Swimming coach, son accused of trafficking drugs

An accomplished New Jersey diving coach and her son are accused of trafficking drugs including fentanyl and heroin, according to officials.

Federal agents arrested Candace Gottlieb, 59, and her son Tyler Gottlieb, 27, Friday at their Cherry Hill home, news station WCAU reported.

The mother-son duo allegedly sold heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and marijuana between March and May from the house, according to the US Attorney’s Office for New Jersey.

Their arrests come nearly three months after officers seized $67,760 from the son as he tried to board a flight to California from Philadelphia International Airport.

Officials said Tyler Gottlieb also orchestrated a deal in which he sold an FBI agent cocaine. His mother was also secretly recorded selling 600 pills containing heroin and fentanyl to another informant, according to authorities.

“He’s awfully lucky he’s got a mom that does this s–t for him,” the coach allegedly said about her son.

Prior to her arrest, Candace Gottlieb was a diving coach at The College of New Jersey where she helped lead the team to earn 32 All-American awards, according to the the Courier Post. School officials said Wednesday that her contract was terminated effective immediately.

“The College of New Jersey was not contacted by law enforcement as part of its investigation and has no reason to believe that Candace Gottlieb was doing anything on TCNJ’s campus other than the duties for which she was hired,” a college spokesperson said.

Credit: NY Post

Mom charged after car gets towed with sleeping 2-year-old inside

A Fort Lee woman who left her sleeping toddler alone in a car faces criminal charges after a tow-truck company towed the illegally parked vehicle with the baby inside, police said.

Yuqing Jiang, 46, of Fort Lee, told police she parked in the Fort Lee Towne Center lot on Schlosser Street Monday and ran into a Chase Bank on nearby Main Street.

She needed to make a quick deposit a few minutes before the bank’s 6 p.m. closing time and left her 2-year-old daughter, who was sleeping, inside the car, she later told police.

“When When Ms. Jiang returned to her vehicle, she noticed that it was missing and called 911,” said police Capt. Matthew Hintze.

A police dispatcher who took the call determined the vehicle was towed from the lot in violation of a borough ordinance, Hintze said.

Signs in the bank alert customers they are not allowed to park in the Schlosser Street lot, police said.

ABC Towing of Fort Lee towed Jiang’s car – with the child still inside – to its facility on Bergen Boulevard and mile-and-a-half away, police said.

The toddler was found by police on the rear seat of the vehicle, still asleep and under blankets, Hintze said.

The 2-year-old was not in a car seat, he added.

Jiang was reunited with her daughter and then arrested on charges of abuse, abandonment, cruelty, and neglect of a child, Hintze said.

The child was taken from Jiang and released to her family members. The state Division of Child Protection of Permanency was notified of the incident and officers with Fort Lee Police Juvenile Bureau investigated, Hintze said.

Jiang was taken to police headquarters and released at 9:17 p.m. with a summons to appear in Bergen County Superior Court on April 13, police said.

Hintze said tow-truck drivers are not responsible for searching vehicles.

“A vehicle being that is being towed and is locked would not be searched by the tow operator,” Hintze said.

Credit: NY Post

Man signs up for internet gambling, wins $194K on 1st spin

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey man who signed up for internet gambling has won nearly $194,000 on his very first spin of an online slots game.

Anibal Lopes, of Woodbridge, said he was bored after work Monday night, so he created an account on the playsugarhouse.com website on his smartphone.

Choosing a slots game called Divine Fortune, the 33-year-old won its Mega Jackpot on his very first spin.

“I thought, ‘This is not happening,’ ” he said. “I couldn’t believe I won that much money. I told my wife: ‘I don’t feel well. My legs are shaking.’ She said, ‘We need to get you to the emergency room.’ I told her, ‘No, I’m not sick; I just won close to $194,000!’”

The progressive jackpot had been building since it was last hit in September.

The website, run by Rush Street Interactive, is affiliated with Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino.

Lopes said he played other gambling sites in New Jersey sporadically since online wagering became legal in 2013, but stopped for a number of years.

The construction company superintendent plans to use the money to pay bills, repair his house, and set up a savings account for his 6-year-old son.

