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Ex-Manahawkin Resident Charged in Probe of Kid Drug Ring

He’s a superstorm refugee forced from his Manahawkin home to Mays Landing in Atlantic County’s Hamilton Township. But Ocean County investigators believe that Enzo Pena also leads a dangerous drug ring that preys on kids.

Pena was arrested by Stafford police and county investigators a week ago in what they’re calling a year-long investigation. Officers stopped Pena’s car in the Route 72 Wal-Mart lot, not far from his former home in Beach Haven West.

Authorities say a warrant search of the car yielded more than a pound of marijuana, a handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets and bearing a defaced serial number, and several thousand dollars in cash.

The discovery led to a search of his Mays Landing dwelling, where investigators say they found another pound and a half of weed, another loaded handgun with a blurrred serial number and several thousand more dollars.

Pena is charged with leading a narcotics trafficking network, a first-degree crime, along with five second-degree counts of employing a juvenile in a drug distribution network. He also faces nine other allegations linked to drug and weapons possession, distributing drugs to juveniles, and terroristic threats.

He was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River in default of $250,000 bail. Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato says the probe is ongoing.

Barnegat, Ship Bottom and Hamilton Township police also collaborated in the investigation.

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