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    A teen has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of a Hudson Valley man in 2019. Jayden Rodriguez, age 19, from the Township of North Bergen, New Jersey, made the plea on Tuesday, May 1, for the homicide which took place in Spring Valley, according to Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh. During his plea, Rodriguez admitted that on or about Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, he entered a Spring Valley apartment building and fired numerous shots at an individual identified as 20-year-old Emerson Jean-Baptiste, ultimately causing his death, Walsh said. Rodriguez was arrested the following day by the Village of Spring Valley Police Department with the assistance of the City of North Bergen Police Department.  See Earlier Story: Suspects Nabbed, ID Released For Man Shot, Killed At Rockland Apartment Complex The firearm used was recovered in an unrelated matter several days later by the Town of Haverstraw Police Department, the DA's Office said.  “This guilty plea will hopefully bring closure to our victim’s family and friends," Walsh said. "We must remember our victim Emerson Jean-Baptiste lost his life at the hands of a killer.” The investigation...
    A 19-year-old New Jersey teen has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of a Hudson Valley man in 2019. Jayden Rodriguez, of North Bergen, made the plea on Tuesday, May 1, for the homicide which took place in Spring Valley, according to Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh. During his plea, Rodriguez admitted that on or about Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, he entered a Spring Valley apartment building and fired numerous shots at an individual identified as 20-year-old Emerson Jean-Baptiste, ultimately causing his death, Walsh said. Rodriguez was arrested the following day by the Village of Spring Valley Police Department with the assistance of the City of North Bergen Police Department.  See Earlier Story: Suspects Nabbed, ID Released For Man Shot, Killed At Rockland Apartment Complex The firearm used was recovered in an unrelated matter several days later by the Town of Haverstraw Police Department, the DA's Office said. "This guilty plea will hopefully bring closure to our victim’s family and friends," Walsh said. "We must remember our victim Emerson Jean-Baptiste lost his life at the hands of a killer.” The investigation was conducted by the...
    A North Jersey man accused of sexually assaulting and robbing a 33-year-old woman surrendered to authorities in Hudson County on Wednesday, authorities said. Michael Vivar, 23, of North Bergen, was arrested on charges of aggravated sexual assault, robbery, and witness tampering, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said. The woman told North Bergen police on Nov. 3, 2021, that she was sexually assaulted by an unknown man she had met earlier in the day, authorities said. He also apparently stole money from her wallet. Authorities discovered during the investigation that Vivar had told a witness to provide a false statement to detectives, the prosecutor's office said. He was remanded to the Hudson County Correctional Facility pending his first court appearance.  The state has filed a motion for detention. Prosecutor Suarez credited the Special Victims Unit, the North Bergen Police Department, and the Guttenberg Police Department with the investigation.
    An off-duty North Bergen police officer was killed in a fiery crash on Tonnelle Avenue early Saturday. Officer Julio Luis Noriega was unconscious when rescuers pulled him from his burning Honda near 41st Street around 7 a.m., authorities confirmed. Noriega, who joined the township department two years ago, was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center a short time later, they said. The driver of the garbage truck was hospitalized with minor injuries, responders said. “It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the death of Officer Julio Luis Noriega #170 who succumbed to his injuries earlier this morning as a result of a serious motor vehicle accident," his department posted on Facebook. "Please pray for Julio’s family and his dear friends during this difficult time," it said. CHECK BACK FOR MORE DETAILS
    A 23-year-old cook from Little Ferry who was freed pending trial on charges of repeatedly molesting a River Edge pre-teen was arrested again Thursday following the discovery of a disturbing homemade video, authorities said. A Superior Court judge in Hackensack had freed Roberto Carlos Mancia from the Bergen County Jail on Sept. 8, two weeks after detectives from Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella’s office arrested him on sexual assault and child endangerment charges. Mancia, it turns out, had a child “engage in a sexual act while recording it,” Musella said. He was returned to the Bergen County Jail following the discovery, the prosecutor said. A new court appearance was being scheduled. Mancia is charged this time with having a child engage in pornography and viewing, possessing or controlling child sexual exploitation images. Musella thanked the North Arlington Police Department, Little Ferry Police Department and Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. 
