News Release
August 4, 2006
Contact: Doug Collier, S/A
DEA Public Affairs
Number: (973) 776-1143

13 Arrested on Federal Indictments and State Charges in
Connection with Crack Cocaine Distribution in Asbury Park
One State Defendant Remains a Fugitive

AUG 04 -- (TRENTON, NJ) – DEA Special Agent in Charge Gerard P. McAleer and U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie, along with Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin, announced today that major cocaine distribution networks that were responsible for the distribution of large quantities of both crack and powder cocaine in the Asbury Park area have been dismantled in a series of arrests on federal Indictments and state Criminal Complaints.

The fourth phase of the 2½ year investigation into the illegal drug trade in Asbury Park culminated in the arrest of 13 individuals last night and into this morning, one additional defendant remains a fugitive. Federal charges have been brought against five defendants who are named in any of three federal Indictments returned yesterday and unsealed today. Additionally, nine defendants are charged in state Criminal Complaints filed by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Of the nine defendants charged on state charges, Natasha Parker, 25, of Asbury Park, remains a fugitive.

Gerard P. McAleer, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) New Jersey Division stated, “We have been working diligently in Asbury Park to ensure that the community does not transform itself into the badlands rather; the land of hope and dreams... Today's arrests ensure that the progress realized by the community in recent years will not be held hostage by these violent criminals.”

According to the Indictments and Complaints, the investigation included months of surveillance and multiple undercover operations. The targets of this most recent phase included those not only responsible for the distribution of illegal narcotics throughout Monmouth County, but also those who assisted them.

“We set out on a mission to bring greater resources to assist county and local law enforcement in their fight against drugs and violent crime in Asbury Park,” Christie said. “ As the investigation’s fourth wave of arrests sweeps up remaining drug suppliers and those who assisted them it should be abundantly clear that we want to help Asbury Park to realize its promising future.”

Christie noted the cooperative law enforcement effort amongst the DEA, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Asbury Park Police, in conjunction with Assistant U.S. Attorney John Hoffman, and its success in dismantling one heroin and eleven powder and crack cocaine distribution networks since the task force began its mission in Asbury Park.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin stated, "These arrests demonstrate the commitment of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office to work cooperatively with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute not only drug dealers, but the people who make a conscious decision to assist them in their criminal enterprise."

Valentin noted that in July 2005, the third phase of this investigation resulted in the federal arrest of Curtis Barnes, a.k.a. "Gotti," and Dayshawn Moss, a.k.a."Sharkey." Subsequent to the arrests, the investigation revealed that a number of individuals assisted Barnes and Moss with their distribution operations. According to Valentin, the nine state defendants charged as part of the fourth phase are those who are alleged to have assisted Barnes and Moss. The assistance included activities such as transportation of drugs, stashing drugs, registering vehicles and hiding drug proceeds.

SAC McAleer referenced a total of 37 defendants were federally charged through the first three phases of the investigation. All of the previously charged federal defendants have pleaded guilty and most have been sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms, including the leaders of the various heroin and cocaine organizations, which were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 140 to 175 months. In addition to the federally charged defendants, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office charged 52 defendants on state charges. The majority of the previously charged state defendants have also pleaded guilty and received state prison sentences, including several mid to high level cocaine and heroin dealers who received prison terms ranging from 5 to 14 years.

During the course of the investigation, which began in the spring of 2004 when the Drug Enforcement Administration Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) was detailed to focus its efforts on narcotics trafficking in and around Asbury Park, authorities made seizures totaling four kilograms of powder cocaine, two kilograms of crack cocaine, half a kilogram of heroin, 11 vehicles valued at more than $500,000 and several weapons. Each of the federal defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges contained in the Indictments before U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown, Jr., in the U.S. Courthouse in Trenton at 1 p.m. Despite indictment, each of the defendants is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Christie credited Special Agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gerard P. McAleer, Investigators with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin, and Detectives with the Asbury Park Police Department, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mark K. Kinmon, with the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Hoffman of the U.S. Attorney's Criminal Division in Trenton.