A traveling entrepreneur phoned in anti-black and anti-Semitic threats to more than two dozen government officials and a private business in Edgewater, as well as to others in River Edge, West New York and elsewhere while driving across the United States, authorities charged.
Using number-blocking technology, Steve Ortiz, 44, of Union City, placed similar calls to locations in North Carolina and New Mexico, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said Wednesday.
Members of Calo’s Cyber Crimes Unit learned that Ortiz made calls to Edgewater over the past few months while he was “transient and traveling across the United States by car,” the prosecutor said.
They also tied him to the other calls, Calo said.
Nassau County Police Department located and arrested Ortiz two weeks ago in Hicksville, Long Island, the prosecutor said.
He was extradited, landing in the Bergen County Jail on Tuesday.
Ortiz remained held there Wednesday pending an extradition hearing on charges of bias intimidation, causing a false public alarm, making terroristic threats and stalking.
Calo thanked several agencies that assisted or provided leads, including Edgewater, River Edge, Union City and West New York police, Nassau County police, Suffolk County (NY) police, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Union County (NC) Sheriff’s Office, Waxhaw (NC) police, Billings (MT) police, Montana State Police, FBI field offices in New Jersey and Montana and the U.S. Marshals Service in Montana.
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