Category Archives: Regional Interest

Prosecutor: JCP&L Scam Continues; Warning Signs

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has issued an alert that police departments are again being inundated with calls as scammers posing as employees of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) target businesses in Monmouth County using intimidation tactics to steal their cash.

Continue reading Prosecutor: JCP&L Scam Continues; Warning Signs

Prosecutor: Area Man Pleads Guilty to 2014 Murder of Pregnant Girlfriend

An area man pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree aggravated manslaughter in the 2014 strangulation death of his pregnant girlfriend and faces up to 28 years in prison, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced in a released statement.

Sender Neftali Villatoro-Reyes, 27, of Freehold Borough entered his guilty plea before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Richard W. English.

The case background … 

On Friday, May 16, 2014, at 2:15 a.m., Villatoro-Reyes called 911 and reported that he killed his 30-year-old girlfriend, Lucenay Fermin Gallegos, at their 51 Hudson Street Apt. #3 home in Freehold Borough.

Police responded to the scene where they found Fermin Gallegos dead on the couch in their apartment. She was pronounced at 3:27 a.m. by Dr. Spiegel at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. An autopsy was conducted the same day by Middlesex County Medical Examiner Diane Karluk.

The cause of death was deemed asphyxia due to manual strangulation. The victim was approximately five months pregnant at the time of her death.

The Freehold Borough Police Department and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit conducted a joint investigation.

Villatoro-Reyes was arrested and charged with murder the same day. The defendant was originally indicted by a grand jury on March 23, 2015, for one count of murder.

At his plea before Judge English, Villatoro-Reyes admitted that he during an argument with the victim, the defendant placed his hands around her throat, strangling her to death.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, the state is recommending a sentence of 28 years in a state prison. Subject to the No Early Release Act, Villatoro-Reyes must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole; in addition, he will be under parole supervision for five years once released.

Villatoro-Reyes is scheduled for sentencing on April 21, 2017 before Judge English.

Villatoro-Reyes is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $1 million bail with no 10 percent option.

Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Jennifer Lipp and Julia Alonso handled the case.

Villatoro-Reyes is represented by Allison Friedman, Esq., of Freehold.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Prosecutor: Area Man Gets 14 Years in Prison for Finance Fraud Scheme

An area man was sentenced to 14 years in state prison after admitting he deceived and impersonated at least 18 clients, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced on Tuesday in a released statement.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Area Man Gets 14 Years in Prison for Finance Fraud Scheme

U.S. Attorney: Alleged Area Investment Fraudster Faces Charges of Bilking $5.3 Million

An investment manager with an office in Middletown will appeared in federal court to face charges that he fraudulently concealed investment losses and diverted at least $5.3 million in investor money for his personal use, U.S Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced on Friday.

Vincent P. Falci, 57, of Middletown, was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. He appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint unsealed on Friday, Falci controlled a number of investment funds under the names “Saber Funds,” and “Vicor Tax Receivables LLP” (the Vicor Fund).

Continue reading U.S. Attorney: Alleged Area Investment Fraudster Faces Charges of Bilking $5.3 Million

Prosecutor: Long Branch Murder Conviction Yields Life Prison Sentence; No Parole

An Ocean County man convicted last week of the murder and robbery of a Point Pleasant man was sentenced today to Life in prison without parole, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Thursday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Long Branch Murder Conviction Yields Life Prison Sentence; No Parole

Prosecutor: Two Area People Indicted in Long Branch Murder

A Monmouth County grand jury returned a nine-count indictment on Monday charging an area woman and man in connection with the shooting and subsequent murder of a Linden woman, Tyrita Julius, who had been missing for months, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced in a released statement on Tuesday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Two Area People Indicted in Long Branch Murder

Weathering the Storms: Resilient City Plan for Sea Bright Unveiled

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and partners from both the public and private sectors have unveiled the outline of a plan to ensure citizens of Sea Bright will be able to communicate and have access to energy and safe drinking water sources during an emergency, according to a press release.

The “Resilient City” plan for Sea Bright, announced on Dec. 12, Pallone said will serve as a model for other municipalities planning for future storms.

Continue reading Weathering the Storms: Resilient City Plan for Sea Bright Unveiled

Prosecutor’s Office Joins in Search for Missing Teen

From the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office … 

A Neptune City teen missing since Friday is the subject of a massive search after her abandoned vehicle was discovered in the shoulder of the southbound lanes of the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced in a released statement.

