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DCJ Report, NJ AG, 2006

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New Jersey Office of The Attorney General • Department of Law & Public Safety

Division of
Criminal Justice
New Jersey’s unified, integrated system of law enforcement is unique in the nation. The
Criminal Justice Act of 1970 designated the Attorney General as the chief law enforcement
officer of the state. The Division of Criminal Justice, on behalf of the Attorney General, is
charged with responsibility to enforce the criminal laws of the state and serve a variety of
functions pertaining to the administration of criminal justice. It is the goal of the Division to
help coordinate law enforcement efforts and resources at all levels – state, county and municipal – to ensure the safety and security of all New Jersey citizens.


Division of Criminal Justice

Key Initiatives
Division Reorganization —
At the close of 2006, Attorney General
Rabner and Director Gregory A. Paw announced a reorganization of the Division of
Criminal Justice to direct greater resources to
two top priorities: public corruption and
gangs. The reorganization, which allows
more flexibility in assigning investigators and
attorneys, reflects strategies initiated in 2006
to focus efforts on those complex, labor-intensive cases. The reorganization consolidated 21 units into seven. In particular, 14
smaller trial units were consolidated into
three major crime-fighting groups: Corruption, Gangs/Organized Crime, and Major
White Collar Crimes. Three other units – the
Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, Appeals, and Prosecutors Supervision – remained in existing form, while a new Fiscal
Oversight unit for Schools Construction Corporation matters absorbed much of the
former Office of Government Integrity. The
reorganized major crimes section consolidated eight different sections that had been
dealing with white collar and financial
crimes, including the environmental crimes
bureau, computer crimes, money laundering
and labor offenses.

Operation Slapshot/Corrupt
Trooper Prosecution—
As the result of an investigation by the
State Police and Division of Criminal Justice
into a multi-million dollar illegal sports
bookmaking operation, veteran State Trooper
James Harney was forced to resign and
pleaded guilty on August 3, 2006 to conspiracy, official misconduct and promoting
gambling. Another participant, James A.
Ulmer of Swedesboro, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and promoting gambling on Dec. 1,
2006. Charges remained pending against
former Philadelphia Flyers player Rick
Tocchet. Investigators found that during one
40-day period alone, the betting ring took in
more than 1,000 bets totaling $1.7 million.

Other Public Corruption
The Division charged 22 other public officials with crimes in 2006 for alleged corrupt
activities, including bribery, theft of public
funds and selling driver’s licenses and other
official forms of identification to unauthorized persons. In November, Attorney General Rabner announced the indictment of
former Carney’s Point Mayor John “Mack”
Lake on charges of official misconduct and
bribery for allegedly offering municipal jobs
to a political opponent on the condition that
the opponent drop out of the race for township committee. In an unrelated case, the Division successfully prosecuted Robin
Wheeler-Hicks, a former senior field representative for the Department of Community
Affairs, for allegedly stealing hundreds of
thousands of dollars from the Union County
Homelessness Prevention Program. The program provides rent money to eligible individuals and families to help them avoid
homelessness. Wheeler-Hicks pleaded guilty
in March 2006 to bribery and theft charges,
admitting she submitted at least 428 false applications to the program totaling $866,560.
Eight other people and four corporations ha
The Division also obtained indictments in
2006 against the director of the state Division
of Taxation, the deputy director and four other
state managers on charges related to their alleged acceptance of thousands of dollars worth
of illegal gifts from a vendor, including dinners, entertainment, golf outings and spa
treatments. The gifts were provided by officers of OSI Collection Services Inc., a company contracted by the State to collect unpaid
taxes. Also indicted were a former OSI sales director who managed the state contracts and a
former OSI vice president for sales.



New Jersey Office of The Attorney General • Department of Law & Public Safety

Fighting Gangs—
In July 2006, the Division of Criminal
Justice and the State Police, working in cooperation with local and federal authorities, carried out the largest single gang sweep in state
law enforcement history, arresting more than
60 members of the Nine Trey street gang.
“Operation Nine Connect” targeted top leaders of Nine Trey, which has been identified as
the most violent set of the Bloods operating
in New Jersey. The gang members were
charged with racketeering, extortion and
drug and weapons trafficking. In a related
development, the State Police and Division of
Criminal Justice arrested Atlantic City recording studio owner John “Johnny Hooks” Abbey
in November 2006 on charges of first-degree
racketeering conspiracy for allegedly laundering more than $100,000 for Nine Trey. The arrest marked a significant break in unraveling
how Nine Trey funds its illegal operations.
Also, through a $750,000 state appropriation, the anti-gun-violence initiative
Operation Ceasefire continued to grow in
2006. Operation Ceasefire is a collaborative
effort among law enforcement, community
groups, and prosecutors to directly confront
the problem of gun violence – much of
which is gang-related — by stopping the
next shooting. By mid-2007, it is anticipated that the program will be fully operational in Newark/Irvington, Camden,
Paterson, Trenton and Plainfield.

