MANCHESTER, NJ - A Stafford Township man was one of eleven men arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency on Tuesday in a large heroin distribution sweep. Frank DeSanto of Stafford was one of the 11 taken into custody. According to the authorities DeSanto faces up to 20 years in prison for his role in the ring. His alleged role was that of delivering and selling to street level customers in our area.
Authorities are searching for a 12th suspect, 48-year-old Marcellus Cutler, of Lakewood. Stanton was one of the 12 named in an indictment that was unsealed in Manhattan federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
Each of the suspects was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, and some others were charged with more related drug offenses.
These 12 are charged with being members of a drug trafficking organization that pushed "significant" amounts of heroin from Washington Heights and the Bronx in New York into Monmouth and Ocean counties from May to August, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Agents arrested the following members of the drug trafficking organization:
Miguel Ariel Susana, also known as "Jariel Santos." 34, of the Bronx, New York
Quadree Hubbard, 24, of Paterson.
James F. Smith III, also known as "Trey," "Brim Reaper," and "Reaper," 26, of Toms River.
Tahmir Rice, 22, of Paterson.
Damar Bivins, 26, of Toms River.
Jair Oliver, 24, of Brick.
Tysheem Smith, 28, of Lakewood.
Joel Rosado, 38, of Freehold.
Aveena Vitrano-Manley, 23, of Howell.
Frank Desanto, 40, of Stafford
Tyron Trotman, 30, of Manchester
“As alleged, this organization transported large quantities of heroin from Washington Heights and the Bronx across the Hudson to Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey, helping to fuel the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation," said Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York.
Susana allegedly supplied Hubbard and Tysheem Smith with drugs. Rice, Bivins, Oliver, Cutler and Tysheem Smith were said to have assisted either Hubbard or James Smith in "managing certain aspects of the DTO (drug trafficking organization), including in obtaining, packaging, storing, and distributing narcotics," according to the statement.
Desanto and Trotman then allegedly took the heroin from James Smith and sold the drugs to street-level customers.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan was assigned to the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth A. Hanft and Michael D. Neff are the prosecutors.
Susana, Hubbard, James Smith, Rice, Oliver and Cutler, if convicted, could face the most severe punishment with Conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute one kilogram or more carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of a life sentence.
Bivins, Tysheem Smith, Rosado and Vitrano-Manley face a prison term ranging from a mandatory minimum of five years in prison to a maximum of 40 years.
Trotman and DeSanto face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The investigation is ongoing.