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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Twenty People Charged in Connection with Monmouth County Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

Nineteen Arrests Made in Coordinated Takedown by Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement

TRENTON, N.J. – Twenty people have been charged for their roles as members, associates, and suppliers of a drug-trafficking conspiracy that distributed cocaine and crack cocaine in the Monmouth County, New Jersey, area, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Nineteen defendants were arrested today and one remains at large. They are charged with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine or 280 grams or more of crack cocaine (See chart below). The defendants arrested today are scheduled to have their initial appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court.

“As alleged in complaint, the defendants in this organization distributed significant amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine throughout Monmouth County and surrounding municipalities,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “By coordinating closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we continue to work hard to substantially reduce on the drug trade in in our communities in these areas, and across the state.”

“Today's operation is another example of the FBI's dedication to keeping the public safe,” FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, Newark, said. “We know it is a way of life for drug dealers to pollute their neighborhoods with toxic substances so they can profit. It is the FBI's way of life to use dogged determination to find those who are doing the most damage, get them off the streets, and help our local and federal prosecutors put them out of business so the neighborhoods might recover. Our job is made easier when community members take a stand and report any illegal activity they witness.”

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between April 2019 and August 2019, the defendants and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated primarily in municipalities throughout Monmouth County – including Cliffwood, Keansburg, Matawan, Keyport, Red Bank, Long Branch, Neptune, and Asbury Park, as well as Brick Township in Ocean County – and which sought to profit from the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement officials learned that defendant Damion Helmes obtained regular supplies of cocaine from defendants Derrick Hayes and Dequan Copeland. Helmes then distributed that cocaine, portions of which he converted into crack cocaine, for profit, to other distributors, sub-dealers, and end users throughout Monmouth County. During the wiretap portion of the investigation, law enforcement intercepted numerous communications by and between the conspirators regarding such issues as cocaine quality and availability, pricing, packaging, quantity, and customer satisfaction.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited Special Agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach, Brick, Howell, Toms River, Union Beach and Marlboro police departments, and the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; the Red Bank Police Department, under the direction of Chief Darren McConnell; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Pigott; the Middletown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Craig Weber; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; and the Long Branch Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jason Roebuck, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. U.S. Attorney Carpenito also thanked the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Shaun Golden; the Monmouth County Police Academy, under the direction of Director Thomas Mahon; and the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, under the direction of Warden Donald Sutton; for their assistance.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

NAME

RESIDENCE

AGE

CHARGE

SENTENCE EXPOSURE

Damion Helmes

Cliffwood, NJ

39

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40 years

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of Life

Derrick Hayes

Neptune, NJ

37

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40 years

Dequan Copeland

Red Bank, NJ

40

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40 years

Dawn Stephens

Keansburg, NJ

38

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40 years

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Shantay Walker

Howell, NJ

42

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40 years

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

 

*Keith Logan

Long Branch, NJ

38

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40 years

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Shamar Dudley

Long Branch, NJ

42

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40 years

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Cassius Williams

Keyport, NJ

26

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

Tonya Underwood

Matawan, NJ

46

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Michelle Torrez

Matawan, NJ

44

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Elizabeth Conover

Laurence Harbor, NJ

28

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Curtis Jenkins

Keyport, NJ

36

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Ralph Lee

Keyport, NJ

40

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Jermaine Hicks

Wall, NJ

39

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

Skyler Rogers

Cliffwood, NJ

35

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Terry Haupt

Neptune, NJ

35

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

Amad Jones

Long Branch, NJ

37

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

Eric Yarbrough

Keansburg, NJ

28

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

 

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Rondell Hill

Lakewood, NJ

35

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

 

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

 

 

Minimum of 10 years, maximum of life

Malcolm Gatson

Cliffwood, NJ

43

Conspiracy to Distribute or Possess with Intent to Distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine

Minimum of 5 years, maximum of 40

 

*denotes at large

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
19-247
Updated August 22, 2019