Hackensack New Jersey Criminal Law Blog

Hackensack New Jersey
Criminal Law Blog

Published By

Travis J. Tormey, Esq.

PA Man Charged with Illegal Sale of Assault Weapons in Bergen County, NJ

Posted in Weapons Offenses

Pennsylvania Man Charged with Gun Crimes in Bergen County, New Jersey

Firearms Charges Bergen County NJA Pennsylvania man was recently arrested and charged with numerous criminal weapons offenses for allegedly selling assault firearms in Bergen County, NJ. The suspect, Andrew Okie, is a 24-year-old electronics technician who resides in Tobyhanna, PA. According to officials, Okie illegally sold firearms to residents of Bergen County, New Jersey. A number of NJ law enforcement agencies worked together on a major investigation into the alleged gun sales, including the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team, the Hackensack Police Department, the Dumont Police Department, and the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department.

New Jersey law enforcement authorities acted on information that Okie was purchasing firearms illegally in Pennsylvania and then selling the weapons in NJ. An undercover detective with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office set up meetings with Okie, beginning in March and ending in May. The undercover cop reportedly met with Okie on several occasions and conducted illegal sales of firearms: an AK-47 rifle, three AR-15 rifles, a number of high-capacity magazines, and more than 100 rounds of gun ammunition. Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo later issued a statement about the investigation and the arrest and said that Okie was selling the weapons to NJ residents.

Harsh Penalties for Illegal Possession of Assault Rifles in Bergen County, New Jersey

Okie has been charged with several weapons offenses: four counts of second degree possession of an assault rifle, four counts of third degree unlawful possession of a rifle, four counts of third degree illegal sale of a firearm, seven counts of fourth degree sale of a high-capacity firearm magazine, and seven counts of fourth degree possession of a large-capacity firearm magazine. These are very serious charges that are considered felonies under the NJ Criminal Code. This means that a conviction on just a single count could result in Okie spending years in prison. Beyond that, the Graves Act would apply in this case because it involves illegal firearms. The NJ Graves Act imposes minimum mandatory terms of incarceration.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Bergen County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with a criminal weapons offense in Hackensack, Paramus, Fort Lee, or any other part of Bergen County, NJ, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact Bergen County criminal attorney Travis Tormey now to schedule a free consultation.

Ex-Rabbi in Woodcliff Lake, NJ Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault

Posted in Sex Crimes

California Man Who Used to Live in Woodcliff Lake Charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault in New Jersey

Sex Crime Suspect Woodcliff Lake NJAn ex-rabbi from Woodcliff Lake in Bergen County, New Jersey has been criminally charged with sexual assault. The sex crime suspect is Menachem A. Weiss, a 46-year-old who used to live in Woodcliff Lake. For a while, Weiss has lived in Los Angeles, California with his wife and worked as a teacher. He’s currently in New Jersey after being extradited from CA to NJ so that he can face criminal charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a young boy in 1999.

Bergen County prosecutors said that Weiss sexually assaulted the juvenile victim multiple times in Woodcliff Lake between January 1999 and June 1999. At the time, both Weiss and the victim lived in Woodcliff Lake, NJ. Police detectives started an investigation into Weiss after law enforcement got information that Weiss committed the sex crimes. Authorities later got a warrant for Weiss’ arrest and took him into custody.

Severe Penalties for Aggravated Sexual Assault in Bergen County, New Jersey

If Weiss does not reach a plea deal with prosecutors in the case, he could stand trial in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey. A Bergen County grand jury recently indicted him on multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault. If Weiss is eventually convicted on the very serious sex crime charges, he could be sentenced to 10-20 years in NJ State Prison. That’s because N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2 classifies aggravated sexual assault as a first degree criminal offense. In addition to serving time in prison, Weiss could also be required to register as a convicted sex offender under Megan’s Law.

Contact an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney in Woodcliff Lake, NJ

If you have been arrested and charged with a sex crime like aggravated sexual assault in Woodcliff Lake, Paramus, Hackensack, or anywhere else in Bergen County, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side. Travis J. Tormey is an experienced criminal lawyer who can help you fight your charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact him today to go over the details of your case.

