2013 New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Annual Report

 

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2013 New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Annual Report

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2013 Annual Report John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General of New Jersey

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OAG Annual Report Overview Dear Governor Christie, members of the State Legislature and citizens of New Jersey: Eight million people call New Jersey home, and countless more visit the state each day. Our principal charge is to ensure their safety, but that is only the beginning. We have a far-reaching mission that encompasses everything from alcoholic beverage control to juvenile justice, and from civil rights to gaming enforcement. In one way or another, then, our work touches the lives of virtually everyone who lives in or travels through New Jersey. This is an enormous responsibility, and we consider it a privilege to be entrusted with it. At the Department of Law and Public Safety, we have an incredibly dedicated work force – a work force made up of civilian personnel and sworn law enforcement members that is guided by the highest standards of integrity, performance and public service. The most visible aspect of what we do involves protecting communities by combating violent crime, gang activity, drug dealing, weapons trafficking and other threats. This is the Department’s bedrock mission, and we approach it with great passion and commitment. However, we have many other critical responsibilities including: n Investigating and prosecuting public corruption. n Combating human trafficking. n Keeping sexual predators away from our children. n Making sure consumers are treated fairly and honestly. n Leading the State’s emergency response and homeland security efforts. n Preventing unlawful discrimination. n Ensuring the integrity of New Jersey’s casino gambling and horse racing industries. n Discouraging drunk driving, and making highway travel as safe as possible. Our Department also serves as New Jersey’s largest law firm, handling tens of thousands of civil litigation matters each year and providing legal advice to agencies of state government. The scope of the Department’s mission is indeed broad, and every one of our duties is important. But again, the safety of New Jersey communities is our number one priority. As Attorney General, I am committed to making all of our cities and towns safer, and in 2013 we did so through a variety of enforcement efforts – often carried out in collaboration with our local, county, state and federal partners. For example, we obtained indictments against a total of 65 defendants for trafficking and/or possessing upwards of 100 illegal firearms. Some of these defendants were accused of illegally smuggling guns into New Jersey from other states. In one case, 11 people were charged with bringing in illegal firearms – including assault rifles – for sale on the streets of Newark and Irvington. We took down several violent drug distribution networks operating in the City of Camden, arresting or indicting approximately 100 defendants – some with substantial ties to Mexican drug cartels – and seizing significant quantities of cash, illegal guns, heroin and cocaine. And we continued to maintain a strong law enforcement presence in Atlantic City, where our partnership with local and county agencies on the Clean and Safe Initiative dramatically reduced crime and violence. I

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New Jersey Office of The Attorney General • Department of Law & Public Safety Another outstanding example of our commitment to making New Jersey communities safer is TIDE/TAG, the anti-violence strategy we launched in the City of Trenton in 2013. The acronym TIDE stands for “Targeted Integrated Deployment Effort,” while the acronym TAG stands for “Targeted Anti-Gun Initiative.” TIDE-TAG was born out of events in Trenton in the summer of 2013, when violent crime was spiking, shootings were taking place on a regular basis, and residents saw the number of murders reach historic levels. As part of TIDE-TAG, we deployed State Troopers to work hand-in-hand with the Trenton Police Department, and issued a directive to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office all but prohibiting one-year plea deals for those caught carrying guns on the street. By employing this two-pronged strategy, we sent a clear message to criminals and gang members in Trenton and the rest of Mercer County: the streets of our State Capitol will not be a shooting gallery. And we know the message got through. In the roughly two months after TIDE/TAG was launched, shootings dropped by half and, while Trenton had experienced 29 murders before the program began, only eight additional homicides occurred during the remainder of 2013. Simply put, TIDE-TAG worked. And going forward, we intend to employ it in other urban centers – for example Newark -- where violence has been a concern. We also are proud of the Gun Buyback Initiative we launched at the end of 2012, and carried out in 2013 using criminal forfeiture funds. These buybacks made communities safer by removing from circulation a total of more than 16,000 dangerous firearms – including approximately 7,300 handguns and approximately 1,900 illegal weapons. Of course, fighting crime means not only getting drugs, guns and gangs off the streets. It also means battling public corruption. At every level in 2013, we vigorously prosecuted public officials and government employees who abused their positions of trust, as well as private individuals and corporate entities who sought to corrupt public processes. In August, Birdsall Services Group of Monmouth County was ordered to pay the State a total $1 million in criminal penalties as part of its sentence for engaging in a scheme designed to evade New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws by disguising corporate political contributions as the individual contributions of Birdsall employees. Our Division of Criminal Justice spearheaded the Birdsall investigation and prosecution, which resulted in Birdsall also paying $2.6 million to the State to settle a related civil forfeiture action. Under its plea agreement, Birdsall was banned from working on public contracts in New Jersey for the next decade. As a practical matter, however, the company is out of business, as financial payouts to the State associated with its crimes have bankrupted it. As of this writing, indictments against Birdsall’s CEO and six other executives remain pending, and we have every intention of holding these individual defendants accountable for their conduct. We also obtained a guilty plea and nine-year prison sentence in 2013 against former Middlesex County Sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo, whom we prosecuted for selling public jobs for cash. Other public corruption defendants we prosecuted in 2013 included a municipal clerk, a municipal taxicab licensing inspector, a fire department treasurer, a municipal public works supervisor, a civilian State Police employee, a school board member, a school board attorney, and a public school district transportation manager, to name a few. Regrettably, some of the public corruption defendants we prosecuted held positions of trust in State government, and in sworn State law enforcement. II

