A Red Bank man was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison for his role as a top member of a cocaine distribution ring that trafficked the drug throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced.
The sentencing of Edward Scattaglia Jr., 43, came three years after his arrest in 2015 and guilty plea to the charge of first-degree distribution of cocaine. Scattaglia was among many arrested as part of authorities’ dismantling of the drug network dubbed Operation Tidal Wave, a cooperative investigation led by the NJ State Police Trafficking Central Unit and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-Atlantic City Office, with assistance from the Division of Criminal Justice, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Middletown and Jersey City police, authorities said in a released statement. Scattaglia pleaded guilty to the charge of first-degree distribution of cocaine. His sentence carries with it 40 months of parole ineligibility, the release said.
“While law enforcement has focused its attention on heroin, fentanyl, and opioid pain pills in its fight against the opioid epidemic, we continue to target major traffickers like Scattaglia who distribute cocaine, which contributes to hundreds of overdose deaths each year in New Jersey as well as the violence that accompanies street-level drug dealing,” Grewal said in the statement. “Our collaborative efforts take aim at all drug dealers who fuel addiction and crime in our communities.”
The investigation revealed that Scattaglia had used his Red Bank residence as the focal point of his trafficking network. There he would meet with dealers and supply them with cocaine for redistribution.
Rick J. Hiemenz, 37, of Toms River, another ring member arrested in Operation Tidal Wave, was sentenced on Feb. 16, 2018, to 10 years in state prison. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree distribution of cocaine.
— Edited press release from the Office of the NJ Attorney General