41 Indicted in Monmouth Heroin Sweep
Alleged members of the notorious Fruit Town Brims set of the Bloods are among 41 suspects headed for trial in connection with last December's crackdown on heroin trade in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
The 98-count indictment in Freehold resulting from the lengthy probe called Operation Hats Off is considered by law enforcement to be the next step in stanching the flow of narcotics through the shore.
“Heroin is a significant public health concern – not just in Monmouth or Ocean Counties but across the country. The drug is unforgiving and it kills indiscriminately,” Gramiccioni said in a prepared release. “Ask anybody who has lived with the tragically real consequences of heroin and you will quickly learn it could be your child too. People need to start paying more attention to this epidemic – any level of denial is unacceptable.”
Acting Monmouth Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni asserts that the ring was led by Ronald Daniels, 23, of Long Branch, and Anna Flores and Christopher Moon, both 21-year-olds from Highlands. Authorities say that their operation moved about 200 bricks of heroin - about 10,000 bags - every week. About 1,000 were sold to undercover detectives in Operation Hats Off.
They're charged with racketeering conspiracy along with Ezra Strong, Donte Gilliard and Damier Johnson, all 22-year-olds from Long Branch; and Dashawn Graves, 20, of Newark.
Investigators say that they were supplied by Hassain Jenkins, 39, of Orange, and Louis Pennington, aka Gangsta, of Long Branch. Buyers lived in towns spread through the shore including Oceanport, West Long Branch, Rumson, Eatontown, Red Bank, Bayville, Little Silver and Sea Bright.
Authorities say that the probe has also resulted in seizure of three firearms and five vehicles, plus significant amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
Among the charges filed against the defendants and possible sentences:
- Racketeering conspiracy, first degree - up to 20 years in a state prison
- Gang criminality, first degree - consecutive state prison terms of 15 to 30 years
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute - as many as 20 years in a state prison
- Unlawful possession of a firearm, second degree - up to 10 years in a state prison
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, second degree - up to 10 years in a state prison
- Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, third degree - up to five years in a state prison
- Distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, third degree - up to five years in a state prison