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Among those were Assemblyman Albert Couthino, who pleaded guilty to stealing from a non-profit charitable foundation, Assemblyman Robert Schroeder, who at this writing is under indictment for financial fraud, and former Department of Treasury Supervisor David Winkler, who was convicted at trial of stealing $20,000 worth of equipment from a state warehouse. Also prosecuted were two State Troopers – Nadir Nassry and Joseph Ventrella – who engaged in a dangerous, unauthorized, and unlawful high-speed escort of privately-owned sports cars to Atlantic City, then sought to conceal their conduct. These two Troopers pleaded guilty to 4th degree offenses and forfeited their State Police jobs as a consequence of their actions. These examples of corrupt conduct by people who should have known better were an aberration. I am proud to say that the vast majority of our people demonstrate the high standard of integrity New Jersey citizens rightly demand. It is historically true that our Division of Law’s litigation efforts bring in important revenue, and 2013 certainly proved the point. For the year, DOL obtained approximately $304 million in settlements and judgments on behalf of the State through its litigation efforts. The dollar amount obtained by DOL represented a $104 million increase -- or approximately 52 percent -- over the prior year. That is an impressive number, and a real credit to the high caliber of legal work done by the Deputy Attorneys General in our Division of Law every day. Among other cases, a DOL lawsuit against several primary defendants responsible for contaminating the Passaic River resulted in a $130 million settlement. Factoring in separately-reached agreements with third-party, “non-discharging” defendants, our Passaic River litigation efforts yielded settlements totaling $165.4 million in 2013. DOL lawsuits against Merrill Lynch (securities investment fraud), PHH Mortgage (loan modification fraud), Google (cyber-privacy breaches) and Toyota Motor Company (concealment of a dangerous safety issue) also generated significant, multi-million-dollar settlement payments to the State. New Jersey also moved to the forefront of states addressing the illegal diversion and misuse of prescription drugs in 2013. Led by the Division of Consumer Affairs, we continued our vigilance through the highly-effective Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and began revoking the CDS licenses of health care providers who wrote or filled prescriptions for pain killers and other powerful controlled drugs without legitimate medical need. n Our Divisions of Law and Consumer Affairs collaborated to sue businesses that price- Other important work by the Department in 2013 included: gouged on gasoline sales, hotel room rentals and other goods and services after a State of Emergency was declared during Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012. Through settlements reached with 22 of those businesses, we obtained more than $800,000 in civil penalties, consumer restitution and other costs. n The Division of Highway Traffic Safety continued to make driving in New Jersey safer in 2013, both through its own efforts and through grant funding to local agencies. I am pleased to note that traffic deaths in our state declined 8 percent last year, and in fact reached an all-time low of 544 since the State Police began reporting such statistics more than three decades ago. III

