Metuchen man will lead N.J. criminal justice dept.

 Elie Honig Elie Honig METUCHEN — Borough resident Elie Honig is the newly named director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa made the appointment on Feb. 27.

“I am honored by the opportunity that Attorney General Chiesa has offered me to serve the people of New Jersey by doing work that I love — prosecuting criminals,” Honig said. “It is humbling to be asked to lead a division with such an outstanding roster of prosecutors, detectives and support staff. We will continue to work hard as a team to advance the attorney general’s priorities, and to make New Jersey a safer place to live.”

Honig succeeds Stephen J. Taylor, whose nomination to become a Superior Court judge was confirmed on Feb. 26 by the New Jersey Senate.

Honig has been deputy director of the Division of Criminal Justice since September 2012, overseeing the division’s Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and Specialized Crimes Bureau.

Before joining the Division of Criminal Justice, Honig worked for eight years as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, prosecuting and trying cases involving organized crime, human trafficking, public corruption and violent crime. From 2010 to 2012, he served as deputy chief, and later co-chief, of the Organized Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

“As a federal prosecutor, Elie Honig supervised complex investigations and handled major prosecutions, including cases involving organized crime, public corruption and human trafficking,” Gov, Chris Christie said. “I have great respect for his intellect, judgment and leadership. Those attributes, combined with his broad-based experience as a prosecutor, make him an exceptional choice to lead the Division of Criminal Justice.”

Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2004, Honig worked as an associate at the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.

Honig obtained his undergraduate degree with highest honors from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in 1997, and his law degree with honors from Harvard Law School in 2000.

While working in the Organized Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Honig successfully prosecuted more than 100 members and associates of La Cosa Nostra, including Genovese organized-crime family acting boss Matthew Ianniello, Genovese family Capt. Ciro Perrone, Gambino organized-crime family boss Daniel Marino, Gambino family consigliore Joseph Corozzo and Gambino family Capt. Alphonse Trucchio, according to a press release.

Honig also led a Southern District trial team that obtained the murder conviction of Genovese family Capt. Angelo Prisco, as well as the trial team that obtained multiple murder convictions of Arthur Nigro, the former acting boss of the Genovese crime family, and two other Genovese family associates.

Outside the realm of organized crime, Honig obtained convictions of seven New York City Department of Education officers on charges of bribery and public corruption, including one defendant who was convicted at trial.

He also led the prosecution of 30 defendants charged with sex trafficking, forced labor, alien smuggling and other crimes, resulting in the convictions of all defendants, including five who were convicted at trial.

Honig lives with his wife and two children in Middlesex County.