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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    ICE issues detainers for 5 rape suspects

    http://www.nj.com

    Casella passes on info
    Wednesday, September 13, 2006
    By MATT DUNN
    Staff Writer
    BRIDGETON -- Cumberland County Prosecutor Ron Casella isn't speaking publicly about the immigration status of five individuals charged with the gang rape of a 13-year-old Millville girl.

    While he isn't sharing that information with the press, it doesn't necessarily mean he's keeping it to himself.

    "Certainly, when you have reason to believe someone is illegal, we pass that information along," Casella said on Tuesday.

    According to the prosecutor, that information is passed along to federal authorities, who have the tools to enforce immigration laws.

    One of the men charged in connection with the alleged rape, Alfonso Ponce, 20, of Laurel Street, is an illegal immigrant, his lawyer reported last Friday.

    All five men utilized a Spanish-speaking interpreter when they were arraigned in court, in connection with an offense prosecutors said occurred over Labor Day weekend.

    Two of the men are farm laborers at Brookside Nursery in Hopewell Township, one of three locations where prosecutors believe the underage victim was assaulted.

    The owner of the nursery reported 19-year-old Edson Leones and 25-year-old Vicente Rodriguez signed working papers claiming they are in the country legally.

    Jeffrey Brooks would not provide copies of these documents to the News.

    Ponce, Leones and Rodriguez were charged with first-degree sexual assault, second-degree criminal restraint, and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, along with 24-year-old Raul Chasares and 23-year-old Oscar Estrada-Lopez.

    All five men are being held at Cumberland County Jail in lieu of $200,000 cash bail.

    A sixth suspect is being sought by authorities in connection with the incident, but had not been apprehended on Tuesday.

    Local crimes involving illegal immigrants have gained increased attention, following a high number of hit-and-run auto accidents in and around Bridgeton in recent years, including a few fatalities.

    Casella is concerned releasing immigrant information to the public would isolate a large portion of the community who could be an asset in his office's ability to do its job.

    "We generally don't release that information because doing that runs contrary to efforts to get individuals to come forward and cooperate with us when they are witnesses to a crime," he said. "It's a difficult task to try and gain people's trust who would rather be anonymous."

    Determining just how many illegal immigrants reside locally is no simple task.

    Mexico and Central America are the leading contributors of illegal immigrants, with 7 million living in the United States in 2003, according to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.

    Of the estimated 153,252 residents living in Cumberland County in 2005, up to 11,432 were of Mexican origin and up to 1,049 were of Central American origin.

    There is no way to determine how many of those individuals are legal residents, because the U.S. Census Bureau does not solicit information on immigration status.

    "You do not have to be a legal citizen to fill out a census form," said Sharon Mollick, state data center affiliate for the county department of planning and development.

    A person's immigration status often becomes an issue in open court, where in setting high bail amounts, Superior Court judges often use it as a motivating factor.

    Such was the case with 37-year-old Lazzaro Hernandez, charged in connection with the 2005 hit-and-run death of an 80-year-old woman on Bank Street in Bridgeton.

    Prosecutors willingly disclosed Hernandez's immigration status when he was arraigned last year.

    They were less forthcoming when a Superior Court judge recently ordered them to disclose the immigration status of potential witnesses to a 2003 homicide.

    In either case, the information is regularly obtained by the prosecutor's office.

    Casella said whenever a person is suspected of living in the country illegally, the prosecutor's office confirms that person's immigration status.

    If prosecutors find out a person is an illegal immigrant, they pass that information along to federal authorities.

    Only the federal government, through the Department of Homeland Security, has the ability to prosecute individuals for violating immigration laws.

    "(The federal government) does what they want to as far as prosecution," Casella said.

    The prosecutor said a case like the Labor Day weekend assault is unusual for Cumberland County's illegal immigrant population.