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New Jersey Office of The Attorney General • Department of Law & Public Safety n Our Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted an extensive investigation into the illegal substitution, and adulteration, of premium alcohol served in restaurants and taverns. Done in cooperation with distilled alcohol manufacturers, “Operation Swill” caught 39 establishments serving up cheap liquor to patrons who paid for top-shelf brands. Bars and restaurants caught cheating paid a total of more than $550,000 in fines and penalties to the State. n The Division on Civil Rights initiated more than 700 new investigations and worked to combat discrimination through awareness, training and, where appropriate, enforcement action. Among the Division’s noteworthy efforts was collaboration with the NJSIAA (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association) on an initiative designed to rid high school sports competition of taunts and harassment based on ethnicity, race, religion and other “protected” characteristics. As part of the initiative, NJSIAA expanded its definition of “unsportsmanlike behavior” to include bias-based taunting. In addition, specific reporting and response protocols were developed for handling violations, which include further investigation by the Division on Civil Rights where appropriate. This collaborative effort aimed at stamping out bias and encouraging sportsmanship garnered favorable public and media response across New Jersey and throughout the nation. n The Division of Gaming Enforcement was central to the on-time launch of legalized Internet gambling in 2013, taking the lead role in creation of related regulations and testing critical features of Internet gaming systems – including all-important fraud and money-laundering detection systems. As part of its work, the Division evaluated and approved 253 on-line casino games that are currently available to New Jersey patrons. n The Juvenile Justice Commission continued to serve as a model for the nation through its work with the courts and the community on JDAI or the “Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.” JDAI has allowed for the placement of thousands of juvenile offenders – young people who otherwise would be inappropriately incarcerated – in alternate settings while maintaining community safety. Through the end of 2012, the average daily detention population in JDAI counties had decreased by 58 percent, with youth of color accounting for 90 percent of this reduction. In 2013, JDAI was expanded into Cape May and Sussex Counties, bringing to 18 the number of counties participating. n The Racing Commission continued to do an excellent job of regulating New Jersey’s thoroughbred and harness racing industries, employing a comprehensive drug-testing program to detect use of steroids and other illegal substances in race horses. Through testing, the Commission identified a total of 24 horses that had been “doped” with illegal drugs. The Commission also approved New Jersey’s fifth Off-Track Wagering Facility, located in Gloucester Township, Camden County. Another collaborative effort that put New Jersey on the map in 2013 was our Fugitive Safe Surrender event staged in Jersey City. Through this partnership effort, which included personnel from law enforcement at every level, civic leaders, clergy members and community volunteers, nearly 5,000 fugitives wanted by law enforcement in New Jersey safely turned themselves in, and more than 10,000 nonviolent arrest warrants were resolved. Nationally, Jersey City represented the third largest turnout ever for a Fugitive Safe Surrender event. We also ratcheted up our enforcement efforts targeting those engaged in child exploitation – specifically child pornography and human trafficking. Our Division of Criminal Justice worked on many anti-child-pornography cases, including one – done in cooperation with federal law enforcement agents – resulting in the arrest of 14 defendants accused of distributing and possessing child pornography via Internet file-sharing programs. This case, dubbed “Operation Predator Alert,” marked the first major utilization of New Jersey’s new, even tougher anti-child-pornography laws, which went into effect last August. IV

