Toms River police, assisted by a slew of other law enforcement agencies, executed a search warrant early Thursday morning at a township motel and arrested 15 people as part of a drug investigation.
The names of those arrested were not immediately released by police. The raid took place just after 5 a.m. at the Red Roof Inn on West Water Street, police spokesman Ralph Stocco said.
Eleven men and four women were taken into custody as a result of the month-long investigation, Stocco said. The 15 defendants were charged with offenses including drug distribution, drug possession, and outstanding warrants. Additionally, several fire code violations were observed at the motel and are being addressed, he said.
“This location was targeted as a result of numerous open air incidents of narcotic sales as well as citizen complaints,” said Stocco.
The raid included personnel from the Toms River Police Department Emergency Services Unit, NJ State Police Troop D Parkway Region Criminal Investigation Unit, NJ State Police TEAMS Unit, United States Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Toms River Township Quality of Life Task Force.
The recently formed Quality of Life Task Force combines members of the township’s Criminal Investigative Bureau, Special Enforcement Team, Division of Fire Prevention, and the Code Enforcement/ Zoning Department, Stocco said. The task force will “continually address locations within the township that have been identified as being habitual places of concern for criminal activity, public safety, municipal code violations, and quality of life issues,” he said.
“We anticipate that additional locations and investigations will be initiated in the coming months,” he added.
To maintain the integrity of this ongoing operation and the safety of undercover officers, the names and specific charges of each defendant were not released publicly, said Stocco. All defendants are being held on bail in the Ocean County Jail or have been released on charges pending a future court date.