Police Investigate Robbery of Garage Worker in Garfield, NJ

Posted in Theft Offenses

Garfield Police Searching for Two Men Who Allegedly Held Up Local Garage Worker

Garfield Garage Robbery SuspectGarfield, NJ police are investigating the violent robbery of a garage worker. The theft incident occurred during that day at a garage shop in the area of Passaic Street and Cambridge Avenue in Garfield, New Jersey. According to authorities, two men walked into the building and asked the worker for help. Garfield Police Capt. Darren Sucorowski said that one suspect distracted the victim while the other suspect approached from behind. One suspect then allegedly threatened the worker with a handgun. The suspect with the gun allegedly used the firearm to strike the victim in the face. Next, the men reportedly used a lot of shrink wrap to place the victim in a chair. The suspects got cash from the victim’s wallet and then fled the scene on foot.

A person who lives near the garage later discovered the victim and helped to remove the shrink wrap. The victim suffered minor injuries in the violent attack, but he did not require hospitalization. Garfield police detectives were sent to the scene of the robbery to investigate. Officials indicated that the two robbers were wearing hooded sweatshirts and “bubble jackets.” Police also released a sketch of one of the culprits. Thus far, no arrests have been made in connection with the Garfield garage robbery.

N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1: Penalties for Armed Robbery in Garfield, New Jersey

New Jersey robbery penalties can be severe. If the offender uses a deadly weapon (like a handgun or a knife) or threatens violence with the deadly weapon during the commission of the theft, those penalties can be even worse. N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 stipulates that robbery is a second degree felony offense – unless the offender uses a deadly weapon or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon, in which case robbery is a first degree felony. Second degree robbery can result in a maximum penalty of 10 years in NJ State Prison, while first degree armed robbery can result in a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Garfield Robbery Lawyer

Were you arrested for robbery, theft, or any other crime in Garfield, NJ? Then it is imperative that you talk to a knowledgeable criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Travis J. Tormey is an experienced criminal attorney who can defend you against your theft crime charges. Contact Attorney Tormey immediately to begin exploring your legal options.

Hackensack, NJ Man Gets Jaywalking Ticket After Being Hit by Truck

Posted in Traffic Violations

Hackensack Man Struck by New Milford Truck Driver – and Then Cited for Jaywalking

Traffic Ticket Attorney Hackensack NJPedestrians in Bergen County, New Jersey should understand that they will receive tickets if they don’t pay attention while attempting to walk across the street. A Hackensack, NJ man was recently cited for jaywalking after being struck by a motor vehicle while trying to walk across a street in Hackensack, New Jersey. Daniel Gallagher, a 57-year-old Hackensack resident, was in the process of crossing South River Street, close to his home, when a pickup truck hit him. A number of witnesses dialed 911 to let the Hackensack Police Department know about the pedestrian accident. Police officers and paramedics rushed to the scene of the accident and took Gallagher to the trauma center at Hackensack University Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.

Afterwards, Hackensack police made the decision to issue a traffic ticket to Gallagher for jaywalking. Hackensack Police Captain Brian Corcoran said that Gallagher did not obey local traffic laws when he walked across the road in the middle of the block instead of doing so at a nearby crosswalk or traffic light. Corcoran’s statement about the traffic accident indicated that people in Hackensack have to watch where they are going – including motorists driving cars and pedestrians walking on the side of the road.

Traffic Ticket Points in Hackensack, NJ

This case is a good example of the dangers posed to pedestrians in Hackensack, NJ when they fail to obey traffic laws. Gallagher’s alleged attempt to walk across the street away from a crosswalk is an act that many people take every day across Bergen County, New Jersey. Most of the time, the pedestrian does not get injured. However, in this case, Gallagher was struck by a car and sustained significant physical injuries. As a result, Hackensack police had no choice but to issue him a jaywalking citation. This could have happened to anyone – especially during the winter when roads are covered in snow and ice and motorists have a hard time slowing down and coming to a stop.

The motorist in the recent Hackensack pedestrian accident was not ticketed for his involvement in the crash. That’s because Hackensack law enforcement determined that he did not commit a moving violation, like speeding or reckless driving, before hitting the pedestrian. Beyond that, the motorist stayed at the scene of the crash until authorities arrived, so he was not charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

Schedule a Free Consultation About Your Traffic Ticket in Hackensack, NJ

You need to be careful when driving or walking in Hackensack, New Jersey. If you receive a ticket for a moving violation such as speeding or reckless driving, you could get points on your license that put your driving privileges in jeopardy. If you are ticketed, the skilled traffic lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm can help you fight the ticket and avoid penalties. Contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation.

