A group of 42 individuals, many residents of Freehold Township in Monmouth County, were arrested on Thursday, November 3rd when an undercover operation dubbed “Operation Justice Served” concluded a 5 month drug investigation.
Federal, state, county and local officers were all involved in the drug investigation that began in late spring of 2016. Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni applauded the efforts of the task force when discussing with reporters. Gramiccioni said the arrests were linked to a Freehold Township drug network that had been trafficking drugs throughout NJ for years. During the raid, arresting officers found many controlled substances including: 2,700 bags of heroin, 300 grams of cocaine, 16 ounces of marijuana, and dozen of prescriptions pain medications.
The task force, dubbed “Operation Justice Served”, began their investigation by following a head dealer, Kenneth Crooms, 44, from Freehold, NJ. Soon thereafter, officers began monitoring an additional 12 suspects linked to Crooms and involved in the drug trafficking network. Crooms, along with the 12 suspects were charged with the follow:
- Two counts of second degree distribution of controlled substances and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin and cocaine).
- Two counts each of third degree distribution and possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana and pain medication)
- One count of second degree conspiracy to distribute the aforementioned drugs.
In addition, police arrested 28 individuals that were frequent customers of the drug network and charged them with:
- Third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance
- Third degree conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni told reporters, “I applaud law enforcement’s seizure of over 2,700 bags of heroin, 300 grams of cocaine, 16 ounces of marijuana and dozens of prescription pills. Perhaps most importantly, a drug trafficking network that was moving about 2,500 bags of heroin and 200 grams of cocaine a week is officially out of business as this operation stopped its ability to put dangerous substances into our community”.
If convicted, first degree charges could lead to a sentence of up to 20 years in a New Jersey state penitentiary. If convicted of second or third-degree charges, any defendant could face anywhere from three to five years in a state prison.
To learn more about this investigation, visit the NJ.com article, 46 people charged in massive county-wide drug bust, authorities say.