A two-month investigation into a drug distribution network being operated in Ocean County comes to a close with the arrest of five local residents, copious amounts of drugs and over two-hundred grand.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Monmouth Ocean HIDTA Task Force ran point in the investigation starting in December of 2017 looking into a large scale heroin/fentanyl and cocaine distribution network.

The investigation by the Task Force started because of alleged Fentanyl distribution by Philip Tarver, 34, of South Toms River.

Through a collaborative effort between multiple police agencies and the task force three executed search warrants found over a half kilogram of cocaine, two hundred grams of crack cocaine, several ounces of fentanyl, and quantities of heroin and MDMA.

On top of that they uncovered a heroin manufacturing and packaging facility on South Main Street in South Toms River which Toms River Police say had several items that would be used to "cut" heroin and fentanyl and a lot of empty bags to ship the heroin in.

Police also seized more than $210,000.00 in U.S. currency along with a loaded handgun.

Yolonda Richardson, 37, of South Main Street, South Toms River, Kimberly Tolbert, 51, of Washington Street, Toms River, Fatinah Dillard, 25, of Washington Street, Toms River, Jamal Barney, 19, of 10th Street in Berkeley Township were arrested ahead of Tarver who Brick Police collared February 8 after a no bail warrant was issued for his arrest.

When Tarver was arrested police found him in possession of a large quantity of heroin and ammunition.

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Ocean County investigators arrest five from drug distribution network. (Toms River Police Department)
Ocean County investigators arrest five from drug distribution network. (Toms River Police Department)

Richardson is charged with (first degree) possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, (first degree) maintaining a heroin manufacturing facility, possession of cocaine and crack cocaine and possession of marijuana.

Tarver, Tolbert and Dillard are charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of cocaine, possession of heroin/fentanyl, possession of a firearm during a CDS offense and possession of MDMA.

While Barney is charged with possession of heroin and possession of marijuana.

Members of the Monmouth Ocean HIDTA Task Force, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Police, Toms River Police Department, Berkeley Township Police Department and South Toms River Police Department, executed the search warrants at locations in Toms River, South Toms River and Berkeley Township.

The raids were carried out by the DEA SRT, New Jersey State Police TEAMS unit and the Toms River Police Department ESU.

The public is reminded that criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

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