52 Charged In Gang, Gun, Drug Ring At Jersey Shore
Fifty-two people were charged today in a massive heroin sweep undertaken by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and a number of other law enforcement agencies, Acting Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni announced.Some of those arrested are members of a gang known as the “Fruit Town Brims,” a set of the “Bloods” street gang responsible for the distribution of significant quantities of heroin throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
The eight-month investigation, titled “Operation Hats Off,” began last spring after the
Office received information regarding gang activity and heroin distribution occurring in the
shore area. During the investigation, members of the Fruit Town Brims and their conspirators orchestrated and/or personally sold approximately 200 bricks (10,000 bags) of heroin per week, including more than 1,000 bags of heroin to undercover detectives on dozens of occasions.
Overall, the criminal enterprise was responsible for the trafficking of more than 4,000
(200,000 bags) bricks of heroin during the course of the investigation. Law enforcement seized more than 300 bricks (15,000 bags) of heroin and approximately 17,000 in U.S. currency.
"My message is, guns, drugs and gang activity is not going to happen in my county. Don't bring it here or we will find you, because we have eyes and ears everywhere and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law," said Chris Gramiccioni, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor.
Two of the ringleaders of the criminal enterprise - Ronald Daniels, Jr., 23, of Long
Branch and Anna Flores, 21, of Highlands – conspired with several other gang members to distribute heroin throughout the County and elsewhere.
Those other members include: Christopher Moon, 21, of Highlands; Ezra Strong, 22, of Long Branch; Donte Gilliard, 22, of Long Branch; Dashawn Graves, 20, of Newark; Damier Johnson, 22, of Long Branch; and Hakeem Wadud, 22, of Paterson. These defendants, along with a number of others, were charged with racketeering conspiracy for their involvement in the ongoing criminal enterprise.
The primary heroin suppliers for the above-mentioned defendants were Hassain Jenkins,
39, of Orange, Roger Barber, 40, of Newark, and Louis Pennington, a/k/a “Gangsta,” 29, of
Long Branch. Daniels and other members of the Fruit Town Brims gang arranged for the
repeated purchase and transport of large quantities of heroin from Essex County and, once received, the product was sold to a number of buyers throughout the area.
Buyers charged as part of the operation resided in several locations throughout
Monmouth and Ocean Counties, including towns such as Oceanport, West Long Branch,
Rumson, Eatontown, Red Bank, Bayville, Little Silver and Sea Bright.
To date, 41 of the 52 defendants charged have been taken in custody. All of the
defendants arrested were remanded to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of bail.