44 Indicted in Monmouth Gun and Drug Sweep
The Asbury Park police officer and 43 others caught up in a massive probe of gun trafficking and street crime in Monmouth County now face the prospect of plea deals or trials.
A grand jury in Freehold handed up indictments on 219 counts against the suspects who consist of pawn shop owners and members of the Bloods and Crips in addtion to Patrolman Keith German of Tinton Falls, according to information from the office of acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni.
James Fair, 26, and Altyreek Leonard, 21, of Asbury Park, are considered leaders of the organization that allegedly trafficked in firearms and used drug sales, home burglaries, thefts, shoplifting and armed robberies as financing mechanisms. Two owners of a Neptune City pawn shop are accused of collaborating with them.
Operation Dead End, centering on Asbury's Dewitt Avenue and the Washington Village Housing Complex on Jersey Street, lasted more than a year.
The group distributed cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and molly to support the enterprise, authorities said. Fair and Leonard, accused of orchestrating hits on rival gang members as well as robberies, burglaries and weapons offenses, are charged with promoting organized street crime and racketeering conspiracy.
Investigators say they've recovered five firearms and two vehicles connected to the enterprise, along with various quantities of each narcotic.
According to authorities, suspects coordinated tactics to draw police attention from specified sections of the city, including reporting false emergencies and attempting to fire random gunshots skyward.
German, 46, allegedly supplied members of the organization with confidential law enforcement information, illegally accessed a crime database and enlisted Fair to stalk a victim, on- and off-duty, investigators said.
Four suspects remain outside custody: Alexander Walton, 19, and Richard Hammond, 32, of Asbury Park; Anthony Long, 33, of Freehold Township; and Justice T. Sharpe, 20, of Ocean are considered fugitives at large.
Charged with firearms offenses and racketeering conspiracy: Harry Clayton, 34; Alexander Walton, 19; Haneef Walker, 22; Clarence Jackson 3rd, 26; Corderian Strickland, 27; Anthony Lanier, 21; Richard Hammond, 32; Tyrice Berry, 21; Todd Howard, 23; Jashawn Mack, 26; Tarik Cox, 23; Ja'air Butler, 18; Kyre Wallace, 27; and Tishonda Walker, 26, all of Asbury Park; Imere Meredith 21, of Neptune; Anthony Esdaile, 32, of Neptune City; Bilaal Scurdy, 21, of Long Branch; Quiana Robinson, 20, of Tinton Falls; Ayres Gray, 18, of Manalapan; Anthony Long, 33, of Freehold Township; and Deron Anglin, 27, of Newark.
Fair, Jackson, Haneff Walker, Tishonda Walker, Shayvon Rainor, 21, of Asbury Park and Tyasia Williams, 24, of Neptune Township, allegedly shoplifted from local shops and fenced it through the Cash It In pawn brokerage in Neptune City, operated by Frederick K. Ecke III, 28, and Eric J. Fitzgerald, 28, of Toms River. Ecke and Fitzgerald sold the goods through their eBay business account, authorities said.
Ecke, Fitzgerald, Raynor and Williams are charged with racketeering conspiracy and theft-related counts.
Investigators say that officers stepped in to prevent a targeted shooting of a rival gang member that Fair allegedly planned and directed in December 2013 near an Asbury Park business. On another day the same month, Fair, with help from Walton, Haneef Walker, Jackson and Strickland, opened fire on a house with the victim and family inside, authorities contend.
The following month, Leonard allegedly recruited Butler and Gray, both 17 at the time, to help him get a gun, intending to shoot several rivals on an Asbury Park porch.
Implicated in the distribution of heroin, crack, molly and oxycodone in Asbury and surrounding communities, allegedly under direction of Fair and Leonard, are Latoya Tatum, 28, Jacquil Jones, 25, Eugene Wilmore, 25, of Asbury Park; Amanda Howland, 22, of Neptune City; Sammie Curtis, 58, of Neptune; and Rogerio Pereira, 30, of Eatontown. They're charged with racketeering conspiracy along with Long, Clayton, Haneef Walker, Jackson, Howard, Mack, Berry, Scurdy, Robinson, Lanier, and Hammond.
The probe also rounded up people suspected of buying the drugs. Frank C. Vanness, 56, and Jane Brown, 63,of Neptune Township; Roccal Gilmore, 42, of Spotswood; Brittany Collora, 24, of Ocean Grove; Jammara Kemp, 25, of South River; Justice T. Sharpe, 20, of Ocean; and Tysana Taylor, 46, and Rashan Bragg, 34, of Asbury Park are charged with conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance and possession.