Blog Archives

Man charged with sexually assaulting 10 year old in New Brunswick

Jeffrey Hagood, of Commercial Avenue in New Brunswick has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with his alleged assault off a 10 year old girl.  There is no indication as to how he knew this girl, but my guess is that she was the daughter of a girlfriend or other friend that was staying with him.

The case started with an anonymous tip to DYFS and he was eventually arrested.  Again, my guess is that he made a statement where he admitted to the assault.  Otherwise, these cases are tough to prosecute without a statement.

Story is here.

670 pot plants seized from alleged pot farm

Eric Defelice was arrested and charged with first-degree maintaining and operating a controlled dangerous production facility.  The farm allegedly  used hydroponics techniques and was located inside a single-family dwelling at 110 N. 10th St.

Police allege that he operation seems to have been running fora few years because of the equipment that was found at the home. That consisted of hydroponics equipment, transformers, high-voltage lights, a self-contained exhaust ventilation system and an air purification unit and fan.

This is a tough case as it would be tough to take this case to trial. It is hard to argue that you didn’t notice 670 marijuana plants in your house and that someone else must have put them there.  You also can’t say that these are for your own use.  I’m sure the police had a search warrant and those are rarely easy to attack. 

I would want to know more about his life and whether he was a big pot guy or whether he was living an expensive lifestyle.  I’ve had cases like this before and have had great success at focusing more on the character of the client than the facts of the case. 

Story is here.

One bad search: Low cost dwi attorney nj

I always like to check my web stats and see how people got to my blogs.  However, I was a little concerned today when I saw this search result: “low cost dwi attorney nj”.   First of all, I have no idea how that search term pulled up this blog.  Second, I  am not a low cost anything attorney. 

This is just my opinion and I’m not going to beat a dead horse here but I have to at least say it once.  Trying to cut costs on attorneys could really lead to very bad results.  I know, I see it all the time.  I think most people know this but to many people are just so concerned with saving money when it comes to lawyers that they think they can get something for nothing.

If you didn’t already know, lawyers are expensive!  But look at  it this way, if you had to get surgery that could save your life or improve your health, would you go with a guy in a back alley for $500 or a guy in a nice hospital for $5000?  For whatever reason, some people don’t make this connection when it comes to lawyers. 

Here is another way to think about it.  Look at all of the people that hire decent attorneys.  Are they all nuts?  If they were able to make the money in the first place, they probably know what they are doing. 

Now don’t get me wrong, spending more money doesn’t always equate to great results.  I just met with a couple who spent a ton of money on a celebrity attorney that didn’t seem to do much for them.  I would have charged them about an 8th of what this guy charged and I could have probably got a better result. 

I’ve met with so many people that wasted their money with cheap attorneys.  The saying “I wish I would have hired you first” is heard often.  But this is not about me or my firm.  Its about getting a good attorney and getting what you pay for.  If the attorney you meet with is a little more than another attorney, make sure you are getting some value.

Here is another quick example.  When I go to a court, I usually have only one file.  Other attorneys have 10 and they are running around like crazy.  Do you honestly think that the attorney with those 10 files can give the proper attention to all 10 files or is my client better off because he has my complete undivided attention?

8 men arrested in 1,000 pill a week prescription drug ring bust

Frank J. Stillo Jr. of Pohatcong Township, was charged with being the leader of a narcotics trafficking ring and conspiracy to distribute Oxycontin and other controlled dangerous substances. His bail is set at $200,000 bail.

His two sons and five others were charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substances.  Those arrested are Jonathan W. Stillo,   Brandon M. Stillo,  Anthony Giammona, Ronald P. Richie, Richard Faranda,  Alexander E. Johnson  and Daniel Moore.

Authorities said that Frank Stillo would obtain Oxycontin and other prescription drugs in Essex County and distribute them in Warren County to people who would in turn distribute the drugs to others.  They allege that about 1,000 pills a week were being purchased and distributed, ranging in size from 10 to 80 milligram pills and in price from $10 to $65 a pill.  The arrests capped a more than three-month undercover drug operation.

Story is here.

20-year-old from Marlboro charged with 15 drug-related crimes for allegedly using teenage girls to sell marijuana

Michael Lobianco, of Marlboro, is being held in lieu of $320,000 bail after his arrest on Saturday. Police allege that two girls, 15 and 16, conducted a series of transactions in Keansburg involving marijuana purchased by Lobianco for distribution. 

He is charged with two counts of using a juvenile to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of conspiracy, two counts of possession with the intent to distribute and seven counts of possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a public building, park or school.  In other words, he is facing a ton of problems.

There are no other details of the incident, but I would like to know more about this case.  How did the police link these girls to him?  Do these girls have any credibility?  There are a number of defenses here depending on the evidence.  Either the State has some good evidence or they have a few hunches. 

Story is here.

