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Monmouth County crackdown on drug and weapons sales

Authorities in Monmouth County, directly south of Bergen County, arrested over 30 people for allegeddrug crimes and sales of assault weapons between the start of July and August 3. The arrests were the culmination of an eight-month investigation. Police from a number of other jurisdictions were involved, but none from Bergen County were present.

The Narcotics and Criminal Enterprises Unit of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office claimed to have received a tip in the fall of 2010 about an illegal firearms and drug sales operation in Long Branch. Their investigation first focused on a 43-year-old suspect.

Investigators stated that this man personally sold drugs to undercover police on several occasions, as well as helping set up some other sales to them. The suspect and his alleged accomplices sold over 38 bricks of heroin to police, according to authorities, with each brick containing about 50 drug bags. The suspect is also accused of distributing cocaine.

Prosecutors claimed that the bulk of the heroin came from a West Orange man. The investigation is said to have resulted in the seizure of over 150 bricks of heroin, worth $75,000, as well as marijuana, cocaine, and $72,000 cash.

Officers also identified the same initial suspect, and a number of other individuals as involved in the sale of illegal weapons in New Jersey, including assault rifles and handguns.

Prosecutors accused many of those arrested of being members of a criminal enterprise organized and led by their initial suspect. Others allegedly supplied that enterprise with drugs or weapons.

All those arrested or charged are presumed innocent under the law, unless prosecutors prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

Source Title: Atlantic Highlands Herald: "Over 30 Arrested in Heroin And Gun Trafficking Sweep": Aug. 4, 2011