Morris County News

Roxbury Man Nabbed by FBI Pleads Guilty to Extortion Conspiracy

71be5c4898eb76d1719b_fbi-2305006_1280.jpg
71be5c4898eb76d1719b_fbi-2305006_1280.jpg

ROXBURY, NJ – A 64-year-old Kenvil man busted last year in an FBI sting today admitted he conspired to extort money by threatening violence, said authorities.

The man, Joseph Martinelli, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, admitting he conspired to commit extortion using threats of force, violence and fear, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO). Martinelli made the plea before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark, according to the USAO.

According to the USAO, the incidents took place between December 2016 and June 2017. Authorities said Martinelli conspired with Billy Donnerstag, 49, of Hackettstown, who at the time was a fire inspector for Middlesex Borough and other New Jersey municipalities.

Sign Up for E-News

The duo conspired “to extort the owner and operator of a real estate development and construction company, referred to in the information as “Individual 1,” using threats of physical harm if Individual 1 did not pay Martinelli and Donnerstag thousands of dollars,” said the USAO. A copy of the complaint that includes the threats made by Martinelli, can be downloaded herepdf.

It said Martinelli and Donnerstag “agreed that the pretext for demanding money” was an allegation that the real estate development and construction company didn’t pay enough for land it bought from Martinelli in May 2007, said the USAO.

“In a series of telephone and in-person conversations with Individual 1, Martinelli and Donnerstag demanded money from Individual 1 by suggesting that Individual 1 would be physically harmed by Donnerstag if Individual 1 refused,” said the authorities. “Martinelli and Donnerstag obtained $15,000 in cash from Individual 1 over two separate meetings.”

However, the USAO said the men did not know the victim was working with the FBI, which had supplied the $15,000.

Martinelli and Donnerstag were arrested last June. Donnerstag remains charged by indictment, said the USAO.

Martinelli, who will be sentenced June 12, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, said the USAO.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, in a statement, thanked special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Denville

Roxbury's Kellie Ann Keyes Named the County's Recycling "Rox-Star"

June 18, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – Kellie Ann Keyes, who runs Roxbury's recycling program was honored recently by Morris County for her efforts, with the county dubbing her its “Rox-Star Recycler.”

Keyes was one of 10 people and businesses to receive a 2018 Environmental Excellence Award from the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA). The MUA gave her the award in ...

Local Boys and Girls from Morris County Have a Blast at Patriots’ Path Council’s Summer STEM Institute

June 19, 2018

Robots, slime, homemade ice cream and more.  These were all experiences that children from Morris County had at the Patriots Path Council Summer STEM Institute last year.  This camp focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, fields which are critical to the modern economy and community. One of the attendants last year, Johnny C. said, “I had so much fun!  I ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Mountain Lakes

Art at the Esplanade

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, June 27, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Two to Feature Vivaldi ...

Arts & Entertainment

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

Small Business Ownership vs. Entrepreneurship

Written by: Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column, Published on 6/18/2018

Tags: Business, Community, Crowdfunding, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Small Business

Source: So, which are you – a Small Business Owner or an Entrepreneur? We compare the similarities and differences between the two, so you can ...