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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 24, 2024, Michele Nycz, 60, of Brick Township, pled guilty to two counts of Animal Cruelty before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., in connection with an investigation that began on December 2, 2022 in Brick Township.  Today, Aimee Lonczak, 51, also of Brick Township, pled guilty before Judge Ryan to Child Neglect, as well as two counts of Animal Cruelty, in connection with the same investigation.  At the time of their sentencing on August 16, 2024, the State will be seeking 364 days in the Ocean County Jail as a condition of probation as to each defendant, a lifetime ban on owning animals, a ban on working with animals, and community service not involving animals.


On December 2, 2022, Officers from the Brick Township Police Department were summoned to a residence on Arrowhead Park Drive in reference to an anonymous complaint that the residents at the address were running a puppy mill.  While speaking with the residents – Lonczak and Nycz – in the driveway of the residence, responding Officers could detect a strong odor coming from the residence, and heard barking.  Officers were subsequently permitted to enter the residence and immediately detected an intense odor and unsanitary conditions.  Additionally, the Officers observed animal crates containing dogs and cats stacked on top of one another.  Due to the conditions existing in the home at that time, the Officers were forced to exit the residence and requested that a Hazmat team respond.  Rescuers in Hazmat equipment subsequently removed approximately 129 dogs and 43 cats located in the residence, and the bodies of two deceased dogs.  Lonczak and Nycz – who resided at the residence with Lonczak’s 16 year-old child – were both taken into custody at the scene and transported to the Ocean County Jail.  They were both subsequently released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.


Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Veni who is handling the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Brick Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office for their efforts in connection with this investigation leading to the defendants’ guilty pleas.