Lyndhurst Woman Faces Heroin Possession Charges After Rutherford Car Crash

Posted in Drug Crimes

Drug Crime Charges for Lyndhurst, NJ Woman Involved in Serious Car Accident on Route 17 in Rutherford, NJ

Heroin Possession Lawyer in Rutherford NJA Lyndhurst, NJ woman was arrested and charged with multiple crimes after she allegedly caused a serious car crash on Route 17 in Rutherford, New Jersey. The suspect, Soscia Salo, is a 43-year-old resident of Lyndhurst, New Jersey. According to law enforcement officials, Salo was behind the wheel of a 2008 Dodge Caliber and traveling north along Route 17 in Rutherford at around 10:20 p.m. when she swerved into the southbound lane and struck a 2005 Hyundai Accent that was traveling in the opposite direction. The driver of the other motor vehicle a 65-year-old Belleville, NJ man, sustained severe physical injuries in the head-on crash and was later listed in critical condition at an area hospital.

Both motorists were stuck inside their vehicles after the accident. They were eventually removed by emergency medical responders and firefighters with the Rutherford Fire Department. Rutherford police later searched Salo’s motor vehicle by and allegedly found a small amount of heroin. As a result, Salo was placed under arrest and charged with drug offenses.

Route 17 Traffic Accident Leads to Heroin Possession Charges and Possible DUI Charges

Salo faces multiple criminal charges in connection with the Rutherford accident, including heroin possession and assault by auto. Salo has also been cited for several traffic offenses, including reckless driving, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in a motor vehicle, and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.

Depending on the findings of investigators in the case, it’s possible that Salo might also face charges for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Rutherford police detectives and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office detectives are actively investigating Salo. A blood sample was drawn from Salo at the hospital after the accident; this sample could be used by prosecutors to file DUI charges, depending on the results.

Contact a Bergen County Drug Crime Lawyer About Your Heroin Possession Charges

If you have been charged with possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, or any other drug crime in Bergen County, NJ, you face severe penalties. That’s why it is critical for you to speak with an experienced criminal attorney immediately. Travis Tormey is a skilled criminal defense attorney who knows how help clients beat drug crime charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact Attorney Tormey anytime to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.

Fair Lawn, NJ Woman Admits Tax Fraud

Posted in Fraud Offenses

Tax Preparer in Fair Lawn Gets Prison for Helping Clients Claim Phony Deductions on Tax Returns

Tax Fraud Lawyer in Fair Lawn NJA woman from Fair Lawn, New Jersey will be going to prison after she pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges connected to her tax preparation company. The defendant in the case was 43-year-old Shirley Arias (who also goes by Shirley Zambrano). Arias owned Santos & Associates, a tax filing business located in Union City, NJ. Arias helped multiple clients file tax returns with false information, such as fake expenses and phony education credits. The fraudulent deductions listed on the federal tax documents were meant to help Arias’ clients get larger refunds on their tax returns. Now Arias has been sentenced to more than a year behind bars in federal prison.

Arias was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after federal authorities noticed discrepancies in tax returns filed by several of Arias’ clients. Federal investigators closely scrutinized tax returns prepared by Arias and discovered evidence that her clients got more than $130,000 in tax refunds that they should not have received. The fraudulent tax documents were filed in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Suspect Pleads Guilty in New Jersey Tax Fraud Case

Arias was initially placed under arrest and charged with a very serious federal crime: aiding and assisting others in the preparation of false tax returns. If Arias had elected to contest the criminal charges and went to trial in federal court, she could have been sentenced to as many as three years in federal prison and fined up to $250K. However, Arias avoided trial by reaching a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

When Arias later appeared in U.S. District Court in Newark for a formal sentencing hearing, her attorney asked the judge to impose a lenient sentence because, he said, Arias only committed the fraud to help her indigent clients. The federal judge was sympathetic to Arias’ situation, but he still sentenced her to 13 months in a federal penitentiary. The judge also ordered that Arias pay restitution of more than $130,000 to the federal government.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Bergen County Fraud Lawyers

Were you charged with a theft or fraud offense in Bergen County, New Jersey? Then it is imperative that you talk to an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. The Tormey Law Firm is a team of skilled lawyers with the experience and knowledge needed to help you fight your fraud charges. Contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation.

