Hackensack New Jersey Criminal Law Blog

Hackensack New Jersey
Criminal Law Blog

Published By

Travis J. Tormey, Esq.

Palisades Park Cop Accused of Possessing Cocaine & Marijuana in Fort Lee, NJ

Posted in Drug Crimes

Fort Lee Police Arrest Palisades Park Cop Who Allegedly Had Large Stash of Illegal Narcotics

Palisades Park Cop Accused of Drug CrimesA Palisades Park police officer was arrested after Fort Lee detectives allegedly found him in possession of illegal drugs at his house in Fort Lee. The suspect, Richard J. Giacobone, is a 39-year-old man with a home on Summit Avenue in Fort Lee. He is employed as a police officer with the Palisades Park Police Department. Giacobone was placed under arrest after authorities searched his residence and allegedly found drugs and prohibited weapons. Palisades Park police alerted Fort Lee police after learning that Giacobone may have been “under the influence of illegal narcotics.” The Fort Lee Police Department, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Confidential Investigations Unit investigated and got a search warrant for Giacobone’s home in Fort Lee, NJ. A search of the home reportedly turned up cocaine, marijuana, and anabolic steroids, in addition to large capacity ammunition magazines.

Giacobone was placed under arrest on the same day as the search of his Fort Lee residence. He was processed at Fort Lee police headquarters and then taken to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey. Next month, Giacobone will have to appear in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court. If the case eventually proceeds to trial, Giacobone would likely have to answer the drug offense charges and the criminal weapons charges in Bergen County Superior Court.

Drug Crime Penalties in Bergen County, New Jersey

The possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is serious criminal offense and carries significant penalties. Law enforcement in Bergen County has been targeting drug possession crimes in recent years because the county, much like New Jersey and the rest of the U.S., has been plagued by a drug abuse epidemic. Giacobone has been charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of anabolic steroids. If convicted on the most serious charges of cocaine possession, Giacobone could potentially be sentenced to 3-5 years in state prison. That’s because cocaine possession is classified as a third degree felony in the NJ Criminal Code.

Giacobone also faces criminal charges for weapons offenses, which could result in severe penalties. Although Giacobone is a police officers, it was still against the law for him to possess large capacity ammunition magazines because such devices are banned by NJ law.

Beyond the legal consequences of a criminal conviction, Giacobone could also find that his employment with the Palisades Park Police Department is in jeopardy. That’s because he would probably lose his job if convicted of a felony in New Jersey. Before Giacobone started to work for the Palisades Park police force, he was employed as an officer with the New Milford Police Department. He reportedly resigned in 2015 and then started work in Palisades Park, NJ.

Free Consultation with Experienced Fort Lee Drug Crime Lawyer

If you have been charged with cocaine possession in Fort Lee, NJ, it is imperative that you talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney and start building a strong defense against the charges. The skilled attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have successfully defended countless clients against drug offense charges in Bergen County, NJ. Contact us today to explore your legal options.

Paramus Man Admitted to Psychiatric Hospital 22 Times Before Allegedly Killing Mother

Posted in Homicide

Paramus, NJ Man Arrested After He Allegedly Murdered Mom with Boxcutter

Paramus Murder ChargesA recent case in which a Paramus man allegedly murdered his mother with a boxcutter has prompted calls for stricter guidelines concerning mental health evaluations and treatment in New Jersey. The domestic violence homicide suspect is 30-year-old Jesus Lopez, who lived with his mother, 56-year-old Susana Lopez, at a home located on Spring Valley Road in Paramus, NJ. According to authorities, Lopez used a boxcutter knife as a weapon to slit his mom’s throat during a violent encounter. Afterwards, Lopez allegedly left his mother’s body in the home’s garage for almost two weeks while it decomposed.

