Tag Archives: NJ State Police

Whale of a Shrewsbury River Sighting

UPDATE: Since the initial Friday morning release from the NJ State Police Marine Services Bureau, the type of whale cited was edited by police from their original “blue” classification to humpback. In addition, it was reported that the whale had been seen swimming toward Sandy Hook after having been hit at a low speed near Highlands by a boat.

It was also reportedly entangled in a net from which those certified in handling such entanglements of a whale from Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network (see below) are working out a plan to free it.

Today, Saturday, as of 2 p.m., several people had reported on social media seeing a whale swimming in the ocean off Sea Bright Public Beach (near Anchorage). Dolphins were cited nearby. Authorities reiterate that boaters should be on the alert and avoid any close proximity to the entangled whale so that it may feed, swim and eventually become disentangled from the net without endangerment.

From the Marine Mammal Stranding Center … (about 3:30 p.m.)

Yesterday a 30-foot humpback whale was spotted in the Shrewsbury River in Monmouth County near the Highlands bridge. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center spent the day monitoring the whale from aboard a New Jersey State Police vessel.

Throughout the day the whale displayed normal behavior. As the whale swam under the bridge back out towards the bay, an aerial photo of the whale was taken that upon later review revealed fishing gear on the rostrum of the whale which was not visible when observed from the water. The Center for Coastal Studies in Cape Cod, a member of the Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network, was contacted by the MMSC.

They are the only agency federally-permitted to perform large whale disentanglements. These highly specialized teams receive intensive training on performing these highly dangerous operations.

Planning the logistics of disentangling a large whale is quite complicated due to the high risk factors to both the rescuers and the whale. Unfortunately one cannot simply remove netting from a large free-swimming whale right away after being spotted, so please be patient as our colleagues at CCS work on a plan.

We are asking the public to please report any whale sightings to the MMSC (609) 266-0538. Special thanks to NOAA, NJ Fish and Wildlife Marine Division, NJ State Police, US Coast Guard and Monmouth County Sheriff Marine Unit for their collaboration today, and to our volunteers Danielle Brown, Bill Schultz, Lorraine MCartney and Debbie DiGianno for helping to monitor the whale. Signed- MMSC STAFF 

The original post from Friday …

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Area Man Arrested as Alleged Leader of Drug Trafficking Network

An area man has been arrested and pinpointed as the alleged ringleader of a drug trafficking network that distributed mostly cocaine in Monmouth and Ocean counties, NJ State Police announced.

Edmund A. Scattaglia Jr., 39, of Middletown, alleged leader of what has been dubbed the Scattaglia Network, was one of 32 arrested on Wednesday in a state sting dubbed Operation Tidal Wave, which began in October of 2014 and targeted Scattaglia’s alleged drug trafficking organization operating out of his home in Middletown another in Beachwood Township, Ocean County, according to police.

The investigation revealed that Scattaglia allegedly met people at his home, where he supplied them with cocaine for redistribution.

Scattaglia was allegedly supplied with multiple kilograms of cocaine by Francisco Romero, 38, of 159 John Street, Englewood. Romero allegedly stored bulk quantities of the drug at his home and funneled them to Scattaglia’s network. One kilogram of cocaine, valued at $40,000, was seized from Scattaglia’s alleged network in the bust.

Romero’s residence was searched under the authority of an executed warrant by state police detectives and the Englewood Police Department, on June 2, 2014. That search resulted in the seizure of one pound of cocaine, $75,000.00 cash, an Acura TSX, and other assets valued at $50,000, state police said in a released statement.

A companion search warrant of Scattaglia’s home the same day  yielded roughly $15,000 cash, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and a BMW 325XI, police said in the release.

As a result of the takedown of both alleged trafficking operations, detectives recovered: more than 4 kilograms of cocaine, more than three ounces of heroin, 16 pounds of marijuana, 1,000 Xanax pills, Oxycotin and ecstasy pills, a large variety of steroids, one handgun, seven vehicles, and more than $125,000 in cash.

“These ring members allegedly were dealing large quantities of heroin and prescription pills in Monmouth and Ocean counties, which have been particularly hard hit by the devastating epidemic of opiate addiction sweeping the nation and New Jersey,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in the release. “Through operations such as this one, we are taking aim at the criminals who are maliciously fueling the epidemic and profiting from it.”

The cooperative effort was led by the New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-Atlantic City Office, with assistance from the Division of Criminal Justice, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Middletown Township Police Department, and the Jersey City Police Department.

The following is a list of all the Monmouth County residents arrested in Operation Tidal Wave:

• Edmund A. Scattaglia, 39, Middletown;
• Tabraz Mohammed, 34, Red Bank;
• Mark Ugaro, 35, Middletown;
• Scott M. Leander, 55, Keyport;
• Shawn P Cotter, 38, Middletown;
• Brian J. Rosenberg, 30, Red Bank.

For more information on what was dubbed the Beachwood Network and the complete list of those arrested from other counties, click here.

This case will be prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice under the Office of the Attorney General.