    "Most of the illegal immigrants try to avoid drawing attention to themselves."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    If they are found guilty send them back to where they came from. The poor victim is now traumatized for life.
    I would also like to see those here legally and are in jail, that only speak Spanish or any other language for that matter be taught to speak English while in prison. I often see news reports on people who have committed major crimes. In court and they have translators as they do not speak English.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news ... 3810c.html

    5 charged with sex assault on Bridgeton girl, 13
    By TOM NAMAKO Staff Writer, (856) 794-5115
    Published: Wednesday, September 6, 2006
    BRIDGETON — Law enforcement officials said Tuesday they have five men in custody in connection with the alleged rape Thursday of a 13-year-old Bridgeton girl in a Hopewell Township trailer park.

    Raul Chasares, 24, Edson Leonte, 19, Vicente Rodriguez, 25, Oscar Estrada-Lopez, 23, and Alfonso Ponce, 20, are all Bridgeton residents and were arraigned on the same three charges in Cumberland County Superior Court on Tuesday.

    The 13-year-old girl entered a car outside one of the Dollar Stores in Bridgeton and was taken to the Hopewell Township trailer park where she was raped, Assistant Prosecutor Dara Paley said.

    It's unclear whether the girl was taken by force or willingly entered the car, Assistant Prosecutor Linda Lawhun said. “That's still being investigated,” she said.

    Lawhun also was unsure whether the victim and her alleged attackers knew each other.


    http://www.nj.com/news/bridgeton/local/ ... ml&coll=10

    13 year old raped Five men charged with Thursday's attack are arraigned
    Wednesday, September 06, 2006
    By MATT DUNN
    Staff Writer
    BRIDGETON -- Five men were arrested Monday and charged with raping a 13-year-old girl reported missing from her home in Millville last week.

    The girl was returned to her home, according to her mother, who declined to comment further.

    Raul Chasares, 24, Oscar Estrada Lopez, 23, and Alfonso Ponce, 20, all of Laurel Street; and Edson Leones, 19, and Vicente Rodriguez, 25, were arraigned in Superior Court on Tuesday.

    The men, who prosecutors believed picked up the teenager in front of a Bridgeton dollar store and took her to a secluded location where the rape occurred, were charged with aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal restraint.

    Superior Court Judge John Waters Jr. set bail at $200,000 each before sheriff's officers escorted the men back to Cumberland County Jail.

    Both Leones and Rodriguez were farm laborers with Brookside Nursery, a fourth-generation family-run nursery on George Brooks Road in Greenwich Township.

    The criminal complaint lists Leones and Rodriguez as living at George Brooks Road, but Brookside Nursery owner Jeffrey Brooks said his house is the only one on the road and that the two men actually live on Laurel Street.

    "I'm mortified over this," said Brooks, when contacted on the phone Tuesday. "I'm mortified that anyone would hurt a young girl."

    On the nursery's property, Brooks said police investigated a small trailer used as a break room where they believed the incident may have taken place.

    After the court proceedings, Assistant Prosecutor Dara Paley stated her information about the case was limited.

    Rather than Greenwich Township, Paley said the incident took place last Thursday in Hopewell Township, but was unsure exactly where in Hopewell Township it allegedly happened.

    "The men picked (the girl) up in front of a store in Bridgeton and brought her back to a trailer in Hopewell Township," Paley stated.

    Paley, who was assigned to the case on Tuesday morning, said she did not know which dollar store the police report refers to.

    She also said she was not aware if there had been a prior relationship between the victim and any of the men, or if any of the individuals were United States citizens.

    Assistant Prosecutor Linda Lawhun said the case is still under investigation by the prosecutor's office..





    http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news ... 9200c.html

    Prosecutor: Millville teen raped multiple times
    By TOM NAMAKO Staff Writer, (856) 794-5115
    Published: Thursday, September 7, 2006
    BRIDGETON — Prosecutors suspect that a 13-year-old Millville girl was raped multiple times during a two-day abduction before she was rescued at the Cumberland Mall when a neighbor recognized her.
    Five Bridgeton men were arraigned in Cumberland County Superior Court on Tuesday in one of the alleged rape incidents. Prosecutor Ronald Casella said Wednesday that authorities are seeking a sixth suspect.

