Alleged major heroin operation upended in Berkeley Township retirement village
An alleged heroin operation in a Berkeley Township retirement enclave that generated an estimated $100,000 weekly is smashed, with three suspects apprehended, and police say more arrests are likely.
James Gnatowsky, 45, of Berkeley Township, Rocco Scalzo Jr., 48, of Manchester, and David Honey, 45, of Toms River, were charged Tuesday after a search of the San Carlos Street home, which police described as a "major hub" for distribution in Holiday City and for a large portion of Ocean County.
Gnatowsky, Scalzo and Honey are accused of involvement in distribution of more than 10,000 doses of the drug per week, at the house, on surrounding streets and in woods and trails throughout the enclave.
Police said that they opened the investigation in response to reports from concerned residents through their tip line and through direct conversations. The probe grew to include the Ocean Gate Detective Division, Ocean County S.W.A.T Team and the County Sheriff's K-9 unit.
Detectives conducting the search found large amounts of heroin packaged for sale, almost $20,000 cash, manufacturing and packaging gear, crack cocaine, and Oxycodone, police said.
Investigators also seized a Lincoln LS, Toyota Avalon, and several all-terrain vehicles that are suspected of being used in the alleged operation.
Gnatowski and Scalzo were placed in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of bail, each charged with two possession-related counts. Bail was set at $50,000 for Gnatowsky, and $25,000 for Scalzo. Honey was charged with possession and released on a summons.
Police note that charges are accusations, and that defendants are considered innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law.
Berkeley Township police credit resident interaction with dozens of similar arrests. The tip line to anonymously report suspicious activity is 732-341-1132, extension 611.