Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and West Milford Police Chief Timothy Storbeck announce that based upon an investigation by the West Milford Police Department, Ms. Tonya Fea - a 47-year-old resident of Jefferson Township - was arrested today, in relation to an animal cruelty incident that allegedly took place April 30th.
Police charged Tonya Fea with two counts of Animal Cruelty - both crimes of the Third Degree and one count of Defiant Trespass – a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense.
Police say a female golden retriever puppy was found in a submerged cage in Greenwood Pond on Bonter Road in West Milford.
The puppy was subsequently taken to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory where a necropsy was performed. Based on the investigation, Tonya Fea was subsequently charged.
The sentencing exposure on each count of Third Degree Animal Cruelty is a maximum of 5 years in New Jersey State Prison and on the one count of Defiant Trespass the maximum sentencing exposure is 30 days in the Passaic County Jail.
Ms. Fea was charged via summons-complaint and was released pending the resolution of the case – she is scheduled to appear at Central Judicial Processing Court on May 22nd.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.
Despite this accusation, defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact us on our tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or firstname.lastname@example.org or contact West Milford Detective Eric Darnsteadt at 973-728-2810.