He usually visits Atlantic City about six times a year, but now says he prefers the convenience of gambling from his phone without having to make the four-hour round trip from his home.

Credit: NY Post

‘Drunk’ driver had no idea transit sign was stuck in her car

SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. — Police in New Jersey say a woman was drunk when she continued driving with a mass transit sign sticking out of the roof of her car.

The 52-year-old was pulled over Saturday on Route 46 in South Hackensack when police noticed something odd. Police say the woman had a New Jersey Transit sign protruding through the roof of her car.

Police say the woman didn’t even know the sign was there.

South Hackensack police say the sign got stuck in the vehicle when the driver was in Secaucus before she was pulled over.

The woman has been charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving.

Credit: NY Post

Dad accused of putting son’s teenage flag football coach in a chokehold

WESTWOOD, N.J. — A New Jersey man has been accused of putting the teenage coach of his son’s flag football team in a chokehold after the son was rotated out of the quarterback position.

Westwood police Det. Warren Morrell says it happened Saturday in front of about 75 people at a game for 6- to 8-year-olds.

League commissioner Fred Kritzker tells NJ.com that Peter Iappelli, of Closter, got upset after his son was removed and he then put the 16-year-old coach in a chokehold.

Iappelli was given a summons on Wednesday to appear in court later this month. His lawyer is unavailable to comment for him.

Kritzer says Iappelli apologized for his behavior in an email. He says the family, of Closter, has been banned from the league.

Credit: NY Post

Woman beaten to death while housesitting: cops

WOODBURY, N.J. — Authorities say a woman found dead inside a New Jersey home where she was housesitting was beaten to death.

Gloucester County prosecutors say Shawneeq Carter’s body was found around 7:30 p.m. Saturday at a Woodbury home. But they have not disclosed further details about the discovery or said if she was killed in the home.

An autopsy determined that the 26-year-old Camden woman died from blunt force trauma. Her death has been ruled a homicide.

Authorities say the resident of the home was not in the Woodbury area when Carter’s body was discovered. That person’s name and further information about them have not been released.

No arrests have been made.


Hurricane Jose could bring heavy rain, strong winds to NYC

Stay away, José!

After a week hovering around the Bermuda Triangle, Hurricane José is on the move — but for now he’s projected to stay well out to sea and safely away from the East Coast.

José will likely be downgraded to a tropical storm when it creeps up the Atlantic and past New Jersey and New York on Tuesday and Wednesday, with winds predicted at between 39 and 73 mph.

Its forecast “cone” won’t even graze the eastern tip of Long Island, the National Hurricane Center in Miami predicted by 11 p.m. Saturday.
North Carolina to New England should monitor the storm’s progress, the center urged.

But by late Saturday, the center was predicting that the worst José will give the East Coast is a good soaking and some dangerous rip currents.

That’s a far better outlook than forecasts from Saturday morning, which had José taking a swipe at the New York by early Tuesday.

José has weakened since last week, when it was a Category 4 hurricane with 145-mph winds.

By Saturday night, it was a Category 1, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.

“There’s a potential for a good soaking for New York City, and possibly points north and west depending on the track,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Frank Strait.

Mayor de Blasio tweeted Saturday that the city is “closely monitoring” José, and urged residents to know if they are in a flood zone.

José spared the Caribbean islands hurt most by Hurricane Irma after that monster storm killed 38 people.

The ravaged paradises may not be so lucky this week, with two new storms headed their way.

The storms — Lee and Maria — loomed in the eastern Atlantic on Saturday, reports said.

Lee is expected to head west without gaining much strength, but Maria is hard on its heels.

Now a tropical depression, Maria is expected to be upgraded to a tropical storm and could reach hurricane status as it approaches the Caribbean.

The new depressions have prompted a tropical storm watch for the islands of St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


Cops, firefighters, teachers, doctors embroiled in $25M drug fraud scheme, feds say

CAMDEN — Federal officials announced Thursday that two men have pleaded guilty in a conspiracy that used a network of recruiters, doctors, and state and local government employees to collect millions for unnecessary compounded prescriptions.

