FREEHOLD – After a five-month investigation, three members of a Neptune Township cocaine and heroin distribution ring were arrested during the last several days. The group was moving about a kilogram of cocaine and 10,000 bags of heroin a week, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
The investigation led by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics and Criminal Enterprise Investigation Section dubbed “Operation Undertow,” culminated with the arrest of three men earlier this month while one man remains at-large.
Kurrian Grasty, 38, of Neptune Township; Terrence Wright, 47, of Orange; and Marlo Taylor, 41, also of Neptune Township, were arrested as part of the drug distribution network based primarily in the Neptune Township area.
Grasty and Taylor were both arrested on June 7. Wright was apprehended on June 12. After hearings before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon, both Taylor and Wright were denied pretrial release and were ordered detained at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution to await trial. Grasty’s detention hearing is scheduled for June 22. He also remains incarcerated in the county jail.
In addition, charges have been filed against Timothy Guest, 44, recently of Swedesboro and Irvington, and who has yet to be apprehended and remains a fugitive in this case.
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Two search warrants in Neptune Township executed on June 8 led to the seizure of approximately one-half of a kilogram of cocaine, approximately 6,250 bags of heroin, a stolen .40 caliber, semi-automatic handgun and over $35,000 in cash. Additional search warrants for a residence in the City of Orange and two automobiles led to the seizure of two additional kilograms of cocaine. Together, the seized drugs have a street value of over $300,000.
Grasty is charged with two counts of first degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute, third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance With Intent to Distribute on or near School Property, two counts of third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, second degree Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances, second degree Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, second degree Certain Persons Not to Have Weapons, second degree Possession of a Firearm During While Committing a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense, and third degree Receiving Stolen Property.
Wright is charged with two counts of first degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute, two counts of third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, and second degree Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances.
Taylor is charged with one count each of first degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute, third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and second degree Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
Guest is charged with two counts of first degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute, two counts of third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, and second degree Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances.
If convicted of the first degree offenses, each defendant faces an extended term sentence of up to life in a New Jersey state prison. If convicted of the second degree offenses, each defendant faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison on each count. If convicted of the third degree offenses, each defendant faces a sentence of three to five years in prison.
The arrests were made with assistance from the following agencies: Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Atlantic Highlands, Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Belmar, Highlands, Allenhurst, Marlboro, Hazlet, Eatontown, Middletown, Howell, Wall, Neptune Township, Long Branch, Tinton Falls, Holmdel, Red Bank, Manalapan, Spring Lake police departments.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Matthews, Director of the Narcotics and Criminal Enterprise Investigation Section.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous, but who has information about a crime can contact the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.