Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Unit, SERT and CSI Assist in Explosives Investigation

 Sussex County Prosecutor Francis Koch, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Byram Chief Peter J. Zabita jointly announce the arrest of Christopher Faschan, age 31, from Landing on the charges of Possession of an Explosive Device with the Purpose to Use it Unlawfully, a crime of the second-degree, Aggravated Assault, a crime of the second-degree, Terroristic Threats, a crime of the third-degree and Possession of an Explosive Device, a crime of the third-degree.

Morris County Sheriff's Office Bomb Unit, SERT and CSI Assist in Explosives Investigation

The charges resulted from a joint investigation of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Byram Township Police Department, The Roxbury Township Police Department and the Mount Olive Township Police Department

On Sunday and Monday (February 3 and 4) representatives of these law enforcement agencies investigated an explosion and conducted a search of several areas to assure the safety of the public and the officers investigating.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said:

“We deployed assets to Byram, Roxbury and Mount Olive in support of their investigation to maintain safety and properly collect evidence.”

“Our resources included the Morris County Bomb Squad, Explosives Detection K9, Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT), and the Crime Scene Investigations Unit (CSI), for the purpose of assisting in the investigation, search warrant, and ultimately rendering the scene and surrounding area safe.”

 It is alleged that Mr. Faschan drove to the residence of an alleged victim and waited in his vehicle. When the alleged victim approached, he showed her a home-made explosive device that he referred to as a bomb, and stated was the type of device that “you could stick to the bottom of a car.” After the defendant departed, it is alleged that he detonated the device near, or in, Lake Lackawanna. The explosion was heard by the alleged victim and multiple residents of the Lake Lackawanna community.

The defendant was charged on a warrant and is currently detained in the Keough Dwyer Correctional Facility in Newton. His next court appearance is Friday, February 8, 2019. The case is still under active investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-383-1570.

 

 

 

Interest from NJ counties in Morris County Sheriff’s Hope One mobile opioid recovery program rising

Representatives of the Burlington County Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s Offices want to replicate Hope One, an innovative mobile substance abuse recovery vehicle launched in April 2017 by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon to help fight opioid and heroin addiction.

Hope One, which in the past 21 months has logged more than 6,000 contacts with individuals struggling with addiction or their families and friends, was parked Monday outside the Netcong Train Station, where Sheriff Gannon met with four law enforcement officials from Burlington County.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and officials by the Hope One mobile recovery vehicle in Netcong.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, seventh from left, with staff of Hope One and Burlington County law enforcement officials on Jan. 28, 2019 in Netcong.

Hope One already was replicated by the Newark Police Department in December and earlier by the Cape May Prosecutor’s Office and Monmouth and Atlantic County Sheriff’s Offices.

Burlington County Sheriff’s Office Chief Mike Ditzel said he heard Sheriff Gannon speak about Hope One at a New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Association meeting last fall, admired the concept, and believes Burlington County can be successful with the same proactive approach.

“This could potentially be a great addition to other programs we have, including youth programs to help stop addiction before it starts,” said Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Investigations Darren Anderson.

“We bring services to the client, out in the field,” Sheriff Gannon told the Burlington County officials. “It’s successful because of relationships we have with the service providers.”

Sheriff Gannon noted that 3,118 people statewide died of overdoses in 2018, a 15 percent increase over 2017 but Morris County saw a 1 percent decrease in overdoses in 2018 from the previous year. There were 84 deaths attributed to overdoses in 2018 in Morris County.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon with Burlington County officials at Hope One in Netcong on Jan. 28, 2019.
Burlington County Sheriff’s Office Chief Mike Ditzel, Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Investigations Darren Anderson at Hope One stop in Netcong on Jan. 28, 2019.

The sheriff related to the Burlington officials how a father approached the Hope One vehicle on Jan. 7 with a story of concern that his son, just home from a rehabilitation center, would relapse. The father was trained by Hope One staff to administer Narcan, a nasal spray that reverses the effects of opioids, and given a canister to bring home. He found his son unconscious from an overdose in their home the same day and was able to revive him with Narcan, the sheriff said.

There’s a cascading impact on families, the children, parents, spouses and siblings of addicts, Gannon said.

Since April 3, 2017, when Hope One made its debut on The Green in Morristown, the vehicle has made about 270 stops in locations throughout Morris County that statistics show are populated by at-risk people and where drug overdoses are occurring. Sheriff Gannon said 200 people who boarded Hope One in search of services were transported to treatment for mental health issues or to detox centers and treatment facilities for their substance abuse addictions.

Hope One was staffed during the visit by Burlington County officials by Morris County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Erica Valvano in plainclothes; Kelly LaBar, a peer recovery specialist for Morris County CARES; Madine Despeine, director of Self Help, Advocacy and Education for the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris; and Ashley Reed, a care navigator for Family Promise of Morris County.

In nonjudgmental style, the staff offer literature, resources, Narcan training, coffee, water, hand warmers and snacks to visitors to Hope One, and are equipped to immediately help individuals find treatment for their addictions.

The Hope One vehicle used to be a Sheriff’s Office SWAT truck that was stripped of law enforcement emblems and painted white and purple, the color symbolizing recovery. Hope One parks Mondays and Thursdays for about five hours in selected locations where at-risk people are known to congregate.

Two Morris County Sheriff’s Officers Being Deployed Overseas On Missions With the U.S. Army National Guard

Two Morris County Sheriff’s Officers who serve the country through the U.S. Army National Guard are being deployed overseas for a year.

Morris County Sheriff's Officer Christopher Murarik in Army National Guard attire, with his parents
Morris County Sheriff’s Officer Christopher Murarik (center, with his parents), is being deployed overseas with the U.S. Army National Guard.

Sheriff’s Office Detective Thomas Reilly, a National Guardsman since 1996, is being deployed for a second time while Detective Christopher Murarik, a National Guardsman since 2010, faces his first deployment.

Detective Reilly will be overseas on a security mission with Bravo Company, 104th Engineer Battalion. Detective Murarik is being deployed overseas with the 114th Infantry Battalion.

“While Tom and Chris are overseas, in brave service to our nation, we will do our very best to be there for their families here, stateside. I remain grateful that they continue to make such an incredible sacrifice for all of us,” Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.

“I’m excited. I’ll miss my family, friends and job but I joined the military to give back to my country and now’s my chance,” Detective Murarik said.

Morris County Sheriff's Officer Thomas Reilly
Morris County Sheriff’s Officer Thomas Reilly is being deployed overseas with the U.S. Army National Guard.

Detective Reilly said he also joined the Army National Guard to serve his country and is happy, as a father of three children, that his year overseas won’t involve missing major milestones in their lives.

“It will be rough being away but I’ll be able to FaceTime and message with them,” Reilly said.

“If I wasn’t in the National Guard, chances are I’d never on my own travel” (to countries to which he is deployed), he said.

Detective Reilly previously was deployed for one year – between June 2008 and June 2009 – to Baghdad, Iraq, with the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

A Morris County Sheriff’s Officer for 16 years, Reilly has served in most of the office’s sections, including courthouse protective services, the K-9 and Bomb Sections, and warrants, his most recent duty. He previously was employed by the State Department of Corrections as an officer at Trenton State Prison.

Detective Murarik, who also worked for the state Department of Corrections for more than two years before joining the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Law Enforcement in the summer of 2017, spent the last year in the Sheriff’s Office’s K-9 Section as a handler for K-9 Oliver.

Both detectives will undergo pre-mobilization training in February before being flown to their respective missions overseas.