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We also have beefed up our anti-trafficking efforts, assigning experienced investigators and prosecutors to our Human Trafficking Task Force, issuing a statewide directive for law enforcement on trafficking, and working daily to sharpen, strengthen and better coordinate New Jersey’s attack on human trafficking at every level. Given the rapid evolution of technology, protecting people’s cyber-privacy and investigating cyber-crime are two of the new frontiers for law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Our State Police and Division of Criminal Justice have special units devoted to investigating on-line criminal activity, and in 2013, our Divisions of Law and Consumer Affairs obtained significant settlements from corporate entities whom we had sued for allegedly breaching cyber-privacy laws designed to protect computer users. Of course, crime impacts on every demographic of our society, and the Department, through our Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCO), continued to aid all eligible crime victims in 2013 by providing assistance grants. Funding from our VCCO cannot eliminate the hurt, anger and fear that typically accompany victimization. However, it can go a long way toward reducing the financial strain and related mental pain that often come with having been victimized, or having had a loved one injured or killed by a criminal act. The VCCO provided $9.7 million in victim assistance grants to crime victims in Fiscal 2013. These grants are vital, and our commitment is to continue to provide as much help for eligible crime victims as our resources will allow. Based on the events of 2013, I am excited by the direction of our New Jersey State Police. Not only did we strengthen the ranks of the nation’s finest statewide policing organization by graduating two new recruit classes – the 152nd and 153 State Police classes -- but we made significant strides in the area of diversity. The 153rd State Police class was the most diverse class in State Police history, with 54 percent of the graduates coming from minority groups. And the 152nd Class before it included a significant number of minority graduates as well. Going forward, we will continue to recruit top-flight Trooper candidates from across the state, and will seek to maintain a State Police force that not only maintains the agency’s tradition of excellence, but also mirrors the richly diverse population it serves. We in the Department of Law and Public Safety are committed to serving the public, and are proud of the work we do each day. In the pages that follow, you will read about more of the Department’s keynote accomplishments for 2013. I urge you to also visit the Web sites of our individual Divisions and Commissions to learn more about our efforts on behalf of New Jersey citizens. John J. Hoffman Acting Attorney General V

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Table of Contents Division of Criminal Justice................................................................... 2 Division of State Police........................................................................ 12 Division of Law..................................................................................... 20 Division of Consumer Affairs .............................................................. 26 Division on Civil Rights ........................................................................ 32 Division of Highway Traffic Safety ....................................................... 38 Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control............................................... 42 Division of Gaming Enforcement ....................................................... 46 Juvenile Justice Commission .............................................................. 52 Racing Commission............................................................................. 58 State Athletic Control Board................................................................ 62 1

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New Jersey Office of The Attorney General • Department of Law & Public Safety Elie Honig Director Division of Criminal Justice New Jersey’s unified, integrated system of law enforcement is unique in the nation. The Criminal Justice Act of 1970 designated the Attorney General as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the State. Under the Act, the powers of the Attorney General relating to the detection, interdiction and prosecution of criminal activities are exercised through the Division of Criminal Justice. In addition to its direct law enforcement operations, the Division provides oversight and coordination within New Jersey’s vast law enforcement community. The Division’s mission is to protect the residents of New Jersey by helping to coordinate and enhance the operations and policies of law enforcement at all levels – state, county and municipal. For more information about the Division visit www.nj.gov/oag/dcj. 2

