Home Ocean County Biggest Bust Ever: 90,000 Heroin Doses, 19 Pounds of Cocaine, $1.5M in...

Biggest Bust Ever: 90,000 Heroin Doses, 19 Pounds of Cocaine, $1.5M in Cash and Cars

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Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato announces charges in the largest drug bust in county history, March 9, 2018. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato announces charges in the largest drug bust in county history, March 9, 2018. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

What began as a traffic stop in Lakewood last year evolved into what would become the largest drug bust in Ocean County history, leading investigators into a tangled web of drug dealers, suppliers and offshore accounts that stretched across the region.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato on Friday, flanked by state troopers, DEA agents and police officers from towns as large as Brick and Toms River to those as small as Ship Bottom, announced the slew of raids and arrests that resulted in the seizure of 90,000 doses of heroin, 19-pounds of cocaine, $848,481 in currency, cars and SUVs worth $713,620 and 20 firearms. The investigation, which began in April 2017, led investigators to seven counties, two states, offshore bank accounts, and even involved the National Guard’s drug task force.

Jihad Anderson, of Brick. (Photo: OCPO)
Jihad Anderson, of Brick. (Photo: OCPO)

Among the 33 raids was one in Brick Township, which resulted in the arrest of Jihad Anderson, 38, of 45 Bretonian Drive. Anderson is charged with a number of drug and weapons offenses, detailed below.

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In all, 28 people face charges as a result of what was dubbed Operation Heading Back, named for the fact that authorities were able to keep moving northward from Ocean County to the source of the drug operation, Coronato said. Three of those charges remain fugitives.

The operation brought down nine drug production centers.

“These are the facilities which were creating and processing the drugs,” said Coronato. “This is also the type of investigation that was very dangerous.”

Officers’ lives were put on the line during the 33 raids across the state, where they entered homes and apartment units that contained pounds of substances and a cache of illegal weapons – all loaded – including an AK-47 assault rifle.

“What we really found was that it became one-stop shopping,” Coronato explained. “It was not that you go to a drug dealer and just get cocaine or heroin. They would also supply you with marijuana, pills, or whatever drug you needed.”

Coronato said the network of drug dealers did not, necessarily, have a kingpin, but instead had a web of individual dealers who negotiated prices and shopped for the best bulk deals.

“This, clearly, was a very sophisticated drug network that was based on dollars and profit,” Coronato said. “You could see that they would negotiate with different dealers to get the best price and get the [largest] commodity as soon as possible.”

Coronato credited U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur and Sen. Cory Booker for their efforts in designating Ocean County a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, allowing for the use of federal resources and the coordination between more than a dozen law enforcement agencies in the operation.

“This investigation is another example of how collaboration between law enforcement on all levels can make an impact in New Jersey,” said Valerie A. Nickerson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division. “The DEA Monmouth/Ocean HIDTA Task Force was formed for this exact reason, to bring additional resources to aid in the fight against drug trafficking in Ocean County.”

Coronato said the operation’s proceeds were the largest bust in the history of the county’s Special Operations Group, which investigates drug rings, and likely in the overall history of Ocean County.

Narcotics seized were:

  • Cocaine: 8,775 grams (19.346 pounds/ 8.75 kilograms)
    • 1 gram = $40-$100
    • 1 kilogram = Wholesale: $18,000-$26,000
    • Street Value: $38,000-$45,000
  • Ecstasy:
    • 100 pills
  • Heroin: 1,800 grams (4.00 pounds/1.8 kilograms/ 90,000 individual dosage units)
    • 1 brick (50 wax folds) = $180-$250/brick
    • 1 kilogram = Wholesale: $30,000-$45,000
    • Street Value: $50,000-$70,000
  • Marijuana: Approximately 6 lbs.
    • 1 pound = Wholesale: $800-$1,200 Street Value: $3,000-$3,500
  • Prescription Pills: 100 various pills
  • Additional amounts of: THC edibles, Promethazine, Suboxone

Those arrested were:

