Nine arrested, two on the run in massive Monmouth heroin bust
Nine suspects are collared and two remain at large in what Monmouth County investigators describe as a heroin network that moved about 7,500 bags of the drug each week through Asbury Park, Ocean Township, Neptune Township and Neptune City.
Mario DeShader, 30, of Ocean Township, also known as "Fat Boy" or "Noso," allegedly collaborated with DeShawn "Date" Esdaile, 24, of Asbury Park, to push heroin that investigators traced to Mark A. "Scrilla" St. Juste, 33, of Carteretm, according to acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni's office.
The culmination of a four-month probe dubbed "Operation High Life" was the seizure of more than 10,000 bags of the drug and the nine arrests.
"This takedown puts a much-needed dent in the heroin market existing in Monmouth County for today," Gramiccioni said in prepared remarks, "but there is still more work to be done. Investigators will continue their robust enforcement operations to further curtail the heroin supply."
"At the same time, our Office must continue its outreach and education efforts to reduce heroin demand - it is here where public engagement remains most important," Gramiccioni said.
DeShader faces a first-degree count of possession with intent to distribute, second-degree charges of conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin, two third-degree heroin possession counts. and one third-degree heroin distribution charge.
Esdaile is charged with first-degree possession with intent to distribute heroin, second-degree conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute and heroin distribution, and two third-degree heroin possession counts.
Charges against St. Juste include first-degree counts of heroin distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin, second-degree conspiracy to possess heroin and third-degrere possession of heroin.
Among others in custody, facing various possession and conspiracy counts, are: Todd "Filthy" Ewart, 34, Ocean Township; Brittany Cook, 25, Cleveland, OH; Kavon J. McMillon, 26, and Iran Clayton-McKinley, 21, Neptune Township.
The arrestees were placed in the Monmouth County Correctional Facility in Freehold. Bail for DeShader, St. Juste, Esdaile and Ewart is set at $500,000, cash only. Judge Joseph Oxley ordered a bail source hearing before Ewart is able to post bail.
Cook's bail is set at $100,000, with an option for release on payment of 10 percent. McKinley's bail is $40,000, full. McMillon was released after meeting a $10,000 bail requirement with a 10-percent option.
Still sought by investigators are Carl "Old Head" Revis, 56, Toms River; and Patricia Baez, 46, Neptune Township, each facing conspiracy charges.
Authorities strongly advise refraining from approaching Revis and Baez. Anyone cognizant of the whereabouts of either, should contact local police or Detective William Crosta in the Prosecutor's Office, 1-800-533-7443.
Anyone wishing to place information anonymously can reach the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential line, 1-800-671-4400, or test "MONMOUTH" plus the information to 274367, or email details to the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers web page. Crime Stoppers pays up to $5,000for information leading to the arrest of the fugitives.
Conviction on any of the first-degree charges carries a prison term of 10 to 20 years. Second-degree charges are punishable by five to 10 years behind bars. Third-degree charges can mean sentences of three to five years.
The Prosecutor's office released no details on which, if any, of the defendants retained legal representation.