A 1 ½-year investigation, commenced by the Kearny Police Department’s Detective Bureau under lead Det. John Fabula, has led to the arrest of numerous Hudson, Bergen and Union county men reportedly responsible for a major $4 million-plus cargo-theft network, the KPD and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office announced jointly on Friday, Dec. 14.
On Nov. 30, 2018, the KPD arrested seven men — an eighth was arrested Dec. 6 — in connection with the network following a lengthy investigation into thefts from multiple Kearny trucking yards, Kearny Police Chief George King said.
According to King:
The investigation was initiated by the Kearny Police Department and the New Jersey State Police 18-months ago. In that timeframe, there had been approximately 15 thefts of tractor-trailer containers from Kearny trucking yards.
The stolen merchandise included food, cosmetics, chemicals, tires, linen, clothing and liquor with an approximate total retail value of more than $4 million. The stolen merchandise was housed in warehouses in Linden, North Bergen and Clifton subsequent to the thefts.
The following were arrested and charged:
• Douglas Abarca, 40, of Jersey City, has been charged with being leader of a cargo theft network, four counts of theft and four counts of conspiracy to commit theft in violation.
• Omar Ortiz, 37, of Jersey City, has been charged with three counts of theft and three counts of conspiracy to commit theft.
• Christopher Williams, 38, of Jersey City, has been charged with two counts of theft and two counts of conspiracy to commit theft.
• David Soliman, 32, of Jersey City, has been charged with one count of theft in violation and one count of conspiracy to commit theft.
• Jesus Navarro, 31, of Jersey City, has been charged with one count of theft and one count of conspiracy to commit theft.
• Nelson Pena-Restituyo, 52, of Union City, has been charged with one count of theft.
• Sami Khales, 26, of Palisades Park, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft, two counts of receiving stolen property and three counts of fencing.
• Juan Salazar, 40, of Elizabeth, who was arrested Dec. 6, has been charged with three counts of theft and three counts of conspiracy to commit theft.
During the 18-month investigation, under Fabula’s direction, law-enforcement officers recovered various amounts of the stolen merchandise including 36 pallets of Hershey Syrup with an approximate wholesale value of $120,000, a shipment of clothing with an approximate wholesale value of $300,000 and a shipment of waffle sandwiches with an approximate wholesale value of $40,000.
King credited members of the KPD and the HCPO’s Special Investigations Unit with the arrests.
“These arrests are the culmination of an intensive investigation spanning multiple law enforcement agencies. I am extremely proud of the work done by members of the Kearny Police Department Detective Bureau and their collaboration with county, state and federal agencies to bring this to a successful conclusion,” King said.
King also credited members of the New Jersey State Police, the United States Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations and the Real Time Crime Center with their assistance in the investigation.
The KPD continues to actively investigate these cases. Anyone with information is asked to contact them at 201-998-1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept confidential.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.