    Last Wednesday, the girl's mother called Millville police and reported her missing. The girl made her way to the Irving Avenue Dollar Store in Bridgeton, where men in a teal-colored Dodge Intrepid drove up to her, authorities said.

    “At some point, she was lured into the vehicle with some or all of the accused,” Casella said. “We're not sure if this happened on Wednesday or Thursday.”

    On Friday, the girl and some of the accused men were walking though the Cumberland Mall when the girl was recognized by her mother's neighbor, Casella said. The woman reported the sighting to mall security, who then contacted Vineland police.




    http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/p ... 80371/1006

    5 charged in sexual assault of teen


    Friday, September 8, 2006


    Gannett News Service

    BRIDGETON
    A 13-year-old Millville girl allegedly was sexually assaulted in three locations during a two-day period by five men, and authorities are searching for a sixth suspect.

    Cumberland County Prosecutor Ronald J. Casella said the victim was reporting missing by her mother on Aug. 31 and was picked up by the suspects in front of the Dollar Store on Irving Avenue the next day. The teen took a bus to Bridgeton and visited her grandfather, who lives on Manheim Avenue near Irving Avenue, according to the prosecutor.

    "The victim allegedly was restrained and sexually assaulted in a trailer in Hopewell Township, at a residence in Bridgeton and in a vehicle," Casella said.

    Some of the suspects reportedly live and work at Brookside Farm in Hopewell, where the attacks allegedly occurred. Casella said it was not clear how many times the victim was sexually assaulted.

    One of the victim's neighbors, who knew the girl was missing, recognized her at Cumberland Mall in Vineland on Sept. 1 and notified security officers.

    Casella said one or more of the suspects might have been with her at the time.

    "She was secured and released to her mother," Casella said. "Later that day, she indicated to her mother she had been sexually assaulted, and that is when authorities were notified," the prosecutor said.

    Five suspects -- Raul Chasares, 24, Edson Leonte, 19, Vicente Rodriguez, 25, Oscar Estrada-Lopez, 23, and Alfonso Ponce, 20 are charged with aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a minor and criminal restraint. They are being held at the county jail on $200,000 bail each.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    http://www.nj.com/news/bridgeton/local/ ... ml&coll=10

    Was girl, 13, raped at three places?
    Thursday, September 07, 2006
    By MATT DUNN
    Staff Writer
    BRIDGETON -- A 13-year-old Millville girl reported missing last week who was allegedly picked up by a group of five men in Bridgeton may have been sexually assaulted multiple times before police found her nearly 24 hours later.

    Prosecutor Ron Casella said the prosecutor's office is looking into three separate events which may have taken place after the girl was lured into a vehicle outside of an Irving Avenue business.

    Although its unknown what order the events allegedly took place, one took place in a trailer at a Hopewell Township farm which two of the men worked at, according to Casella.

    "We believe sexual intercourse took place," he said on Wednesday.

    Casella said another may have taken place in Bridgeton and another in the vehicle the men were driving, but declined to elaborate.

    "There may be an issue as to the victim's mental capacity. It's hard to tell what's real or not real," he remarked.

    The five men arrested on Monday and charged in connection with the incident remained at Cumberland County Jail on Wednesday, where they are being held on $200,000 cash bail.

    Raul Chasares, 24, Oscar Estrada Lopez, 23, and Alfonso Ponce, 20, all of Laurel Street; and Edson Leones, 19, and Vicente Rodriguez, 25, were arraigned on Tuesday and charged with aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal restraint.

    The criminal complaint lists both Leones and Rodriguez as living on George Brooks Road in Hopewell Township.

    Both men were employed as farm laborers at Brookside Nursery on George Brooks Road, but owner Jeff Brooks said they actually lived on Laurel Street.

    The 13-year-old girl was returned to her home by police last Thursday after being spotted with a few of the men at Cumberland Mall, according to Casella.

    "Apparently, a neighbor of the family recognized her," he said. "They got mall security, who contacted the Vineland Police Department."

