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News from Ocean County, New Jersey
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    The 19-year-old swiped printers, electronics, and household products from Returns Worldwide warehouse in Manchester

    A 19-year-old former employee of an Ocean County business stole $35,000 in printers, electronics, and household products before police recovered most of the merchandise at a nearby warehouse, authorities said.

    Boruch Berger, of Brooklyn, New York, was charged with burglary and theft, Manchester police said in a statement Friday.

    Woman's home cleaned out by friend during burglary, cops say

    A neighboring business had surveillance cameras that captured footage of the burglary, which took place at Returns Worldwide on Lacey Road in the Whiting section of town.

    Police showed the Returns Worldwide owner the recording and identified Berger as the thief, officials said. 

    Police, who were informed of the burglary on Wednesday, later found the stolen goods at a warehouse on Industrial Way in Toms River. 

    Berger was released on a summons. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.


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    They often charge $1,500 or more for services that legitimate providers do for free, or a small fee

    In Latin American countries, "notarios" are lawyers who can provide legal services to clients.

    In this country, though, notaries, or notary publics, cannot. They're not lawyers, and can only witnesses the signing of documents.

    But across New Jersey, some people or storefront shops that use that word "notario," mainly in urban areas, are fraudulently offering immigration and legal services.

    They prey on the immigrant community and Spanish-speaking customers, who believe they're being represented by a lawyer of someone with special knowledge of immigration procedure, state authorities alleged Friday.

    Some of the businesses were charging $1,500 or more for immigration services that, by law, can only be provided by licensed lawyers or representatives accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and working for DOJ-recognized organizations, the state' Division of Consumers Affairs said in a statement that.

    The division has identified 28 of these businesses or individuals, and are going after them with violations and fines.

    The violations total $326,000 in civil penalties, ranging from $6,000 to $16,000 per person or business.

    The actions are the result of a months-long undercover operation, based on tips, consumer complaints and investigators checking out the places, which often hold themselves out as tax preparers or travel agencies and offer notary public and immigration assistance for sale.

    IMG_1968.jpgOne of the targeted businesses, Mundo Travel Agency in Trenton. (Kevin Shea | NJ Advance Media) 

    Typically, the organizations offer their services for free or a small fee.

    Some of the businesses leave their clients without money or irreplaceable documents like birth certificates or passports, and expose them to possible immigration detention or deportation.

    Some unauthorized practitioners are predators looking for victims to scam and charge high fees and pocket the money without doing any work.

    Others are well-meaning who make mistakes, file incorrect or incomplete forms and miss deadlines.

    Either way, people who need real representation often find out too late, after missed deadlines, the state says.

    "Today we are reinforcing our commitment to protecting all New Jersey residents, regardless of their legal status, from financial predators," Paul R. Rodriguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs said in a statement.

    "All New Jersey residents who fall victim to fraud or other unlawful conduct should know that they can safely report the matter to law enforcement. We are here for you," he said.

    The businesses that face fines from the state:

    • A.A.N. Accounting & Multi-Service, Kearny
    • A & A Consultants, Elizabeth
    • AC Velox Multiservice, Elizabeth
    • Airsealand Tours, Inc. / Air Sea Land Travel & Tax, Kearny
    • AMC Immigration Services, Garfield
    • Angel Financial Services, Elizabeth
    • Borche's Service Express Travel / Services Express Corporation, Plainfield
    • Consuelos Travel & Consuelos Immigration Services, Lakewood
    • D' Vazquez Tax Solutions / D'Vazquez Tax Solutions / E.C.T.A. Envios El Costeno, Garfield
    • Dieugrand Insurance Agency, Jersey City
    • Foto-Loft / Photo Loft, Newark
    • IG Tax Multiservices LLC / IG Tax Multi Services, North Bergen
    • J.V. Services / JV Typing Services, Elizabeth
    • La Feria Services, Plainfield
    • Miriam Caso / Bookkeeping & Tax Services, West New York
    • Master Agency, Paterson
    • MIA Services, Union City
    • Nancy Tax Services, Union City
    • N-VIA Travel & Associates, Trenton
    • P & L Multiservices, Garfield
    • Pro Immigrants Foundation, Elizabeth
    • QAP Total Services, Elizabeth
    • Kenny Tax Service, Paterson
    • Mundo Travel Agency, Trenton
    • SS Professional Services, Jersey City
    • Sylvana's Multiservices / Marilyn's Services, Elizabeth
    • Time Travel, Long Branch
    • West Side Brokerage, Jersey City, NJ

    Anyone seeking immigration services can use the following services to find a legitimate provider at or call the USCIS at 800-375-5283.

    And consumers can see a list of New Jersey-based organizations recognized by the DOJ that offer non-attorney staff members or volunteers here.

    Kevin Shea may be reached at Follow him on Twitter@kevintshea. Find on Facebook.

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    Ocean County residents turned out in big numbers for a free vaccine clinic in response to a growing measles outbreak, after another suspected case was reported to health officials.

    Ocean County residents turned out in big numbers for a free vaccine clinic in response to a growing measles outbreak, after another suspected case was reported to health officials. 

    More than 2,500 measles vaccines were administered this week in Ocean County, as an eighth suspected case that was reported Thursday is monitored, officials confirmed. 

    Free vaccines were given out by CHEMED Health Center and Ocean Health Initiative Monday through Thursday, said Daniel Regenye, health officer for Ocean County Health Department. 

    "We're encouraging people to get the vaccines," he said. "It will go a long way to protect from a very highly contagious disease." 

    While most people born after 1957 receive two doses of the measles vaccine by the age of 4, there are others who aren't vaccinated, due to religious or medical reasons, or because they have immigrated from a nation where the vaccine is not common. 

    Health officials are also encouraging children to go on an accelerated MMR vaccine schedule. 

    Rather than receiving the first dose of the vaccine at 1 year old and the second dose between 4 and 6 years old, Regenye urged parents to take their child to be vaccinated at six months, and receive the second dose 28 days later. 

    "They're really the most vulnerable, young children. That will go a long way to help protect the child, and if the child does get exposed to measles, they may just get a mild form of it," he said. 

    The Ocean County Health Department is still awaiting test results from eight suspected cases from the Center for Disease Control. 

    Listen to on Alexa

    The eighth suspected case was reported Thursday, Regenye noted. 

    "We're hoping to get those results soon, so we can put proper health measures in place to contain the outbreak at this time," he added.

    The first Lakewood case involved a person who had traveled to Israel and contracted the disease. It was reported to the Ocean County Health Department Oct. 26. 

    CHEMED Health Center has set up an outdoor triage tent to treat those who suspect they have measles. 

    Those who exhibit symptoms for measles, which include fever, coughing, pink eye and a rash which typically starts on the face and neck and spreads elsewhere, are urged to call medical providers before arriving for care. 

    Sophie Nieto-Munoz may be reached at Follow her at @snietomunoz. Find on Facebook.

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    Provisional ballots may not be enough to put MacArthur back in the race.

    With at least 6,400 provisional ballots still left to be counted, it's looking unlikely -- but not impossible -- that incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur will be able to take back the 3rd congressional district from current front-runner, Democrat Andy Kim. 

    It will be early next week by the time election workers in two New Jersey counties finish counting the remaining ballots, and despite Kim declaring a victory on Wednesday, MacArthur has not conceded. 

    As of late Friday, Kim held a lead of 3,424 votes over MacArthur -- 150,311 to 146,887. Those figures included mail-in ballots but not the provisionals. 

    After trailing the GOP congressman on Election Night, Kim pulled ahead late this week after the counties concluded counting mail-in ballots -- 25,000 in Burlington, and nearly 31,000 in Ocean.  A new state law allows up to 48 hours to count ballots postmarked by Election Day. 

    "It is an honor and a privilege to be the next congressman of the New Jersey 3rd District," Kim said Wednesday to boisterous cheers from supporters when he claimed victory. "I'm so proud of this community and what we have put together, words right now can't express to you what is going on in my mind right now."

    In addition to the mail-in ballots, about 6,400 provisional ballots still remain to be counted in both counties. Officials said they expected those votes to be counted by Tuesday. Provisional ballots are issued on Election Day for voters who experience discrepancies, such as their names not being on the registered voter list at the polls. This year, many voters who were registered to vote by mail and either didn't receive the ballot or didn't send it in were also given the option of a provisional ballot.

    For MacArthur, it's not over until it's over. 

    "This has been a hard fought campaign and like Andy Kim, I'm ready to see it come to an end," MacArthur said in a statement Wednesday. "I have always said that I will be guided by the voters of the district and there are nearly 7,000 more of them who haven't been heard from yet. We must ensure that their votes - and all votes - are counted in a transparent way that protects the integrity of the election."

    MacArthur swept Ocean County, winning 16 of the 17 towns, taking 61 percent of the vote. In Burlington County, however, Kim had 59 percent of the vote. A town-by-town vote in Burlington County wasn't available as of late Friday. 

    It will be an incredibly close finish. 

    Here's our back-of-the-napkin math:

    There were about 220,000 votes cast for the congressional seats in Ocean County -- about 58 percent of them were in the 3rd district race. The rest were for the 2nd and 4th district races.

    There are about 2,400 provisional ballots in Ocean County. Based on the district size, that is roughly 1,400 votes that could go to Kim or MacArthur. MacArthur got about 61 percent of the vote in Ocean County. If the same percentages hold up for the provisional ballots, he stands to gain about 850 votes. 

    In Burlington County, there were about 185,000 votes cast for congressional seats in the 1, 2 and 3rd districts and about 95 percent of them are for the MacArthur/Kim race. If the same percentage of 4,000 provisional ballots there go to that race, 3,800 more votes will be divided between Kim and MacArthur.

    If MacArthur takes 40 percent of that vote as he has throughout the county, that would up his total by 1,500 votes. 

    Between the two counties, that could be another 2,500 votes -- still shy of the 3,400 vote lead Kim has. 

    Kim's lead could further bolster Dems  DemocratsDemocrat Andy Kim continues to lead in the 3rd District over incumbent Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-3. AP 

    Two years ago, MacArthur took home about 53 percent of the vote in Burlington and 68 percent in Ocean. 

    The district stretches between Burlington County in the Philadelphia suburbs and Ocean County along the shore and has largely been held by the GOP for the past three decades.

    Kim's strength in Burlington County was part of a wave that will put Democrats into control of county government for the first time in 45 years. County Clerk Timothy Tyler lost his race to a Democratic challenger who carried nearly 60 percent of the vote.

    "Everybody hates Donald Trump," Tyler said Friday when asked what fueled the clean sweep of he GOP county ticket.

    MacArthur backed Trump more often than any other member of the New Jersey congressional delegation, according to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight. 

    He helped save the president's attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, by crafting a compromise for states to opt out of ending preexisting-condition requirements for insurance companies. The provision enabled patients with chronic, ongoing illnesses to not be denied insurance coverage.

    MacArthur, 58, is a former health insurance executive.

    Kim, 36, who had never run for elected office before, was a civilian advisor to military leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq and national security aide in Democratic President Barack Obama's administration.

    If Kim's lead holds up, he will become the first Korean-American to represent New Jersey in Congress.

    Bill Duhart may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us.

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    Peak fall foliage season is rapidly fading in New Jersey from north to south. But there's still time to check out these beautiful spots

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    Ocearch, a non-profit that tracks sea creatures, recently tagged a new batch of sharks now cruising the waters along the East Coast

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    Animal shelters continue to be the leading source of pets.

    Facts on animal shelters from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA):

    * Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. The number is evenly split between dogs and cats. A positive note is that the number of dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 7.2 million in 2011.

    * Approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year, again with an even split between cats and dogs.

    * About 710,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. In this, we don't find so even a split; 620,000 of the returned animals are dogs and only 90,000 are cats.

    * Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). The number of dogs and cats euthanized in U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 2.6 million in 2011. This decline can be partially explained by an increase in the percentage of animals adopted and an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners.

    These are the most common sources from which primary methods cats and dogs are obtained as pets (this information was based on a multiple response question, which results in the total percentage exceeding 100% individually for cats and dogs. In addition, the 'other' category includes all source categories that were reported by less than 10% of both dog and cat owners):

    Animal Shelter/Humane Society

    Dogs      23%   Cats     31%


    Dogs     20%   Cats     28%


    Dogs     34%   Cats     3%


    Dogs     6%   Cats     27%

    Private Party

    Dogs     12%   Cats     6%


    Dogs     32%   Cats     39%

    Greg Hatala may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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    The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders were all smiles despite the 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, November 11, 2018 (11/11/18) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

    PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders took the field for their opening routine approximately 20 minutes before Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz took the first snap of the game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field. 

