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Morris County Prosecutor's Office Joins 9th Annual Operation Take-Back Day

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Chief of Investigations John R. Speirs, Morris Plains Police Chief Jason Kohn, Randolph Township Police Chief David Stokoe and Mountain Lakes Police Chief Shawn Bennett announce their agencies will be acting in conjunction on Saturday, September 27, 2014, joining the 9th Annual Operation Take-Back Day program.

Operation Take-Back is a national initiative that encourages individuals to turn in unused or expired prescriptions, controlled substances and over-the-counter medications for safe disposal. The medication collection will allow citizens to give their unused medications to law enforcement officials without releasing personal information. After the event, law enforcement officials will dispose of the medications collected in an environmentally safe manner.

Operation Take-Back will be held in conjunction with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on September 27, 2014, from 10:00A.M. to 2:00 P.M. at the following three locations:

Stop and Shop Supermarket
245 Littleton Road
Morris Plains, New Jersey 07950

Randolph Township Municipal Building
502 Millbrook Road
Randolph, New Jersey 07869

Mountain Lakes Fire Department
400 Boulevard
Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046

In addition to helping individuals dispose of unused prescription drugs, Operation Take-Back promotes awareness of juvenile prescription drug prevention efforts.

Operation Take Back is a collaborative effort between the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Prevention Network, New Jersey Chiefs’ of Police Association, Morris Plains Police Department, Randolph Police Department, Stop and Shop Supermarket, Mountain Lakes Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. This initiative also includes numerous other drop off sites nationwide and also throughout Morris County. To find out if your town is participating in Operation Take-Back, visit or contact your local Police Department.

If you need additional information, contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at (973) 285-6268.

MCPO Implements Program in Morris County to Prevent Fatal Heroin and Opiate Overdoses

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces today the formal launch of a Nasal Narcan® (Naxolone) program in Morris County that will train and equip Morris County police officers to administer the antidote Narcan® to persons suffering from an overdose of heroin or prescription Opiates.  The Morris County Narcan® Program is a partnership between the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, municipal police departments and Atlantic Ambulance Corporation.  The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office arranged with Atlantic Ambulance Corporation to provide training and medical oversight to all participating Morris County municipal police departments that opt to participate in the Narcan® Program. 

This training commenced today with 54 police officers attending a training class at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy.  Over the next few months participating police departments will have their officers trained in the use of the life saving antidote.

Earlier this year, a pilot Naxolone program was authorized by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in South Jersey.  The program has been credited with saving numerous lives.  Upon receiving authorization for a state-wide implementation the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office partnered with Atlantic Ambulance Corporation to develop a Standard Operating Procedure and Training Protocol, modeled after the successful South Jersey program, that will assist Morris County municipal police departments in deploying this life saving antidote into our communities.

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can be used to counter the effects of opiate overdose.  There are no reported complications from the administration of the antidote.  Naloxone displaces opioids from the receptors in the brain that control the central nervous system and respiratory system.  An aerosol form of naloxone, Narcan® is administered nasally through use of a syringe-atomizer. 

In Morris County, trained and certified police officers will be provided equipment for use in administering the drug, including medical gloves, syringe-atomizer, and a facemask for rescue breathing.

Unfortunately, police officers are encountering significant numbers of overdoses from opiates in the form of heroin, morphine, methadone, codeine, oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet® and Percodan®) and hydrocodone (Vicodin®).  In 2013 Governor Christie signed the Overdose Prevention Act (P.L. 2013 c.46).  The Act eliminates civil liability for both health care professionals dispensing Narcan® and for “trained” individuals administering the drug and is the foundation legislation that allows law enforcement officers to carry the antidote.

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “The heroin in our communities is at a historically high potency level resulting in many overdoses.  Narcan®, is another tool that will be deployed by our law enforcement community to tackle this potent poison.  The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is taking a dynamic approach to combating our opiate epidemic.  We will continue to increase our narcotics enforcement efforts that target drug dealers spreading poison into our communities.  However, we must also deploy tools like Narcan® to confront this state-wide narcotics epidemic and help prevent the unnecessary deaths of citizens suffering with opiate addictions.” 

Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp wishes to thank Atlantic Ambulance Corporation and specifically their Education Coordinator, Rory McGuinness, MICP, CCEMTP.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or

Denville Man Sentenced to 50 Years for the Murder of His Ex-Wife

Friday, September 12, 2014

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that the Honorable Robert J. Gilson, J.S.C. sentenced Anthony F. Novellino, 67 years old, of Denville, New Jersey to 50 years in State Prison for the murder of his ex-wife, Judith Novellino.

On July 23, 2014, a jury found the defendant guilty of Murder, Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Hindering Own Apprehension and Tampering with Physical Evidence in connection with the stabbing death of his ex-wife on June 19, 2010.  Judith Novellino was 62 years old at the time of her death and had recently divorced the defendant.  The murder occurred at the former marital home in Denville, when she was packing some of her belongings in an effort to move out of the home.  The defendant arrived at the home, stabbed his ex-wife 84 times and placed a pig’s mask over her face before he fled to Puyallup, Washington.

Judge Gilson sentenced the defendant to 50 years in State Prison.  Defendant is required to serve 85 percent of his sentence under New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA) before becoming eligible for parole.  All other sentences are to run concurrent.

Executive Assistant Prosecutor Maggie Calderwood and Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Tia Manochio represented the State at the sentencing.

Prosecutor Knapp stated, “The sentence imposed by the Court is fitting given the unspeakable nature of the crimes committed by the defendant.  This was a despicable and cowardly murder and was punctuated by a final horrific insult.  We hope that the friends and family of Judy Novellino will now have some sense of finality.”

Prosecutor Knapp thanked Denville Township Police Chief Christopher Wagner and the Denville Township Police Department; Sheriff Edward Rochford and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Section; the Puyallup Washington Police Department; the Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office; the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and General Investigations Unit for their efforts resulting in today’s sentence.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or

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