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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
March 23, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director

 

John R. Hagerty
609-984-1936

 

Division Of Criminal Justice Charges North Jersey Thieves with Fencing $1 Million in Stolen Merchandise Through Undercover Sting Operation

Operation “Enterprise” Purchased Stolen Weapons, Construction Equipment, Motorcycles, High-End Clothing & Electronics, Medical Supplies, Toys, Cosmetics, and Other Commodities...

Whippany, Morris County - New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey today announced the arrest and indictment of nine North Jersey individuals on charges of trafficking and selling stolen goods and merchandise worth more than one million dollars to an undercover sting operation conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice - Organized Crime & Racketeering Bureau.

Attorney General Harvey said that Operation “Enterprise” targeted individuals allegedly engaged in the large-scale highjacking of truck cargo and the theft of merchandise from storage warehouses throughout the North Jersey area. Through Operation “Enterprise,” the Division of Criminal Justice established a working warehouse as an undercover location where individuals dealing in large quantities of stolen merchandise were able to “fence” the items to persons they believed were re-selling the goods to “select” buyers.

“The allegations contained in this indictment include the first time the Division of Criminal Justice has charged an individual as a leader of a firearms trafficking network - this is significant and represents the fact that undercover State Investigators were able to purchase illegal assault weapons off the street,” Attorney General Harvey said. “The investigation uncovered a loosely organized group of crooks with self-professed ties to organized crime in the business of trafficking in stolen cargo, construction equipment, and consumer merchandise for profit.”

Joining the Attorney General in making the announcement were Vaughn L. McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice, Chief State Investigator Anne Kriegner, Division of Criminal Justice, Assistant Attorney General David Brody, Supervising Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades, Deputy Attorney General Debra Conrad, and State Investigators assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice - Organized Crime & Racketeering Bureau.

“Today’s indictments are significant. The Division of Criminal Justice has also charged the defendants under New Jersey’s tough racketeering and organized crime statutes and, as importantly, will use the criminal forfeiture laws to seize any proceeds of the alleged illegal activity. The Division of Criminal Justice is taking direct aim at stolen merchandise schemes and will investigate, arrest, and prosecute anyone involved in such activity,” Director McKoy said.

According to McKoy, a 33-count State Grand Jury indictment charged eight defendants with varying counts of conspiracy to commit racketeering, leader of a firearms trafficking network, money laundering, fencing, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, the possession and unlawful sale or disposition of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, and tax law violations. A second State Grand Jury indictment charged two individuals with theft, insurance fraud, and related crimes. (A list of the defendants and specific charges is attached.)

McKoy noted that Operation “Enterprise” established the existence of a group of individuals involved in the “underground or black market” business of brokering large amounts of stolen merchandise. The criminals developed a network of prearranged drop locations for the storage of stolen merchandise; separate locations for the delivery of the stolen goods being fenced for resale; and different meeting locations for the exchange of cash. During the course of the year-long investigation, State Investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice - Organized Crime & Racketeering Bureau posed as “fences” interested in purchasing any and all types of stolen merchandise. As a result of the undercover investigative efforts, State Investigators successfully negotiated the purchase of more that one million dollars worth of stolen equipment, merchandise, and commodities. As the investigation expanded, State Investigators brokered not only the sale of stolen cargo and merchandise, but illegal drugs, narcotics and weapons, including prohibited assault weapons.

The State Grand Jury indictment alleges that from November, 2003 through March, 2005, Operation “Enterprise” purchased stolen merchandise including medical supplies, electronics, construction equipment, high-end clothing, toys, motorcycles, coffee and other commodities, cosmetics, forklifts, electrical supplies, imported Italian marble, and automobile parts. Specifically, State Investigators negotiated the purchased an Intratec TEC 9 semi-automatic assault weapon with a detachable large-capacity ammunition magazine, a Intratec DC semi-automatic assault firearm with a large capacity ammunition magazine, a Charles Daly .45 ACP semi-automatic handgun, a Tarus PT-22 semi-automatic pistol, a Tarus PT-22 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and a HiPoint 9mm Model C semi-automatic pistol. Additionally, significant quantities of MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), oxycontin, and marijuana were purchased during the undercover operation.

Director McKoy noted that in addition to the filing of criminal charges, the Division of Criminal Justice has employed the criminal provisions of New Jersey’s racketeering and money laundering statutes to seize any proceeds obtained by the alleged criminal enterprise. As a result, the Division of Criminal Justice has obtained orders to seize automobiles, bank accounts, and other assets.

The indictment was handed up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg on March 17 and was sealed pending the arrest of the defendants. Over 50 State Investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice, with assistance from county and local law enforcement agencies, conducted early morning arrests of the defendants. The cases will be assigned to the Morris County Superior Court for trial. The defendants are slated to appear in Morris County Superior Court this afternoon for arraignment and bail.

Attorney General Harvey noted that Operation “Enterprise” was initiated by Division of Criminal Justice - Organized Crime & Racketeering Bureau. Deputy Chief State Investigator Michael Tarantino and State Investigators assigned to the Organized Crime & Racketeering Bureau conducted the investigation. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades and Deputy Attorney General Debra Conrad will prosecute the case. Additional investigative assistance was provided by the Paterson Police Department, the Bergen County Police Department, the Hanover Township Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, and the New Jersey State Police Cargo Theft Unit.

Additional information, including a copy of the State Grand Jury indictment, arrest warrants, defendant list and charges, and photographs of the various stolen merchandise is available through the Division of Criminal Justice Web site located at www.njdcj.org.