  • Jihad Anderson, Age 38 – 45 Brentonian Drive, Brick, NJ
    • Conspiracy to PWI, heroin over 5oz., 2nd degree
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
    • Unlawful Possession of a High Capacity Magazine, 4th degree
    • Possession of CDS, Heroin/Fentanyl, 3rd degree
  • Laquan Anderson, Age 33 – 26 Tanbark Drive, Parlin, NJ
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 2nd degree
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, 2nd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, Disorderly Persons
    • Maintaining or Operating a CDS Production Facility, 1st degree
    • Possession of Firearm While Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
  • Lorenzo Balmer – Piscataway
    • Possession of heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, 2nd degree
    • Conspiracy to Produce/Manufacture/Distribute Heroin, in a quantity greater than 5 oz., 2nd degree
    • Certain persons not to possess a firearm, 2nd degree
    • Possession of Firearm While Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
  • Reynard Bronson, Age 34 – 9-15 Triton Terrace, Newark, NJ
    • Conspiracy to PWI cocaine over 5oz, 2nd degree
    • Possession with Intent Cocaine over 5 oz., 1st degree
    • Possession of Firearm While Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
  • Jocelyn Corniel, Age 34 – 280 Wayne Avenue, Apt. 2, Paterson, NJ
    • Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, 2nd degree
    • Maintaining or Operating a CDS Production Facility, 1st degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Oxycodone, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Oxycodone, 3rd degree
    • of Heroin w/ Intent to Distribute over 5 oz., 1st degree
  • Sean Crosby, Age 35 – 1326 Paris Court, Lakewood, NJ
    • Two (2) counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, 2nd degree
    • Two (2) counts Possession of a firearm during a CDS offense, 2nd degree
    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin over 5 oz., 1st degree
    • Distribution of Heroin over 5 oz., 1st degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Certain persons Not to Possess a Firearm, 2nd degree
    • Possession of a Defaced Firearm, 4th degree
  • Saladine Davis, Age 41 – 1227 East Front Street, Plainfield, NJ
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Hindering Apprehension, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
  • Rafael DeJesus, Age 42 – 280 Wayne Avenue, Apt. 2, Paterson, NJ
    • Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, 2nd degree
    • Maintaining or Operating a CDS Production Facility, 1st degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Oxycodone, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Oxycodone, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Heroin w/ Intent to Distribute over 5 oz., 1st degree
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin over 5 oz., 2nd degree
  • Gregory Delarosa, Age 38 – 414 Union Avenue, Jersey City, NJ
    • Two (2) counts of Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5 oz., 1st degree
    • Conspiracy to PWI Heroin over 5 oz., 2nd degree
    • Possession of Firearm While Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
  • Andrea Goines, Age 35 – 114 Lenox Court, Piscataway, NJ
    • Poss. of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Poss. of Paraphernalia, DP
  • Elissa Gundell-Goodson, Age 21 – 69 Center Avenue, Keansburg, NJ
    • Possession of Marijuana, under 50 grams, DP
    • Possession of Percocet, 3rd degree
  • Robert Hager, Age 62 – 522 Batchlor Street, Toms River, NJ
    • Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe, DP
  • Delcio Hernandez-Severin, Age 35 – 118 East 26th Street, Paterson, NJ
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin over 5 oz., 2nd degree
  • Darrin Hester, Age 57 – 310 Franklin Place, Plainfield, NJ
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Hindering Apprehension, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
  • Marcia Jenkins, Age 36 – 308 Vasser Drive, Piscataway, NJ
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin, 2nd degree
  • Kareem Johnson, Age 30 – 335 Moonlight Drive, Piscataway, NJ
    • Maintaining or Operating a CDS Production Facility, 1st degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, greater than ½ ounce but less than 5 oz., 2nd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 2nd degree
  • Joyce Kirkland, Age 52 – 297 Meeker Avenue, Newark, NJ
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Hindering Apprehension, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
  • Bernard Mendez, Age 32 – 216 Powderhorn Drive, Lakewood, NJ
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Alprazolam, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Oxycodone, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Oxycodone, 3rd Degree
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin over 5oz, 2nd degree
    • Three (3) counts of Possession of a Firearm while Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Receiving Stolen Property, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, greater than ½ ounce but less than 5 oz., 2nd degree
    • Three (3) counts of Possession of a Firearm, 2nd degree
    • Certain Persons not to Possess a Firearm, 4th degree
  • Larry Petty, Age 35 – 112 JamesStreet,Bldg. 17, Apt. 7, Toms River, NJ
    • Possession with Intent, Marijuana, 3rd degree
    • Possession of a Firearm while Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
  • Robert Randolph, Age 36 – 183 West 6th Street, Howell, NJ
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
    • Unlawful Possession of a High Capacity Magazine, 4th degree
  • Christopher Romero, Age 28– 339 Corbin Court, Lakewood, NJ
    • Possession of Oxycodone, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Two (2) counts Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, 2nd degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Marijuana, under 50 grams, DP
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin, over 5 oz., 2nd degree
    • Certain Persons not to Possess a Firearm, 4th degree
  • Joseph Rosenthal, Age 27 – 228-1 North 5 Avenue, Long Branch, NJ
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
    • Possession of Marijuana, 4th degree
    • Possession with Intent, Marijuana, 2nd degree
    • Conspiracy Possession with Intent, Cocaine over 5oz., 2nd degree
  • Rasheed Sanders, Age 37 – 86 Mary Avenue, East Orange, NJ
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine over 5 oz., 1st degree
    • Possession of a Firearm while Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
    • Certain Persons not to Possess a Firearm, 4th degree
    • Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm, 2nd degree
  • Teron Savoy, Age 42 – 59 East Connecticut Concourse, Jackson, NJ
    • Conspiracy Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5 oz., 2nd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, 2nd degree
    • Distribution of Heroin, 2nd degree
  • Byron Simpson, Age 46 – 29 Clinton Avenue, Plainfield, NJ
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Hindering Apprehension, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Paraphernalia, DP
    • Possession of a Defaced Firearm, 4th degree
    • Possession of a Firearm while Committing a CDS Offense, 2nd degree
    • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, 2nd degree
  • Pedro Victoriano, Age 36 – 3288 Perry Avenue, Apt. 4F, Bronx, NY
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 1st degree
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin over 5 oz., 2nd degree
  • Thomas Wyatt, Age 39 – 1750 West 3rd Street, Piscataway, NJ
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession of Marijuana, DP
    • Conspiracy to Possess with Intent, Heroin over 5 oz., 2nd degree
  • Jaime Doyle, Age 32 – 20 Romana Lane, Toms River, NJ
    • Conspiracy to PWI, Heroin over 5 oz., 2nd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Possession with Intent, Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Two (3) counts of Distribution of Heroin, 3rd degree
  • Morris Howard, Age 41 – 638 Hillside Avenue, Brick, NJ – *FUGITIVE*
    • Possession of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Distribution of Cocaine, 3rd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Possession with Intent, Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Two (2) counts of Distribution of Heroin, 3rd degree
  • Stacy Bell, Age 45 – 261 Adams Street, Piscataway, NJ – *FUGITIVE*
    • Conspiracy Possession with Intent, Heroin over 5oz., 2nd degree
  • Akera Lewis, Age 27 – 100 Schofield Street, Newark, NJ – *FUGITIVE*
    • Conspiracy PWI heroin, Heroin over 5oz., 2nd degree
    • Possession of Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Possession with Intent, Heroin, 3rd degree
    • Distribution of Heroin, 3rd degree

