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Fourth New Jersey Man Charged in Connection with an Interstate Luxury Car Theft Ring

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ,  A fourth man was arrested today for his role in a conspiracy to steal and transport across state lines luxury cars from towns in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

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NJ Rep. Chris Smith Gets 41 Million Medical Gloves Locked in Govt Warehouses Released


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

FREEHOLD NJ, Within 24 hours of being contacted, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) persuaded the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to release a massive shipment of 41.3 million medical-grade gloves for distribution in the United States for medical professionals including nurses and doctors and to first responders. The gloves had been held by CBP since late September of last year.

At this critical juncture, when supplies of personal protective equipment—PPE—are scarce and medical professionals need to be safeguarded from the coronavirus, we needed to act quickly and work with federal officials to get 41.3 million medical examination gloves released by CBP and into the communities across the country where they are desperately needed,” said Smith.

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U.S. Marshals Service and NJ Attorney General’s Office direct multi-agency collaboration targeting gang members in “Operation Summer in the City”

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August 6,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and U.S. Marshal for the District of New Jersey Juan Mattos today announced that federal, state, and local agencies have united with the U.S. Marshals Service to help reduce gang violence across the state of New Jersey in Operation Summer in the City. The U.S. Marshals Service in the District of New Jersey and the U.S. Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force conducted this collaborative effort involving all levels of law enforcement as an extension of the U.S. Marshals Gang Enforcement Program. The initiative came out of a meeting between Attorney General Grewal and U.S. Marshal Mattos at which they discussed strategies for reducing violent crime across the state. This one week fugitive initiative during July targeted New Jersey’s gang members and most violent offenders. This operation resulted in the arrest of 166 fugitives, which included 61 documented gang members including 42 Bloods, 13 Crips, 3 Latin Kings, 1 Surenos, and 1 Trinitarios member.

Operation Summer in the City was conducted throughout the Cities of Newark, Trenton, Jersey City, and Camden from July 16 through July 20. The objective was to strategically target the State’s most dangerous fugitives in order to curb the violence in these cities, and have a direct impact on the quality of life for the residents in these communities. Marshals and task force officers focused on targeting fugitives with violent charges as well as documented gang members. Not only were some of New Jerseys most violent offenders apprehended during this operation, but law enforcement also seized guns, drugs, and money. Of these notable seizures, 11 firearms, 7.15 kg in narcotics, one vehicle, and $100,000 in cash were confiscated.

The U.S. Marshal for the District of New Jersey, Juan Mattos states, “The U.S. Marshals Service is thankful for the relationships that we have with our city, county, state, and federal law enforcement partners that worked tirelessly in sweltering and scorching conditions to make ‘Operation Summer in the City’ a huge success. We heard the public’s pleas for help and their expressions of gratitude for making their neighborhoods safer as a result of these arrests. We listened to you loud and clearly, and we will continue pursuing these violent fugitives that are hiding in every corner of your city.”
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal states, “Upon becoming Attorney General, I promised to make fighting violent crime a top priority, and this operation is part of delivering on that promise in a collaborative way. Law enforcement throughout New Jersey has a tremendous partner in the U.S. Marshals Service, and our strategy in ‘Operation Summer in the City’ was to conduct the type of operations that the U.S. Marshals conduct every day, but multiply our forces so we could blanket these four cities with deputy marshals and other law enforcement officers and target New Jersey’s most dangerous fugitives. This collaboration, including the tremendous work of our county prosecutors’ offices, who are prosecuting the overwhelming majority of these fugitives, is a great example of how we are working together to reduce and prevent violent crime in New Jersey. In fact, six-month data for 2018 shows a decline of 24 percent in shooting ‘hit’ victims in New Jersey compared to the same period in 2017, and a 23 percent decline in shooting murder victims, and I think that law enforcement is having a real impact in these declines by leveraging the great cooperative relationships we have fostered and sharing intelligence to address major causes of violence. Law enforcement agencies work best when they work together, and this sweep of gang members and violent offenders is an outstanding example.”

The U.S. Marshals Gang Enforcement Program is part of the Agency’s Organized Crime and Gangs Branch (OCAG). Through strategic fugitive investigations, the OCAG seeks to disrupt and destabilize criminal networks holistically, from the street level gangster to high-ranking leaders of the most notorious Transnational Criminal Organizations. In the state of New Jersey alone, the U.S. Marshals Service Gang and Regional Fugitive Task Forces have arrested 242 documented gang members from January through July of this year. In that same time frame, a total of 1,489 fugitives have been arrested by U.S. Marshals Task Forces in New Jersey and that number continues to grow, as each and every single day, some of the most violent offenders in the state are apprehended.

The full list of participating Law Enforcement agencies include:
United States Marshals
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
United States Postal Inspection Service
Homeland Security Investigations
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey
NJ State Police Gangs and Organized Crime Unit, Fugitive Unit, and K-9
New Jersey Parole
New Jersey State Police
New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
New Jersey Department of Corrections
Port Authority Police Department
Essex County Sheriff’s Office
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
Hudson County Sheriff’s Office
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office
Union County Sheriff’s Office
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
Trenton Police Department
Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
Mercer County Prosecutors Office
Burlington County Sheriff’s Office
Ocean County Sheriff’s Office
Camden County Sheriff’s Office
Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office
Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
Deptford Police Department
Camden County Metro Police Department

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Border Patrol Agents Rescue 64 Illegal Aliens Trapped in Tractor Trailers

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July 6,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC,  U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested nine U.S. citizens for smuggling 64 illegal aliens in five separate events over the weekend.