On October 24, police discovered the victim’s body inside the house. The body was found by Paramus cops who were dispatched to the residence to conduct a welfare check. A social worker at Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ contacted law enforcement and requested the welfare check because she grew concerned after not seeing Lopez for more than a week. One of the responding police officers saw several flies inside the house and smelled a strong odor coming from the garage. Both Paramus police officers then entered the house and reportedly came across Lopez, who was in a catatonic state as he sat alone in a chair and stared at a wall. According to Bergen County prosecutors, Lopez spoke to the officers and said, “I killed my mother 13 days ago.” Lopez was subsequently arrested and charged with first degree murder. He is currently being held without bail at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, NJ.

NJ Mental Illness & Violent Crimes

Lopez reportedly has been involved in numerous domestic violence incidents in the past. Law enforcement officials indicated that Paramus police had been called to Lopez’s Paramus residence at least 14 times since June 1, 2015. Police recently released a 911 recording from one of those incidents. On the emergency call, Lopez’s mother tells a police dispatcher that her son was threatening to physically harm her. Another 911 recording released by Paramus police indicated that Lopez’s mother felt “anxious and scared” because her son was becoming “aggressive and scary.”

The many 911 emergency calls, and subsequent police visits to the Lopez residence, resulted in Lopez being admitted 22 times to the Bergen Regional Medical Center for mental health issues. The psychiatric hospital visits were mandatory because Paramus police believed that Lopez’s violent actions presented an imminent threat to his mother’s safety.

Given how tragically events unfolded in the aftermath of those psychiatric hospital stays, some observers are now asking: Why was Lopez allowed to leave psychiatric care and return home before his mental health issues and propensity for violence could be dealt with? A source who spoke to the media has questioned the effectiveness of the New Jersey legal system for allowing both Lopez and his mom to “fall through the cracks.” The reality is that mental illness is a serious problem in New Jersey and throughout the US, with authorities often struggling to help those individuals most in need of mental health evaluations.

The problem for mental health professionals was summed up by Joe Masciandaro, president and CEO of CarePlus in Paramus. According to Masciandaro, mental health facilities in New Jersey are required to release patients after a stay of 72 hours – unless doctors can clearly show that the patient poses a threat of violence to themselves or to others. Unfortunately, said Masciandaro, 72 hours just isn’t enough time for doctors to get a good handle on the patient’s mental health problems. This means that patients like Lopez are typically released after just 72 hours – sometimes with tragic results.

Free Consultation with Paramus Criminal Defense Attorney Who Defends Clients Against Violent Crimes

Travis Tormey is an experienced Paramus criminal defense lawyer who has successfully represented clients facing violent crime charges and domestic violence charges in New Jersey, including Bergen County, NJ. If you or a loved one has been placed under arrest and charged with a violent crime, such as murder, aggravated assault, or terroristic threats, you should contact the Tormey Law Firm immediately to schedule a free consultation.

Victim in Fort Lee Hit & Run Accident Dies, Suspect Charged with Manslaughter

Posted in Traffic Violations

Fort Lee Traffic Ticket AttorneyAn Elmwood Park man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with a fatal car accident in Fort Lee, NJ.

The suspect is a 41-year-old resident of Elmwood Park in Bergen County, NJ. According to authorities, he was at fault in an auto accident at the intersection of Lemoine Avenue and Bridge Plaza North in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The suspect was reportedly driving his vehicle through the intersection shortly before 10:00 a.m. when he struck another car and then struck a pedestrian.

Afterwards, the suspect allegedly drove off without stopping. Fort Lee, NJ police eventually identified the suspect and arrested him.

Bergen County prosecutors initially filed third degree charges against the suspect for leaving the scene of an accident with bodily injury. However, prosecutors elevated the charges to second degree leaving the scene of an accident of a fatal motor vehicle collision after the victim died due to her accident-related injuries.

To learn more about this case, view the NJ.com article, “Charges Upgraded in Hit-and-Run After Pedestrian Dies.”

Two Women Charged with Robbery of Bank in Garfield, New Jersey

Posted in Theft Offenses

Theft Attorneys in Garfield NJA Passaic, NJ woman and a Connecticut woman accused of robbing a bank in Garfield, New Jersey have been charged with federal crimes.

