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Federal judge’s son is shot dead and her husband wounded after attack by man dressed as FedEx driver

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The son of a federal judge has been shot dead and her husband critically wounded after they were attacked at their home by a gunman dressed as a FedEx driver.

The attack happened at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge, in North Brunswick, New Jersey, on Sunday evening.

The judge’s 20-year-old son Daniel Anderl was killed, and her defense attorney husband Mark Anderl, 63, was critically injured. 

The shooting came days after the judge was assigned a case with links to Jefferey Epstein, although there is not yet any suggestion that the attack is linked to her work.

The attack began at around 5pm when Mark Anderl answered the front door to the family home. He was shot several times. 

Daniel, a student at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., then went to investigate the commotion and was fatally shot. 

The perpetrator, believed to be a lone gunman, then fled the scene and is not yet in custody, 

The attack happened at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge

The attack happened at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge

The attack happened at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge

Mark Anderl, 63, is reportedly in a critical condition in hospital after being shot several times

Mark Anderl, 63, is reportedly in a critical condition in hospital after being shot several times

Mark Anderl, 63, is reportedly in a critical condition in hospital after being shot several times

The judge and her family were the targets of an assassination attempt on Sunday evening at their home in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey

The judge and her family were the targets of an assassination attempt on Sunday evening at their home in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey

The judge and her family were the targets of an assassination attempt on Sunday evening at their home in North Brunswick Township, New Jersey

The FBI, U.S. Marshals, New Jersey State Police along with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General have all been on the scene of the shooting throughout Sunday evening

The FBI, U.S. Marshals, New Jersey State Police along with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General have all been on the scene of the shooting throughout Sunday evening

The FBI, U.S. Marshals, New Jersey State Police along with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General have all been on the scene of the shooting throughout Sunday evening

FBI agents at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge, in North Brunswick, New Jersey, whose son was killed and husband was shot by an unknown shooter

FBI agents at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge, in North Brunswick, New Jersey, whose son was killed and husband was shot by an unknown shooter

FBI agents at the home of Esther Salas, 51, an Obama-appointed District Court judge, in North Brunswick, New Jersey, whose son was killed and husband was shot by an unknown shooter

The U.S. Marshals have also been called to provide the judge with a security detail, according to a law enforcement official

The U.S. Marshals have also been called to provide the judge with a security detail, according to a law enforcement official

The U.S. Marshals have also been called to provide the judge with a security detail, according to a law enforcement official

Francis ‘Mac’ Womack, the mayor of North Brunswick, New Jersey, said that Daniel was ‘shot through the heart’.

Mark is reportedly in critical but stable condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick.

Judge Salas is believed to have been in the basement of the home during the shooting and was unharmed in the attack, according to NBC New York.    

Neighbors told MyCentralJersey that police were knocking on doors asking for any security footage of the area.

‘They are still here, not just the police but the FBI, there are agents all over the place,’ one woman told the news outlet. ‘It’s unbelievable what is going on.’

Judge Esther Salas and her husband Mark Anderl are pictured in a photo from 2015

Judge Esther Salas and her husband Mark Anderl are pictured in a photo from 2015

Judge Esther Salas and her husband Mark Anderl are pictured in a photo from 2015

Another said: You don’t expect anything like this around here. We all know our neighbors, we all greet each other and it’s a quiet area.’

Crime scene tape could be seen stretching around the perimeter of the family home located in the Hiddlen Lake section of North Brunswick. The street had been closed off to traffic. 

Last week, on July 15, the judge was assigned to a case that had links to late sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein.

The case Salas is presiding over involves as ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor ‘high-risk’ customers including convicted sex offender billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.  

All manner of state and local law enforcement agencies were gathered outside the home on Sunday night

All manner of state and local law enforcement agencies were gathered outside the home on Sunday night

All manner of state and local law enforcement agencies were gathered outside the home on Sunday night 

Crime scene tape could be seen stretching around the perimeter of the family home located in the Hiddlen Lake section of North Brunswick. The street has been closed off to traffic

Crime scene tape could be seen stretching around the perimeter of the family home located in the Hiddlen Lake section of North Brunswick. The street has been closed off to traffic

Crime scene tape could be seen stretching around the perimeter of the family home located in the Hiddlen Lake section of North Brunswick. The street has been closed off to traffic

But her highest-profile case in recent years was the financial fraud case involving husband-and-wife Real Housewives of New Jersey reality TV stars Teresa and Joe Giudice, whom Salas sentenced to prison for crimes including bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion. 