“The defendants defrauded the state of New Jersey and other health insurers out of millions of dollars by getting reimbursed for phony prescriptions on expensive and medically unnecessary compounded medications,” Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick said in a release Thursday. “This conduct, which fraudulently exploited state health benefits programs and left New Jersey taxpayers on the hook for millions in losses, is especially brazen in an era when health insurance is a constant concern for many Americans.”

Several Atlantic County shore towns have seen info about their employees’ pharmaceutical plans subpoenaed in recent months as feds investigated skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs, according to reporting by the Press of Atlantic City.

Matthew Tedesco, 42, an Atlantic County pharmaceutical sales representative, and Robert Bessey, 43, of Philadelphia, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in federal court in Camden Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to a statement from the office, Tedesco, of Linwood, was a leader in the conspiracy and Bessey helped recruit people to join. Tedesco was paid over $11 million dollars for his role, though he paid some of that to conspirators lower down in the scheme, officials said. Bessey received $485,540.

Between January 2015 to April 2016, Tedesco, Bessey and other conspirators convinced individuals including teachers, firefighters, local and state police and other state employees to agree to accept unnecessary prescriptions from an unnamed, out-of-state compounding pharmacy, officials said.

Drugs from compounding pharmacies cost far more than regular drugs because they are mixed for individual patients. For example, a doctor could order a prescription from a compounding pharmacy if a patient is allergic to a component of an existing medication.

Once an employee agreed to participate, the conspirators would fill out the prescription form for them and select whatever “compounded medications that paid the most and order 12 months of refills without regard to their medical necessity,” the statement said.

Doctors would sign off on the prescriptions though they had never even seen the patients, federal authorities allege.

Among the pricey prescriptions being filled by the compounding pharmacy were various “libido creams” and other creams costing thousands for a months supply, as well as $10,000 in vitamins, officials said.

The compounding pharmacy would fill the prescriptions and bill the patient’s insurance provider. Then a person described only as the “pharmacy benefits administrator,” who oversees the state health benefits programs that cover some public workers, would pay the pharmacy and bill the state the same amount, officials said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that roughly half of the $50 million that the pharmacy benefits administor paid to the compounding pharmacy was for prescriptions that Tedesco and his alleged conspirators had arranged.

For each of those transactions, officials said, the pharmacy paid one of the alleged conspirators a percentage, which was then distributed down the line to other members of the conspiracy, including the doctors who signed the prescriptions.

As part of the plea agreement Tedesco and Bessey accepted, they both agreed to forfeit their profits from the scheme. In restitution, Tedesco has agreed to pay $28,773,907 while Bessey has agreed to pay $2,693,193, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Both are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 4. They could face as much as 10 years in prison.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that three more people are expected to pleased guilty on Friday in connection with the plot, including an Atlantic City firefighter who has resigned.

Credit: NJ 

Woman poured antifreeze in grandma’s juice to poison her: cops

A woman planned for at least a month to poison her grandmother before she finally poured antifreeze in the woman’s juice and then gave it to her drink, New Jersey police said.

Elise Conroy was arrested Saturday and faces attempted murder charges for allegedly trying to poison her grandmother. Police said the 84-year-old grandmother drank the tainted juice and suspected something was wrong. She called police, but did not require medical attention, according to the Daily Record of Morris County.

Conroy, 26, lived in her grandmother’s home.

Conroy allegedly bought the antifreeze in July with the intention of poisoning the older woman.

Conroy was being held pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. It wasn’t known Saturday if she has retained an attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Credit: NY Post

Woman carried loaded gun in her bra, cops say

PATERSON – Officers who pulled over a speeding vehicle said they arrested the driver on child support warrants and his passenger for concealing a loaded gun in her bra.

The arrests occurred Tuesday as officers with the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office said they saw a car speeding and swerving on Route 20 near Seventh Avenue.

The driver, Enrique Martinez, 23, of Paterson was detained for having two outstanding child support warrants in the amount of $11,500, according to Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik.

While speaking to the front-seat passenger, Deisha Acevedo, officers could smell marijuana on her, Berdnik said.

A female officer searched Acevedo and found a bag of marijuana and a .38-caliber Taurus revolver loaded with five bullets.

The pot and gun were found in the woman’s bra, the sheriff said.

Acevedo was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a handgun.

Credit: NJ