Two men were criminally charged on Monday May 18th following two separate events.
Osvaldo Thomas (41) of the Bronx, NY was charged with Theft by Deception and Criminal Impersonation. Following an investigation by the Clifton Police Department and the FBI, Thomas was identified as a suspect in a series of “Bail” or “Grandparent” scams. These scams target elderly victims who are told that one of their relatives, often a grandchild, has been arrested and they need to post cash bail. The caller says that they are a bail agent. They advise the victim that they will send a courier to pick up the cash. Thomas was positively identified as one such courier and was picking up cash from several victims around the state. Following an investigation by Officer Jonathan Berger, Thomas was charged with the above named crimes and served with those charges at the Morris County Jail, where he is currently being held on similar charges.
Mark Whelan (51) of Essex Fells was charged with Possession of Narcotics and Possession of Narcotics in a School Zone. Federal Homeland Security Agents notified Essex Fells Police of a package that had been intercepted coming into the country which contained illegal narcotics, and the addressee was Whelan. Officer Jonathan Berger headed up an investigation, in conjunction with Homeland Security which led to the arrest of Mr. Whelan. He was charged and released on a summons.
Charges against both individuals are allegations and they are presumed innocent until a guilty plea is entered or they are found guilty in a court of law.
Authorized by: Chief Volker