Search warrants were executed at:

  • 142 Jerome Place, Bloomfield, NJ– Residence of Jamil Brooks
  • 5 Lawrence Street, Apt. 533, Bloomfield, NJ– Residence of Reynard Bronson
  • 45 Brentonian Drive, Brick, NJ– Residence of Jihad Anderson
  • 11 Berkeley Place, Eatontown, NJ– Residence of Joseph Rosenthal
  • 2464 Route 9, Unit #770, Howell, NJ– Storage Facility of Bernard Mendez
  • 807 Salerno Way, Howell, NJ– Residence of Bernard Mendez
  • 59 East Connecticut Concourse, Jackson, NJ– Residence of Teron Savoy
  • 698 Communipaw Avenue, Jersey City, NJ– Business of Gregory Delarosa
  • 777 Communipaw Avenue, Jersey City, NJ– Business of Emanuel Delarosa
  • 414 Union Avenue, Jersey City, NJ– Residence of Gregory Delarosa
  • 339 Corbin Court, Lakewood, NJ– Residence of Christopher Romero
  • 1182 Ocean Avenue, Lakewood, NJ– Business of Bernard Mendez
  • 300 Main Street, Apt. 809, Little Falls, NJ– Residence of Rafael DeJesus
  • 2990 Wayside Road, Unit #2990, Neptune, NJ
  • 100 Schofield Street, Newark, NJ– Residence of Akera Lewis
  • 9-15 Triton Terrace, Unit 1, Newark, NJ– Residence of Reynard Bronson
  • 26 Tanbark Drive, Parlin, NJ– Residence of Laquan Anderson
  • 118 East 26th Street, Paterson, NJ– Residence of Delcio Hernandez-Severin
  • 280 Wayne Avenue, Apt. 2, Paterson, NJ– Residence of Rafael DeJesus
  • 134 Long Ferry Road, Perth Amboy, NJ– Residence of Byron Simpson
  • 58 Canterbury Court, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Thomas Wyatt
  • 114 Lenox Court, Piscataway, NJ – Residence of Andrea Goines
  • 335 Moonlight Drive, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Kareem Johnson
  • 280 River Road, Apt. 71B, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Kareem Johnson
  • 202 Silverton Place, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Natasha Mihalko
  • 177 Sunshine Drive, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Lorenzo Balmer
  • 308 Vasser Drive, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Marcia Jenkins
  • 29 Clinton Avenue, Plainfield, NJ– Residence of Byron Simpson’s mother
  • 821 Kensington Avenue, Apt. 2L, Plainfield, NJ– Residence of Byron Simpson
  • 575 Easton Avenue, Apt. 7H, Somerset, NJ– Stash Location for Lorenzo Balmer
  • 112 James Street, Bldg. 7, Apt. 7, Toms  River, NJ–  Residence of Larry Petty
  • 68 Route 37 East, Unit #B207, Toms River – Storage unit of Jihad Anderson
  • 129 Winifred Drive, Totowa, NJ– Residence of Rafael DeJesus