    A Bergen County man was nabbed with nearly half a pound of cocaine and a handgun following a three-week investigation, authorities in Hudson County said. Detectives initiated an investigative stop of George Suarez, 36, of Lodi, near 29th Street and Summit Avenue in Union City, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said. Suarez was found in possession of nearly 60 grams of cocaine at the time, she said. A subsequent search of his home in Lodi resulted in the seizure of approximately 200 additional grams of cocaine and a .380 caliber handgun, the prosecutor said. Suarez was arrested on several drug and weapons charges, Suarez said. Suarez credited the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, the Secaucus Police Department, the Secaucus Police Department K-9 Unit, and the Lodi Police Department with the investigation and arrest.
    A Fort Lee man was arrested Thursday and charged with trafficking child porn, authorities said. Andrew Freedman, 52, was ordered held in the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on charges of possessing and distributing the illegal images. Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said detectives from his Cyber Crimes Unit arrested Freedman after executing a search warrant at his condominium in the Charlton high-rise on 15th Street. Freedman, who is divorced and unemployed, “used the Internet to view, download, possess and distribute multiple digital files depicting nude and/or sexually explicit prepubescent children,” the prosecutor said. Musella thanked Fort Lee police for their assistance, as well as the Lyndhurst Police Department, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and Rochelle Park Police Department, who all participate in his Cyber Crimes Task Force.
    UPDATE: A 25-year-old motorcyclist from West New York was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash near the Meadowlands in East Rutherford early Wednesday evening, responders said. The victim went down on the ramp from southbound Route 120 to eastbound Route 3 across from the American Dream shortly after 5 p.m., East Rutherford Deputy Police Chief Phillip Taormina said. His name was temporarily withheld pending next-of-kin notifications. Three lanes of Route 120 along with the ramp remained closed for several hours  for clearing of the wreckage and the collection of evidence, the deputy chief said. All lanes were subsequently reopened, he said. East Rutherford police and Fire Department Emergency Squad, as well as New Jersey State Police, were among the responders. The Bergen County Prosecutor's Fatal Accident Investigations Unit was also summoned, along with the Bergen County Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification, the Bergen County Medical Examiner's Office and a state Department of Transportation unit to handle traffic.
    An unidentified man found stabbed Monday in Palisades Park died Tuesday afternoon, authorities confirmed, as investigators tried to determine who killed him. "The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Palisades Park Police Department are investigating a homicide that occurred in Palisades Park," Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella wrote in a brief release. "At approximately 7:11 p.m. on Monday, July 26, 2021, the Palisades Park Police Department responded to reports of a stabbing at 201 Roosevelt Avenue. The male victim of the stabbing was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center and later died as a result of his injuries." Borough police and Bergen County prosecutor's Major Crime Unit detectives were trying to identify the victim, who they said was found stabbed in the stomach on the railroad tracks at West Central Boulevard near the ShopRite supermarket. Meanwhile, uniformed police, detectives and Bergen County sheriff's officers -- including a K-9 unit -- flooded the area, speaking with witnesses while seeking surveillance video. A police drone also scanned the neighborhood. Although robbery was initially suspected, it hadn't been confirmed, authorities said....
    A North Arlington electrician chatting with a 14-year-old girl online was arrested on child porn charges Thursday in Paramus, authorities announced. Omar Orozco, 52, of North Arlington, obtained naked photos of the girl and sent her some of himself while talking on several social media platforms, according to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella. A search of Orozco's Riverview Avenue home was executed Thursday, after a months-long investigation conducted under the direction of Chief Jason Love. Orozco was arrested in Paramus on charges of child pornography production, endangering the welfare of a child and providing obscenity to a minor.  He was being held in the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack. Any parent or guardian who determines that their child received inappropriate communications from the online screen name “bigblue6569” may contact the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Tips Line at (201) 226-5532. The North Arlington Police Department, San Antonio (TX) Police Department, Lyndhurst Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department -- which participate in the Bergen County Cyber Crimes Task Force -- assisted in...
    A New Jersey police chief allegedly made cops work as security at his funeral home business, and was hit with charges on Monday that could put him behind bars for decades. Chief Robert Kugler, from the Saddle Brook Police Department, was charged with ordering on-duty cops to perform as police escorts for his private business while using department vehicles, NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced. Kugler, 59, is accused of conspiracy, official misconduct and corruption of public resources in connection with an alleged abuse of power that benefited his Kugler Funeral Home, the state’s top prosecutor said. Between January 2019 and August 2020, Kugler ordered his cops to escort funeral processions to cemeteries both in and outside of Saddle Brook during their shifts, in violation of township ordinance, the state’s attorney claimed. Kugler’s funeral home did not reimburse the town for the services, according to the press release. If convicted of the charges, Kugler could face 25 years in state prison and be fined $315,000, Grewal said. The beleaguered chief has been stripped of his powers, with the Bergen...
