two of the officers were also charged with obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function for utilizing a county law enforcement database for an unauthorized purpose in connection to their drug conspiracy.

On October 7, 2020, the following defendants appeared before the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr. and pled guilty to the below referenced charges:

 

Dominick Andico, age 33

  • One Count of Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine in violation of J.S.A. 2C:5-2 & N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a
  • One Count of Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in violation of J.S.A. 2C:5-2 & N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5
  • Once Count of Disorderly Person Obstructing the Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function in violation of J.S.A. 2C:29-1

Albert Wyman IV, age 36

  • One Count of Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine in violation of J.S.A. 2C:5-2 & N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a
  • Once Count of Disorderly Person Obstructing the Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function in violation of J.S.A. 2C:29-1

Robert Busold, age 27

  • One Count of Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine in violation of J.S.A. 2C:5-2 & N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a
  • One Count of Third Degree Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in violation of J.S.A. 2C:5-2 & N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5

Brian T. Rzucidlo, age 35

  • One Count of Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine in violation of J.S.A. 2C:5-2 & N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a

Nicholas Ricciotti, age 31

  • One Count of Third Degree Conspiracy to Possess Oxycodone (prescription medication) in violation of J.S.A. 2C:5-2 & N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a

 

As part of the plea agreements all defendants agreed to immediately resign from their positions as law enforcement officers, forfeiting their current public employment, and will be disqualified from holding any future position in public employment.  In addition, the plea agreements call for a term of probation with mandatory drug treatment.

Dominick Andico, Albert Wyman, Robert Busold and Brian Rzucidlo were all employed by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and assigned as correction officers at the Morris County Correctional Facility.  Nicholas Ricciotti, a former Morris County correction officer, was now a Morris County Sheriff’s Officer assigned to the Bureau of Law Enforcement.

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “All law enforcement officers must be held to a high standard of conduct. The illicit drug use of these individuals must be dealt with swiftly and effectively. There has been no evidence of distribution other than for their personal use amongst each other. Nevertheless, they are all being terminated immediately and shall forfeit any and all possibility of future public employment. We thank Sheriff Gannon for his unswerving cooperation throughout this investigation.”

Sheriff Gannon stated: “After discovering this information through our Morris County Sheriff’s CrimeStoppers program, I immediately forwarded it to the County Prosecutor for investigation.  One of the silver linings to this sad episode, frankly, is how effectively the Crime Stoppers reporting system works.  It proves that nobody – even Corrections and Sheriff’s Officers – are above the law. I trust that the people of Morris County won’t allow the criminal actions of a few bad apples to cast a shadow over the other 322 honest, moral, and hardworking staff at the Sheriff’s Office.  I am proud of my team and we are stronger today for rooting out and removing those who would bring dishonor to our organization and our county.”

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the units and agencies that participated in this investigation including the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit (Narcotics Task Force), Mt. Arlington Police Department, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Unit, and Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Unit, Intelligence Unit and High-Tech Crimes Unit.

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