New York Man Sentenced to Decade Behind Bars for Robbing Lodi Bank

Posted in Theft Offenses

NY Man Gets Prison Time for Armed Robbery of Bank in Lodi, New Jersey

Robbery Suspect in Lodi New JerseyA man who robbed a Lodi bank was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in New Jersey State Prison. The defendant, 41-year-old Michael Cassano of Queens, New York, was arrested by Lodi police officers on February 23, 2015, a short time after he held up the Hudson City Savings bank located in Lodi, New Jersey. Cassano entered the bank and used a BB gun to threaten a bank employee.

After Cassano got $4,000 in cash, he quickly exited the building. However, instead of leaving the area, Cassano went to a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts to buy donuts. He was apprehended by law enforcement a few minutes later as he walked from the donut shop to his motor vehicle.

Harsh Penalties for Armed Robbery Charges in Lodi, NJ

Cassano was charged with numerous crimes, including first degree armed robbery and weapons offenses. In August 2017, Cassano reached a plea deal with Bergen County prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the charges for armed robbery; prosecutors then agreed to drop the other criminal charges. If Cassano had fought the armed robbery charges, went to trial in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack, and been convicted by a jury, he would have faced 20 years in state prison. Instead, Bergen County prosecutors asked the court to sentence Cassano to 10 years in prison, with a requirement that he serve a minimum of 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. (Since Cassano has already spent the last two years in the Ocean County Jail while awaiting resolution of the case, he received credit for time already served.)

At the sentencing hearing in Bergen County Superior Court, Cassano asked the judge to impose a more lenient sentence. Cassano stated that he was a successful businessman and a church minister prior to the Lodi bank robbery. Cassano also said that he suffered from a mental illness and an addiction to cocaine. However, the judge ultimately denied Cassano’s requests for leniency.

Cassano’s situation isn’t entirely settled. That’s because he also faces criminal charges for a bank robbery in Toms River, NJ. Cassano allegedly held up a PNC bank in Toms River just a few weeks before he the bank robbery in Lodi, New Jersey.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Attorney About Your Bergen County Robbery Charges

Were you arrested for robbery, theft, or any other criminal offense in Bergen County? Then you should speak with a knowledgeable criminal lawyer immediately. Travis Tormey is a highly skilled criminal attorney who knows how to help clients beat theft and fraud charges in New Jersey. Contact Attorney Tormey now to discuss your case.

New York Man Arrested for Crystal Meth Possession in Fort Lee, NJ

Posted in Drug Crimes

NYC Taxi Driver Allegedly Possessed Crystal Meth and Cocaine in Fort Lee, New Jersey

Fort Lee Drug SuspectA New York City cab driver was placed under arrest in Fort Lee, NJ and charged with distribution of illegal drugs. The suspect is Gerardo Camilo-Nolasco, a 42-year-old man who resides at 630 E. 170th Street in the Bronx, NY. Camilo-Nolasco works as a taxi driver in NYC and was reportedly driving a car belonging to a friend in Fort Lee, NJ when Bergen County police stopped the motor vehicle due to a narcotics investigation. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Fort Lee Police Department conducted a joint investigation.

Bergen County detectives searched Camilo-Nolasco’s car and allegedly discovered 10 pounds of crystal meth with a street resale value of roughly $800K. Police also reportedly discovered four (4) grams of cocaine in the vehicle. Camilo-Nolasco was placed under arrest and taken to the Bergen County Correctional Facility in Hackensack, NJ.

Drug Crime Penalties in Bergen County, New Jersey

In a statement about the Fort Lee drug arrest, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said that Camilo-Nolasco has been charged with a number of crimes: possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine weighing greater than five (5) ounces and cocaine possession. The charge for distribution of crystal meth is considered a first degree felony, while the possession of cocaine possession charged is considered a third degree felony.

If Camilo-Nolasco is convicted on either of the criminal charges against him, he will face decades behind bars in NJ State Prison. A conviction for a first degree crime could lead to a term of incarceration of 10-20 years. Moreover, since felony drug offenses are serious crimes, prosecutors could seek the maximum penalties against Camilo-Nolasco.

Talk to an Experienced Fort Lee Drug Crime Lawyer Today

If you were recently arrested for a felony-level drug offense in Fort Lee, you need to talk to an experienced criminal attorney. Don’t take any chances with your freedom or your future. Travis Tormey handled drug crime defense throughout Bergen County, including Fort Lee, Paramus, and Hackensack, New Jersey. Contact Attorney Tormey anytime to discuss your case.

