Demolition of the Britt-Young heroin and cocaine empire that plagued Ocean and Monmouth Counties in 2013 and 2014 reaches near completion, with the 25-year prison term handed to its Jersey City connection.


Thomas "Cuzzo" Shannon, 37, was sentenced today in a Trenton federal courtroom in the coda of the jury convictions that arose from a two-week trial, according to the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman. He was ordered to serve five years of parole supervision on release.

Shannon was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and more than a kilogram of heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally-derived property.

Twenty-one of the 22 other arrestees charged between March and May 2014 have been convicted.

According to authorities, between October 2013 and March 2014, Shannon and others set up distribution to networks in Ocean and Monmouth, including the Britt-Young drug trafficking organzation (DTO), nominally headed by Robert "True" Britt and Rufus Young, also known as "Equan," "E-Money," and "Kintock."

Some of the contraband was mailed to Shannon from California, investigators said, shipped to a house in Perth Amboy, where Shannon retrieved them and moved them to stash houses in Asbury Park and Long Branch.

The drugs were prepped and packaged in these houses, some packages branded to distinguish them from other narcotics pushed in and around Monmouth, investigators said.

Shannon and others, acting on his directions, paid for the drugs though cash deposits into third-party bank accounts, set up and used by contacts in California.

Communication transpired through numerous cell phones, via text and direct conversations employing code. Investigators said that cocaine was termed "Kristine."

Shannon's arsenal included a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver and a Sturm-Ruger .40-caliber handgun, authorities said.

The government's case was presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Grippo and Brendan Day of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division in Trenton. Shannon was represented by Eatontown attorney Edward Bertucio.

More From 92.7 WOBM