Sussex County Sheriff’s Office

Sussex County Sheriff’s Office
39 High Street, Newton, NJ 07860 • TEL: 973.579.0850 FAX: 973.579.7884

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A charge is an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty. If you have any questions regarding anything published herein, please contact the Public Information Office at 973.579.0865, ext. 2010.

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Sheriff’s OfficeNews Room: January 2013

Upcoming sheriff’s sale of assets

  • Posted: January 30, 2013

Docket #FM 19-39-05
Richard Gannon vs Lauren Russell

On Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 11:00 a.m., the following assets will be sold at a public sale on the premises of AA-1 Storage located at 155 Brooks Flat Road, Ogdensburg, NJ:

  • One 1998 Caterpillar 320B Excavator, Vin 4MR00432
  • One John Deere 450E Dozer, Vin # T0450EC742076
  • One 1998 Caterpillar 312B, Excavator Vin # 9HR02433

This sale was previously scheduled to take place December 11, 2012, January 8, 2013 and then January 17, 2013.

All items are sold in an ‘as is’ condition. Purchaser must pay purchase price at the time of sale in cash or certified check made payable to the Sussex County Sheriff and remove the items following the sale.

The sheriff reserves the right to adjourn these sales; the foregoing scheduled dates are subject to change. For more information. contact the Civil Process Unit at 973.579.0850.

Winter fire safety

  • Posted: January 26, 2013

While households are encouraged to be diligent about fire safety year round, it becomes especially important now because home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 108,400 residential building fires occur during the winter months each year in the United States.

Sheriff Michael F. Strada and the Sussex County Fire Marshal would like to pass along the following tips and suggestions to ensure the safety of county residents and their families.

General Cold Weather Fire Safety

  • If your pipes freeze, do not try to thaw them with a blowtorch or other open flame. The pipe could conduct heat and a fire could be started. Try a hand held dryer, hot water or a UL labeled device for thawing.
  • Never use an oven or a range to heat your home. This is a safety hazard and could cause a build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Be certain that all windows that are used as emergency exits can still be opened in the winter. Practice your escape plan at this time of year.
  • If there is a fire hydrant near your house, help keep it clear of snow and debris. We need to be able to access it in case of a fire.
  • Generator safety information sheet from the National Fire Protection Association 

Fireplaces and Wood Stoves

  • Never leave a fire unattended!
  • Have your chimney and fireplace inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep. They will check for creosote build-up, cracks, crumbling bricks and obstructions.
  • Make sure the fireplace opening is covered with a sturdy metal screen or heat tempered glass doors.
  • To prevent fires in your flue, burn dry, well-seasoned wood. Never burn trash.
  • Make sure your wood stove burns hot twice a day for 15-30 minutes to reduce the amount of creosote buildup.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors—it can give off lethal amounts of carbon monoxide.
  • Always be certain the fire in your fireplace is out before going to bed. It is extremely important to never close your damper while there are hot ashes in the fireplace. A closed damper could cause the fire to flare up again and this will cause toxic carbon monoxide to be released into the house.
  • If you are using synthetic logs, always follow the directions on the package. Never break a synthetic log apart to quicken the fire or use more than one log at a time.
  • Place ashes outdoors in a covered metal container at least three feet away from anything that could burn.

Portable Heaters

  • Make sure you have at least 36 inches of empty space between all heaters and everything else, like curtains, furniture, papers and people.
  • Never leave children unattended in rooms with portable heaters.
  • Be sure the heater has a tip-over shut off function.
  • Never use an extension cord with portable electric heaters—it is a common cause of fires.
  • Check the cord on your electric portable heater. If it is cracked, frayed or gets hot, have the heater serviced.
  • Be sure to clean the dust from all heaters. If left to build up, dust and lint can ignite and cause a fire.
  • Be sure to turn portable heaters off when leaving the house or sleeping.
  • Avoid using portable heaters in the bathroom.


  • Leave furnace work to experts. Have a qualified technician check and clean your furnace every year.
  • Be sure the emergency shut off and automatic controls are in good condition.
  • Always keep trash, papers, paint, etc. away from the furnace area.

Finally, make sure your smoke detectors are functioning properly and that there is one installed on each level of your home. Smoke detectors save lives!

Have questions or need more information? Contact Sussex County Fire Marshal Joseph C. Inga at 973.579.0380.

Multiple arrests made in probation department

  • Posted: January 24, 2013
  • Arrested: David Brunt, age 24, of Byram and Chaine D. Brantley, age 33, of Franklin, NJ.

On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, while assigned to the Sussex County Probation Department, Sheriff’s Officer John Freykar was advised by probation staff that an arrest warrant had been issued for David Brunt. Sheriff’s Officer Freykar located Brunt, placed him under arrest and transported him to the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility without incident.

Also in the probation department, Sheriff’s Officer Joseph Cahill encountered Chaine Brantley. Further investigation revealed the existence of two outstanding municipal court warrants issued for Brantley. Sheriff’s Officer Cahill immediately placed her under arrest and processed her before turning her over to the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Corrections for transport to the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility.

David Brunt remains lodged in the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility without bail.

Chaine Brantley was provided with future dates to appear in Trenton and Pemberton municipal courts and released on her own recognizance.

Sheriff’s detectives apprehend fugitive in Lafayette

  • Posted: January 15, 2013
  • Arrested: Raymond Babcock, age 41, of Lafayette, NJ.

On Friday, January 11, 2013, sheriff’s detectives Matt Caine and William Lunger were in Lafayette Township attempting to locate Raymond Babcock who was the subject of four separate arrest warrants issued by the Sussex County Superior Court.

The Sussex County Sheriff’s Office had received multiple tips from anonymous sources directly to the office as well as through the Sussex County Crime Stoppers tip line regarding Babcock’s whereabouts.

Acting on that information, detectives Caine and Lunger arrived at the residence of a friend of Babcock’s and asked for permission to search the premises. The homeowner consented to allow Detective Lunger to search the residence. While searching a closet in the upstairs bathroom of the house, Detective Lunger discovered Babcock hiding in a crawl space in the rear of the closet. Detective Lunger immediately placed Babcock under arrest and transported him to the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office for processing.

Further investigation revealed the existence of an additional arrest warrant for Babcock issued by the Newton Municipal Court.

Babcock was additionally charged with resisting arrest by flight. He was issued a summons to appear in Frankford Municipal Court at a future date.

Raymond Babcock is currently lodged in the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility without bail.

Convicted murderer faces new charges

  • Posted: January 14, 2013
  • Arrested: Giuseppe Tedesco, age 27, of Hopatcong, NJ.

On Thursday, January 11, 2013, a Sussex County Superior Court jury convicted Giuseppe Tedesco of murder, and while the jury was being polled by the Honorable Judge N. Peter Conforti, Tedesco was looking at jurors individually, mouthing obscenities. He then turned and made a verbal threat to a member of the victim’s family.

Uniformed sheriff’s officers Lt. Ellicott, Cpl. Yanko, Officer Ficacci and Corrections Officer Kimble attempted to gain control and remove Tedesco to a holding cell. Tedesco would not comply with verbal orders and was violently resisting attempts to restrain him. He continued to thrash about and had to be taken to the floor. During the fracas, Officer Kimble sustained a head injury and a fractured right fibula.

As a result of this incident, Tedesco was charged with obstruction of a governmental function, aggravated assault on a corrections officer and terroristic threats.

Tedesco remains in custody at the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility.

A charge is an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty. If you have any questions regarding anything published herein, please contact the Public Information Office at 973.579.0865, ext. 2010.

Sheriff Michael Strada