Tag Archives: Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Young Man Indicted in Rumson Oxford House Heroin Overdose Death

A 26-year-old Monmouth County man is facing up to 25 years in prison for his alleged role in the 2013 heroin overdose death of  25-year-old Christopher L. Pesce at the Rumson-based Oxford House, an addiction recovery home.

A Monmouth County grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Michael Renna, of Sylvania Avenue, Avon-by-the-Sea, with one count of first-degree strict liability for drug induced deaths and one count of third-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced in a release.

The strict liability charge carries with it a maximum 20-year sentence in state prision and is subject to provisions of the No Early Release Act, which mandates him, if convicted, to serve 85 percent of the imposed sentence before becoming in eligible for parole. The distribution charge carries with it a sentence of a up to five years, Gramiccioni said.

Renna, who was arrested and charged with the two counts on Aug. 22, 2014, allegedly provided Pesce in Asbury Park with the ultimately fatal dose of heroin that he succumbed to on the night of Oct. 12 at Oxford House according to the prosecutor.

Renna’s $200,000 bail with no 10 percent option, ordered by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Honora O’Brien Kilgallen, J.S.C., was posted on Aug. 25, 2014, three days after the arrest. He remains free on bail, the release said.

Pesce died from an overdose of the heroin allegedly given to him by Renna on Oct. 13, 2013 at about 8:15 p.m., when Rumson police responded to an emergency call at the Oxford House at 61 South Ward Ave. where Pesce had been living.

Police found Pesce dead there. His name was not initially released. The cause of death, determined to be acute heroin toxicity, was confirmed after Rumson police completed an investigation in conjunction with the county Prosecutor’s Office and post-mortem toxicity screenings were performed.

Pesce’s death was followed by another overdose incident not resulting in death in December of 2013, a couple months later.

The overdoses, one resulting in Pesce’s death, had West Park section neighbors riled over the recovery house and what they dubbed at a meeting on the subject its “sneaky” operation in a suburban neighborhood.

Such homes are a permitted use and do not require advance notice of their existence to neighbors.

Lawsuits ensued in the past couple of years — Rumson versus Oxford House and vice versa and have since been settled.

— Elaine Van Develde

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office advises that despite the charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and state law.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Prosecutor Office’s Major Crimes Bureau. Renna is represented by Mitchell J. Ansell, Esq. and Robert A. Honecker, Jr., Esq., both of Ocean Township.

Area Man Gets 50 Years for Dealing Drugs, Weapons Out of Restaurant

A 48-year-old area restaurant owner, who was convicted in May on 91 charges stemming from the sale of drugs and weapons out of his eatery, is facing 50 years in prison, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Long Branch resident Anthony “Nygee” Stevenson, owner of Cristabell’s American Soul Food Restaurant, on Springdale Avenue in the city, was sentenced on Wednesday to the 50 years in a New Jersey state prison with a 26-year period of parole ineligibility after Monmouth County Superior Court Judge John T. Mullaney, Jr. ordered the 91 counts be merged into eight for the purpose of sentencing and the periods of incarceration running consecutively.

Continue reading Area Man Gets 50 Years for Dealing Drugs, Weapons Out of Restaurant

Former Rumson Man Jailed on Sexual Assault, Child Endangerment Charges

A former Rumson resident is facing up to 15 years in prison on sexual assault and child endangerment charges after allegedly being caught in the act of committing the crimes against a 13-year-old boy, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Albert DeCresci, 86, now of Tinton Falls,was arrested by Tinton Falls police on June 5 on the respective second- and third-degree criminal charges. He was transported to Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold, where he remains in lieu of $250,000 bail with no 10 percent option for release pending trial, a release from the Prosecutor’s Office said.

With a conviction, the second-degree sexual assault charge carries with it a 10-year sentence with no parole in a NJ state prison, it added. The third-degree child endangerment charge brings with it up to a five- year sentence.

If convicted, when he is released from prison, DeCresci will be registered as a sex offender, subject to the provisions of Megan’s Law and Community Supervision for Life, the release said.

The bail and its conditions were set by Judge Honora O’Brien Kilgallen, J.S.C., who also ordered that should DeCresci make full bail, he is to have no contact with the alleged victim.

Tinton Falls police and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office investigators ask that any additional victims to come forward by contacting: Detective Delisa Brazile, of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-620-4045; or Detective Robert Wilson, of the Tinton Falls Police Department, at 732-542-3400 ext. 443.


Prosecutor: Rumson Blithewald Fire an Accident

They weren’t able to rule out electrical malfunction as a cause of Monday’s Rumson fire, but the tri-fold investigative team has determined that, regardless, it was an accident, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Charles Webster said.

There were “energized electric circuits or equipment” in the area  of the fire’s origin, “in the area of a wall located between a guest bedroom and an en-suite bedroom, both located on the second floor” of the 19th century mansion dubbed Blithewald, a joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Fire Marshal and Rumson Police Department determined, Webster said.

There were no injuries sustained from the six-hour, four-alarm blaze fought by several area fire departments at the 76 Buena Vista Avenue home owned by the Widener family.

Designers had been on site putting finishing touches on the home that was to be the centerpiece of the Visiting Nurse Association’s Stately Homes by-the-Sea Designer Show House event slated to kick off on Saturday.


Man Indicted on Rumson Sandy Theft Charge

A man who took a $6,200 payment from a Rumson resident in the post-Hurricane Sandy era and failed to deliver and install a generator, as contracted, has been indicted on a theft charge and is facing, if convicted, a three- to five-year sentence in state prison, a release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said.

A Monmouth County grand jury on Monday charged Mark E. Herrneckar, 51, of Riverwood Drive, Toms River, with one count of third-degree theft by failure to make required disposition of property.

Herrneckar, the indictment said, took the $6,200 payment from the Rumson resident in December of 2013 for a generator that was never delivered and installed. Herrneckar never returned the money to the homeowner, either, according to the indictment.

Herrneckar was arrested in December by members of the Monmouth County Superstorm Sandy Fraud Task Force. He is currently free on $5,000 bail, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley, J.S.C.

The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew S. Fried of the office’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau. Fried serves as coordinator of the Superstorm Sandy Fraud Task Force.

The task force processes and investigates all complaints related to the storm. Homeowners or citizens are urged to report complaints via the following:

  • The task force webpage at www.SandyFraud.com
  • Call the task force hotline at (855) SANDY 39.

Police Cite Concerns for Missing Man’s Safety

Middletown police have cited concern for the safety of the 55-year-old township man who went missing Monday night.

Police said, in a released statement, that on Tuesday morning, “the vehicle he (Anthony Tassello) was driving, a white 2008 Ford Escape, was one of five vehicles burned during a suspicious fire at the Tom’s Ford dealership on Route 35 in Keyport.”

Keyport police and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office have now joined Middletown police in a collaborative investigation of the car fire and its connection to Tassello.

“Police are concerned for Mr. Tassello’s safety,” the statement from Middletown police said, now adding that they have reason to believe that he may be in the New York City area.

Anthony Tassello, who stands about 6-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs about 230 pounds, was last seen on Monday night at about 9:15 p.m.. He was driving the 2008 Ford Escape and wearing a gray tweed hat, a vest and jeans.

Anyone with any information in connection with this case “is urged to call Detective Keith Hirschbein, of the Middletown Police Department, at 732-615-2068, Detective Shannon Torres, of the Keyport Police Department, at 732-739-5151, or Detective Kevin Condon of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443.”