Here are the top New Jersey stories for Tuesday, April 23.


NJ Man Faces New Charges For Massive Child Pornography Collection

TOMS RIVER — A 52-year-old township man has been dealt new charges in connection with a massive stash of child sexual abuse images.

Edward Lynch was charged on Sunday with the distribution of child pornography and a new count of possession of child pornography. Lynch was previously arrested in August after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children prompted a search of his Toms River home.

Detectives seized multiple electronic devices, which were found with downloads of more than 1,000 items of child pornography. At that point, Lynch was charged with possession of child pornography.


New Jersey MVC Considers Fee Hikes To Close Major Budget Gap

TRENTON — Top New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission officials say they may have to make major increases to fees for the first time in years to close a growing budget gap.

The MVC is facing a $50 million deficit for the 2025 fiscal year, a hole that is being plugged by Gov. Murphy's proposed $55.9 billion budget.

Unless major changes are made, the agency's revenues cannot cover its operating expenses, Chief Administrator Latrecia Littles-Floyd said to state lawmakers last week.

"We do know that we have to look at some of our fees long and hard. Although we didn't increase anything for fiscal year 25, we know that realistically we have to go back to the table and really take a look at where we can make some increases," said Littles-Floyd.

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NJ: Untraceable Weapons Are Enabling Criminals To 'Outgun The Police'

Gun violence is down in the Garden State, but law enforcement officials are being forced to focus more of their attention on the growing threat of illegal weapons such as "ghost guns."

The untraceable weapons — assembled through 3D printing or by purchasing a kit — now represent about one-tenth of all the guns recovered by law enforcement in New Jersey. In 2019, ghost guns accounted for just 2% of recovered weapons.

"Law enforcement personnel are encountering more ghost gun arsenals in homes," said Edwin Torres, special agent for the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation.

At the request of a lawmaker, the SCI held a hearing in Trenton to discuss the issue of illegal firearms in the Garden State. According to SCI's chair, Tiffany Williams Brewer, technology is enabling bad actors to "outgun the police in many communities."


Feds Make Arrest After Vandalism To Rutgers Islamic Center In New Brunswick

NEW BRUNSWICK — An arrest was made in the vandalism that damaged several items of value at the Rutgers Center for Islamic Life on the last day of Ramadan.

Center spokeswoman Atiya Aftab said art pieces with Quranic verses were destroyed, a Palestinian flag was ripped off its pole, windows were shattered, TVs were vandalized, and printers were broken in the attack on the early hours of April 10, the holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

No one was at the center at the time of the attack.

Rutgers University police said Jacob Beacher, 24, of New Brunswick, was charged with federal charges of damage to religious property and making fraudulent statements. He is being held at a federal prison. State charges are pending. He remains in federal custody. Beacher is not affiliated with Rutgers.


Ex-Mayor Of NJ Shore Town Indicted, Again, On Misconduct Allegations

WILDWOOD — The ex-mayor of a Jersey Shore town — already accused of fraud — has been indicted for separate misconduct allegations.

Former Wildwood Mayor Peter Byron has been accused of abusing his position to request a job from a city attorney.

He pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of aiding and assisting in fraudulent tax returns to the IRS for 2017 and 2018.

Byron is now also accused of failing to pay state taxes those same years on about $40,000 in earnings, according to federal court documents.

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