Crime

An outlaw motorcycle gang with criminal tendencies is experiencing a resurgence in New Jersey, authorities say.

According to investigators with the New Jersey Commission of Investigation, the Pagans motorcycle club now has 17 chapters across the state, up from 10 a few years ago, and some of its members continue to break the law.

“It’s going to be hard to find a county where you don’t have a Pagan presence or have somewhere in the county where they’re not trying to establish a chapter,” said Edwin Torres, an SCI investigative agent.

Cape May County Sheriff Robert Nolan and the County of Cape May are suing the state attorney general’s office over a directive that blocks local police agencies from entering into agreements with federal immigration authorities.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court claims that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has endangered the public safety of the county by restricting its ability to communicate with federal law enforcement.

The New Jersey Supreme Court is deciding whether to take a closer look at a methodology long used by police officers to charge people with driving under the influence of drugs.

Law enforcement officials say the protocol is crucial to securing drugged driving convictions since toxicology tests for drugs are unreliable. But defense attorneys and civil rights advocates argue the method is not based on science and should be banned as expert testimony in court.

New Jersey will become the latest state to implement a “red flag” law that allows residents to report family or household members who own a gun and might be a threat to the public or themselves.

More states have been relying on such laws in an attempt to prevent gun deaths by allowing people to tell law enforcement about warning signs of potential violence.

People who move to New Jersey from another state are allowed to bring their legally acquired guns with them — even if they hail from a state where firearms laws are less strict.

New residents are also not required to inform the state if they bring in lawfully acquired guns, which means state law enforcement officials may be unaware of countless new residents who have weapons.

Gun control advocates say the quirk in state law is a legal loophole for gun owners from other states who may be barred from buying a firearm in New Jersey.

Bill Baroni, the aide to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who was convicted in the Bridgegate case in 2016, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, plus a year of supervised release, Tuesday.

The former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official was resentenced in federal court in Newark after a federal appeals court last year threw out two of the seven charges against him.

“Judge, I am broken,” Baroni said through tears Tuesday. “I deeply disappointed my friends and my family and my father. I am so sorry.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says 2018 crime stats show overall improvements from the previous year. 

For the second year in a row, Mayor de Blasio says New York City experienced less than 300 homicides. 

“Less than one homicide a day in this city and we intend to go farther.  It’s extraordinary what has been achieved,” de Blasio said.

Overall arrests are down 37 percent since de Blasio took office.

“You don’t have a mass incarceration crisis if people aren’t being unnecessarily arrested,” de Blasio said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark’s overall crime rate has decreased over the last year.

Crime statistics from the Newark PD Comstat Unit show drops in almost every category.

“We have 1,300 less victims this year.  We have 400 less violent crime victims.  It’s good, but it’s still high.  But we can say that Newark is a safer city from 2015 to 2016,” said Anthony Ambrose, Director, Newark Department of Public Safety.