    Unfortunately for the Eagles and their fans, it was all downhill from there. 

    The reigning Super Bowl champs dropped their third straight home game, a 27-20 loss to the hated Cowboys. 

    OPEN THE PHOTO GALLERY HERE to see the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders on Sunday

    Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott ran wild, rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown. He also had six catches for 36 yards and another touchdown.  

    Once again, the Eagles offense started the game slowly going three-and-out on the first series, and quickly took a seat on the bench again after Wentz threw an interception on the first play of the second drive. They finished the first half scoring just three points. 

    Wentz finished 32 for 44 for 360 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. 

    Newly acquired Golden Tate was not so golden in his Eagles debut catching two passes for 19 yards. 

    Tight end Zach Etrz continued his strong play catching 14 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. 

    Next Sunday the Eagles travel to New Orleans for a 4:25 p.m. game against the 8-1 Saints.

    Click here to see the photos of the Eagles' loss to the Cowboys.

    Tim Hawk may be reached at Follow him on Instagram @photog_hawk and Twitter @photogthawk. Lori M. Nichols may be reached at Follow her on Instagram @photog_lori and Twitter @photoglori. Find on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us.

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    A truck struck an unmarked gas line in Lakewood on Nov. 12, 2018, igniting a fire that forced hundreds to evacuate from area apartments.

    A truck struck an unmarked gas line in Lakewood on Monday morning, igniting a fire that forced hundreds to evacuate from area apartments, according to a report. 

    The blaze broke out in the area of Second Street and Forest Avenue around 8 a.m, the Lakewood Scoop said. It has since been extinguished and there are no reports of injuries, Lakewood police Lt. LeRoy Marshall told NJ Advance Media.  

    Photos and video from the scene show a fire burning next to small apartment building.

    25019724firejpg.jpgThe aftermath of a fire Monday in Lakewood that began after a gas line was struck, (Ed Murray/NJ Advance Media for 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.

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    No one was injured, the amusement park said Monday.

    Ten park-goers at Six Flags Great Adventure location in Jackson experienced the wrong kind of fear on a amusement ride Sunday night when the ride broke, leaving them suspended 100 feet in the air on a chilly night.

    One of the SkyScreamer's safety sensors detected an error and made an emergency stop, Kaitlyn Pitts, a Six Flags spokesperson, said Monday.

    Pitts said the ride was stopped mid-air, about half-way up the 242-foot tower. 

    No one was injured during the incident, and the the issue was resolved after about nine minutes, Pitts said. 

    "Our team returned the ride to its home position and guests safely exited the ride on the ground," she added.

    Six Flags' website describes the SkyScreamer as a swing-based ride that spins at about 40 miles per hour, 24 floors above the ground. 

    A video obtained by nj101.5 showed riders being lowered back to the ground and exiting the ride.

    One rider can be heard screaming "get me out of here," once the ride landed, at about 7:30 p.m.

    Pitts said the ride was back to fully operating about 20 minutes later. 

    The park was open Sunday, a week before its "Holiday in the Park" schedule begins.

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. 

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    The borough of Mantoloking is home to 300 full-time residents but swells in size during the summer.

    Authorities are investigating a shooting in Mantoloking, small seaside community in Ocean County. 

    Law enforcement officials stressed the investigation was in its early stages, and that details are sketchy. 

    A spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, William Scharfenberg, said a shooting occurred in the 900 block of Barnegat Lane shortly after 2 p.m.

    He declined to provide additional information on the incident. 

    The police chief and Ocean County sheriff also declined to give details about the incident and said the prosecutor's office was handling the release of information.

    The barrier island borough of Mantoloking, just south of Bay Head, is home to approximately 300 full-time residents. However, the community swells in size with vacationers during the summer. 

    The town and a good number of its multimillion-dollar beachfront homes were decimated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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    Derick LeCompte killed a shopkeeper in Toms River in 1999. He's serving a life sentence

    An appeals court ruled last week that a prison inmate inmate found guilty of infractions for trying to send a vile of his ejaculate through the mail did, in fact, deserve the punishment he received from the state prison system.

    Corrections officers at South Woods State Prison were searching outgoing packages in the prison in March 2017 when they discovered that inmate Derick LeCompte, 39, was attempting to send a package that broke multiple prison rules.

