After the recent murder of 18-year-old Adrian Rivera, Hoboken officials hosted a public meeting at a housing authority building to discuss ongoing drug and gun issues.
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez revealed to the 100 or so residents on hand that the murder of 18-year-old Adrian Rivera was not a random act of violence, with over three pounds of marijuana and over $13,000 cash found in his Marshall Drive apartment.
“We found over three pounds of marijuana, which is certainly more than I would anticipate anyone would have for their own personal consumption, and we found over $13,000 in cash,” Suarez revealed.
“So, draw whatever you wish from that information, but I can tell you from the prosecutor’s perspective, from my office’s perspective, we need to look at this entire incident with some suspicion.”
The investigation of Rivera’s fatal shooting remains under investigation as one of the three men involved remains in large, with two suspects from Jersey City in custody.
Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said that many of those involved in gun violence are still teenagers, some of whom are coming over from Jersey City, further revealing that Riveraâ€™s killers were friends with him since grammar school.
“Just a little less than two weeks ago, when an 18-year-old individual, that’s lived here all his life, loses his life over a dispute or robbery over activity that all those individuals in the apartment knew were going on – they all knew each other,” Ferrante stated.
“Those juveniles, and Adrian Rivera, knew each other: they were friends from grammar school. Okay, they were friends from grammar school … We can’t have murders in our community. It was the first one we’ve had in four years, but its’ one too many.”
Police Capt. Charles Campbell and 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos also stressed that itâ€™s vitally important to cooperate and trust local law enforcement in order for crime to be scaled back.
Additionally, Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-8) and Mayor Dawn Zimmer spoke about creating more jobs for the youth that live in the city.
HHA Resident Barbara Reyes, a frequent critic of the administration, said that school choice needs to be given some serious thought due to the amount of violence involving Jersey City residents.
Kyelia Colon, another HHA resident, says that not everyone is comfortable contacting police because not all tips remain confidential.
This prompted a quick response from Ferrante, who said an internal affairs investigation would be forthcoming.
Susan Turner, who lives just outside the housing authority on 4th and Jackson Street, spoke about the great camaraderie of the 4th Ward community before inviting those in attendance into her business free of charge.
Other officials in attendance included HHA Executive Director Marc Recko, Council members David Mello, Jen Giattino, Mike DeFusco, James Doyle and Tiffanie Fisher, Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33), Superintendent of Schools Christine Johnson, as well as HHA Commissioners Dana Wefer and James Sanford.