The robbery suspects are a 23-year-old woman from Passaic NJ and a 19-year-old woman from New Haven, CT. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the suspects walked into the Spencer Savings Bank in Garfield, NJ and posed as customers.

After asked a teller about opening a checking account, the suspects allegedly showed a handgun and threatened to shoot the worker unless she gave them cash. One of the suspects also allegedly stood guard over the bank manager during the theft crime.

After getting cash, the suspects reportedly ran out of the building and fled the scene.

Two weeks after the Garfield, NJ bank robbery, the suspects reportedly tried to rob a second bank in Teaneck, NJ. Police officers apprehended the women shortly after the robbery.

Now the suspects face federal robbery charges. If they are ultimately convicted on the charges, they could be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

To learn more about this case, view the NJ.com article, “2 Women Charged in Garfield, Teaneck Robberies.”

Fair Lawn, NJ Police Investigate Stabbing of Three Women

Posted in Domestic Violence

Fair Lawn Assault AttorneysFair Lawn, NJ law enforcement is investigating a domestic violence assault incident at a residence located in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.

The violent incident happened at around 2:30 a.m. The Fair Lawn Police Department got a 911 call about three women being attacked with a knife at the home.

When Fair Lawn police officers got to the scene, they found three women suffering from stabbing wounds. The victims were transported to an area hospital to receive urgent medical treatment for their injuries.

Fair Lawn, NJ detectives are currently investigating the attack. At this time, police have not released a whole lot of information about the violent crime because authorities have classified it as a domestic violence offense.

Depending on the outcome of the police investigation, the perpetrator could potentially face very serious criminal charges for aggravated assault and weapons offenses.

Additionally, the suspect would likely be subject to a temporary restraining order (TRO) because it was reportedly an act of domestic violence.

To learn more about this case, go to the NJ.com article, “3 Females Stabbed in Domestic Violence Incident, Police Say.”

Father of Peewee Football Player Charged with Assault in Westwood, New Jersey

Posted in Assault Offenses

Assault Charges in Westwood NJA Closter NJ man has been charged with assault after he reportedly attacked a teen during a youth football game in Westwood, New Jersey.

The violent incident allegedly happened at Ketler Field on the Westwood Middle School campus in Westwood, New Jersey.

The suspect is a 50-year-old man who lives in Closter in Bergen County, NJ. He allegedly got angry when his son was changed from the quarterback position in the middle of a flag football game.

The victim, a 16-year-old boy, is a volunteer coach for a team in the peewee football league. When he called for the suspect’s son to be taken out of the game, the suspect reportedly became so enraged that he put the underage coach in a chokehold.

Prosecutors later opted to file criminal charges against the suspect for simple assault and disorderly conduct.

For further information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “Family Banned for Life from Football League After Dad’s Alleged Attack on Teen Coach.”

Wallington Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges for Child Pornography Possession

Posted in Sex Crimes

Sex Crime Attorney in Wallington NJA Wallington, New Jersey man recently pleaded guilty to charges of child pornography possession.

The suspect, a 66-year-old Wallington resident, was charged with the sex offense earlier this year after federal authorities investigated him. Members of the Newark division of Homeland Security Investigations reportedly discovered evidence that the suspect purchased online sex shows from people in the Philippines.

The suspect was placed under arrest and charged with receiving child pornography. Now the suspect has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the charges. He recently made an appearance in U.S. District Court in Newark, NJ and formally entered his guilty plea.

Afterwards, the suspect posted a $125,000 bond and secured his release from prison. He will remain free until he returns to federal court in 2018 and is sentenced. At that time, he could face up to 20 years behind bars in a federal penitentiary. Additionally, the suspect will probably be required to register as a convicted sex offender under Megan’s Law.

For additional information about this case, go to the NJ.com article, “Man Admits Paying for Live Child Pornography Shows.”

