BARNEGAT, NJ - A Barnegat man who is the father of a top Red Sox draft pick is among three Ocean County men charged with distributing cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and firearms, authorities said.
Jason Groome, 43, 3 Captain Street, Barnegat, was taken into custody around 4:30 p.m. Monday near the Gunning River Mall located on West Bay Avenue in Barnegat. Officials seized about two ounces of cocaine and a defaced 9 mm handgun from Groome, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced Wednesday the culmination of a three month cooperative multi-jurisdictional investigation, continuing Ocean County Law Enforcement’s relentless pursuit of illegal narcotics being imported into the county.
In this latest operation, detectives from the Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group, Southern Enforcement Unit joined forces with the Barnegat Township Police Department and the Stafford Township Police Department Drug Enforcement Units to conduct an investigation into the distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and firearms in the southern Ocean County area.
The investigation by the partnering agencies identified the following three Ocean County individuals and their residences allegedly being utilized to store and distribute quantities of CDS and firearms:
Detectives also identified a 2008 Chrysler 200 and a 2010 Dodge Ram pick-up truck as being utilized by Jason Groome to store and distribute quantities of CDS and firearms. The investigative findings would ultimately lead to detectives obtaining no knock search warrants for all three of the aforementioned residences and vehicles.
On Monday July 10, 2017 at approximately 4:40 pm, Prosecutor’s Detectives along with members of the Barnegat Township Police and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team executed a motor vehicle stop on the 2010 Dodge Ram which was being operated by Jason Groome.
The motor vehicle stop took place in the Gunning River Mall where Groome was arrested on various drug and weapon charges. The seizure of approximately 2 ounces of Cocaine and a defaced 9mm handgun were from Groome as a part of the stop and overall investigation.
Simultaneously with the arrest of Groome, members of the Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group, the Barnegat Police Drug Enforcement Unit, the Stafford Police Drug Enforcement Unit along with members of the Little Egg Harbor Police Narcotics Unit, the Ocean County Sherriff’s Department K-9 Unit and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team executed the no-knock search warrants on the three listed residences.
The investigation and execution of the listed search warrants resulted in police seizing cocaine less than ½ ounce, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a Mossberg 12 gauge pump style shotgun from a Longboat Avenue residence.
The officials also seized approximately 400 Oxycodone pills and a .22 caliber rifle seized from a residence on North Green Street in Little Egg Harbor.
Jason Groome was officially charged with Possession of Heroin, Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Heroin, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine over one half ounce with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Cocaine over One Half Ounce, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm (9mm Handgun), and Possession of a Firearm (9mm Handgun) during a CDS Offense.
Mr. Groome was subsequently housed in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Anthony Brandt 53, 3 Longboat Drive in Barnegat was charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Suboxone and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Mr. Brandt was released on a summons pending a future court date.
Daniel Wunder 61, of 660 North Green Street, Little Egg Harbor, NJ.was charged with Possession of CDS (Oxycodone), Possession of CDS (Oxycodone) with the Intent to Distribute and Possession of MDMA (Ecstasy). Mr. Wunder was released on a summons pending a future court date.
Ocean County Prosecutor’s Captain Jack Sramaty, who serves as the Chairman of the New Jersey County Commanders Association and is the Commander of the Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group commended the efforts of all the law enforcement agencies that participated in this investigation stating, “This investigation is a prime example of what can be achieved by law enforcement when local and county police agencies join forces to combat the distribution of narcotics and firearms in Ocean County.”
The media and public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that these defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Below find defendant photos, arrest and criminal charges information: