HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - A husband and wife who live on DeWitt Lane have been arrested and charged with money laundering following a year-long investigation that also includes charges against a third suspect, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Hillsborough Police Department Chief of Police Darren Powell announced the arrests of Royce Hodges, 45, and Katrina D. Hodges, 42, both of Dewitt Lane.
Royce Hodges is charged with three counts of 2nd degree financial facilitation of criminal activity: money laundering, one count of 3rd degree failure to file tax return, one count 3rd degree failure to pay tax return and one count of 2nd degree endangering the welfare of a child.
His wife is charged with one count of 2nd degree conspiracy to commit financial facilitation of criminal activity: money laundering and one count of 2nd degree endangering the welfare of a child.
The criminal activity was determined to have occurred in the presence of a 13-year-old juvenile living at the residence on Dewitt Lane with Royce and Katrina Hodges, according to Robertson.
The third suspect, Shaun Harrell, 46, address unknown, is still at lodge and police are searching for him. He was charged with two counts of 3rd degree tax evasion., Robertson added.
Robertson provided the following background information:
Search warrants were obtained as a result of the year-long investigation which revealed that monies derived from criminal activity were possessed and transferred into multiple financial accounts by both Hodges and Harrell. An analysis of the Hodges' bank account revealed tens of thousands of dollars of cash deposits with no employment and no New Jersey tax returns being filed or taxes paid from 2015 to present.
At the time of the search warrant executions, Royce Hodges was found to be in possession of $52,770.50, a 2009 Red Pontiac 8 GT, a 2009 black Mercedes Benz and a 2013 Black Cadillac.
Members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force, along with members of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit, the Newark Police Department Emergency Services Unit and the Hillsborough Police Department executed three Superior Court search warrants at the Dewitt Lane residence, an apartment located within the Georgia King Village in Newark and a business located on 14th Avenue in Newark on March 22 at 4:50 a.m., according to Robertson.
Both Royce and Katrina Hodges were placed under arrest without incident and lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending detention hearings.
Robertson requests anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Organized Crimes and Narcotics Task Force Unit at (908) 231-7100, or the Hillsborough Police Department (908) 369-4323, or via the STOPit app.
The STOPit app can be downloaded to your smartphone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: “SOMERSETNJ”.
Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or at www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.