November 23, 2016
Sussex County Prosecutor Francis A. Koch announced the entry of a guilty plea to accusations before the Honorable William J. McGovern III, J.S.C., at the Sussex County Courthouse in Newton on November 18, 2016, by Joseph Messina.
Messina, age 26 of Vernon, pled guilty to False Report with Purpose to Implicate Another, a third degree crime, Defrauding the Administration of a Drug Test, a third degree crime, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, a third degree crime, Hindering Apprehension, a disorderly persons offense, Failure to Inspect, a motor vehicle offense, and Violation of Probation. Sentencing is presently anticipated for January 6, 2017.
On January 29, 2016, in Hardyston Township, the defendant was stopped for a motor vehicle violation. He gave a false name to officers. On January 30, 2016, the defendant falsely accused an officer of calling him names and striking him in the face. On April 6, 2016, he attempted to defraud a drug test during a drug screening for Probation. On May 31, 2016, the defendant was found to be in possession of Suboxone by the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office.
The cases were investigated by Patrolmen Zicarelli and Varcadipane of the Hardyston Township Police Department and Officer Galante of the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office.
Messina was represented by Richard Baldi, Esq., and the State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Brent Rafuse.