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Division of Criminal Justice Overview The Division of Criminal Justice continued to pursue critical priorities in 2013 such as fighting public corruption, protecting New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents – including the victims of human trafficking and child pornography – and conducting targeted, multi-agency operations to reduce violence and crack down on the trafficking of illegal guns and narcotics. The Division hired more than 35 new Deputy Attorneys General and Detectives in 2013. This influx of talent and energy enabled it not only to continue performing its core mission of public protection, but also to take a leadership role in new, emerging areas of law enforcement. In 2013, the Division charged 580 cases by indictment or accusation. As reflected in the cases summarized below, the Division delivered not just quantity but quality. The Division brought high-impact cases targeting areas that are fundamental to public protection, including the prosecution of street gangs, gun and drug trafficking organizations, corrupt public officials, child predators, identity thieves, and crooks and con artists of all types. The Division also moved to the cutting edge to combat emerging criminal threats such as post-Sandy fraud, cybercrime, human trafficking and the diversion of prescription drugs. The Division continued to focus on aggressively combating human trafficking, charging several major cases of international and domestic sex-related human trafficking, training 2,700 individuals -- including 1,400 law enforcement officers -- in how to spot and respond to human trafficking through New Jersey’s statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, and working with the FBI, as well as county and municipal law enforcement, on a comprehensive strategy for investigating and prosecuting human trafficking at the Super Bowl. The Division focused enhanced law enforcement resources on detecting and prosecuting those who distribute child pornography and sexually exploit children, overseeing investigations such as Operation Predator Alert, a joint operation with ICE Homeland Security Investigations that culminated in the October 2013 arrests of 14 men, and the February 2013 Operation Ever Vigilant, a joint investigation with the State Police that led to the arrest of 25 men for possession and distribution of child pornography. The Division played a key role in a major crackdown on urban violence, including the arrest of dozens of violent drug dealers in November in Operation North Pole, the largest narcotics bust in Camden in recent years, and implementation in August of TIDETAG in Trenton. TIDE-TAG is a two-pronged strategy that succeeded in stemming the rising murder rate in Trenton by deploying State Troopers and other law enforcement personnel to suppress shootings in the most violent neighborhoods, while aggressively prosecuting gang members, repeat offenders and drug dealers who carry guns in public. Murders declined 38 percent in the five months post-TIDE-TAG, compared to the preceding five months. The Atlantic City Violent Crime Task Force, which combines all levels of law enforcement under the leadership of the Attorney General’s Office, made numerous arrests of violent offenders in 2013, including the takedown in May of a major gang-related drug network in the Back Maryland Avenue section of the city in Operation Blok Buster. These operations had a strong impact in reducing gang-related murders. Murders in Atlantic City dropped to three in 2013, a 30-year low. In response to the deadly epidemic of heroin and pain pill abuse, the Division formed a statewide Opiates Task Force, focusing state, county and local law enforcement on investigating and prosecuting heroin trafficking, as well as the diversion and abuse of prescription opiates such as oxycodone. The Task Force developed statewide training for prosecutors and investigators focused on using New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program as a law enforcement tool. Corruption Bureau State v. Birdsall Services Group, et al.: The Division indicted Birdsall Services Group, its CEO, and six other top executives for conspiring to subvert the state’s Pay-to-Play Act by disguising illegal corporate political contributions as personal contributions of firm employees. In total, Birdsall – which held millions of dollars in state contracts for engineering services – made hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to dozens of officials and candidates. Beyond the seven charged executives who were indicted, two former Birdsall employees pleaded guilty for their participation in the scheme. Further, Birdsall, as a corporate entity, pleaded guilty 3

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New Jersey Office of The Attorney General • Department of Law & Public Safety to a first-degree money laundering charge and a second-degree charge of making false representations in government contracting. Birdsall also forfeited $3.6 million to the State in criminal and civil forfeitures and penalties. State v. Joseph Spicuzzo, et al: The Division convicted Joseph Spicuzzo – former Middlesex County Sheriff and political party chairman – and two sheriff’s deputies, Darrin DiBiasi and Paul Lucarelli, for their participation in a jobs-for-cash scheme. Spicuzzo collected approximately $112,000 in bribes from individuals seeking positions or promotions in the Sheriff’s Office. Spicuzzo pleaded guilty to bribery and was sentenced to nine years in state prison with two years parole ineligibility, mandatory forfeiture of pension, and permanent disqualification from public office. Both sheriff’s deputies pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe a public official. State v. Albert Coutinho: The Division secured a guilty plea from State Assemblyman Albert Coutinho on charges of theft by unlawful taking and filing false public records. Coutinho admitted he stole more than $32,000 from a non-profit charitable foundation, and used that money for his own personal expenses. Coutinho also admitted to filing false financial disclosure statements in connection with his position as an elected state official. He was sentenced to five years of probation. He forfeited his public office, and is permanently banned from holding public office or employment in New Jersey. He also was ordered to make full restitution to the foundation. State v. Nadir Nassry and Joseph Ventrella: New Jersey State Troopers Nadir Nassry and Joseph Ventrella admitted their participation in an unauthorized, high-speed escort of sports cars to Atlantic City. Nassry pleaded guilty to falsifying public records. Ventrella waived indictment, agreed to be charged with the same offense, and was permitted to apply for Pre-Trial Intervention. Both men forfeited their jobs with the State Police and are permanently barred from future law enforcement employment. State v. Anna Taliaferro: The Division tried and convicted Anna Taliaferro, a former Paterson school district official, on official misconduct and other charges. Taliaferro, who worked as coordinator of a parent resource program for the Paterson school district, contracted on behalf of the school district with her own non-profit corporation, and then overbilled the school district by more than $180,000. Taliaferro faces five to ten years in state prison, including a minimum of five years without parole. State v. David Winkler, et al: The Division tried and convicted David Winkler, a former supervisor at a state Department of Treasury warehouse, for stealing over $20,000 worth of equipment from the warehouse. The jury found Winkler guilty of official misconduct, theft and other offenses. He was sentenced to five years in prison. State v. Juan Stevens: The Division convicted Juan Stevens, a corrections officer, for posing as a police officer to coerce prostitutes into having sex with him for free. He pleaded guilty to second-degree official misconduct and was sentenced to five years in state prison, with two years of parole ineligibility. Upon arrest, Stevens was required to provide a DNA sample, which provided the first DNA hit resulting from the State’s new arrestee law, and which led to additional sexual assault charges against him. State v. Frank Capece, et al: The Division indicted an Elizabeth School Board member, a Board attorney and the Board’s outside counsel for allegedly covering up false applications filed by the board member’s wife for the free school lunch program. State v. Michelle Pumilia: The Division secured a guilty plea from Michelle Pumilia, a former Transportation Manager for the Piscataway and Hazlet School Districts. Pumilia admitted she stole over $330,000 in public funds by authorizing fictitious purchase orders for the school districts. She pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of official misconduct and was sentenced to five years in prison without parole. State v. Audrey Bey: Audrey Bey, a former clerk with the City of Newark, was sentenced to eight years in prison for defrauding a federally funded child nutrition program in a scheme involving over $1 million in phony vouchers. Bey, who worked for the nutrition program, pleaded guilty to first-degree money laundering. State v. Marcella Friedman: A civilian employee of the State Police, Marcella Friedman, was arrested and indicted for allegedly posing as an inspector to coerce a vendor to give her a free generator following Superstorm Sandy. 4