    Derick .jpegDerick LeCompte (DOC photo)

    In the package, LeCompte had attempted to send the vile, a sock altered into the shape of a sex toy and an explicit letter, saying the package included "a small sealed bag of my ejaculation that I did for you," the appeals decision says.

    LeCompte, who is currently serving a life sentence for stabbing a shopkeeper to death in Toms River in 1999, was found guilty after a prison hearing of "purposely subjecting a person to contact with a bodily fluid" and "unauthorized use of mail or a telephone," the decision says.

    It's not clear who the package was intended for.

    LeCompte was given 300 days of administrative segregation, 360 days loss of commutation time and 30 days loss of recreation privileges as a punishment for breaking the prison's rules.

    In September 2018, LeCompte attempted to appeal the decision, saying that the hearing violated standards and misrepresented the facts.

    But last week, Superior Court Judges Carmen Alvarez and Hany Mawla ruled that the prison was just in its punishing LeCompte.

    The decision calls the prison's punishments "not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable."

    "It is inconsequential that the fluid was discovered before any harm occurred," the judge's decision said.

    "Clearly, (the Department of Corrections') mail system was not designed for inmates to forward either bodily fluids or objects of a sexual nature,'' the judges said.

    The DOC website says that LeCompte will be eligible for a parole hearing in 2029.

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. 


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    Prosecutors said the victim also slashed his own throat as officers tried to arrest him

    A 39-year-old Manahawkin man was shot by police in a million-dollar Mantoloking home Monday after authorities tried to arrest him for assaulting a woman, officials announced Tuesday.

    Edward M. Walsh was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a statement released by Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.

    However, the statement said Walsh had also slashed his own throat, and that an autopsy is pending. Armed with a knife, officers opened fire at Walsh after the prosecutor said Walsh stabbed a K-9. 

    Walsh was wanted by authorities on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, theft and weapons offenses for an incident involving a woman he knew in Sayreville on Sunday. NJ Advance Media is withholding Walsh's relationship to the woman because she is a victim of a crime and could be identified. 

    After the incident, the prosecutor said, Walsh stole the woman's car and drove it  to Lacey, an Ocean County town approximately 50 miles south of Sayreville.

    Lacey police contacted the Mantoloking Police Department shortly before noon and informed them that they received "reliable information" that Walsh was at a house on Barnegat Lane in the borough, the statement said.

    Billhimer said Walsh knew of that home because he was previously married to a family member of the prior owner. According to property records, the home sold for $1.55 million in February 2017.

    The current owner told NJ Advance Media in a phone interview Tuesday morning that she had no involvement in what happened on Monday. 

     "It was completely random," the owner said, noting that she doesn't occupy the home full-time.

    According to police, the current owner gave a group of Mantoloking police officers, an Ocean County sheriff's officer with a K-9 and one Bay Head police officer permission to enter the home.

    Inside, the authorities encountered Walsh and yelled at him to drop a knife he was holding, the statement said. When Walsh did not release the knife, prosecutors said, K-9 Kane was released.

    Walsh, who was approximately 20 feet from the officers, stabbed the K-9 with the knife and that's when officers fired at him, according to the statement. Officers discovered that Walsh also had a knife wound across his neck, but it's unclear when it was made, officials said.  

    The K-9 was taken to the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls and is expected to recover, the statement said.

    Because the shooting involved a sheriff's officer, the prosecutor said, the New Jersey State Police was brought in to assist with the investigation.

    The investigation is being handled by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, according to a spokesman with the Attorney General's Office. 

    Authorities urged anyone with information to call detectives Brant Uricks or Lindsay Woodfield of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office's Major Crimes Unit at 732-929-2027.

    Mantoloking is a tiny barrier island borough with approximately 300 full-time residents. It swells in size with thousands of vacationers during the summer. 

    On Tuesday, the few full-time residents in the area said they were shocked when confronted with such a large police presence, an unusual sight for a sliver of a town lined with multi-million dollar homes.

    It's unclear how Walsh gained entry into the house on Barnegat Lane.

    Yellow crime-scene tape remained up on Tuesday morning, blocking the pebble driveway and flapping in the wind off the bay.  

    Vinessa Erminio contributed research to this report. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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    He was charged by federal prosecutors in June, almost five years after his arrest on state charges.

    one-time Howell Public Schools IT worker faces what could be a stiff federal prison sentence after admitting Tuesday to having downloaded child pornography, federal prosecutors said.

