A Brick man is facing major drug charges after police say they found him in possession of ingredients to manufacture a popular substance made from cough syrup and over 4,000 cartridges used to make THC vape pens.
A two-month long investigation that began in March by detectives from the Brick Township Police Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) turned up two arrests and drug contraband with a street value of over $45,000, said Sgt. Jim Kelly.
The suspect, Umberto DiLauro Jr., was charged with multiple drug offenses including first degree maintaining a drug manufacturing facility and second degree distribution.
According to Kelly, though the investigation began in March, Umberto was pulled over on May 9 on an unrelated motor vehicle violation by Ptl. Jeffrey Person. With the assistance of K9 Officer Keith Prendeville, that stop led to the arrest of Umberto for possession of a pint-sized bottle of promethazine with codeine – two ingredients in prescription cough syrup that are mixed with soda and popularly known as the drug “lean,” purple drank,” “sizzurp” or plain “syrup.”
Later that night, the DEU executed a search warrant on Umberto’s residence in Kentwood Gardens apartment complex where thousands of items of contraband were seized, including 748 vaping cartridges full of THC oil, over 4000 unfilled vaping cartridges, several jars containing THC wax and THC oil, a money counter, and thousands of unassembled cartridge boxes and labels, Kelly said.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Asset Forfeiture Unit is assisting in the investigation of further charges of financial crimes against Umberto, Kelly said.
A photo of DiLauro was not available and he was not listed as an inmate at the Ocean County Jail.