Eleven men and four women in a downtown Toms River hotel are in custody, charged with drug and warrant-violation counts resulting from a month-long investigation involving local, state and federal law enforcement.

Red Carpet Inn, Toms River (Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media)
Red Carpet Inn, Toms River (Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media)

Before dawn Thursday, Toms River police, bearing three search warrants, led the contingent into the Red Carpet Inn on West Water Street. The arrestees are variously charged with drug possession, drug distribution and outstanding warrants, police said, adding that the hotel itself is cited for several fire code violations.

Police said that the probe was triggered by "numerous open air incidents" of drug deals, and citizen complaints. Identities of defendants and officers were shielded, police said, to maintain the integrity of the investigation. All 15 were either placed in the Ocean County Jail or were released to await court dates.

Other agencies involved included the TRPD Emergency Services Unit, New Jersey State Police Troop D Parkway Region Criminal Investigation Unit and TEAMS Unit, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and the newly formed Toms River Township Quality of Life Task Force.

The Task Force, drawn from the Criminal Investigations Bureau, Special Enforcement Team, Division of Fire Prevention, and Code Enforcement-Zoning Department, has an ongoing mission to zero in on chronic areas of criminal activity, public safety risks, municipal code violations and quality of life matters.

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