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Division of Criminal Justice State v. Lisa Ayers: Lisa Ayers, Treasurer of the Mine Hill Fire Department, was charged with stealing more than $300,000 from the department for her personal use. Ayers pleaded guilty to a second-degree theft charge. She was sentenced to three years in state prison and was ordered to pay full restitution. a first-degree charge of leading a narcotics trafficking network and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison. Operation No Boundaries: The Division arrested six defendants, including ringleader Jose Cruz Romero-Flores, on first-degree human trafficking and other charges. The defendants allegedly operated an international human trafficking ring that used fraud and coercion to lure young women from Mexico to the U.S., where they were put to work as prostitutes in a network of brothels in Lakewood and elsewhere. State v. Mark Branch, et al: The Division arrested and indicted Mark Branch on charges including first-degree human trafficking. Branch allegedly ran a male prostitution ring and used narcotics to coerce young men, including at least one minor, to act as prostitutes. Branch also allegedly attempted to tamper with witnesses. State v. Percival Williams, et al: The Division indicted Percival Williams in a joint investigation with the Edison Police Department. Williams used violence and threats to coerce numerous young women to work within a large-scale sex trafficking enterprise. After an extensive manhunt, Williams was arrested in Texas and extradited to New Jersey for prosecution. Williams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit human trafficking and faces a sentence of 10 years in state prison. State v. Yusuf Ibrahim, et al: Yusuf Ibrahim was arrested for shooting two men in Jersey City, cutting off their heads and hands, and burying their remains in a remote area of Atlantic County. After an extensive search, the headless bodies were recovered by the State Police in a shallow grave, and the heads were found buried nearby. Ibrahim faces multiple charges including two counts of murder and desecrating human remains. State v. George Spyropolous: Spyropoulos, the former manager of the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton, was indicted for allegedly attempting to hire a hit man to torture and murder his uncle, who is co-owner of the diner. After being introduced to an undercover State Police detective posing as a hit man, Spyropolous provided him with a revolver, $3,000 cash, photos of the uncle and a map to the uncle’s house. He was indicted on firstdegree charges of attempted murder and murder conspiracy. 5 Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau Operation North Pole: The Division arrested 47 defendants who operated a massive, multi-million-dollar drug distribution network in Camden. The defendants face first-degree racketeering charges and first- and-seconddegree narcotics distribution charges. During the arrests and related search warrants, the Division seized six illegal firearms, several ounces of cocaine and heroin, and over $200,000 cash. Operation Billboard: The Division indicted 36 defendants – including the entire hierarchy of a Camden-based drug trafficking organization tied to the Netas street gang – on charges including first-degree racketeering and narcotics trafficking. The network allegedly trafficked tens of thousands of dollars worth of heroin and cocaine every week, and used guns and violence to control their turf in Camden. Operation White Silk: A multi-agency investigation led by the Division, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA resulted in the arrests of 20 defendants who operated a massive oxycodone distribution network based primarily in Paterson. The defendants include ringleader Aurelio Rodriguez and his network of brokers, dealers and runners. The defendants, who face first-degree drug distribution charges, allegedly trafficked tens of thousands of oxycodone pills, which were sold for millions of dollars. State v. Tuan Dang, et al: Tuan Dang and Ngoc Bui pleaded guilty to charges related to their operation of the largest indoor marijuana growing operation ever uncovered in New Jersey. Dang admitted that he ran an international drug trafficking syndicate that grew a marijuana crop worth over $10 million inside five houses. The Division, the State Police and other agencies seized over 3,000 plants, 130 pounds of harvested marijuana, and $66,000 cash. Dang pleaded guilty to

