Four Morris County men and another from Philadelphia have been arrested and charged with a slew of drug-related offenses as a distribution ring was busted recently, according to Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp.
Knapp announced Monday the seizure of about 65 pounds of “high quality” marijuana; in excess of five ounces of heroin already packaged for street-level distribution; in excess of half an ounce of cocaine; drug paraphernalia and money counting machines. The investigation also yielded a 2007 Cadillac Escalade and a 2009 Lexus IS250.
In addition to the drugs, $205,000 in drug proceeds was also seized. The investigation revealed large amounts of marijuana were being shipped in bulk from California to separate residences through Morris County. Drugs included in the distribution ring were marijuana, heroin, cocaine, prescription legend drugs, and MDMA, also known as Ecstacy, Knapp said.
On April 10, with the help of Bordentown Police in Pennsylvania, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office was able to apprehend Lee Vonner, 45, of Philadelphia who allegedly had 18 pounds of marijuana in his Cadillac SUV, Knapp said.
The following day, Matthew Fusco, 27 and Jonathan Bellar, 33, both of Parsippany, were arrested and charged with a variety of offenses in connection with the drug distribution ring that was under investigation for eight months.
Derek Eakins, 30, of Rockaway Township and Edwin Flores, 33, of Dover, were both arrested as well.
Fusco was charged with distribution, possession, and possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) in the amount of more than five pounds but less than 25 pounds.
Eakins was charged with possession, possession, with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) in the amount over five pounds but less than 25 pounds, and possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance within 1,000 feet of school property.
Bellar, who was in possession of two stun guns at the time of his arrest, was charged with possession, possession with the intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance (heroin) in an amount over five ounces, possession and possession with the intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) in an amount over five pounds but less than 25 pounds, weapons possession and financial facilitation of criminal activity (money laundering).
Flores was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substance (cocaine) in an amount over half an ounce but less than five ounces.
Bordentown Police Department, the Rockaway Borough Police Department, the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, the Mount Olive Police Department, the Roxbury Police Department, the Hopatcong Police Department, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Dover Police Department, the Denville Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, United States Department of Homeland Security, the United States Postal Inspector Service and the members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office all contributed to this investigation.
“This investigation revealed the tremendous illicit profits that drug distributors generate in dealing drugs,” Knapp said in a statement. “This particular enterprise was especially dangerous in that a whole host of illegal drugs were made available for sale. It is this type of aggressive investigation and prosecution of not only the drug laws, but also the criminal forfeiture laws, that must be employed to effectively attack this epidemic.”
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information can call First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252.