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Six Suspects Charged with Criminal Activity in Wayne


Recently, the Wayne Police Department has made multiple arrests involving some form of deception on the part of the involved suspects.

Police said on October 19, 2021, Wayne Police Detective Lieutenant First Class Scott Rappaport fielded a call from Pequannock Police Detective Christopher McIvor. 

Detective McIvor relayed that during his investigation into credit card theft, he learned that his suspect used stolen credit cards in Wayne Township. 

Officials said Lieutenant Rappaport followed up on the information provided by Detective McIvor and obtained sufficient evidence to charge the suspect.

Arrested was Andrew Benti, 47, of Tinton Falls. He was charged with third-degree Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card. Mr. Benti was released on a summons in accordance with bail reform guidelines.

On December 29, 2021, Officer Matthew Bernardo was on patrol when he conducted a motor vehicle stop of a Hyundai because it bore plates belonging to a Harley Davidson. 

Once stopped, the driver produced a license that appeared to be fictitious. During questioning, the driver attempted to provide two credit cards in the same name as the license and tried to prevent Officer Bernardo from seeing inside his wallet. 

Officer Bernardo advised the driver that he knew the license was fictitious. The driver admitted using a false identity and provided his correct name and pedigree information. 

He was placed under arrest. 

Officer Bernardo found the suspect’s accurate identification on him during a search incident to arrest.

Arrested was Ronald Baker, 57, of Paterson. He was charged with Exhibiting False Documents, Wrongful Impersonation and Credit Card Theft, as well as multiple motor vehicle violations. Mr. Baker was released on a summons in accordance with bail reform guidelines.

On December 29, 2021, Wayne Police said Officer Nicole Georgia was patrolling the lot of the Ramada Inn when she observed a subject slumped down in a parked vehicle. 

Officer Georgia approached on foot to check on the welfare of the subject and observed that she was holding a glass pipe and had white powder spilled on her lap. 

Officer Georgia recognized these as indicative of illegal drug use. Officer Georgia woke the subject, who attempted to conceal the pipe. 

The subject spoke with Officer Georgia and admitted that the substance on her clothing was crystal methamphetamine. 

A search of the vehicle revealed two plastic baggies containing suspected crystal methamphetamine and an additional pipe. 

Also found in the vehicle were multiple identifications bearing different names and the subject’s picture along with various credit cards.

A glass bottle was found containing suspected GHB, which is commonly referred to as a “date rape drug.”

Arrested was Joseph Rivera, 34, of Brooklyn, NY. She was charged with three counts of Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Credit Card Theft, Exhibiting False Documents and Wrongful Impersonation. 

Ms. Rivera was released on a summons in accordance with bail reform guidelines.

On December 30th, 2021, Wayne Police Officers were called to Dave and Buster’s at Willowbrook Mall for a report of a group attempting to use a fraudulent credit card. 

Upon officers' arrival, management advised them that the same group was in the establishment the week before attempting to use multiple credit cards that were declined. 

The subjects returned and were attempting to use a card with a damaged chip that required staff to enter the card number manually, which is common in credit card fraud. 

Officers spoke with the group involved however, none turned over the card in question. One of the men was found to have multiple warrants for his arrest. 

Upon his arrest for those warrants, he was searched. Detective Adrian Sulejmani found the credit card they had been using in the man’s wallet. Ultimately, he was found to be in possession of three fraudulent credit cards.

Arrested was Mark Anthony Stephen, 28, of Brooklyn, NY. He was charged with two counts of Theft by Deception, two counts of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card and Credit Card Theft. 

Mr. Stephen was released on a summons in accordance with bail reform guidelines.

On January 1st, Officer Harrison Kirby stopped a vehicle for having heavily tinted front windows. The driver stated he did not have his driver’s license and presented a permanent resident green card as identification. 

The driver claimed he previously had a New Jersey driver’s license. However, nothing could be found in the system under the name he provided. 

The driver provided a social security card with the same name on it. Officer Kirby found the social security card to be inconsistent with other social security cards and further examination of the green card led him to believe both were false. 

Officer Kirby contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to verify the green card and learned that the card was not formatted correctly and that the card information belonged to an elderly man from Haiti, not the driver. 

Officer Kirby placed the driver under arrest and the driver then provided his correct pedigree information. 

A check of that information revealed that the driver’s license was suspended and that he was a wanted person out of Paterson for Robbery and Wayne for Burglary.

Arrested was Joshua Ellerbee, 33, of Rutherford. He was charged with Exhibiting a False Document and Hindering Apprehension. 

Mr. Ellerbee was charged on a complaint warrant and placed in Passaic County Jail.

On January 1st, Officer William Hall conducted a motor vehicle stop of a commercial vehicle that did not correctly display commercial identifiers. During the stop, Officer Hall determined that the photo associated with the identity provided to him by one of the vehicle occupants did not appear to be that occupant. 

During further investigation, the occupant admitted he had warrants for his arrest and provided his correct pedigree information. 

The occupant was found to have multiple outstanding warrants, including one out of Paterson for Assault.

Arrested was Ernest Carrington Jr, 27, of Paterson. He was charged with False Reports to Law Enforcement. Mr. Carrington was accused on a complaint warrant and placed in Passaic County Jail.