Police & Fire

Major Neptune-Based Drug Ring Busted, Over $300K in Drugs Seized by Authorities

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Belmar Police Department was among the contingent of law enforcement agencies that played a role in the arrests made and drugs seized as part of "Operation Undertow." Credits: Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office
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FREEHOLD, NJ — A Neptune Township-based drug ring that was moving a kilogram of cocaine and 10,000 bags of heroin a week has been busted by authorities after a five-month investigation, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

Dubbed “Operation Undertow,” the investigation led by the prosecutor’s office Narcotics and Criminal Enterprise Investigation Section culminated with the arrest of three men earlier this month, as well as the seizure of more than $300,000 in drugs by investigators.

Kurrian Grasty, 38, of Neptune Township, Terrence Wright, 47, of Orange and Marlo Taylor, 41, of Neptune Township were arrested as part of the drug distribution network based primarily in the Neptune area, authorities said in a release.

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While Grasty and Taylor were both arrested on June 7, Wright was apprehended on June 12. After hearings before state Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon in Freehold, both Taylor and Wright were denied pretrial release and were ordered detained at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution to await trial.

Grasty, who also remains incarcerated in the Freehold-based county jail, will have a detention hearing on June 22.

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. 

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 more than $35,000 in cash, the prosecutor’s office said.

Additional search warrants for a residence in Orange and two automobiles led to the seizure of two additional kilograms of cocaine.

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 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 10 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 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 law, according to the prosecutor's office.

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