32 charged in NJSPD shore drug probe
A Toms River teacher, a former Ocean County Roads Department employee, a onetime Camden County police officer and the son of a prominent shore lawyer are among 32 arrestees in a New Jersey State Police takedown of drug rings infiltrating Ocean and Monmouth Counties.
The networks were centered in Middletown and the Beachwood vicinity, and alleged leaders are identified as Edmund Scattaglia Jr., of Middletown, Clarence Grant Jr. of Beachwood, and Barry McCombs of Seaside Heights, according to information from state police.
The investigation yielded more than four kilograms of cocaine, more than three ounces of heroin, 16 pounds of marijuana, a thousand Xanax tablets, Oxycontin, ecstasy, steroids, a handgun, seven vehicles and more than $125,000 cash, authorities said.
William Bowes III, of Toms River a physical education instructor at High School North, former county worker Albert Logan of Beachwood, and William Hiering III of Seaside Heights are charged with loitering to purchase controlled dangerous substances. Logan faces an additional charge of hindering apprehension.
Among other arrestees are former Camden County Police Officer Matthew Van Houten, charged with possession of cocaine while still on the force.
According to investigators probing what they called the Scattaglia Network, the Middletown man mainly dealt in cocaine, taking shipments from Franscio Romero of Englewood, who used his home in the Bergen County town as a stash house.
Investigators seized $40,000 worth of the drug from the Scattaglia Network, police said. A June 2, 2014 raid of Romero's home yielded more than a pound of cocaine, $75,000 cash, other assets valued at $50,000, and an Acura TSX, authorities said.
The same day, a search of Scattaglia's house yielded about $15,000 cash, drug-related items, marijuana and a BMW 325XL, police said.
The Beachwood Network traded in cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and pharmaceutical pills, police said. Detectives identified the heroin mill and stash headquarters on Blaine Avenue in Seaside Heights, arresting McCombs on April 9 of this year.
Detectives confiscated some $10,000 worth of drugs, including more than 15 grams of raw heroin, more than 275 decks (doses) of processed heroin, more than an ounce of cocaine, and items consistent with heroin packaging.
Further investigation led to a house on Summer Avenue in Elizabeth, which police said was a second manufacturing site for the network. Investigators executing a warrant on April 20 seized 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, a kilogram press, and items consistent with narcotic processing, all estimated to be worth more than $75,000, police said.
The remaining arrestees: Rick Heimenz, Michael Dietz, Michael Ko, Armando Calderon, Jesse Gorman, Joseph Powers, Frank Caruso, Angela Robert, James McCann Anthony Alexander, all Toms River; Bobby Hardy, Dennis Gargano Jr., Beachwood; Armando Freitas, Stefania Dockum, Island Heights; Patrick Cavanaugh Jr., Brick Township; Tabraz Mohammed, Brian Rosenberg, Red Bank; Mark Ugaro, Shawn Cotter Jr., Middletown; Scott Leander, Keyport; Qasim Mri, Edison; Andres Genao, Newark; and Augusto Deleonardis, Staten Island.