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December 2011 Archives

World Trade Center Contractors Charged With Embezzlement

Two trucking company owners with World Trade Center development contracts have been charged with fraud and embezzlement. Federal prosecutors charged the Fusella Group, based in East Hanover, New Jersey, and a second company with a the same ownership, Alpine Investment Group, with hiding their drivers' true work hours to avoid paying legally required wages and benefits. The company owners submitted paperwork certifying that they had paid their workers as required.

Law Enforcement Uses Drug Charges to Break Up Gangs

Police in New Jersey and other states often use drug charges to break up gangs. A recent case illustrates this; a member of a Plainfield gang, the G-Shine Bloods, was recently sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of crack cocaine distribution. His sentence also includes fie year of post-release supervision.

Pretrial Diversion Denied for Two Columbia Students

A Columbia College student from New Jersey was denied entry into a pre-trial diversion program on December 13. The student, Adam Klein, was arrested for selling drugs on the New York City campus and is one of five persons charged in December 2010 after a five month investigation nicknamed "Operation Ivy League."

Former Police Offficer Sentenced in Child Sex Crime

A former police officer has been sentenced to six years in state prison for a second degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child (attempted distribution of child pornography). James Haspel pleaded guilty and admitted that he had communicated through the Internet with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl and asked her to send him a nude photo of herself. The "girl" was actually an undercover officer from the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit.

Camden May Lose Its Police Force

The police department in the city of Camden may soon be managed by Camden County. Mayor Dana L. Redd announced that she was moving forward with a controversial plan to have the county take over law enforcement in the high-crime city. Moreover, the state police have begun random sweeps through the city in an effort to address the growing homicide and burglary rates.

Study Shows Megan's Law Ineffective

Do laws requiring registration for convicted sex offenders really make the rest of us safer? A recent study by the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Megan's Law: Assessing the Practical and Monetary Effect suggests that the law discourages neither first-time sex offenders nor previously convicted and released offenders.

Rod Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years for corruption

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after being convicted by a jury last June on 17 corruption charges. He is the second consecutive governor of Illinois to be sent to federal prison for white collar crimes. The nearly 55-year-old former governor pleaded for mercy from the judge before his sentencing Wednesday, but the judge was not swayed.

Treatment or Prison?

The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, announced a plan to place drug offenders in treatment rather than sending them to jail or prison. This would represent a major change of direction in the state, which has some of the most draconian drug laws in the country.

Efforts to Make Expungement Easier Derailed by Antiquated Computer Systems

The New Jersey state assembly has been considering the issue of criminal record expungement since at least 2005, but has taken no action because the state's computer systems would make changes difficult to put in place.

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