    More On: new jersey 2 boys dead after being trapped in NJ house fire, family says NJ student teacher charged with trading child porn online NJ Sen. Bob Menendez has spent almost $300K at Morton’s Steakhouse Allegedly impaired dad drove 11-year-old son onto railroad tracks, got stuck: cops A New Jersey police chief allegedly made cops work as security at his funeral home business, and was hit with charges on Monday that could put him behind bars for decades. Chief Robert Kugler, from the Saddle Brook Police Department, was charged with ordering on-duty cops to perform as police escorts for his private business while using department vehicles, NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced. Kugler, 59, is accused of conspiracy, official misconduct and corruption of public resources in connection with an alleged abuse of power that benefited his Kugler Funeral Home, the state’s top prosecutor said. Between January 2019 and August 2020, Kugler ordered his cops to escort funeral processions to cemeteries both in and outside of Saddle Brook during their shifts, in violation of township ordinance, the state’s attorney...
    The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has assumed control of the troubled Englewood Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit from Chief Lawrence Suffern for at least the next six months amid accusations that he singled out officers for punishment by denying them extra-work opportunities. A six-month investigation into the department’s internal affairs operation made the move necessary, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella and Englewood City Manager Sonia Alves-Viveiros said in a joint statement Wednesday. Both signed a memorandum of agreement placing a full-time monitor from Musella’s office in the unit. Through the monitor, Musella “will temporarily direct and control all aspects of the Englewood Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit” for at least 180 days, both said in a joint statement Wednesday. The move comes amid major upheaval in the department between community members and officers who support Suffern and those who say he's unfit to lead. Englewood's PBA sued Suffern last month, claiming that he violated the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the city when he “unilaterally eliminated extra duty utility and vendor work” for certain officers without justification." Extra-work...
    The Englewood Cliffs mayor rescinded a $2,500 invoice sent to an 18-year-old resident for overtime police work at a Black Lives Matter rally she organized, just one day after making national headlines. "I have researched the issue further with my own counsel and I am hereby rescinding the bill," Mayor Mario Kranjac told NorthJersey.com, "subject to our Council’s ratification of my action." Emily Gil notified authorities ahead of her July 25 rally outside of the borough's municipal building but denied local officials' requests for a meeting over COVID-19 fears, NJ.com initially reported. Days after the rally attended by approximately 35 people, the young activist received a bill in the mail for $2,499.26 invoice to cover security presence. Gil, however, refused to meet with officials ahead of the protest, and was sent a letter from officials enclosed with the bill. “Your lack of notification left the borough with little time to prepare for your protest so that the police department and department of public works could ensure that everyone would be safe,” the letter says. Gil -- who recently graduated from...
    An 18-year-old Bergen County student was billed $2,500 to pay police who worked overtime at a Black Lives Matter rally she held, according to a recent report. A lack of affordable housing in Englewood Cliffs is what Emily Gil said prompted her to hold the peaceful protest July 25, NJ.com reports. Gil, however, refused to meet with officials ahead of the protest, and was sent a letter from officials enclosed with a  $2,499.26 invoice to cover security presence. “Your lack of notification left the borough with little time to prepare for your protest so that the police department and department of public works could ensure that everyone would be safe,” the letter says. Gil, who recently graduated from Bergen County Technical School, said she refused to meet in person over COVID-19 fears. She suggested a Zoom meeting, but borough officials declined, NJ.com says. Approximately 35 people attended Gil's rally, who picked up their own trash and did not cause a disturbance, the news outlet said. Gil has emailed the mayor nearly two weeks ago to inquire about the legitimacy of...
    A Palisades Park police sergeant was suspended from his department duties having been accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a borough resident, authorities charged Thursday. The police department received a complaint from a resident saying Christopher Sambogna, 51, stole $10,000 for them, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said. Sambogna was arrested Aug. 12 and charged with theft by unlawful taking. A first court appearance is scheduled in Hackensack Central Judicial Processing Court on Aug. 26 at 8:30 a.m. In his 16th year with the department, Sambogna was honored last year for helping deliver a baby. The investigation was conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Palisades Park Police Department under the direction of Officer in Charge Anthony Muccio.
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