Judge Salas’ landmark cases  

Judge Salad highest-profile case in recent years was the 2014 financial fraud case involving husband-and-wife Real Housewives of New Jersey reality TV stars Teresa and Joe Giudice, whom Salas sentenced to prison for crimes including bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion. Salas staggered their sentences so that one of them could be available to take care of their four children.

In 2017, she barred federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against an alleged gang leader charged in several Newark slayings, ruling the man’s intellectual disability made him ineligible for capital punishment. Salas later sentenced the man to 45 years in prison.

This month, Salas has presided over an ongoing lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank investors who claim the company made false and misleading statements about its anti-money laundering policies and failed to monitor ‘high-risk’ customers including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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Salas staggered their sentences so that one of them could be available to take care of their four children. 

In 2017, she barred federal prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against an alleged gang leader charged in several Newark slayings, ruling the man’s intellectual disability made him ineligible for capital punishment. 

Salas later sentenced the man, the leader of the Newark Bloods street gang to 45 years in prison. 

She has also dealt with cases involving members of the Grape Street Crips according to NJ.com. The case was connection with a long-running drug-trafficking network that was taken down by the FBI in 2015. 

Judge Salas had received death threats in the past but as of Sunday night, authorities have not suggested the shootings are linked to any of her previous cases.

‘As a judge, she had threats from time to time, but everyone is saying that recently there had not been any,’ said Mayor Womack to ABC News, who is both friends with the judge and her husband.   

‘No words can express the sadness and loss we share tonight as a community after senseless shootings of the husband and son of USDC Judge Esther Salas,’ she said. 

The mayor said investigators are now ‘trying to get a hard make on the vehicle’ to try and track the suspect. 

‘We commit to do all we can to support the family in this time, as well as all law enforcement agencies involved,’ Womack said. 

The mayor noted how close the family appeared to be  

‘He’s a very very exuberant, vibrant, one hundred percent pleasant person,’ Womack said to CNN. ‘He loves to talk about his wife, and he loves to brag about his son, and how his son would excel in baseball, and how he was doing down in college in Washington … I’m just very sorry to see him going through this.’ 

The U.S. Marshals have also been called to provide the judge with a security detail, according to a law enforcement official. 

One of several high-profile trials Judge Salas has presided over includes the trial of former Real Housewife Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe in a case regarding financial fraud

One of several high-profile trials Judge Salas has presided over includes the trial of former Real Housewife Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe in a case regarding financial fraud

One of several high-profile trials Judge Salas has presided over includes the trial of former Real Housewife Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe in a case regarding financial fraud

Salas had sat a judge on the U.S. District Court for New Jersey in Newark, for nine years and was the first Hispanic woman to serve on the federal bench in the state. 

Before that she spent five years as a magistrate judge, and nine years prior to that as a federal public defender before President Barack Obama nominated her to serve as a District Court Judge in 2010. 

The daughter of a Cuban mother and a Mexican father, Salas spent part of her childhood on welfare after a fire destroyed her Union City apartment, according to The Globe.  

Her husband, Mark Anderl also works in legal circles and served as an assistant prosecutor in Essex County, New Jersey for ten years before becoming a criminal defense attorney. 

Salas met her husband when he was working as a prosecutor and she was working as a law school intern. He spotted her ‘getting fingerprinted’ and came over to talk to her, she told New Jersey Monthly in February 2018. ‘We’ve been inseparable since 1992,’ she said.

