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BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR CONDUCTING HOMICIDE AND SUICIDE INVESTIGATION AT MACARTHUR AVENUE, GARFIELD

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Garfield NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the investigation of a homicide that occurred at 27 MacArthur Avenue, Garfield, NJ. The investigation is being conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Garfield Police Department under the direction of Chief Raymond Kovach, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Anthony Cureton, and the New Jersey Transit Police Department under the direction of Chief Christopher Trucillo.

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Garfield Man Charged for Shooting Burglar

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Garfield NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of OMAR SMADIYA (DOB: 11/16/1981; married; self-employed/moving company) of 25 Farnham Avenue, 2nd Floor, Garfield, NJ on charges of Attempted Murder, Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, and Possession Of A High Capacity Magazine; and CHRISTOPHER MANON-VELEZ (DOB: 7/16/1999; single; unemployed) of 153 Grove Street, 1st Floor, Passaic, NJ on a charge of Burglary To A Motor Vehicle. The arrests are the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Garfield Police Department under the direction of Chief Raymond Kovach.

On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at approximately 3:26 a.m., the Garfield Police Department received information that a victim was shot in the area of 25 Farnham Avenue, Garfield, NJ. The victim, Christopher MANON-VELEZ, was found at a local restaurant and transported to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to the back. An investigation revealed that MANON-VELEZ had burglarized several vehicles in the area just prior to the shooting. Omar SMADIYA, the owner of one of the vehicles, armed himself with a handgun and confronted MANON-VELEZ outside SMADIYA’S vehicle. MANON-VELEZ fled, and SMADIYA shot at him striking him once in the back. MANON-VELEZ was treated for internal injuries and is in stable condition at this time.

As a result of the investigation, Omar SMADIYA was arrested on January 8, 2019, in Garfield, NJ, and charged with one count of Attempted Murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1)/2C:11-3a(1), a 1st degree crime; one count of Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1), a 2nd degree crime; and one count of Possession Of A High Capacity Magazine, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3j, a 4th degree crime.  Omar SMADIYA is scheduled for a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, NJ on January 11, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

Christopher MANON-VELEZ was arrested on January 8, 2019, and charged with one count of Burglary To A Motor Vehicle, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2a(1), a 3rd degree crime.  MANON-VELEZ was served with a summons and released pending an appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, NJ on January 28, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.           

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would also like to thank the Garfield Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.

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Garfield Attorney Arrested for Failing to Return Clients Money

thestaff of the Ridgewood blog

Garfield NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of ALFREDO RAMOS (DOB: 07/19/1980; single; self-employed as an attorney) of 102 Belmont Avenue, Garfield, NJ on a charge of Misapplication Of Entrusted Funds. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti.

In July 2018, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit received a complaint from a client of Alfredo RAMOS, Esq., regarding his failure to disburse to the client approximately $100,000.00 that he had received in trust as the result of the sale of real property. An investigation revealed that Alfredo RAMOS had received the funds into his attorney trust account but, instead of forwarding them to the client, he used them for his own purposes.

On November 16, 2018 a warrant was issued for the arrest of Alfredo RAMOS. RAMOS was charged with one count of Misapplication Of Entrusted Funds, with the amount being greater than $75,000.00, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-15, a 2nd degree crime. On December 17, 2018, RAMOS was arrested as he reentered the United States from Colombia at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York by United States Customs and Border Protection agents with the assistance of the Port Authority Police Department. RAMOS is being held in New York pending extradition to New Jersey.

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that the charge is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office report an arrest has been made in the fatal hit-and-run that occurred in Garfield on Monday night

photo courtesy of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Garfield NJ, after the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Garfield Police Department are requested information from the public regarding a hit and run collision that resulted in serious injuries to a pedestrian.

Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office report an arrest has been made in the fatal hit-and-run that occurred in Garfield on Monday night. Thanks to all in the news media and those on social media for spreading the word.

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VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL REGULAR PUBLIC MEETING SEPTEMBER 12, 2018

file photo by Boyd Loving

Village Council Regular Public Meeting Agenda 20180912
VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL REGULAR PUBLIC MEETING SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
8:00 P.M.