Production facilities were dismantled at:

  • 5 Lawrence Street, Apt. 533, Bloomfield, NJ– Residence of Reynard Bronson
  • 59 East Connecticut Concourse, Jackson, NJ– Residence of Teron Savoy
  • 26 Tanbark Drive, Parlin, NJ– Residence of Laquan Anderson
  • 280 Wayne Avenue, Apt. 2, Paterson, NJ– Residence of Rafael DeJesus
  • 114 Lenox Court, Piscataway, NJ – Residence of Andrea Goines
  • 335 Moonlight Drive, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Kareem Johnson
  • 280 River Road, Apt. 71B, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Kareem Johnson
  • 308 Vasser Drive, Piscataway, NJ– Residence of Marcia Jenkins
  • 821 Kensington Avenue, Apt. 2L, Plainfield, NJ– Residence of Byron Simpson

Vehicles seized include:

  • 1996 Cadillac Seville – $2,700.00 – Kareem Johnson
  • 2000 Mercedes Benz – $4,700.00 – Byron Simpson
  • 2005 Acura TL – $6,400.00 – Byron Simpson
  • 2005 Ford F250 – $10,000.00 – Lorenzo Balmer
  • 2006 Acura TL – $6,800.00 – Rafael DeJesus
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee – $25,072.00 – Reynard Bronson
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – $46,244.00 – Byron Simpson
  • 2014 Mercedes CLS – $44,796.00 – Kareem Johnson
  • 2015 Infiniti Q50 – $28,600.00 – Bernard Mendez
  • 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – $64,895.00 – Thomas Wyatt
  • 2006 Chevrolet Express Van – $9,000.00 – Rasheed Sanders
  • 2007 Black Infiniti – $10,000.00 – Bernard Mendez
  • 2007 Toyota Tundra – $16,000.00 – Gregory Delarosa
  • 2010 Ford Mustang – $12,000.00 – Byron Simpson
  • 2010 Silver Acura TL – $10,700.00 – Laquan Anderson
  • 2012 Dodge Charger SRT – $20,000.00 – Lorenzo Balmer
  • 2012 Honda Odyssey – $18,000.00 – Rafael DeJesus
  • 2013 Honda Accord – $14,000.00 – Gregory Delarosa
  • 2014 Jaguar XKR – $80,000.00 – Byron Simpson
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee – $25,072.00 – Reynard Bronson
  • 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – $46,244.00 – Byron Simpson
  • 2014 Mercedes CLS – $44,796.00 – Kareem Johnson
  • 2015 Infiniti Q50 – $28,600.00 – Bernard Mendez
  • 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – $64,895.00 – Thomas Wyatt
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander – $24,514.00 – Pedro Victoriano
  • 2016 BMW 535 – $33,983.00 – Bernard Mendez
  • 2016 BMW X6 – $48,861.00 – Reynard Bronson
  • 2016 Kia Sedona – $19,465.00 – Delcio Hernandez-Severin
  • 2016 Lexus RX 350 – $40,286.00 – Joseph Rosenthal
  • 2016 Nissan Maxima – $23,805.00 – Jocelyn Corniel
  • 2016 Range Rover – $76,315.00 – Rasheed Sanders
  • Blue Honda CR-V – $16,484.00 – Pedro Victoriano

Approximately Total Retail Value: $713,620.00

Firearms Seized were:

  • 100 Schofield Street, Newark, NJ – 2 Handguns
  • 1182 Ocean Ave, Lakewood, NJ – 5 Handguns
  • 698 Communipaw Ave, Jersey City, NJ – 1 Handgun
  • U-Haul Storage Facility, Toms River, NJ – 1 Shotgun
  • 112 James Street, Toms River, NJ – 1 Handgun
  • 5 Lawrence Street, Apt. 533, Bloomfield – 1 Assault Rifle
  • 9-15 Triton Terrace, Newark, NJ – 3 Handguns
  • 142 Jerome Place, Bloomfield, NJ – 2 Handguns
  • 134 Long Ferry Road, Perth Amboy, NJ – 2 Handguns 821
  • 821 Kensington Avenue, Apt. 2L, Plainfield – 1 Handgun
  • 114 Lenox Court, Piscataway, NJ – 1 Handgun