“We are asking everyone to keep an eye out for this young woman, and report any possible sightings as soon as possible,” Gramiccioni said.

Continue reading Prosecutor’s Office Joins in Search for Missing Teen

Prosecutor: Area Woman Sentenced to 7-Year Prison Term for Hit-and-Run Fatality

A Middletown woman has been sentenced to a seven-year prison term in connection with a fatal 2015 accident that took the life of a 15-year-old girl, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Friday.

Toni A. Marletta, 50, of Thompson Avenue in the Leonardo section of Middletown Township, was sentenced by Judge Ronald L. Reisner on the one second-degree count of knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a fatality, and on third-degree endangering the welfare of a child counts. Marletta also received an additional six-month concurrent prison term for failing to have her motor vehicle insured and a one year loss of license for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle.

Marletta was sentenced after pleading guilty before Judge Reisner on Sept. 16, 2016 in connection with the fatal motor vehicle collision on July 7, 2015 that killed a 15-year-old girl who was crossing Route 36 in the township.

The accident …

Middletown Township Police were dispatched at approximately 8:24 p.m., on July 7, 2015, to Route 36 in the area of Avenue D for a report of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle. Upon arrival, police immediately located the 15-year-old victim, Marissa Procopio, of Atlantic Highlands. She was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township where she died the next day.

An investigation into the fatal collision by Middletown Township police, in cooperation with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team, determined the victim was crossing Route 36 in the area of Avenue D, when she was struck by a motor vehicle driven by Marletta.

Marletta, who had three 16-year-old girls in her car at the time of the collision, fled the scene, but the investigation led police to Marletta’s vehicle later that evening. The vehicle displayed damage consistent with the collision.

Marletta ultimately arrived at the Middletown Township Police Department, but was later released pending further investigation into the collision. The investigation progressed and Marletta was charged on July 15, 2015, with knowingly leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a fatality. Subsequent to the initial charge, the others were lodged and she was convicted.

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle. Marletta is represented by Peter M. O’Mara, Esq., of Little Silver.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Urban Coast Institute: The New Administration and the Ocean’s Future

From Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute … 

The Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) is holding a public forum to set coastal and ocean priorities for the next administration and Congress next week.

The 12th Annual Future of the Ocean Symposium will be held on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Wilson Hall Auditorium at the West Long Branch university. Admission is free and open to the public.

The panelists, former New Jersey Gov. and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science President Dr. Donald Boesch, will offer their views and recommendations on critical actions that the administration and Congress should take to ensure that our coasts and oceans are healthy, productive and support sustainable economic development.

Among their many other accomplishments and qualifications, Whitman and Boesch serve on the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) Leadership Council, a national organization dedicated to marine policy reform. JOCI soon plans to release a nine-point action plan for the Trump administration and the new Congress. UCI Ocean Policy Fellow and Monmouth University President Emeritus Paul G. Gaffney II also serves as a member of the JOCI Leadership Council.

“The oceans are going through unprecedented changes, including sea level rise, shifting currents and weather patterns, ocean acidification, and ecosystem destruction,” Whitman said. “These changes are a mounting threat not only to marine ecosystems, but to coastal communities and economies. We must confront these issues with a bipartisan approach from policymakers in Washington and at all levels of government.”

“Robust federal investments in science and research can spur innovation, address important national and global challenges, create new economic sectors, and ultimately save lives,” Boesch said. “If our ecosystems and livelihoods are to be sustained for the future, we’ll need to pair such financial commitments to research with concerted action on policies based in science.”

“The Future of the Ocean Symposium provides a unique forum for students, faculty and the public to engage nationally recognized experts in discussions on the pressing ocean issues of our time,” said UCI Director Tony MacDonald, who will moderate the panel. “As a coastal university, we are also pleased to honor a group of Ocean Champions whose work has so directly impacted lives here on the Jersey Shore and beyond.”

Prosecutor: Area Man Found Guilty of Sexual Assault of Young Boys

An area man is facing up to 61 years in NJ state prison on sexual assault charges stemming from incidents spanning 2008 to 2009 involving preying on four young male video-gamers using an X-Box gaming system as a tool to sexually abuse the boys, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Monday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Area Man Found Guilty of Sexual Assault of Young Boys

Prosecutor: Drug Distribution Ring Busted; 42 Arrested

A five-month undercover drug distribution investigation conducted by federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies dubbed Operation Justice Served culminated in the arrest of 42 people within the past  month, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Thursday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Drug Distribution Ring Busted; 42 Arrested