TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA
FROM: ACTING PROSECUTOR GURBIR S. GREWAL
DATE: OCTOBER 24, 2016
Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. GREWAL announced the arrest of JOSHUA CRAIG ROWLING (DOB: 07/13/1998; single; and unemployed) of 223 Franzen Road, Richmondville, New York relating to a conspiracy to commit murder investigation. ROWLING was arrested on Friday, October 21, 2016 without incident at 219 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, New Jersey.
The arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office ("BCPO") Cyber Crimes Unit under the direction of Officer-in- Charge, Deputy Chief Robert ANZILOTTI, Homeland Security Investigations ("HSI") – Newark under the direction of Special Agent In-Charge Terence OPIOLA, and the Mahwah Police Department under the direction of Chief James BATELLI.
During the course of a joint investigation conducted by the BCPO Cyber Crimes Unit and HSI, law enforcement learned that ROWLING used the dark web to offer his services as a hitman. The investigation revealed that ROWLING agreed with another to commit a murder in exchange for a firearm fitted with a silencer and cash. Ultimately, ROWLING drove from his home in Richmondville, New York to Mahwah, New Jersey to meet with a person he thought was seeking his services as a hitman, but who was actually an undercover officer. Search warrants were subsequently executed at ROWLING’s home in New York as well as of his vehicle in New Jersey, and numerous items of evidence were recovered.
ROWLING was charged with the following crimes: one count of Conspiracy to Commit Murder for Hire in violation of N.J.S.A. 2:5-2A(1)/2C:11-3B(4), a crime of the first degree; one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4A(1), a crime of the second degree; one count of an Unlawful -2-
Possession of a Weapon in violation of 2C:39-5B(1), a crime of the second degree; and one count of Possession of a Silencer in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3C, a crime of the fourth degree. Bail was set by the Honorable Judge Edward A. Jerejian, J.S.C., at $1,000,000 with no ten percent option, along with surrendering of his passport, no Internet and no firearms. ROWLING was remanded to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail pending his first appearance in the Bergen County Central Municipal Court in Hackensack, New Jersey, on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, at 8:30 a.m.
Acting Prosecutor Grewal states that these charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and would like to thank the HSI – Newark, HSI – New York, and the Mahwah Police Department for their assistance.