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Atilis Gym Update; Overdose Deaths Way Up; Where Are Crescent Trailer Park Drug Pushers?


William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews


INJUNCTION REQUEST BY ATILIS GYM OWNERS DENIED--U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler, a New Jersey federal judge, declined on Friday, June 19, to grant an

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injunction to the Atilis Gym, Bellmawr, and allow it to operate. The Atilis owners argued, according to Law 360, that gyms have been arbitrarily excluded from the types of businesses allowed to open during the states' phased reopening.  


The owners filed a suit last month alleging that NJ Gov. Phil Murphy of randomly deeming some businesses essential while declaring others, such as gyms, non-essential, reported. 

The judge supported the state's contention that the federal lawsuit is precluded by a doctrine barring federal courts from hearing civil claims arising from state court prosecutions.

Atilis is already facing summonses and civil action in state court for opening in defiance of Murphy's nonessential business ban during the pandemic, Judge Kugler noted. The gym should have lodged its constitutional argument in the form of a state court appeal of the matters already underway in that forum, but the gym indicated it wasn't going to, the jurist concluded, reported Law 360.


The gym is owned by Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti.


The owners are represented by Christopher Arzberger of the Russell Friedman Law Group LLP and James G. Mermigis of The Mermigis Law Group PC.

Arzberger said he was disappointed and promised that an appeal would be forthcoming in the state Appellate Division, as the judge had advised. 

The state is represented by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, Assistant Attorneys General Jeremy M. Feigenbaum, Daniel M. Vannella and Michael C. Walters, and Deputy Attorneys General Deborah A. Hay, Bryan Edward Lucas, Robert J. McGuire, Jessica Jannetti Sampoli and Michael R. Sarno.

The case is Atilis Gym Bellmawr LLC v. Philip D. Murphy et al., case number 1:20-cv-06347, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.



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This seems like an under-reported story: people who struggle with addiction are facing a near-unprecedented level of difficulty in their recovery right now, as support systems dwindle and resolve falters. We're finally starting to see what the toll has truly been, via data from NJ Cares, the state's official dashboard:

  • Overdoses are up 20% in 2020
  • 10 people a day died of an overdose last month. (7 deaths is typical.)
  • 1,339 people died of a suspected drug overdose in 2020, which is many more — 225 people — who died during this period last year

May's overdose number — 307 deaths — is especially troubling, State Police Lt. Jason Piotrowski believes. “That’s the most that we’re aware of ever occurring in New Jersey,” he said last week in an online town hall. (




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Largest federal heroin and fentanyl-laced seizure In Delaware History...street value $1M; 10 Kilograms of heroin and 14,000 fake  oxycodone pills seized ...over 1.4 million doses of heroin.  The suspects, both Mexican nationals, are in this country illegally. Gov. Murphy declared New Jersey a santuary state


CRESCENT TRAILER PARK DRUG PUSHERS/ILLEGAL ALIENS-- The federal case against Julian Rivera-Villa, age 56, and Ricardo Perez-Guillen, age 40, of Gloucester City, New Jersey is still pending. The two suspects, both in the United States illegally, were charged in federal court in Wilmington in August 2019. 

Perez-Guillen was arrested after selling a kilogram of heroin and 600 fake Oxycodone pills containing fentanyl in New Castle, Delaware.  Rivera-Villa was arrested outside the Birch Avenue, Crescent Trailer Park residence he shared with Perez-Guillen in Gloucester City, New Jersey. A subsequent search of that residence yielded approximately 7 additional kilograms of heroin; 3 kilograms of cocaine; 14,000 fake Oxycodone pills that tested positive for the presence of fentanyl and over $28,000 in cash.   Law enforcement also seized another 2 kilograms of heroin from a car registered to Perez-Guillen.  Those kilograms of heroin were hidden in traps located behind the car’s rear seats. 

Governor Murphy named New Jersey a "sanctuary state" after taking office. Friday, March 20, 2019, the New Jersey Immigrant Trust Directive went into effect—essentially ending any cooperation between the State and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) on immigration enforcement matters.  Announced in December of 2018 by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, the Immigrant Trust Directive effectively declared New Jersey a “sanctuary state.”

The arrests and drug seizures were the result of a long-term investigation into fentanyl and heroin trafficking in Delaware by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (“DEA”) Wilmington Resident Office Tactical Diversion Squad and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“HIDTA”) Group 41. The estimated street value of the seized drugs is in excess of $1 million.    

U.S. Attorney Weiss noted that this was the largest federal seizure of heroin and fake Oxycodone pills by Delaware law enforcement in recent memory, stating: “Thousands of fentanyl-laced pills and over 1.4 million doses of heroin have been taken out of the hands of those who would seek to profit from illegally distributing these poisons to our communities. Fake Oxycodone pills such as those seized here are especially dangerous, because the pills actually contain fentanyl, a dangerous—and potentially deadly—synthetic opioid.”

Both Rivera-Villa and Perez-Guillen were charged with the distribution of fentanyl and face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Kim Reeves, public affairs spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Delaware was asked today (June 22) for an update on the case. Reeves said, "Court records indicate that Perez-Guillen is pending sentencing.  Court records also reflect that Julian Rivera-Villa was appointed new counsel and is pending Indictment.  Both were detained pending trial." 



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published | June 22, 2019