March 30, 2016
Sussex County Prosecutor Francis A. Koch announced the entry of a guilty plea to an indictment and to violation of probation before the Honorable N. Peter Conforti, J.S.C., at the Sussex County Courthouse in Newton on March 29, 2016, by Jose Ortiz.
Ortiz, age 26 of Wantage, pled guilty to Aggravated Assault and to Eluding, both second degree crimes, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, a third degree crime and to the motor vehicle offenses of Driving While Intoxicated (2nd offense) and Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License (2nd offense). Ortiz also admitted that his commission of these offenses violated his previous sentence to Drug Court Probation for 2nd degree Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. Sentencing is presently anticipated for June 24, 2016.
On April 2, 2015, Vernon police responded to a report of an erratic driver near the Dunkin Donuts on Route 94. During his plea of guilty, Ortiz admitted fleeing in a motor vehicle from the officer responding to that report and in the process of eluding capture by the law enforcement officer causing bodily injury to a motorist when he crossed into the oncoming lane of travel and collided head-on with a vehicle. Ortiz admitted that he was intoxicated and driving with a suspended Driver’s License during those events. Ortiz also admitted possession of the cocaine that was subsequently discovered by police in the vehicle that he was operating.
The case was investigated by Corporal D. DeHardt of the Vernon Township Police Department.
Ortiz was represented by Russell Bickert, Esq., and the State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Donald F. Cox, Jr.