Prosecutor: Operation Justice Served Links 45 Area People to Drug Ring

A five-month undercover investigation involving the collaborative efforts of federal, state, county and local authorities dubbed Operation Justice Served has resulted in a Monmouth County grand jury returning on Thursday a 100-count indictment linking 45 area people to a Freehold-based drug distribution ring involving heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced.

The joint investigation revealed the trafficking network was moving about 2,500 bags of heroin and 200 grams of cocaine a week.

Of the 35 people implicated in the indictment, 12 were allegedly involved in the dealing of the drugs and 33 were charged with drug possession and conspiracy offenses, the prosecutor said in a released statement.

Operation Justice Served culminated in the arrest of 42 of the 45 between September and November 2016, the prosecutor said.

The investigation ultimately lead to the seizure of more than 2,700 bags of heroin, 300 grams of cocaine, 16 ounces of marijuana and dozens of prescription pills intended for distribution in and around Freehold, the release added.

“We are faced with a drug problem of epidemic proportions and we must continue our coordinated assault on supply lines that feed off the problem like a cancer,” Gramiccioni said.

The investigation began in late spring 2016 by focusing on drug sales by Kenneth Crooms, 45, of Bowne Avenue, Freehold Borough, but quickly expanded to include 13 others who were allegedly either aiding Crooms in his distribution of drugs or selling drugs, the release said.

The grand jury indicted Crooms and his co-defendants (listed below) with: first-degree charges of distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; second-degree charges of distribution of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute; two counts each of third-degree distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances (marijuana and pain medications); and one count of second-degree conspiracy to distribute the drugs.

The indicted …

• Welman Crooms, 39, of Weaverville Road, Freehold Township
• Newman Davis, 40, of Pond Road, Freehold Township
• Angel J. Fuentes, 25, of Kingsberry Drive, Somerset Township
• Michael W. Garrett, 51, of Vought Avenue, Freehold Borough (Garrett was also charged with second-degree possession of a firearm during a CDS offense)
• Carson Givens, 37, of Amberly Drive in Manalapan Township
• Juan Heredia, 32, of Ford Avenue, Freehold Borough
• Amanda N. Rivera, 36, of Second Avenue, City of Long Branch
• Husmir Salihagic, 32, of Jackson Street, Freehold Borough
• William Torres, 54, of Bowne Avenue, Freehold Borough
• Kayla Vold, 22, of Waterworks Road, Freehold Township
• Andre L. Williams, 40, of Avenue C, Bayonne

Kelly Andriessen and Erikan Hassan were charged with similar offenses, not including the first-degree charges, in November 2016, the prosecutor said.

Their cases were resolved prior to the return of the indictment.
The indictment also charged 33 individuals with third-degree offenses of possession of controlled dangerous substances, the release said.

The investigation revealed that the following individuals regularly met Kenneth Crooms or Newman Davis to buy drugs:

• John Smith Jr., 41, of Whistler Drive, Freehold Township
• Ahmed Ibrahim, 25, of Corral Court, Freehold Township
• Shannon Gregory, 25, of Fort Plains Road, Howell
• Cody Olmo, 25, of Trinity Place, Oceanport
• Eric Alleyne, 46, of Bowne Avenue, Freehold Borough
• Emmett Odonnell, 49, of Union Avenue Borough, Freehold
• Stevens Cordova, 36, of Haley Street, Freehold Borough
• Jason Galatro, 45, of Tally Drive, Freehold Borough
• John Loprete, 56, of Broad Street, Freehold Borough
• Michael Perri, 47, of Zlotkin Circle, Freehold Borough
• Christopher Odonnell, 54, of Englishtown Road, Monroe Township
• Austin Ventura, 28, of Saratoga Drive, Manalapan
• James Mulligan, 61, of Oliver Court, Freehold Township
• Fabrizio Illiano, of Whistler Drive, Freehold Township
• Giovanni Illiano, 46, of Whistler Drive, Freehold Township
• Louis Almonte, 47, of Helen Avenue, Freehold Borough
• Richard T. Burger, 46, of Gloucester Court, Freehold Township
• Michael J. Migliore, 43, of Kinnon Hill Court, Freehold Township
• Jaclyn R. Nalven, 32, of Kentucky Way, Freehold Township
• Gina B. Levtov, 35, of Heron Court, Manalapan Township
• Kevin Bellach, 44, of Bergerville Road, Freehold Township
• Peter C. Stiles, 47, of Park Avenue, Freehold Borough
• Michael J. Ferriole, 37, of Ticonderoga Boulevard, Freehold Township
• Richard J. Pretty, 42, of Howell Township
• Eric Ousley, 56, of Manchester Court, Freehold Township
• Darren Whiting, 49, of Bond Street, Freehold Borough
• Kevin L. Washington, 52, of Monmouth Road, Millstone Township
• James M. Fair, 52, of First Street, Freehold Borough
• Jennifer Suydam, 28, of South Route 79, Marlboro
• Christine Hicks, 46, of Jackson Mills Road, Freehold Township
• Anthony Macario, 49, of Jefferson Court, Jackson
• Amanda Dunham, 25, of Saint Andrews Place, Manalapan
• Miguel Rios-Bautista, 25, of Institute Street, Freehold Borough

If convicted of any of the first-degree charges, defendants face a sentence of 10 to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison. If convicted of second degree offenses, defendants face an exposure of five to ten years in state prison, and third degree charge come with a potential custodial sentence of three to five years in state prison.

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management