The following is a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office:
An investigation launched earlier this year prompted by a spike in shootings in Long Branch, Asbury Park and Neptune Township, resulted in the arrests of members of a Long Branch-based "G-Shine" set of the Bloods criminal street gang along with gang associates. The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Gang Unit initiated Operation Lights Out in an effort to identify those responsible for this increased violence and to dismantle their criminal enterprise, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
"Our objective is to continue to do all that we can to make the streets of Monmouth County safe for everyone. Dismantling entrenched criminal enterprises that peddle drugs, unlawfully possess and transfer firearms and inflict violence, remains our priority. We had great support from our law enforcement partners throughout the county and we collectively share this same goal," Gramiccioni said.
The nine-month investigation led to the arrest of 29 people who now face charges ranging from Racketeering, Distribution of Narcotics, Conspiracy to Distribute and/or Possess Narcotics, Unlawful Possession of Handguns, Unlawful Transfer or Sale of Firearms, Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons and Hindering Apprehension of Another. The investigation revealed the criminal organization distributed approximately 150-200 grams of powder and crack cocaine a week with an estimated street value of $225,000.00, and approximately 250 packets of heroin per week with an estimated street value of $22,500.00. Operation Lights Out culminated last week with the seizure of two semi-automatic handguns (.40 and .380 caliber), over 200 grams of cocaine, 35 bricks of heroin, approximately $14,000 in cash and three vehicles.
This operation would not have been possible without the support of our partners: Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Shaun Golden; Monmouth County Correctional Institute, Warden Barry Nadrowski; Marlboro Police Department, Chief Bruce Hall; Belmar Police Department, Chief Andrew Huisman; Freehold Township Police Department, Chief Ernie Schriefer; Long Branch Police Department, Director Jason Roebuck; Freehold Borough Police Department, Chief Glenn Roberts; Little Silver Police Department, Chief Daniel Shaffery; Asbury Park Police Department, acting Chief David Kelso; Neptune Township Police Department, Chief James Hunt; Brookdale Community College Police Department, Captain Robert Kimler; Middletown Police Department, Chief Craig Webber; Holmdel Police Department, Chief John Mioduszewski; Keansburg Police Department, Chief James Pigott; Shrewsbury Police Department, Lieutenant Robert Turner; Wall Township Police Department, Chief Kenneth Brown; Manalapan Police Department, Chief Michael Fountain; Hazlet Police Department, Chief Philip Meehan; and Highlands Police Department, Chief Robert Burton.
The following 18 individuals were members of a Racketeering Enterprise, which involved drugs, guns and gang violence, and arrested as a result of Operation Lights Out:
An additional 11 defendants have been arrested and charged with third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (NJSA 2C:35-10a(1)) and third degree Conspiracy to Possess a Controlled Dangerous Substance (NJSA 2C:5-2/NJSA 2C:35-10a(1)): Howard D. Coleman, 57; Abdelmone M. Elbakry, 48; Dana L. Gilardi, 37; Laura Kale, 43; Kyle J. Manger, 31; Thomas Murphy, 54; Michael Nucci, 56; Joseph Pecoraro, III, 36; Patricia Rodgers, 44; Omar Sanders, 37; Oakley "Buzz" Smith, 65.
The following three defendants remain at-large and are fugitives from justice:
Rory D. Quill, 33, is charged with third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (NJSA 2C:35-10a(1)) and third degree Conspiracy to Possess a Controlled Dangerous Substance (NJSA 2C:5-2/NJSA 2C:35-10a(1).
Jamie L. Shaw, 37, is charged with third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (NJSA 2C:35-10a(1)) and third degree Conspiracy to Possess a Controlled Dangerous Substance (NJSA 2C:5-2/NJSA 2C:35-10a(1)).
Rasheen Yarbrough, 38, is charged with first degree Racketeering Conspiracy (NJSA 2C:41-2d), second degree Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (cocaine) (NJSA 2C:35-5b(2)), second degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with Intent to Distribute (cocaine) (NJSA 2C:35-5b(2)), third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (cocaine) (NJSA 2C:35-10a(1)) and Conspiracy to Commit the Foregoing Offenses (NJSA 2C:5-2).
If convicted of any of the first degree charges, each defendant faces a sentence of up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison and would also be under parole supervision for five years following release from state prison.
If convicted of any of the second degree charges, each defendant faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison.
If convicted of third degree offenses, each defendant faces a sentence of three to five years in prison.
If convicted of fourth degree offenses, each defendant faces up to 18 months in state prison.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Merlin Thomas and Emily Cartmell.
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.
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