    Matthew-Wolny.jpgMatthew Wolny. (Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

    The U.S. Attorney's Office had charged Matthew Wolny in June, almost five years after the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office first arrested Wolny on charges of manufacturing and distributing child porn.

    Wolny, most recently of Egg Harbor Township, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Trenton to a single county of receiving child pornography, prosecutors said in a statement.

    Investigators obtained a search warrant for Wolny's home in Jackson in September 2013 after tracing explicit images of child abuse to his IP address over a file-sharing network, according to a federal criminal complaint.

    Wolny, now 40, tried to flee when officers arrived, the complaint says, but was quickly arrested. A search of seven electronic devices found in his home turned up 2,000 images and approximately 1,600 videos of child sexual abuse, investigators said.

    Wolny, who had worked for the school district since 2000, was immediately suspended after his arrest, school officials told The Star-Ledger at the time.

    He could no longer be located in state pension records as of Tuesday.

    Wolny's defense attorney, Jack Wenik, did not immediately respond to a request Tuesday afternoon for comment on the guilty plea.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office said Wolny faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He's scheduled to be sentenced by Martinotti on April 8, 2019.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind on Facebook.

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    3rd District Democratic challenger Andy Kim has already declared victory over Rep. Tom MacArthur.

    The Burlington County superintendent of elections said he expected to complete his evaluation of 4,571 provisional ballots issued in last week's general election by the end of the day Tuesday.

    Superintendent George Kotch must determine how many of the ballots are valid and will be counted. Then the votes will be counted by hand by the county board of elections and certified by the county clerk. Officials said they expected that to occur late Thursday or early Friday.

    The outcome will provide the final tally of the hotly-contested 3rd District congressional race between incumbent GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur and Democratic challenger Andy Kim.

    Kim held a lead of 3,424 votes over MacArthur -- 150,311 to 146,887 -- at the end of last week. He pulled ahead when mail-in ballots were counted Wednesday, the day after the election.

    Election 2018 House New Jersey KimAndy Kim, the Democratic challenger in New Jersey's 3rd District congressional race, holds his son Austin Kim, as addresses the media after voting (AP Photo/Mel Evans) AP 

    "Andy has an insurmountable lead that we believe will only grow as the last ballots are counted," Zack Carroll, Kim's campaign manager, said Tuesday.

    Kim gave a victory speech last week in front of a crowd of boisterous supporters.

    A request for comment Tuesday from MacArthur's campaign was not immediately returned.

    The 3rd district also includes parts of Ocean County, where MacArthur so far won 16 of the 17 towns, taking 61 percent of the vote. Officials in Ocean County will begin counting valid votes among 2,404 provisional ballots there on Wednesday.

    Provisional ballots are issued on Election Day for voters who experience discrepancies, such as their names not being on the registered voter list at the polls. This year, many voters who were registered to vote by mail and either didn't receive the ballot or didn't send it in were also given the option of a provisional ballot.

    The district stretches between Burlington County in the Philadelphia suburbs and Ocean County along the Shore, but neither county lies entirely within the 3rd district.Portions of the provisional ballots cast in both counties were in races in other congressional districts.

    The 3rd district has largely been held by the GOP for the past three decades. But, the odds of MacArthur pulling off a win this year seem slim.

    Roughly 1,400 of Ocean County's provisional ballots were cast in the 3rd district race. If the same percentages hold up for the provisional ballots as did in the rest of the ballots cast, MacArthur stands to gain about 850 votes there. 

    But in Burlington County, MacArthur only got about 40 percent of the non-provisional votes. If the same percentage holds up, he'll only get another 1,500 votes from the provisionals cast in the 3rd district race there. 

    Between the two counties, that could be another 2,500 votes -- still shy of the 3,400 vote lead Kim has. 

    Two years ago, MacArthur took home about 53 percent of the vote in Burlington and 68 percent in Ocean. 

    Kim's strength in Burlington County was part of a wave that will put Democrats into control of county government for the first time in 45 years.

    Kim is set to become the first Korean-American congressman from New Jersey and the state's 12-member congressional delegation will include only one Republican, three fewer after the election.

    That's the lowest total for Jersey House Republicans since the 1912 election - the same year Fenway Park opened and the Titanic sunk.

    Bill Duhart may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us.