An area man has been arrested and pinpointed as the alleged ringleader of a drug trafficking network that distributed mostly cocaine in Monmouth and Ocean counties, NJ State Police announced.
Edmund A. Scattaglia Jr., 39, of Middletown, alleged leader of what has been dubbed the Scattaglia Network, was one of 32 arrested on Wednesday in a state sting dubbed Operation Tidal Wave, which began in October of 2014 and targeted Scattaglia’s alleged drug trafficking organization operating out of his home in Middletown another in Beachwood Township, Ocean County, according to police.
The investigation revealed that Scattaglia allegedly met people at his home, where he supplied them with cocaine for redistribution.
Scattaglia was allegedly supplied with multiple kilograms of cocaine by Francisco Romero, 38, of 159 John Street, Englewood. Romero allegedly stored bulk quantities of the drug at his home and funneled them to Scattaglia’s network. One kilogram of cocaine, valued at $40,000, was seized from Scattaglia’s alleged network in the bust.
Romero’s residence was searched under the authority of an executed warrant by state police detectives and the Englewood Police Department, on June 2, 2014. That search resulted in the seizure of one pound of cocaine, $75,000.00 cash, an Acura TSX, and other assets valued at $50,000, state police said in a released statement.
A companion search warrant of Scattaglia’s home the same day yielded roughly $15,000 cash, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and a BMW 325XI, police said in the release.
As a result of the takedown of both alleged trafficking operations, detectives recovered: more than 4 kilograms of cocaine, more than three ounces of heroin, 16 pounds of marijuana, 1,000 Xanax pills, Oxycotin and ecstasy pills, a large variety of steroids, one handgun, seven vehicles, and more than $125,000 in cash.
“These ring members allegedly were dealing large quantities of heroin and prescription pills in Monmouth and Ocean counties, which have been particularly hard hit by the devastating epidemic of opiate addiction sweeping the nation and New Jersey,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in the release. “Through operations such as this one, we are taking aim at the criminals who are maliciously fueling the epidemic and profiting from it.”
The cooperative effort was led by the New Jersey 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 Township Police Department, and the Jersey City Police Department.
The following is a list of all the Monmouth County residents arrested in Operation Tidal Wave:
• Edmund A. Scattaglia, 39, Middletown;
• Tabraz Mohammed, 34, Red Bank;
• Mark Ugaro, 35, Middletown;
• Scott M. Leander, 55, Keyport;
• Shawn P Cotter, 38, Middletown;
• Brian J. Rosenberg, 30, Red Bank.
For more information on what was dubbed the Beachwood Network and the complete list of those arrested from other counties, click here.
This case will be prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice under the Office of the Attorney General.