Monmouth-Ocean Heroin & Coke Ring Smashed, Feds Say
Two Asbury Park men and 19 others are charged in what federal agents say is a major heroin and cocaine trafficking ring infiltrating Monmouth and Ocean Counties and stretched from Jersey City to Barnegat and as far away as California.
Robert Britt, aka "True," 44 and Rufus Young, aka "Equan," "E-Money" and "Kintock," are considered the organization leaders, according to information from New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman's office.
Britt has been behind bars since April 2013 on other charges, authorities said. Thomas Shannon, aka "Cuzzo," 35, of Asbury Park and Jersey City, named in the same complaint as Britt and Young, was apprehended on a separate but related complaint along with Rashawn Ramos, 37, of Perth Amboy and Anthony J. Brooks, 44, of San Bernardino, California, authorities said. Two Bayville men and another from Neptune are fugitives.
Prosecutors have charged each defendant with one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Each count carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and fines as high as $10,000,000 on conviction.
Shannon, Ramos and Brooks face conspiracy and possession of controlled substances, with possible prison terms of five to 40 years and fines up to $5,000,000. The money-laundering conspiracy charge leveled at Shannon and Brooks carries possible penalites of up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 fines.
Today's arrestees have court appearances scheduled today in Trenton. Others rounded up one week ago remain incarcerated until future hearings.
Details of the complaint allege that the operation began in February 2013 and continued until this month. Legally-intercepted cell phone dialogues and confidential informants were among the means deployed by investigators, authorities said.
Britt and Young are accused of taking the lead in identifying supply sources and building a market of users.
The organization sold packaged bundles of heroin in bricks of about one-fifth of a gram, using and tossing prepaid phones and speaking in code, authorities said.
Shannon, authorities alleged, received the drugs by mail at Ramos's residence from out-of-state sources including Brooks and laundered the money in the transactions.
Shannon stored the narcotics in Asbury Park and Long Branch stash houses and deposited cash in third-party bank accounts accessed by Brooks and others at California banks, investigators said.
Warrant searches of the stash houses on March 20 yielded more than a kilogram of heroin, a half-kilogram of cocaine, 30 grams of crack, grinders, empty plastic baggies, scales and other packing items, and three firearms, investigators said.
Taking part in the probe were agents of the Ocean and Monmouth County Prosecutor's Offices, the FBI, ATF, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, and police in Neptune, Brick and Toms River Townships, Asbury Park, Marlboro, Long Branch and Freehold.
Others apprehended include:
- Jonathon Thomas, aka "Life," 38, Neptune
- Antoine Harris, 33, East Orange
- Tyshon Young, aka "Young Boy" and "Young Money," 28, Asbury Park
- Jason O'Neal, aka "Born," 41, Farmingdale
- Travis Whitfield, aka "Trav," 29, Brick Township
- Jamar Johnson, aka "Rep," 35, Lakewood
- Dawn Rosser, 33, Lakewood
- Valerie Resendes, aka "Val," 26, Beachwood
- Melissa Piana, 31, Toms River
- Kenneth Greenhow, aka "Fame," 40, Asbury Park
- Richard Durham, 27, Brick Township
- Kyle Adams, 27, Barnegat
- Kareem Hayes, aka "Bless," 33, Belmar
Still sought for arrest:
- Tyree Murray, 26, Bayville
- Robert Ketcham, 27, Bayville
- Matthew Miller, aka "Star, 39, Neptune