Judge Esther Salas is pictured with students in an August 2019 photo posted to Twitter

Judge Esther Salas is pictured with students in an August 2019 photo posted to Twitter

Judge Esther Salas is pictured with students in an August 2019 photo posted to Twitter

New Jersey's politicians were quick to react including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

New Jersey's politicians were quick to react including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

New Jersey’s politicians were quick to react including New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

The daughter of a Cuban mother and a Mexican father, Judge Salas is well known in the community and often gives talks to school children and gives tours of the court

The daughter of a Cuban mother and a Mexican father, Judge Salas is well known in the community and often gives talks to school children and gives tours of the court

The daughter of a Cuban mother and a Mexican father, Judge Salas is well known in the community and often gives talks to school children and gives tours of the court

New Jersey’s politicians were quick to react. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement: ‘Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act. This tragedy is our latest reminder that gun violence remains a crisis in our country and that our work to make every community safer isn’t done.’ 

‘I know Judge Salas and her husband well, and was proud to recommend her to President Obama for nomination to New Jersey’s federal bench. My prayers are with Judge Salas and her family, and that those responsible for this horrendous act are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice,’ said Democratic New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez in a statement. 

The FBI, U.S. Marshals, New Jersey State Police along with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General have been on the scene of the shooting throughout Sunday evening.  

‘The FBI is investigating a shooting that took place at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick Township, NJ early this evening July 19. We are working closely with our state and local partners and will provide additional updates when available,’ the bureau said in a statement. 

So far, police have not announced any arrests or named any suspects, however the FBI tweeted it was looking for ‘one subject’ in the shooting. 

Anyone who thinks they may have relevant information should call the FBI in Newark at 973-792-3001. 

So far, police have not announced any arrests or named any suspects, however the FBI tweeted it was looking for 'one subject' in the shooting

So far, police have not announced any arrests or named any suspects, however the FBI tweeted it was looking for 'one subject' in the shooting

So far, police have not announced any arrests or named any suspects, however the FBI tweeted it was looking for ‘one subject’ in the shooting

Judge who was the target of an assassination attempt had recently been assigned a case with links to Jeffrey Epstein

Judge Salas was assigned a case involving links to Jeffrey Epstein, pictured

Judge Salas was assigned a case involving links to Jeffrey Epstein, pictured

Judge Salas was assigned a case involving links to Jeffrey Epstein, pictured

Last week, Judge Salas was assigned a case with links to Jeffrey Epstein.

The case sees investors suing Deutsche Bank and its CEO Christian Sewing, alleging the bank made false and misleading statements before it agreed to pay a $150 million fine for compliance failures linked to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey, and seeks unspecified damages.

It claims shareholders lost money because of Deutsche Bank’s dealings with Epstein, who was implicated in dozens of sexual abuse cases. He died last August at the age of 66 after being found hanging in a Manhattan jail.

New York regulators last week announced Deutsche Bank would pay the fine for ‘significant compliance failures’ over Epstein and two unrelated cases.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the lawsuit. Last week, it said the settlement showed ‘how important it is to continue investing in our controls and enhancing our anti-financial crime capabilities’.

The lawsuit also names as defendants Deutsche Bank’s finance chief James von Moltke and former CEO John Cryan.

The case sees investors suing Deutsche Bank and its CEO Christian Sewing, alleging the bank made false and misleading statements before it agreed to pay a $150 million fine for compliance failures linked to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein

The case sees investors suing Deutsche Bank and its CEO Christian Sewing, alleging the bank made false and misleading statements before it agreed to pay a $150 million fine for compliance failures linked to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein

The case sees investors suing Deutsche Bank and its CEO Christian Sewing, alleging the bank made false and misleading statements before it agreed to pay a $150 million fine for compliance failures linked to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein

The named plaintiff is Ali Karimi, who lives in Connecticut, according to court documents.

Epstein, 66, was found hanged in his New York City prison cell in August 2019 after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges, and his death was ruled a suicide. 

His former lover Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, was arrested on sex trafficking charges at a remote property in New Hampshire on July 2.

She was denied bail on Tuesday and learned she must stay locked up until her trial next summer after she pleaded not guilty.

Judge Salas is not involved with the current Maxwell case due before court in July 2021. 

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured with Epstein in 2005, was arrested on sex trafficking charges at a remote property in New Hampshire on July 2

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured with Epstein in 2005, was arrested on sex trafficking charges at a remote property in New Hampshire on July 2

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured with Epstein in 2005, was arrested on sex trafficking charges at a remote property in New Hampshire on July 2

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