Newark Man Accused of Stealing Fort Lee Real Estate Clients’ Money

Posted in Fraud Offenses

Fort Lee Fraud SuspectA Newark man has been charged with very serious crimes in Fort Lee, NJ for allegedly stealing $345,000 from clients of a real estate company.

The suspect is a 41-year-old resident of Newark, NJ. He reportedly owns and operates Live Realty, a realty company located in Fort Lee in Bergen County, New Jersey. According to Bergen County authorities, the suspect kept $345,000 in down payments made by his clients and then used the funds for his own personal expenses.

Five clients of the suspect’s real estate business contacted Fort Lee police to file complaints against the suspect for allegedly stealing their money.

The Fort Lee Police Department and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit then worked together on a joint investigation into the alleged theft and fraud crimes. Investigators eventually determined that the suspect should be arrested and criminally charged. According to prosecutors, the suspect deposited the victims’ money into his own personal bank accounts rather than using the money to make authorized real estate purchases.

The suspect faces numerous criminal charges, including charges for failure to make lawful disposition of property received, theft by deception, and misconduct by a corporate official.

For further information about this case, go to the NJ.com article, “Real Estate Agent Arrested for Keeping Down Payments.”

Father, Son Charged with Abuse of Older Relative in Bergenfield, NJ

Posted in Assault Offenses

Burglary Lawyers in Bergenfield NJPolice officers in Bergenfield, New Jersey recently arrested two men – a father and his son – on charges of burglary and elder abuse.

The suspects are a 61-year-old Bergenfield, NJ man and a 28-year-old Bergenfield, NJ man. The older suspect is reportedly the father of the younger suspect.

According to Bergenfield authorities, the suspects broke into a house located on Willow Street in Bergenfield, NJ. Law enforcement received a 911 call about the burglary and dispatched officers to the scene.

Police talked to the homeowner, who said that she returned home to see that her rear window had been smashed. Detectives found a blood trail starting at the shattered window and followed it to the backyard of the residence located next door.

Police reportedly found the two suspects inside the other house. Police also allegedly discovered jewelry and cash stolen from the victim’s home.

Detectives with the Bergenfield Police Department investigated further and reportedly learned that the suspects had abused an 84-year-old relative. According to officials, the suspects withheld “necessities” from the victim.

The suspects are charged with numerous crimes: burglary, theft of movable property, hindering apprehension, obstruction of justice, criminal mischief, and elder abuse.

After being arrested and processed, the suspects were remanded to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey.

For further information about this case, view the New Milford Patch article, “Bergen Father and Son Burglarized Neighbor’s House, Abused Grandmother: Police.”

Employee with Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Could Face Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

Posted in Traffic Violations

DWI Lawyer in Bergen County NJA Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office worker may be subject to vehicular manslaughter charges for allegedly causing a fatal car crash in Hackensack, New Jersey.

The suspect is the maintenance superintendent with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in Hackensack, NJ. According to law enforcement officials, he was operating a pick-up truck owned by Bergen County when he struck a pedestrian.

The fatal motor vehicle accident happened during the afternoon, around lunchtime, in the area of the Hackensack Liquor Store. The victim was reportedly leaving the liquor store and trying to walk through the parking lot when the suspect crashed into him. Officials indicated that the suspect made a left turn into the store parking lot and hit the pedestrian.

The accident victim required urgent medical attention. Tragically, doctors could not save his life.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hackensack Police Department worked together on the investigation into the fatal accident. However, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office is now handling the investigation because authorities want to avoid any potential conflicts.

The manslaughter case has gotten media coverage for the police decision to not test the suspect for intoxication. A Bergen County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson initially said that testing for alcohol and drugs is standard procedure in fatal accidents, but the NJ State Police later stated that no such requirement exists.

Given that the suspect was not tested for intoxication, police did not charge him with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). However, the suspect could still face criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter.

For further information about this case, see the NorthJersey.com article, “Prosecutor’s Office Employee Who Struck and Killed Hackensack Resident Identified.”