Michael Zaremski, 25, pleaded not guilty to a 39-count indictment on Tuesday in state Superior Court in Newton.
SUPERIOR COURT - The attorney for Michael Zaremski, a Green Township man accused of amassing a deluge of weaponry and anti-Semitic paraphernalia, told a judge Tuesday he will be filing multiple motions should his client’s case not resolve next month.
Attorney Ali Homayouni, who is part of the Evan Nappen Law Firm, which touts its pro-Second Amendment activism, told Judge Thomas J. Critchley that if all parties are not in agreement with a plea deal by Oct. 22 - Zaremski’s next court hearing - he will be prepared to file two motions in the case.
"The case could be disposed of at an early stage, but if there is no agreement at the next hearing, then I will be filing two motions to dismiss the first-degree charges in the indictment and the second would be a motion to suppress the evidence seized on (Zaremski’s) cell phone and materials, items from his car and residence," Homayouni said Tuesday.
In response, First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller, who is serving as co-counsel with Assistant Prosecutor Jerome Neidhardt in the case, said he would provide Homayouni with a written plea offer by the week’s end.
Zaremski appeared in state Superior Court in Newton Tuesday in an orange prison jumpsuit with his hands shackled in front of him. His parents sat in the front row of the courtroom with his father often placing his head in his hands.
The Newton High School graduate and former Hackettstown First Aid Squad member was indicted on 39 criminal counts in August, three of those counts in the first-degree range.
While Zaremski did not speak on Tuesday nor even look at his parents, Critchley entered a not guilty plea to the indictment on his behalf.
Zaremski’s case was the second within a month in Sussex County involving, in both cases, the sudden discovery of a large cache of weaponry and white supremacist paraphernalia from a longtime county resident’s home. On July 24, a month after Zaremski’s arrest, Joseph Rubino, a 57-year-old Lafayette resident, was arrested after he crashed his van into a tree in Allamuchy. Officers at the time say they found weapons "in plain view" in his van and later discovered in his Route 15 home loaded shotguns and rifles, high-capacity ammunition, drugs, and a grenade launcher. He also had a document containing racist material, neo-Nazi clothing and bumper stickers and a manual on how to own a slave, a federal complaint states.
Zaremski’s arrest came on June 25 after he arrived at Franklin police headquarters during an investigation into a report he posted photos of his ex-girlfriend wearing an SS hat - worn by Hitler’s protective squadron - on Instagram for her employers to see. The posts led to her termination from the organization, which was run by those of the Jewish faith.
When he arrived at headquarters, police say Zaremski had a loaded gun in his Hackettstown EMS jacket. Concerned, authorities went to Zaremski’s home the same day and discovered a trove of white supremacist paraphernalia, literature and images along with an arsenal of high-powered assault-style rifles.
His hate-filled ideology against those of the Jewish faith extended to women, according to authorities. In Zaremski’s indictment, it is alleged on Jan. 15, he choked his girlfriend, pointed a gun to the back of her head and made several statements to her. Among those statements: "A woman’s place is to do what the man says," "You’re stupid" and "Women don’t know anything."
His former girlfriend told authorities Zaremski had a fascination with Hitler, was violent, disliked elderly individuals and had expressed interest in committing a mass shooting in a hospital-like setting. His urge was sparked by the October 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pa., where 11 people were killed. The shooting is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history.
Many of the weapons authorities seized Zaremski had either assembled or was assembling. He did not have a permit to carry guns and the one seized in his jacket did not have a serial number, authorities said.
It is believed Zaremski wore a "RWDS, which stands for "Right Wing Death Squad," emblem on his work jacket, had posted "kek" on his Instagram, an alt-right intentional misspelling of "LOL," and posted photos of the white nationalist mascot, Pepe the Frog, Mueller said. He also used phrases connected to Nazi ideology on his Instagram account with some of the posts expressing support for President Trump.
If convicted on all charges in the indictment, Zaremski could face roughly 179 years in state prison.
While Rubino is facing federal charges, Zaremski’s case remains on the state level. It is often up to the U.S. attorney’s office if a case is picked up by their office.
Rubino and Zaremski’s cases are not believed to be linked.
Zaremski is expected to appear back in court on Oct. 22.
Lori Comstock can also be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.