January 9, 2017
Sussex County Prosecutor Francis A. Koch announced the sentencing of Joseph Messina, who appeared before the Honorable William J. McGovern III, J.S.C., at the Sussex County Courthouse in Newton on January 6, 2017.
Messina, age 26 of Vernon, was sentenced to five years of probation and 364 days in the Keogh-Dwyer Correctional Facility with credit for 25 days time-served. He was ordered to continue substance abuse treatment, report once a week, submit a DNA sample at his own expense, and pay fines and fees.
He pled guilty on November 18, 2016, 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.
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.
Messina was represented by Richard Baldi, Esq., and the State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Donald F. Cox, Jr.