OPERATION “ENTERPRISE” DEFENDANT LIST

  • Nicholas “Luis Ifer” Lucarello, 29, 378 Warburton Ave., Hawthorne, Passaic County.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Fencing (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 4 - Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 5 - Conspiracy to Distribute CDS - (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 6 - Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 7 - Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 8 - Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 9 - Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 10 - Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 11 - Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (3rd degree - 3-5 years/75,000 fine); Count 12 - Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 29 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon 4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 30 - Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine; Count 31 - Money Laundering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 32 - Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax 3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine);
  • Joseph Zarillo, 33, 1 Crestwood Ave. Fairfield, Essex County.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Fencing (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 5 - Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 6 - Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 7 - Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 8 - Conspiracy to Distribute CDS (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 9 - Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 10 - Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance - (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 33 - Money Laundering (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine);
  • Aexander Zaccaro, Sr. (Skippy Sr.), 58, 329 Mt. Pleasant Ave., West Paterson, Passaic County.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Fencing (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 19 - Conspiracy to Possess and Sell Firearms (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 20 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 22 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 24 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 26 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine);
  • Alexander Zaccaro, Jr. (Skippy Jr.), 38, 52 Big Piece Road, Fairfield, Essex County.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Fencing (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 13 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of an Assault Weapon (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 14 - Unlawful Possession of an Assault Weapon (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 15 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 16 - Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 17 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 18 - Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 19 - Conspiracy to Possess and Sell Firearms (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 20 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 21 - Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (3rd degree - 3-5years/15,000 fine); Count 22 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine; Count 23 - Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 24 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Weapon (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 25 - Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine); Count 26 - Unlawful Sale or Disposition of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 27 - Unlawful Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine (4th degree - 18 months/10,000 fine); Count 28 - Leader of Firearms Trafficking Network (First Degree - 10-20 years/500,000 fine);
  • Carmen Russo, 39, 6 Renaissance Drive, Clifton, Passaic County.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Fencing (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine);
  • Frank Jones, 43, 79 Pershing Ave., Cartaret, Middlesex County.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 3 - Fencing (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine);
  • Lucia Lucarello, 31, 378 Warburton Ave., Hawthorne, Passaic County.
    Charged with Count 1- Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 31 - Money Laundering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine; Count 32 - Failure to Pay Gross Income Tax (3rd degree - 3-5 years/15,000 fine);
  • Thomas Gardner, 48, 104 Edinburgh Ct., Jacksonville, NC.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Fencing (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine);
  • Daniel Engravalle, 32, 58 Alana Dr., Hawthorne, Passaic County.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Insurance Fraud (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 3 - Theft by Deception (3rd degree - 3-5 years/$15,000 fine); Count 4 - Tampering With Public Records (3rd degree - 3-5 years/$15,000 fine);
  • Debra Tower, 30, 3519 Ardmore Ave., Reading, PA.
    Charged with Count 1 - Conspiracy (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 2 - Insurance Fraud (2nd degree - 5-10 years/150,000 fine); Count 3 - Theft by Deception (3rd degree - 3-5 years/$15,000 fine); Count 4 - Tampering With Public Records (3rd degree - 3-5 years/$15,000 fine);

A first degree crime, the most serious crime under New Jersey law, carries a penalty of up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. A second degree crime carries a maximum penalty of up to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while a third degree crime carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

OPERATION “ENTERPRISE” STOLEN MERCHANDISE LIST (Date - Item Description - Value)

  • 12-1-03 - 294 Boxes Alaris Thermometers - $89,000
  • 12-9-03 - Assorted Women's clothing (Loeman's) Electronic Equipment - $14,000.00
  • 12-17-03 - 115 boxes hospital beds
  • 12-17-03 - 119 Cartons of Nebulizers - $107,000.00
  • 1-20-04 - 5,000 units of L'Oreal Line eraser - $77,000.00
  • 1-29-04 - 4 Palettes (50,000 units) Bath Body nail polish - $500,000.00
  • 1-31-04 - 6 palettes (5,000 units) GX jeans - $35,500.00
  • 4-14-04 - Harley Davidson Motorcycle - $10,000.00
  • 4-19-04 - John Deere Skid Steer - $27,000.00
  • 4-29-04 - Jeep Grand Cherokee (owner give-up) - $15,000 paid by insurance company
  • 5-14-04 - Harley Davidson Motorcycle - $15,000.00
  • 6-3-04 - Harley Davidson Motorcycle - $17,000.00
  • 6-10-04 - 1,000 Pills Ecstacy - $15,000
  • 6-21-04 - Two (2) Harley Davidson Motorcycles - $30,000.00
  • 6-22-04 - Illy Coffee 360 Cases - $23,760.00
  • 7-22-04 - Illy Coffee 455 Cases - $30,300.00
  • 8-17-04 - Forklift and Electrical Equipment - $55,000.00
  • 8-27-04 - Toys - $7,000.00
  • 8-31-04 - Oxycotone - $1,000
  • 8-31-04 - Imported Italian Marble - $37,000
  • 9-9-04 - Forklift - $10,000
  • 10-18-04 - Gun
  • 10-19-04 - Forklifts - $15,000
  • 11-16-04 - Forklift and gun - $15,000
  • 12-6-04 - Forklift - $12,000.00
  • 1-10-05 - Backhoe - $84,000.00
  • 1-13-04 - Car parts - $75,000.00

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