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Crime
Vineland man sentenced for role in drug ring

BRIDGETON — A Vineland man was sentenced to 28 years in prison Friday on drug and gun charges for his role in a larger drug ring, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Anthony Figueroa, 29, received 18 years with a nine-year period of parole ineligibility for possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to distribute, Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said in a news release.

Figueroa also received a consecutive term of 10 years with a five-year period of parole ineligibility for possession of a firearm during a drug offense.

Figueroa was convicted on eight additional counts charging conspiracy, possession of cocaine, heroin and marijuana, and possession of a weapon by a previously convicted person, Webb-McRae said. These convictions resulted in concurrent or merged sentences, she said.

A jury issued guilty verdicts against Figueroa and his co-defendant, Nahomi Collazo, 37, also of Vineland, on May 28, Webb-McRae said.

A Feb. 5, 2016, search of a residence in the 700 block of Wood Street in Vineland found Figueroa and Collazo in possession of 1.36 ounces of cocaine, 1.31 ounces of heroin, 3.34 ounces of marijuana, a .357 magnum revolver and about $13,000 in cash, Webb-McRae said.

That same month, substantial quantities of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana were seized from different locations along with numerous weapons and about $70,000, Webb-McRae said. Figueroa and Collazo were among 38 people charged in the county as the result of an investigation into an alleged drug trafficking organization.

Collazo’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 16, Webb-McRae said.


Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office / provided 

FIGUEROA


Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office / provided 

COLLAZO


Crime
Charges added vs. Sicklerville man in sex assault of dementia patient

BRIDGETON — A Camden County man indicted in March on aggravated sexual assault charges after he allegedly assaulted an 83-year-old woman in a Vineland hospital is facing additional charges after his case was re-presented to a grand jury last week.

Thomas Pierson, 58, of Sicklerville, who was charged Dec. 20 in the assault at Inspira Medical Center, was indicted last Wednesday on sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint, invasion of privacy and burglary charges, according to a news release from the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.

Pierson was originally indicted on sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual assault charges March 6. The case was re-presented to a grand jury after it was assigned to another assistant prosecutor, the Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.

At 8:23 p.m. Dec. 20, police responded to a call to the hospital for a sexual assault on the woman, a dementia patient, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Pierson, who was at the hospital to pick up a friend from a different room, walked into the woman’s room and assaulted her, the Prosecutor’s Office says.

A nurse who was watching video surveillance of the room alerted a supervisor, and Pierson was held by security until police arrived, the affidavit states.

Pierson did not provide a statement to police.

Pierson is registered as a tier-three, or high-risk, sex offender, according to the State Police website. That charge stemmed from a January 2004 incident in which he had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor, according to the site.

He is being held in the Cumberland County jail.


Cumberland County jail / Provided 

Pierson