Office of Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor—
In 2006, OIFP charged 220 defendants and
sent defendants to jail for a total of 81 years.
Indictments were up 30 percent from 2005,
and accusations were up 25 percent. OIFP obtained restitution orders totaling nearly $35
million and imposed 1,263 civil sanctions.
OIFP secured a major victory in a New Jersey
Supreme Court decision that reversed the
lower courts and held that the burden of proof
in civil insurance fraud actions is the preponderance of the evidence standard, not the
higher clear and convincing standard.
OIFP dismantled several large auto theft
rings in 2006, some of which operated out
of car dealerships and solicited owners to
turn over cars and file false theft claims in

“give ups.” One case involved the illegal
duplication of ignition keys and the fencing
of stolen cars on eBay. OIFP recovered
more than 150 stolen high-end vehicles
worth more than $3 million.
In other high-profile cases, OIFP convicted
former Camden police officer Jerome
Bollettieri at trial on charges he sold police accident reports to a retired Camden officer so
runners could illegally solicit individuals for
chiropractic treatments. In another OIFP trial
victory, former pharmacy manager Verona
Boodram and former pharmacy technician
Alpha Bangoura were convicted of enticing
HIV/AIDS patients to sell their medications
back to Ojah Pharmacy in East Orange so the
defendants could fraudulently bill Medicaid
for prescriptions never dispensed. Boodram
was sentenced to five years in prison, and
Bangoura to six and one-half years.

Other Significant
Division Cases
Rosa Victoria Rivera of Lyndhurst, her
boyfriend, John Arturo Perez Silva, and her
son, Wilson Armondo Pinos Rivera, were arrested in December 2006 and charged with
stealing $827,000 by filing 540 fraudulent
state tax returns.
Mack Barden of Paterson was indicted in
July 2006 on charges that he stole $210,000 by
filing fraudulent state tax refund and homestead rebate claims. He pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by deception.
New Africa Day Care Center Inc., formerly located on South Orange Avenue in
Newark; its executive director, Muslimah
Suluki of College Park, Georgia; her son,
Robert Parish of Neptune; and her ex-husband, Mahdi Suluki were indicted in June
2006 on theft and other charges for allegedly
diverting more than $200,000 in state funding from the day care center for personal use.
Frances Portlock, the former director of
operations for the South Amboy Housing Authority, and Colleen Middleton, the former
Section Eight coordinator for the Old Bridge

Division of Criminal Justice
Township Housing Authority pleaded guilty to
official misconduct in December 2006 for
stealing a total of $91,000 from two publicly
funded rental assistance programs. Each
woman was sentenced to three years in prison.
Two former clerks at the Morristown
Motor Vehicle Commission agency, Tressa
V. Schumacher and Trucinder “Trudy” Clark,
pleaded guilty in April 2006 to conspiracy to
commit official misconduct for selling driver’s
licenses to unauthorized persons. Each
woman was sentenced to five years in prison.
Former Newark police officer Brandy
Johnson pleaded guilty in September 2006 to
selling cocaine and hindering law enforcement
efforts to arrest her boyfriend, who also was
dealing narcotics. She was sentenced to seven
years in state prison.
Charles “Black” Hamilton of Irvington,
the former leader of a violent heroin cartel
operating in Mercer and Essex counties, was
convicted at trial in October 2006 of first-degree charges of conspiracy, racketeering and
drug distribution. In related cases involving
the cartel, Robert Cashwell of Elizabeth was
sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading
guilty to first-degree distribution of heroin,
and Akeem Blue of Trenton was sentenced to
17 years in prison after pleading guilty to
possession of heroin with intent to distribute
and additional charges filed by the Mercer
County Prosecutor’s Office.
In October 2006, Diane M. Oakley of
Cream Ridge was convicted at trial of attempted murder and conspiracy, both in the
first degree, for attempting to hire an undercover state trooper as a hit man to kill her
ex-husband. She was sentenced to 10 years
in state prison.
Six North Jersey men and one Pennsylvania man were indicted in January 2006 on
charges they operated a multi-state coupon redemption fraud scheme that netted $580,000
in illegal profits. All of the defendants pleaded
guilty to theft by deception.
Four family members from Point Pleasant
Beach were sentenced to state prison in 2006
for illegally obtaining hundreds of thousands
of dollars in cash and luxury merchandise

through various mortgage, real estate, bank
fraud and identity theft schemes. The family
members used Atlantic City casinos to launder their illegal proceeds. The defendants
were sentenced as follows: Robert Issa was
sentenced in May to 13 years in prison; Roger
Issa was sentenced in May to 10 years;
Antwan Issa was sentenced in June to eight
and one-half years; and Rita Issa was sentenced in July to three years.
A joint investigation by the Division of
Criminal Justice - Environmental Crimes Bureau and the New Jersey DEP Pesticide Control Program led to a guilty plea in October
2006 from Terminix International to a criminal charge of assault related to a botched cocoa-bean fumigation that exposed nine employees in a Pennsauken warehouse to the
highly toxic pesticide methyl bromide in
2004. Under the plea agreement, Terminix
agreed to pay $300,000 to the School Integrated
Pest Management Program, a legislatively mandated program to train those responsible for
pest management in public and private schools
across New Jersey how to reduce or eliminate
pesticide use in compliance with state law to
avoid exposing students and staff.
Two managers for United Water Toms
River Inc., George Flegal and Richard Ottens
Jr., were indicted in June 2006 on charges of
tampering with public records and falsifying
records for allegedly manipulating a water
source during water quality testing in order to
conceal the actual level of contaminants in
the drinking water they supplied.