Aide at Private School in Wall Township arrested for sexual assault

Another day, another school sex case.  This time it wasn’t a teacher, but a teacher’s aide at the Rugby school in Wall Township, New Jersey.  Little is known at the moment except that a school bus driver overheard some children talking about a possible relationship between Brandi E. Shroyer and another student.  Shroyer was arrested at her home in Spring Lake Heights and posted a $100,000 bond to get out of jail.  Clearly she has some money and will likely get a good attorney to fight this case.

Story is here.

Sweep of alleged gang members leads to several arrests

As gang membership increases in New Jersey, arrests of gang members and leaders will also increase.  These cases are difficult from a defense perspective because the stigma of belonging to a gang, on some occasions totally false, will have an impact on plea negotiations and sentencing.

Over the past week in Middlesex County, the following men were arrested and identified as alleged members of the Latin Kings street gang: John Jiminez and Sfand Rajazadeh of Carteret. Both were charged with distribution of controlled dangerous substances.  The following men were arrested and identified as a member of the Bloods gang: Ahmed Dempsey Simpson of New Brunswick (charges of drug distribution, distribution of drugs on public property, possession of drugs and possession of a handgun);  Tyrone Taylor of Woodbridge; David Roman of Perth Amboy; Johnny Elliot  of Carteret; and Jamar Carpenter of Perth Amboy, (all for distribution of drugs); and Marcus Vasquez of Perth Amboy for possession of a weapon.

Lakay Lewis of New Brunswick was identified as an alleged member of a gang known as the 5 Percenters.  He was charged with three counts of drug distribution including on public property and possession of a handgun.

Danny Soto of Carteret was identified as an alleged member of Netas.  He was charged with distribution and possession of drugs.

Story is here.

Should you get an expensive, “big name” attorney?

I really don’t understand some of these “big name” attorneys.  You see a lot of them on TV.  They don’t really accomplish much but they pay a lot of money to a PR firm to convince everyone that they are these amazing attorneys.  As a result, they also charge a ton of money.

Don’t me wrong, I have no problem with an attorney charging what the market will bear.  However, I do have a problem with people paying money for just a slick name with no substance.  In my opinion, that is just a rip-off.

I had a couple come into my office today to discuss their three sons who are in jail for the same offense.  They hired a big name attorney to one son and the other two  had public defenders.  They were charged with assault but the parents claim that they were all innocent.  Apparently, the attorney had a lot of problems with the judge and prosecutor even though both men are great people who have never given me any problems.

This attorney charged them 6 to 8 times what I would have charged them and I am not even close to a cheap attorney.  They were actually rather happy with the attorney and mostly blamed the system for the situation.  However, when I asked about what was done on the case, it didn’t seem like much was done for all of this money.  There were no motions filed when it seemed like at least 5 should have been filed. 

There was also no sentencing brief filed which is just crazy.  When they left my office, they said what many clients in their position say, “I wish I would have hired you”.  Of course, now they have no money for me to put some of the toothpaste back in the tube.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when you hire an attorney, make sure that he or she has some type of plan.  In addition, hire the attorney based your  trust with him or her and confidence in their track record and experience.  Don’t be fooled by TV appearances and other slick marketing tricks.  Some of the best attorneys I know are not flashing their face all over TV and magazines every day.

Eddie Canary, Hoboken basketball star charged with robbery

Eddie Canary, a junior at Hoboken High School and First Team All-County forward for the Hoboken Red Wings was charged with robbery and two counts of inflicting bodily injury and more charges may be on the way as there were two different alleged robberies. 

With the first one, the victim was approached by a group of men.  One man allegedly took $15 out of the victim’s hand.  Afterwards, someone reported that Canary then assaulted the victim leaving him knocked out with a broken collar bone.  The victim later learned that this wallet was stolen. 

With the second case, the police were looking for Canary a short while affter the first robbery.  When they caught up to him, they allegedly found him and assaulting another man. He tried to run off but was caught.  While it doesn’t seem like anything was stolen, the State may charge him with attempted robbery based upon the first case. 

Unless an attorney can pull of some amazing work, it looks like his basketball career is over.  I’ve had worse and kept my clients out of prison.  Robbery cases are weird like that, at least for me.  They are very serious but great deals can be worked out.

Story is here.

Anthony Iazzetta, Edison high school teacher charged with sexual assault

Anthony Iazzetta, a mathematics teacher at Edison High School was arrested  charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female student.  Lucky for him, he is 26 and not an older guy.  Thus, a jury would be hard pressed to get too upset over a 17 year old having a relationship with a 26 year old.  Of course, the case is still serious. 

He is charged with with one count each of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.  There is no indication of what evidence they have, but from my own experience, I expect that he made a statement admitting to the relationship.  He is facing prison time, Megan’s law and parole supervision for life.  I don’t think I would have too much of an issue getting prison time off the table.  Keeping him off Megan’s law and PSL requires much more work.  Hopefully he gets a good attorney, but I think he would get a union attorney like most teachers do.

Story is here.