Manchester Township roots out heroin, brings users to treatment
On the heels of a February 17 heroin bust, Manchester this day might be the most drug-aware community in Ocean County - with a school drug sweep and day-long involvement in the Heroin Addiction Response Program (HARP).
Manchester Township High School students this morning encountered five K-9 squads from local police, and departments in Allenhurst, Plumsted and Toms River, conducting the next in the series of unannounced drug sweeps by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
The dogs search lockers and locker rooms in a sweep that takes about an hour, according to Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave. Findings are kept confidential among law enforcement and school officials, and any parents who would be involved.
The aim, said Della Fave, is to "assure a Drug Free School Zone and a safe learning environment" for Ocean County students.
Sniffing and searching were Manchester Patrolman Steve Wendruff and Lynk; Manchester Patrolman Marc Micciulla and Storm; Allenhurst Patrolman Anthony Carafa and Bia; Plumsted Patrolman Ryan Nani and Lock; and Toms River Patrolman Jim Reilly and Brutus.
The HARP program, which Brick Township police will undertake February 23, allows drug users to turn in their stashes, and themselves, and agree to enter rehabilitation therapy. Those who do are not arrested and face no charges. Manchester police are driving willing users to rehab today.
On February 17, Jemel Cooper, 37, was arrested during a Route 70 traffic stop, during which police said they found heroin and cocaine in his car.
That led to a search of his Ridgeway Road dwelling, where police said that they found 13 grams of crack, 110 doses of heroin, and $1,001 cash, which they believe to be drug deal proceeds.
Cooper was released to await court proceedings, but police impounded his 2011 Dodge Charger.