Thursday, May 23, 2013
Watchung man faces charges in Somerset, Warren and Morris counties after allegedly videotaping children in an amusement park bathroom and sexually assaulting minors.
As a new charge surfaced for a convicted child abuser from Watchung on Wednesday, 53-year-old Patrick Deck may be facing a combined more than 30 years in prison if now convicted of videotaping and sexually assaulting minors in addition to being in possession of child pornography. In the past year, Deck has been charged with child pornography and sexual assault of a minor in three jurisdictions in Warren, Morris and Somerset counties. On Wednesday he made an initial appearance on a one-count charge of child pornography possession after authorities said he was found to have three sexually-explicit images of young boys on his laptop computer. In August 2012, Deck appeared in court on charges of videotaping children urinating at the Land of …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Residents turn in 1,302 weapons, with the Somerset forfeiture fund paying out $133,150.
To Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, the 1,302 rifles, shotguns, handguns and assault weapons purchased over the course of the county's first gun buyback program last week was an "outstanding success." "Why did we do all this? Our rationale, our goal — which is consistent with the Attorney General's policy — was to reduce the risk of injury, threat of accidental harm or injuries, reduce the number of firearms available for the commission of crimes and reduce crimes overall," Soriano said, during a news conference at his Somervilleoffice. "It's all about removing unwanted guns from our community." Soriano referenced the shooting death of a 6-year-old in Toms River Tuesday more than once during the conference, which included a …
Friday, April 5, 2013
Somerset County prosecutor's office say thieves can target vehicles with key fob starters.
Following two reported thefts of luxury vehicles from Bernardsville mountain at the end of March, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office has issued warnings to all residents in Somerset County to stress vehicle security and to avoid leaving key fobs in or nearby vehicles with start buttons. The first theft reported in Bernardsville was a Jeep Grand Cherokee, locked but with a key fob inside, was reported at about 3 a.m. on March 27 from the driveway of a home on Mount Harmony Road, Bernardsville police said in March. The second theft reportedly took place between 7 p.m. on March 27 and 8 a.m. on March 8, when a 2012 Lexus SUV RX350 valued at about $50,000 was taken from the driveway of a home on Overleigh Road, Bernardsville police said. …
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Extra enforcement planned in April for drivers using cell phones while driving.
Police in Somerset County will be helping remind drivers to put down cell phones while driving this month with added enforcement under a program called "Put It Down 2013." April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month across the country, and Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and the Somerset County Traffic Safety Alliance are making the program aimed at preventing drivers from being distracted by calls or texts a priority, the prosecutor's office said. In announcing the program, the prosecutor's office noted there were 11,674 motor vehicle crashes reported to police in Somerset County in 2012—44 percent of those crashes were caused by driver inattention. Drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if driving while…
Friday, January 18, 2013
Tests ordered to determine alcohol level in Warren woman's blood at time of accident.
A Warren woman accused of vehicular homicide in a crash that killed a Bridgewater man Wednesday night has now been charged with DWI and having an open container of alcohol in her vehicle at the time of the accident, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said. Bernards Township Police on Friday charged Warren Lori Weiss, 44, with DWI, reckless driving, driving with an open container of alcohol and faiing to keep right, after further investigation of the Wednesday evening accident that claimed the life Peter Calvelli. Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano announced Thursday vehicular homicide charges had been filed against Weiss. She surrendered herself to authorities on Friday, represented by attorney John McDonald, and was freed after posting $…
Bridgewater resident who grew $90K of marijuana in Bernards Park sentenced to three years probation.
A 44-year-old Bridgewater Township man who earlier pleaded guilty to charges of growing marijuana plants at his home in Martinsville and at nearby Mountain Park in Basking Ridge was sentenced to three years of probation on Friday, NJ.com reports. Michael Maslo had been found to be growing than 30 marijuana plants—with an estimated street value of $90,000—growing in his Martinsville home and in the Bernards Township park off Mountain Road, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said last July. The report on NJ.com quoted Maslo's attorney, Scott Mitzner, with saying that Maslo had been growing the marijuana to treat an unspecified medical condition. Maslo was sentenced in state Superior Court before Judge Paul Armstrong in Somerville, NJ.…
Alcohol detected on Warren woman's breath following Bernards Township accident that killed Bridgewater man and injured his daughter, prosecutor says.
- POLICE & FIRE
Friday, January 18
A Warren woman has been charged with vehicular homicide in a motor vehicle crash that killed a Bridgewater man in Bernards Township, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano. Lori Weiss, 44, was charged Thursday with second-degree vehicular homicide and third-degree assault by auto in the incident that occurred on Martinsville Road in Bernards Township Wednesday. Bernards Township police add DWI, reckless driving charges on Friday. Soriano said officers responding to the scene detected alcohol on Weiss' breath, and she was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. According to Soriano, the crash occurred at about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday when Weiss's 2011 Mercedes Benz SUV crossed over the center line on Martinsville Road in …
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Photos and video of children allegedly discovered following undercover investigation.
- POLICE & FIRE
Thursday, January 10
An Old York Road man was on charged Wednesday with having video and image files of children engaged in sexual acts, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano. George Minkas, 46, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the case. According to Soriano, Minkas was arrested following an undercover investigation by the Somerset County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The force, Soriano said, consists of detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office and the Somerset County Sheriff's Office. In the investigation, Soriano said, detectives found that Minkas's computer had video and image files of children under 16 years of age engaging in sexual acts. The task force executed a search warrant on …
Saturday, January 5, 2013
26-year-old Manuel Antonio Guevara was last seen alive on Dec. 26. His body was recovered from Watchung Lake Friday morning.
The body of a 26-year-old missing North Plainfield man was found in Watchung Lake Friday morning. The cause of Manuel Antonio Guevara's death has not yet been determined, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said. Guevara's body was recovered from the lake by divers with the Somerset County Dive Team at 8 a.m. according to a press release sent Friday by Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Chief of Detectives Stuart A. Buckman and Watchung Borough Police Chief Timothy Wenzel. Authorities searched for Guevara throughout the day on Thursday in the area and partially drained the lake. The man's body was found about 20 feet from the shoreline, the prosecutor's office said. Guevara was last seen at about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 26 …
Friday, January 4, 2013
Police said 93-year-old died of smoke inhalation.
The vcitim of Wednesday's early morning fire on Upper Warren Way has been identified as Raisa Chertkova, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday. Chertkova, 93, died of smoke inhalation, authorities said. Firefighters discovered Chertkova after responding to a report of smoke in the house made by a health worker checking on her, early Wednesday. Investigators are still working to identify the cause of the fire, but the Prosecutor's Office Arson Task Force has ruled out arson.