Mail Carrier Accused of Stealing Checks in Bergen County, NJ

Posted in Theft Offenses

Bergen County Mail Carrier Allegedly Stole Checks from People Along His Mail Route

Theft Suspect in Allendale New JerseyPolice arrested a Union City, NJ man who worked as a mail carrier in Bergen County and allegedly stole checks from people on his mail route. The suspect is Hector O. Tejada, a 50-year-old resident of Union City, New Jersey. According to authorities, Tejada stole checks from multiple residents and then committed fraud in order to deposit the money into his personal bank account.

Authorities became aware of the alleged theft offenses in September 2017 when a person in Allendale notified local law enforcement about a check that went missing from his mail. Allendale police worked with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General to investigate Tejada. That investigation reportedly uncovered evidence that Tejada stole a total of nine checks from people along his Bergen County mail route. The stolen checks reportedly totaled more than $8,000.

Mail Fraud Charges in Bergen County, New Jersey

Tejada faces multiple criminal charges in connection with the alleged mail fraud: theft by deception and forgery. The forgery charges have been filed because Tejada allegedly forged the names of the intended check recipients on the stolen checks and then fraudulently transferred the money into his bank account.

In addition to facing several counts of theft and forgery, Tejada could more criminal charges if law enforcement investigators uncover further evidence of criminal activity in the case. At this time, authorities are actively investigating Tejada and trying to determine if there were other victims on his mail route. Anyone in Bergen County who thinks that checks or other items went missing from their mail should notify police.

The charges that have already been filed against Tejada are third degree felonies. A conviction on a single count of third degree theft or third degree forgery could result in Tejada being sentenced to 3-5 years in NJ State Prison. This means that Tejada may want to avoid standing trial in Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack, New Jersey. Not only are the statutory penalties severe, but NJ judges tend to impose maximum punishments in cases involving crimes of moral turpitude.

Contact an Experienced Bergen County Theft Crime Lawyer

The criminal lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have successfully defended countless clients against theft and fraud charges in Bergen County, New Jersey. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with theft by deception, theft of movable property, or any other theft offense in NJ, you need to talk to one of the skilled members of our legal team. Contact us anytime to go over the details of your case.

West NY Teacher Accused of Distributing Cocaine & Marijuana in East Rutherford, NJ

Posted in Drug Crimes

East Rutherford, NJ Man Arrested for Allegedly Selling Cocaine & Marijuana Out of His Home

Cocaine Distribution Lawyer in East Rutherford NJA teacher in West New York was arrested and charged with selling drugs out of his home in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The suspect, 24-year-old Kenneth Furlong, lives in an apartment in East Rutherford and is employed as a substitute teacher at Memorial High School in the West New York School District. East Rutherford police officers went to Furlong’s apartment after getting a 911 call about an incident. When East Rutherford cops got to the apartment, they gained access to the residence and allegedly discovered cocaine and marijuana.

Dennis Rivelli, the East Rutherford police chief, said in a news release about the incident that police did not initially arrest Furlong. Instead, Furlong was allowed to remain free until later when he turned himself in at East Rutherford police headquarters. After Furlong was processed and charged, authorities moved him to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, NJ.

Severe Penalties for Drug Offenses in Bergen County, New Jersey

Furlong has been charged with multiple drug crimes: possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Depending on how much the seized drugs weigh, Furlong could face felony charges that carry significant criminal penalties. Regardless of the weight of the seized cocaine, however, Furlong would be subject to prison time. That’s because cocaine distribution is automatically classified as a felony-level offense under the New Jersey criminal code.

Law enforcement officials have not stated the precise reason that East Rutherford cops were sent to Furlong’s apartment to investigate in the first place. The arrest report says that police were responding to “an incident” at the East Rutherford home. If the incident is classified as a domestic violence incident, or any other type of violent act prohibited by NJ law, it’s possible that Furlong would be charged with another crime such as assault and be subject to a restraining order.

The West New York School District superintendent’s office has not yet commented on Furlong’s arrest by East Rutherford police. If Furlong is convicted on the very serious drug offense charges, or if he reaches a plea deal with prosecutors and admits guilt in the case, he would probably be terminated from his West NY teaching job. Beyond that, a felony conviction for drug distribution in NJ would possibly result in Furlong being barred from any public teaching position in the state.

Free Consultation with East Rutherford Drug Crime Attorneys

Were you recently arrested and charged with a drug distribution or drug possession offense in East Rutherford, New Jersey? The penalties for drug crimes in New Jersey are severe and could include prison time. That’s why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. The aggressive criminal defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm are prepared to help you fight your drug crime charges. Contact us now to discuss your case.