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New Jersey Office of The Attorney General • Department of Law & Public Safety State v. Derek Fuqua, et al: As a result of a joint investigation conducted with the State Police and the New Brunswick Police Department, 26 defendants were arrested for narcotics and firearms offenses occurring in and around New Brunswick. Detectives recovered two kilograms of heroin, six firearms, and over $150,000 cash. Operation Guns III: In a sweep targeting illegal gun traffickers, the Division indicted 65 defendants for trafficking and/or possessing a total of 94 illegal firearms. Several of the cases involve importation of illegal firearms from other states into New Jersey. One indictment charges 11 defendants with smuggling 18 firearms, including assault rifles, from Ohio into New Jersey to be sold in Newark and Irvington. Operation Capital City: Bernard Green – leader of the Trenton-based Gangster Killer Bloods – pleaded guilty to the 2005 homicide of Sharee Voorhees, a 22-year old bystander to a gang-related ambush. Green also pleaded guilty to racketeering, admitting that he directed the gang’s activities, including narcotics distribution and violence against rival gangs. Green was sentenced to 36 years in state prison, including 22 years without parole. Green was the last of 16 defendants to plead guilty in the case. State v. Mark Fletcher, et al: The Division charged five members of a violent Trentonbased drug set linked to the G-Shine Bloods with attempted murder, racketeering, and heroin distribution in an investigation with the New Jersey State Police. Two of the defendants, Mark Fletcher and Keith Journigan, were charged with attempted murder after Fletcher allegedly ordered Journigan to shoot a rival drug dealer. Journigan allegedly shot the victim, but the victim survived. State v. Danni Rivera, et al: The Division indicted 30 defendants on racketeering, heroin distribution, kidnapping and other charges arising from their participation in a Perth Amboy-based drug ring linked to the Netas street gang. The leader of the Netas in Perth Amboy, Danni Rivera, pleaded guilty to first-degree racketeering and faces 20 years in state prison, including 17 years without parole. Operation Dismayed: The Division indicted 15 members of a drug ring that distributed millions of dollars in heroin out of heroin mills and stash houses in Paterson. The indictment stemmed from a joint investigation with the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA, assisted by the State Police. The defendants face multiple charges including first-degree racketeering. Segundo Garcia, a leader of the network, pleaded guilty to first-degree heroin distribution and faces a sentence of 15 years in state prison. State v. Kwadir Felton, et al: A Hudson County jury convicted Kwadir Felton of all counts against him, including aggravated assault, firearms possession, and narcotics possession, in connection with an armed confrontation with a police officer. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, including 15 years of parole ineligibility. Felton was indicted in Operation Wetlands, a multi-agency investigation conducted with the State Police, Jersey City Police, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and DEA that targeted a ring that distributed heroin and PCP in a violent section of Jersey City. Leaders Dempsey Collins and David Gilliens were each sentenced to 20 years in prison. State v. Bobby Singletary, et al: The Division tried and convicted Bobby Singletary, a corrections officer at the state’s correction facility for sex offenders, for smuggling heroin and marijuana into the facility. Singletary was sentenced to seven years in state prison, including five years without parole. Five other co-conspirators were convicted before trial by guilty plea. State v. Cesar Perez, et al: The Division indicted four defendants on first degree narcotics trafficking and money laundering charges for running a massive cocaine distribution operation in Bergen County. The State Police and the Division seized 40 kilos of cocaine and $1.1 million in cash from a warehouse controlled by the syndicate. 6

