FREEHOLD – A 5-month undercover drug distribution investigation by federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies dubbed “Operation Justice Served” culminated with the arrest of 42 people during the last month, announced Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
The arrests were connected to a Freehold Borough based drug distribution network involved in the sale of many different controlled substances including: heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription pain medications such as oxycodone and Percocet.
“The joint efforts of these multiple law enforcement agencies involved in OPERATION JUSTICE SERVED have accomplished the mission of taking down this local drug trafficking network responsible for bringing drugs into the county and threatening quality of life and the safety of residents. I applaud law enforcement’s seizure of over 2,700 bags of heroin, 300 grams of cocaine, 16 ounces of marijuana and dozens of prescription pills. Perhaps most importantly, a drug trafficking network that was moving about 2,500 bags of heroin and 200 grams of cocaine a week is officially out of business as this operation stopped its ability to put dangerous substances into our community,” Gramiccioni said.
The investigation began in late spring by focusing on drug sales by Kenneth Crooms, 44, of Bowne Avenue, Freehold Borough. The investigation quickly expanded to include 12 others who were either aiding Crooms in his distribution of drugs or selling drugs themselves.
The investigation netted 42 of 46 people charged as part of conspiracies to sell and possess drugs in the County Seat that ultimately led to the seizure of over 2,700 bags of heroin, 300 grams of cocaine, 16 ounces of marijuana and dozens of prescription pills intended for distribution in and around Freehold. The investigation revealed that the trafficking network was moving about 2,500 bags of heroin and 200 grams of cocaine a week.
Crooms and the following individuals are each charged with two counts of second degree distribution of controlled dangerous substances and possession of controlled dangerous substances (heroin and cocaine), two counts each of third degree distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances (marijuana and pain medications) and one count of second degree conspiracy to distribute these drugs. Bails were set by the Honorable David F. Bauman, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court-Criminal Division.
a) Kenneth Crooms, 44, Bail set at $1,061,000 with a 10% option
b) Newman Davis, 39, of Freehold Township, Bail set at $250,000 no 10%
(Additionally Charged with first degree Possession of CDS With Intent to Distribute CDS on 10/31/16 in Freehold Borough-Bail set by Judge Mara Zazzali-Hogan at $230,000 no 10%)
c) Carson Givens a/k/a Carson Crooms, 36, of Manalapan Township
d) Welman B. Crooms, 39, of Freehold Township
e) Andre L. Williams, 40, of Bayonne, Bail set at $250,000 no 10%
f) Kayla Vold, 22, of Freehold Township
g) Kelly L. Andriessen, 21, of Freehold Township
h) Erikan Hassan, 34, of Manalapan Township
i) William Torres, 54, of Freehold
j) Juan Heredia, 31, of Freehold
k) Michael W. Garrett, 49, of Freehold, Bail set at $250,000 no 10%; Garrett was also charged with second degree Possession of a Firearm During a CDS Offense after a search of his home uncovered a loaded handgun with bail set at $50,000 no 10%
l) Amanda N. Rivera, 35, of Long Branch, Bail set by Freehold Borough Municipal Court Administrator Kathryn Krause at $65,000 no 10%
m) Angel J. Fuentes, 25, of Somerset Township, Bail set at $250,000 no 10%
Additionally Charged with first degree Possession of CDS With Intent to Distribute CDS on 10/31/16 in Freehold Borough-Bail set by Judge Mara Zazzali-Hogan at $230,000 no 10%
Carson Givens, Welman B. Crooms and Kelly Andriessen and remain at large at this time.
The investigation also revealed that 28 different people regularly met Kenneth Crooms or Newman Davis to buy drugs on a regular basis, keeping the drug trafficking organization in business. Each of the following drug buyers have been charged with third degree possession of controlled dangerous substances and third degree conspiracy to possess controlled dangerous substances. Bail was set by Freehold Borough Municipal Court Administrator Kathryn Krause unless indicated otherwise:
a) John Smith Jr., 41, of Freehold, Bail set as ROR
b) Ahmed Ibrahim, 25, of Freehold, Bail set as ROR
c) Shannon Gregory, 24, of Howell, Bail $10,000 no 10%
Cody Olmo remains at large at this time.
Husmir Salihagic, 32, of Freehold, who was charged with fourth degree Possession of CDS and third degree Possession of CDS with Intent to Distribute. Bail was set by Marlboro Municipal Judge James E. Newman at $7,000 no 10%.
The following individuals were arrested during the course of the investigation and released on their own recognizance:
a) Jennifer Suydam, 28, of Marlboro. Third degree Possession of Prescription Legend Drugs.
b) Christine Hicks, 43, of Freehold Township. Third degree Possession of CDS.
c) Anthony Macario, 49, of Jackson. Third degree Possession of CDS.
d) Tahean M. Greenhow, 46, of Freehold. Possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, a disorderly persons offense.
If convicted of any of the first degree charges, defendants face a sentence of 10 to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison. If convicted of second degree offenses, defendants face an exposure of five to ten years in state prison, and third degree charge come with a potential sentence of three to five years in state prison.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Carson Givens, Welman B. Crooms, Kelly Andriessen or Cody Olmo is asked to contact Detective Christopher Guy of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or the local police. Do not attempt to apprehend these individuals.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of fugitives.
Prosecutor Gramiccioni credited numerous law enforcement agencies for their hard work and dedication to the investigation, including: Freehold Boro Police Department, Freehold Township Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Manalapan Police Department, Howell Police Department, Brielle Police Department, Asbury Park Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department, Eatontown Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Marshals Service.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Chris Matthews, Director of the Narcotics and Organized Criminal Enterprises Bureau.
# # #