    Casella said the prosecutor's office identified the rest of the men through surveillance video, but declined to elaborate.




    http://www.nj.com/news/bridgeton/index. ... ml&coll=10

    Bail reduction denied for rape suspect
    Saturday, September 09, 2006
    By MATT DUNN
    Staff Writer
    BRIDGETON -- A Bridgeton man charged with participating in the alleged group rape of a 13-year-old Millville girl last week was denied a reduction in bail Friday.

    Alfonso Ponce, 20, of Laurel Street, is an illegal immigrant, according to his lawyer, Carlos Andujar.

    He remained at Cumberland County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail along with four others charged in the case: Raul Chasares, 24 and Oscar Estrada Lopez, also of Laurel Street, and Edson Leones, 19, and Vicente Rodriguez, 25.

    Authorities are looking into the possibility of a sixth individual being involved in the incident.

    A criminal complaint lists the address for Leones and Rodriguez as George Brooks Road in Hopewell Township, where the two men are employed at Brookside Nursery.

    Brookside Nursery owner Jeffrey Brooks said on Wednesday the two men lived in Bridgeton.

    The immigration status of the other four individuals is still under investigation.

    Brooks claimed to have paperwork for both Leones and Rodriguez which could verify their legal working status but said, for privacy reasons, he would not provide copies of these documents to the News.

    "They showed me Social Security cards and whatever else you need," he stated.

    Superior Court Judge John Waters Jr. said in court Friday that while he did not want to hold the immigration status of Ponce against him, it raised a red flag.

    "If (Ponce) is an undocumented illegal alien, it would be easy for him to run away to the country from which he came," he stated.

    Ponce has no prior criminal record in the United States, according to Andujar.

    Because of this, in addition to circumstances surrounding what happened, the Millville lawyer requested Ponce's bail be reduced to $150,000 cash or bond.

    "The victim knew one or more of the individuals involved," Andujar said. "She was asked by her parents to leave the house. (The victim and defendants) were going to go fishing. They did go fishing."

    Prosecutors said the 13-year-old, reported last seen around 6 a.m. last Wednesday, was lured into a vehicle in front of a dollar store on Irving Avenue in Bridgeton later that day.

    The victim's grandfather is a patient at a nursing home in Bridgeton, and she may have visited him that day, according to authorities.

    A day later, the girl was spotted by a neighbor at Cumberland Mall in Vineland.

    "She was sitting on a bench drinking a soft drink," Andujar said. "If she was the victim of an assault, you would think the first person she saw she would have run to."

    If there was any sex involved, it probably wasn't forced, he concluded.

    Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong called Andujar's statements assumptions.

    The prosecutor's office is looking into whether the victim was assaulted multiple times in the vehicle, at a Bridgeton residence and in a trailer on the property of Brookside Nursery.

    "The victim said her hands were tied behind her back and she was blindfolded. A tortilla wrapper was used as a condom," Vogelsong said.

    Vogelsong said detectives investigated the trailer and found the tortilla wrapper exactly where the girl said it was.

    "We have confessions from at least five of the individuals involved," she stated.

    Even if the sex wasn't forced, because of the victim's age the sexual assault would be a second-degree offense, according to Waters.

    Prosecutor Ron Casella said on Thursday there was some question as to the victim's mental capacity.

    A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said on Friday that the prosecutor's office was no longer looking into that aspect of the case.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
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    These illegal aliens are the worst kind of animals!!

    A 13 year olds life is shattered. How could anyone torture a young girl is beyond any comprehension!!

    This happened in NJ. It was also buried way in the back of the Star Ledger and Asbury Park Press. Two well read papers here in NJ.

    I hope they lock them up and throw away the key!!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    This is disguisting! It is bad enough to do what they did to her but if she is mentally incompetent in any way it makes it even worse. The poor girl is now going to suffer for the rest of her life.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member greyparrot's Avatar
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    "We generally don't release that information because doing that runs contrary to efforts to get individuals to come forward and cooperate with us when they are witnesses to a crime," he said. "It's a difficult task to try and gain people's trust who would rather be anonymous."
    So maintaining the social comfort level of illegal aliens now superceeds the right of American citizens to know the legal status of the rapists, murderers, and hit and run drivers that are being arrested in their communities?

