Press Release

Press Releases

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Little Ferry Police Department are investigating a serious hit-and-run motor vehicle crash that occurred on Sunday, July 14, 2024, at approximately 3:08 a.m., at the intersection of Route 46 East and Bergen Turnpike in Little Ferry, NJ.  An occupant of one of the vehicles sustained serious bodily injuries and was transported to an area hospital.  The other vehicle that was involved in the crash fled the scene. The investigation is being conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck and the Little Ferry Police Department under the direction of Chief James Walters.  No additional information is available at this time.

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For Immediate Release: July 12, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of 74-year-old STEPHEN E. SWEET, a church pastor, who resides in Paramus, NJ on charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated criminal sexual contact and criminal sexual contact. The arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck. On Thursday, July 11, 2024, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit was contacted regarding the alleged sexual assault of a juvenile that occurred in the past. An investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that STEPHEN E. SWEET committed various acts of sexual contact and sexual assault on multiple occasions over the course of several years when the child was between the ages of 13 and 18 at locations in River Edge, Paramus,…

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For Immediate Release: July 11, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of 29-year-old EFRAIN ESCOBAR of Bronx, NY on charges of aggravated assault and endangering an injured person. The arrest was the result of a months-long investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck and the Fort Lee Police Department under the direction of Chief Matthew Hintze. On Monday, April 8, 2024, at approximately 7:14 p.m., the Fort Lee Police Department responded to a report of an assault at the Plaza West Mall on Bergen Boulevard. The suspect had fled the scene, but responding officers located a 77-year-old victim who was transported via ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center. As a result of the assault, the victim suffered serious bodily injury and was in a medically induced coma for approximately two months. Fort Lee Police notified the Bergen County Prosecutor’s…

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For Immediate Release: July 9, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of 24-year-old JUAN P. ALBAN NARANJO of Elmwood Park, NJ on charges of assault by auto and causing injury while driving unlicensed. The arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck and the Elmwood Park Police Department under the direction of Chief Michael Foligno. On Monday, July 8, 2024, the Elmwood Park Police Department responded to a serious two-car motor vehicle accident on Market Street and notified the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, which also responded to the scene. An investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Elmwood Park Police Department revealed that a 2008 Acura sedan, operated by JUAN ALBAN NARANJO, was traveling west on Market Street when it crossed into the opposite lane of travel…

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For Immediate Release: July 3, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of 30-year-old DUSHAWN KEARNEY-HILLARD of Wallington, NJ on charges of possession with the intent to distribute narcotics, drug distribution, and possession of a weapon, as well as previous charges for which KEARNEY-HILLARD was wanted as a fugitive. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck and the Wallington Police Department under the direction of Officer-in Charge Captain Eric Kluska. In June 2024, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotic Task Force received information about suspected narcotics distribution at a private residence in Wallington, NJ. A weeks-long investigation was initiated by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotic Task Force and the Wallington Police Department into the suspected narcotics activity. On Tuesday, July 2, 2024, a search warrant was executed at the residence of DUSHAWN-KEARNEY HILLARD…

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For Immediate Release: July 3, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrests of FRANK A. SALCEDO, 43; FRANCISCO SANDOVAL, 42; and BRIAN ARIAS, 40, on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, weapons possession and other related offenses. The arrests are the result of a months-long investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck and Teaneck Police Department under the direction of Chief Andrew McGurr. On Friday, January 12, 2024, at approximately 2:58 pm, Officers from the Teaneck Police Department responded to an armed home invasion that occurred at a private residence on East Tryon Avenue. Responding officers discovered that since approximately 10:30 a.m., two adult victims were restrained inside the residence with zip-ties by three male suspects wearing masks and armed with handguns. Over the next few hours, two more adult victims arrived at the home, and were also restrained at gunpoint…

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For Immediate Release: June 28, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of 39-year-old JESUS A. CANTILLO of Paterson, NJ on charges of possession with the intent to distribute narcotics and drug distribution. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck and the Westwood Police Department under the direction of Chief Michael Pontillo. On Thursday, May 2, 2024, at approximately 4:38 p.m., the Westwood Police Department responded to a 911 call reporting an adult male who was unconscious and unresponsive in a private residence. The victim, identified as 38-year-old Lance Kerness of Westwood, NJ, was located by first responders and pronounced deceased at the scene. Indicators of a possible drug overdose were noted, and detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotic Task Force were notified. An investigation was initiated by the Bergen County…

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For Immediate Release: June 26, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of CLYDE JOHNSON, 26, of Fair Lawn, NJ on charges of false public alarm. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck. In March 2024, members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit and Intelligence and Counterterrorism Unit initiated an investigation into a pattern of anonymous hoax phone calls and emails directed to crisis centers, local businesses, and law enforcement agencies regarding an individual armed with a deadly weapon or explosive. The investigation revealed that in January, March and April 2024, CLYDE JOHNSON made false reports via phone and email affecting locations and law enforcement agencies in Bergen County, NJ, specifically Franklin Lakes, Paramus, Wyckoff, Maywood, Fair Lawn, Fort Lee, and Bergenfield. As a result of the investigation, CLYDE JOHNSON…

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For Immediate Release: June 20, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of 69-year-old BRUCE PIEKARSKY of Davie, FL on charges of theft, misapplication of entrusted property, and tampering with public records. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck. In September 2023, the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts referred information to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit regarding an allegation of misappropriation of funds involving a former court officer who was responsible for money collection pursuant to civil court orders. Detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into the alleged activity. The comprehensive, months-long investigation revealed that BRUCE PIEKARSKY mishandled funds that he was entrusted to collect beginning in 2014. Specifically, an audit of his activity revealed approximately $1.5 million in missing funds…

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For Immediate Release: June 20, 2024 Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of 52-year-old BRAULIO F. TORAL of Hackensack, NJ on charges of sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated criminal sexual contact, invasion of privacy, and criminal sexual contact. The arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Matthew Finck, and the Hackensack Police Department under the direction of Officer-in-Charge Michael Antista. On Monday, June 17, 2024, the Hackensack Police Department contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit regarding an alleged incident of invasion of privacy that had occurred in the past. An investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Hackensack Police Department revealed that BRAULIO TORAL had recorded the victim, without their consent, on numerous occasions, under circumstances in which one would not expect to be observed. The investigation…

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