“In addition to securing and protecting our nation’s borders, frontline Border Patrol agents are committed to reducing heat-related injuries and preventing deaths along our borders,” stated U.S. Border Patrol Acting Chief Carla L. Provost. “These rescues are a result of stepped-up enforcement at our immigration checkpoints coupled with our search and rescue efforts that are key to preventing unnecessary loss of life.”

In the last two months, Border Patrol agents have thwarted 42 smuggling attempts involving tractor trailers, rescuing 406 people from possible death due to soaring temperatures along the Southwest border.
On June 30, agents arrested an adult female for attempting to smuggle 10 individuals through a Border Patrol immigration checkpoint. The individuals were discovered in the sleeper cab of the truck after a Border Patrol K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics and people in the tractor trailer.

That same day, two adult females driving a box truck were arrested for smuggling 7 illegal aliens through the same Border Patrol immigration checkpoint. The individuals were concealed and locked inside of the truck. Three hours later, agents arrested two men attempting to smuggle 21 people concealed inside a box truck. After a K-9 alerted, agents conducted a search of the cargo area and discovered people hiding behind stacks of tires.

On July 1, agents arrested two individuals attempting to smuggle 14 people through a Border Patrol immigration checkpoint. The individuals were discovered concealed in the sleeper compartment of the truck. Later that day, agents arrested two people for smuggling 12 people who were locked in the trailer compartment of an 18-wheeler. All of the smugglers were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for prosecution.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol has stepped up its search and rescue efforts in an attempt to prevent heat-related deaths along the Arizona border. This week, temperatures in Arizona are expected to exceed 115 degrees.

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Border Patrol Agents Arrest 6 Criminal Aliens including a Convicted Murderer and Gang Members over the Weekend

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June  26,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, U.S. Customs and Border Protection made six significant arrests, including MS-13 and 18th Street gang members and a convicted murderer, along U.S. borders over three days. The arrests, made by U.S. Border Patrol agents, took place across the United States, from Vermont to the California coast.
“Human smuggling is a violent criminal enterprise that puts the safety of our communities and our country at risk,” said U.S. Border Patrol Acting Deputy Chief Scott A. Luck. “Attacking this problem is a top Department of Homeland Security priority. We are committed to using the wealth of resources, technology and expertise at our disposal not only to disrupt the current activity, but to identify and dismantle the criminal organizations behind it.”

In Fiscal Year 2018 through the end of May, Border Patrol agents have arrested 5,000 people with criminal records who have attempted to enter the United States illegally. Additionally, Border Patrol agents have arrested more than 505 criminal gang members to include Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), 18th Street gang and Mexican Mafia.

On June 22, Border Patrol agents arrested a Mexican national near El Centro, California who was convicted of child molestation and a suspected MS-13 gang member near McAllen, Texas. Both were referred for prosecution and removal.

A Peruvian national and a Mexican national were apprehended on June 23 near Averill, Vermont. Record checks revealed that both subjects were previously deported. The Mexican national admitted to being a member of the 18th Street gang. Both individuals were processed for prosecution and removal.

On June 24, an El Salvadoran national who verbally admitted to being an active 18th Street gang member was arrested by Border Patrol agents near Rio Grande City, Texas. The subject was processed for prosecution and removal.
That same day, a Mexican national, who was previously convicted of murder and served 32 years in prison, was apprehended near San Ysidro, California. The individual will be processed for prosecution and removal. Lastly, an El Salvadoran national, who admitted to being a MS-13 gang member, was arrested by Border Patrol agents near Three Points, Arizona.

Border Patrol agents were able to identify their criminal histories and gang affiliation by a search of CBP and FBI biometric databases. The databases provide rapid identification of individuals with outstanding criminal warrants by electronically comparing a live-scanned fingerprint against a nationwide database of biometrically indexed fingerprints.

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Trump team seeks agency records on border barriers, surveillance


By Julia Edwards Ainsley | WASHINGTON

In a wide-ranging request for documents and analysis, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.

The team also asked about the department’s capacity for expanding immigrant detention and about an aerial surveillance program that was scaled back by the Obama administration but remains popular with immigration hardliners. And it asked whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the department about immigrants out of concern for their civil liberties.

The requests were made in a Dec. 5 meeting between Trump’s transition team and Department of Homeland Security officials, according to an internal agency memo reviewed by Reuters. The document offers a glimpse into the president-elect’s strategy for securing the U.S. borders and reversing polices put in place by the Obama administration.

Trump’s transition team did not comment in response to Reuters inquiries. A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined to comment.

In response to the transition team request, U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffers identified more than 400 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, and about the same distance along the U.S.-Canada border, where new fencing could be erected, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Reuters could not determine whether the Trump team is considering a northern border barrier. During the campaign, Trump pledged to build a wall and expand fencing on parts of the U.S.-Mexico border but said he sees no need to build a wall on the border with Canada.

One program the transition team asked about, according to the email summary, was Operation Phalanx, an aerial surveillance program that authorizes 1,200 Army National Guard airmen to monitor the southern border for drug trafficking and illegal migration.

The program once deployed 6,000 airmen under President George W. Bush but was downsized by Barack Obama, a move blasted by some conservatives who argue the surveillance is vital to border security.