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“Operation Mother’s Attic” Catches 29 Unlicensed Movers in New Jersey

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that 29 unlicensed movers have been issued Notices of Violation (“NOVs”) as a result of “Operation Mother’s Attic, a State-led undercover sting targeting public movers suspected of operating without licenses. Each unlicensed mover was also assessed a $2,500 civil penalty
The sting operation occurred over the course of four days in April 2018. Investigators from the Division’s Office of Consumer Protection (“OCP”) posed as individuals planning to move from an upscale neighborhood in Montville. The investigators found various unlicensed moving companies advertising online and hired them for their “move.” The movers drove to Montville, expecting to find a luxury home full of items to load, and were instead met by a team of OCP investigators, who issued them NOVs for operating without licenses.

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1 in10 New Jersey Residents is a Non-Citizen

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August 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood

Hackensack NJ, New Jersey is home to about 900,000 residents who are not United States citizens . That’ equals about 1 in 10 people in the state, according to most recent estimates. Census figures put Ridgewood’s non-citizen population at about 2,000, or approximately 8 percent of the village’s 25,500 residents.

The Ridgewood Public Library even hosts six-week program meets twice weekly for 90-minute classes. It uses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services booklet “Learn About the United States, Quick Civic Lessons for the Naturalization Test.”

The federal government is planning to have the 2020 Census ask people their citizenship status. Many elected officials and community advocates say such a question could threaten federal funding for states like New Jersey.

The simple solution would be to create more US citizens in order to safe guard Federal Funds .

The next Census Day is set for April 1, 2020, and a 2017 release from the U.S. Census Bureau identified the date for wording of all Census questions to be submitted to Congress as March 31 of this year. So for those fighting for a question on citizenship status to be excluded, the clock has been ticking for months already.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of the issue the Ridgewood blog has listed the towns the have the largest concentration of Non-citizens in Bergen County .

Palisades Park
U.S.-born citizens: 6,887
Naturalized citizens: 6,057
Non-citizens: 7,215 — 35%

South Hackensack
U.S.-born citizens: 1,534
Naturalized citizens: 455
Non-citizens: 725 — 27%

Fairview
U.S.-born citizens: 6,843
Naturalized citizens: 3,687
Non-citizens: 3,608 — 25%

Little Ferry
U.S.-born citizens: 5,669
Naturalized citizens: 2,570
Non-citizens: 2,431 — 22%

Hackensack
U.S.-born citizens: 25,272
Naturalized citizens: 8,238
Non-citizens: 9,631 — 22%

Fort Lee
U.S.-born citizens: 16,475
Naturalized citizens: 11,398
Non-citizens: 7,941 — 22%

Leonia
U.S.-born citizens: 4,853
Naturalized citizens: 2,220
Non-citizens: 1,935 — 21%

Teterboro
U.S.-born citizens: 63
Naturalized citizens: 5
Non-citizens: 18 — 21%

Edgewater
U.S.-born citizens: 6,698
Naturalized citizens: 2,559
Non-citizens: 2,503 — 21%

Garfield
U.S.-born citizens: 17,663
Naturalized citizens: 6,885
Non-citizens: 6,251 — 20%

Ridgefield
U.S.-born citizens: 5,790
Naturalized citizens: 3,087
Non-citizens: 2,208 — 20%

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New Jersey Transit Bus Struck by Train in Garfield

July 10,2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Garfield NJ, A New Jersey Transit bus was struck by a NJ Transit train in New Jersey Monday afternoon. It happened around 5 p.m. at Midland and Plauderville avenues in Garfield, near the Plauderville station, which is on the Bergen County Line.

Sources report that the bus became trapped between the closing train gates, the driver ordered the 15-20 passengers off the bus . Unfortunately the driver did return the bus and was injured. Some reports indicate the bus was hit by a Light rail train.

New Jersey Transit said Bergen County trains resumed with trains subject to 30 miin delays in both directions and substitute bus service was provided between Wesmont & Broadway & NJT Bus is accepting rail tickets and passes at Secaucus and on the BCL.

