October 16, 2014
Contact: Timothy P. McMahon
Phone Number: (973) 776-1100
Alleged Members Of Large Heroin Trafficking Ring Charged
Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement authorities arrest 14 in coordinated takedown
ASBURY PARK, N.J. - Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division and Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey announced federal and state law enforcement authorities today arrested 14 alleged members and suppliers of a large-scale drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing heroin and cocaine throughout Monmouth, Ocean, and Middlesex counties.
The alleged leaders of the conspiracy, 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, were among the 22 defendants charged in two complaints unsealed today, 14 of whom were arrested this morning as part of a coordinated takedown by federal and local law enforcement authorities. Smith has been incarcerated in New Jersey in connection with New Jersey state offenses since September 2014. The remaining seven defendants remain at large.
Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Those arrested today are scheduled to make their initial court appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court.
Also charged on a separate complaint today were Joel Mendez, a/k/a “Joey Mendez,” a/k/a “Crack,” 34, of Bradley Beach, New Jersey, and Alfred Lyons III, a/k/a “Alfie,” 33, of Neptune, New Jersey. They were each charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin. Mendez remains at large.
“The criminal complaints describe drug trafficking operations that have been responsible for sizeable 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.”
According to the federal criminal complaints filed in Trenton federal court:
From November 2013 through October 2014, Cadet, Smith, and the other members of their drug trafficking (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 maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the DEA, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Kotowski; and officers of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, who is currently wrapping up a U.S. Navy overseas deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. He also thanked special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office; the Asbury Park, Neptune Township and Keansburg police departments; and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office for their roles in the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.