    While law enforcement is busy trying to gain the trust of people that have NO RIGHT to be here, Americans are left scratching their heads wondering just who in the hell is looking out for their best interests and safety.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    http://www.nj.com/news/bridgeton/local/ ... ml&coll=10

    Rape case could need immigration
    Friday, September 15, 2006
    By MATT DUNN
    Staff Writer
    BRIDGETON -- U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement has reached out to the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, offering assistance in the case of a group of men prosecutors believe raped a 13-year-old Millville girl two weeks ago.

    "At some point, the immigration issue may occur," said Mike Gilhooly, a spokesman for ICE. "What I don't want people to do is assume that in every case we take custody of the individual. In this case, the individuals would face some very serious state charges long before we get involved."

    Alfonso Ponce, Edson Leones, and Vicente Rodriguez, along with 24-year-old Raul Chasares and 23-year-old Oscar Estrada Lopez, were charged with aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal restraint.

    If the five men are, in fact, illegal immigrants, Gilhooly said they would have to face state criminal charges before they face federal immigration charges.

    Even if the five men are not convicted, they could still face deportation if they are found to be illegal immigrants.

    "If an individual is either illegal or they're a green card holder that commits a crime, they can be removed," Gilhooly said. "The mere fact that a person is an illegal alien in the United States, they're removable whether they commit a crime or not.

    "The Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office told us that when they need us, they'll call."

    The 20-year-old Ponce, of Laurel Street, Bridgeton, was reported by his lawyer to be an illegal immigrant.

    ICE reported more than 5,000 arrests and removals of illegal immigrants in the state of New Jersey in their fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2005.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/local ... xml&coll=8

    Federal agency offers to assist in rape case
    Friday, September 15, 2006
    By Matt Dunn
    gcnews@sjnewsco.com
    BRIDGETON -- U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement has reached out to the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, offering assistance in the case of a group of men prosecutors believe raped a 13-year-old Millville girl two weeks ago.

    One of the five men, Alfonso Ponce, 20, Bridgeton, was reported by his lawyer to be an illegal immigrant. While the Prosecutor's Office will not release the immigration status of the other four, the group spoke through a Spanish-speaking interpreter when they appeared in court.

    "At some point the immigration issue may occur," said Mike Gilhooly, a spokesman for ICE. "What I don't want people to do is assume that in every case we take custody of the individual. In this case, the individuals would face some very serious state charges long before we get involved."

    Two of the men, 19-year-old Edson Leones and 25-year-old Vicente Rodriguez, are farm laborers at Brookside Nursery in Hopewell Township, one of three locations where prosecutors believe the underage victim was assaulted.

    Jeffrey Brooks, the owner of the nursery, has reported the two men signed working papers claiming they are in the country legally.

    Ponce, Leones, and Rodriguez, along with 24-year-old Raul Chasares and 23-year-old Oscar Estrada Lopez, were charged with aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal restraint.

    If the five men are, in fact, illegal immigrants, Gilhooly said, they would have to face state criminal charges before they face federal immigration charges.

    That could mean a sentence in state prison if they are convicted prior to any potential immigration hearing.

    Even if the five men are not convicted, they could still face deportation if they are found to be illegal immigrants.

    "If an individual is either illegal or they're a green card holder that commits a crime, they can be removed," Gilhooly said. "The mere fact that a person is an illegal alien in the United States, they're removable whether they commit a crime or not.

    "The Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office told us that when they need us, they'll call."

    ICE reported more than 5,000 arrests and removals of illegal immigrants in the state of New Jersey in its fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2005.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    What do they mean by saying if they are illegal and not charged they may be deported? They are illegals and must be deported! No ands, ifs or buts about it. Even if they have a green card the article claims that could be deported. This bothers me as we had a Haitian in Miami get deported for a much lesser crime. Maybe the man in Miami who thinks he is Jesus is partly right. The Spanish are the chosen people. Just look at Elvira in the church, our own government apprehending and turning Dog over to the Mexicans on a silver platter and all the known illegals that maybe allowed to stay. What a scary thought.
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