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A Short History of Memorial Day

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file photo by Boyd Loving

May 28,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance . “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

Many Northern states held similar commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years; by 1890 each one had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states, on the other hand, continued to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I.

Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

For many decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history

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“OPERATION HELPING HAND 4”

Heroin-006

March 24,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

 

Hackensack NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced today the results of “Operation Helping Hand 4” – the fourth phase of an innovative law enforcement and public health initiative targeting the heroin and opioid crisis in Bergen County. The initiative was led by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (“BCPO”), under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Calo and Chief of Detectives Robert Anzilotti, in coordination with Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III and Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino. Held from March 12 through 16, 2018, the initiative brought together Bergen County law enforcement from 30 agencies, Recovery Specialists from Children’s Aid and Family Services, clinicians and specialists from the Bergen County Department of Health Services, Division of Addiction Services, and professionals from New Bridge Medical Center to offer help to those suffering from the disease of addiction in Bergen County.

During the initiative, 37 individuals were arrested and brought to the BCPO to be processed. After they were issued summonses, largely for heroin possession, they were offered an opportunity to speak to a Recovery Specialist – a recovering addict, who has been clean and is trained to help them find treatment. This offer of help was in addition to, not in lieu of, criminal charges.

If the individual requested help, a trained clinician from the Bergen County Division of Addiction Services assessed him/her to determine the appropriate level of care and treatment needed. The clinicians, working closely with the Recovery Specialists and representatives from New Bridge Medical Center, then made arrangements for treatment, and law enforcement transported the individual to treatment.

Of the 37 individuals arrested during Operation Helping Hand 4, 19 have so far availed themselves of the treatment option, including 12 who are currently in 5-day detox programs, mostly at New Bridge Medical Center. As those individuals complete detox, longer-term treatment options are being arranged for them and their progress is being tracked by the Recovery Specialists. For those who did not avail themselves of treatment, the Recovery Specialists remain in touch with many of them and are prepared to offer help whenever they are ready to seek it.

A multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of law enforcement officers from the following agencies, under the direction of BCPO Chief Anzilotti, participated in the initiative: Bergen County Sheriff’s Office; Bergenfield Police Department; Cliffside Park Police Department; Clifton Police Department; Dumont Police Department; East Rutherford Police Department; Englewood Police Department; Elmwood Park Police Department; Fair Lawn Police Department; Garfield Police Department; Glen Rock Police Department; Hackensack Police Department; Lyndhurst Police Department; Mahwah Police Department; Morris County Prosecutor’s Office; New Milford Police Department; Norwood Police Department; Paramus Police Department; Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office; Paterson Police Department; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Ridgefield Park Police Department; Saddle River Police Department; Tenafly Police Department; Union County Prosecutor’s Office; Upper Saddle River Police Department and the Westwood Police Department.

Statistics compiled by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office indicate an increase in opioid use and drug overdoses in Bergen County from 2016 to the present. A preliminary analysis of overdose data by the BCPO Intel Unit and Narcotics Task Force revealed the following with respect to 2017:
507 total reported overdoses, 416 of which are currently identified as heroin/opioid-related.
Of the 308 reported overdoses, 131 were fatal overdoses; 111 of those were identified as heroin/opioid-related.
325 deployments of Narcan, the overdose reversal drug, by law enforcement officers, resulting in 245 lives saved. (Note: there were many other deployments – by parents, friends, family members, EMTs and in the ER that are not accounted for in this )

Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo stated that “Operation Helping Hand 4 is part of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Bergen County law enforcement’s continuing effort to combat the opioid epidemic and help those who are affected by it. The Operation demonstrates the close cooperation of law enforcement, County government and Bergen County social service organizations in the fight against this epidemic and the results that are possible through that cooperation. We will continue the fight.”

Acting Prosecutor Calo would like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Bergen County Executive, New Bridge Medical Center, Children’s Aid and Family Services, the Bergen County Department of Health Services, Division of Addiction Services, as well as all the participating law enforcement agencies for their assistance with this initiative.