Barnegat baseballer’s dad among three in southern Ocean drug bust
A three-month narcotics investigation in southern Ocean County leads to arrests of three suspects from Barnegat and LIttle Egg Harbor on drug and weapons charges.
Jason Groome, 43, Anthony Brandt, 53, of Barnegat, and Daniel Wunder, 61, of LIttle Egg Harbor, are accused of importing and distributing cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and firearms possession, according to the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
Groome is the father of Jason Groome, th Barnegat High School baseball standout and first-round draft choice of the Boston Red Sox, now playing for their Greenville minor league team.
A 2008 Chrysler 200 and a 2010 Dodge Ram pickup that Groome is accused of using to store drugs and weapons led to no-knock searches at the houses of all three suspects, authorities said.
On July 10, Barnegat police and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team flagged Groome, inside the pickup, to a stop in the Gunning River Mall lot on West Bay Avenue. Detectives said that they seized about two ounces of cocaine and a defaced 9 millimeter hand gun.
At the same time, search warrants at the three dwellings were activated by the Prosecutor's Special Operations Group, Barnegat and Stafford PD drug enforcement units, Little Egg Harbor PD narcotics squad, Ocean County Sheriff's K9 Team and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team.
Authorities said that among the confiscated items are less than a half-ounce of cocaine, marijuana, drug-related items, and a Mossberg 12-gauge, pump shotgun at Brandt's house, and about 400 Oxycodone tablets and a .22-caliber rifle from Wunder's home.
Groome was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River to await court proceedings on 11 counts related to possession and intent to distribute of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, and weapons possession.
Brandt is charged with possession of Suboxone, cocaine, marijuana and drug parephernalia. Wunder faces charges related to possession of Oxycodone and MDMA (Ecstasy), and Oxycodone possession with intent to distribute. :
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.