Fourteen members of a major Jersey shore drug trafficking organization (DTO) were arrested this morning by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The DTO is alleged to be a large-scale supplier of heroin and cocaine in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman joined representatives of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the DEA in announcing the arrests at the Prosecutor’s satellite office in Asbury Park.
A total of 22 defendants were charged in two complaints. 7 remain at large and one has been in custody since September on other charges.
Herve Cadet, a/k/a “Gotti,” a/k/a “Bro,” 29, of Neptune and Sayreville, New Jersey; and Eric Smith, a/k/a “EV,” a/k/a “E,” 42, of Manchester, New Jersey are the alleged leaders of the DTO. Smith is the defendant who has been incarcerated since September.
“The criminal complaints describe drug trafficking operations that have been responsible for sizable quantities of illegal narcotics on the streets of Asbury Park, Neptune Township, and the surrounding towns,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “We hope and expect that today’s arrests will make a real difference to the drug trafficking trade in these counties. This is not the last that you will hear from us in this fight.”
“This lengthy and collaborative investigation has resulted in the arrests of major suppliers of heroin in the Monmouth and Ocean county areas,” Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, said. “DEA and its law enforcement partners will continue to investigate those seeking to poison our communities.”
From November 2013 through October 2014, Cadet, Smith, and the other members of their drug trafficking organization (the “Cadet DTO”) conspired to sell illegal drugs – chiefly heroin – in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. Through the authorized interception of cell phone calls, the use of confidential informants and other means, law enforcement learned Cadet and Smith were leaders of the Cadet DTO, responsible for identifying sources of heroin supply. Cadet and Smith also oversaw distributors and other conspirators, who sold, packaged and stored the drugs. Members used stash houses, spoke in code and used Haitian Creole to avoid detection by law enforcement.
The Cadet DTO sold prepackaged bundles of heroin, containing approximately one-fifth of a gram, and “bricks,” which contained approximately one gram. Members of the Cadet DTO also packaged heroin for subsequent distribution to dealers and others. Discussions about drug quality, customer satisfaction, pricing and the nature of the drug distribution business were captured on calls recorded by law enforcement.
“This operation demonstrates the cooperative commitment of the multi-levels of law enforcement focused on eradicating the epidemic killing people everywhere, including Monmouth County,” First Assistant Prosecutor Marc C. LeMieux said. “We are committed to putting these purveyors of death out of business.”
The conspiracy count with which each defendant is charged carries a minimum potential penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The conspiracy count charging Mendez and Lyons carries a carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
In addition to the DEA and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Fishman credited agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Asbury Park, Neptune and Keansburg Police Departments, and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office for their roles in the case.