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Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau Operation Predator Alert: Working with ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the Division arrested 14 defendants on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography using Internet file-sharing programs. It was the first major utilization of the State’s strengthened child pornography laws, which took effect in August 2013. Operation Ever Vigilant: In a collaborative operation with the State Police, the Division charged 25 defendants with distributing child pornography over the Internet. The case involved the distribution of thousands of images of child rape and sexual abuse. Several defendants had regular access to children in their jobs or otherwise. State v. Daniel Allen, Jr.: In a joint investigation with ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the Division arrested Allen for posting photographs of adolescent girls on a website frequented by pedophiles, who, at Allen’s urging, transformed the images into child pornography using graphics software. Allen pleaded guilty to manufacturing and distribution of child pornography and was sentenced to seven years in state prison. State v. Daryl Turner and Robyn Bernstein: The Division indicted and convicted Turner and Bernstein for defrauding hundreds of victims of $2.6 million by offering false vacation packages and promotions. The defendants operated travel club companies that collected fees from victims for non-existent promotional trips and discount vacations. Turner pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception and was sentenced to seven years in prison. He must pay full restitution. Bernstein also pleaded guilty and faces probation plus forfeiture of the family’s home and bank accounts. State v. Irving Fryar and Allene McGhee: The Division charged former NFL wide receiver Irving Fryar and his mother with theft by deception in an alleged $690,000 mortgage fraud scheme. They allegedly obtained five home equity loans in six days, all using the same property as collateral and without disclosing any other liens or loan applications. The defendants then used the loan proceeds for personal expenses. State v. David Ruddy: The Division indicted and convicted David Ruddy on charges that he preyed on victims of Superstorm Sandy by promising them low-cost housing or cars and then stealing their money. Ruddy, who at times claimed to work for the Attorney General’s Office, collected purported downpayments from victims who had been displaced by Superstorm Sandy, and then kept the money for himself. Ruddy pleaded guilty to stealing over $55,000 from at least 13 victims, and was sentenced to five years in state prison and full restitution. State v. Mark Niemczyk and Thomas Scalgione: The Division indicted Niemczyk and Scalgione on theft charges for operating a bogus charity that falsely purported to raise money for the families of 9/11 victims. The defendants collected tens of thousands of dollars in charitable donations and kept the money for their own use. State v. Vito Grippo and Frederick Grippo: The defendants pleaded guilty to defrauding struggling homeowners of over $1.3 million. They promised to rescue homeowners who were facing foreclosure, but instead sold the homes to unwitting investors. Vito Grippo was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Frederick to four years in prison. State v. Stephanie Hand, et al: Three individuals, including Stephanie Hand, an attorney practicing in Essex County, were indicted in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme involving over $800,000 in fraudulently obtained loans. They allegedly used stolen identities to apply for loans, falsified settlement statements and diverted loan proceeds. State v. Maxwell Smith: Smith, a financial advisor who defrauded investment clients of $9.8 million in a Ponzi scheme, was convicted of first-degree money laundering and sentenced to 15 years in prison, with five years of parole ineligibility. State v. Louis J. Macaluso: Macaluso, the owner of Affinity Title Agency, Inc., pleaded guilty to stealing $5.3 million that was intended to pay off 34 outstanding mortgages. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and must pay full restitution. Operation Black Money: The Division, in a joint sting operation with the FBI, arrested two defendants, Nyondah Blay and Carl 7

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