Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr)
Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr)

Three Toms River residents, two of whom are brothers, have been charged with drug offenses after pounds of marijuana and other drugs were found in their vehicle and homes following a surveillance operation and traffic stop in Manchester, police said.

Christian N. Walko and Olivia Winterstein, both 23, of Toms RIver, were found to be in possession of a large quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, said Manchester Police Capt. Todd Malland.

The arrest began with a traffic stop September 17, when members of the department’s Narcotics Enforcement Team (NET) were conducting surveillance when they noticed a vehicle driving on County Road 530 in the area of Valley Stream Drive, Malland said. The vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation and a subsequent investigation led to the search of the vehicle. During the search, detectives located and seized a large quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and the on-going investigation led to the execution of court authorized search warrants for Walko’s residence and vehicle located in Toms River.  During the searches, detectives located and seized approximately 9-pounds of marijuana, 4-pounds of THC wax, over a half-pound of Psilocybin mushrooms, a quantity of liquid THC, oxycodone pills, various paraphernalia and equipment associated with distribution as well as approximately $6,000 in cash, police said.

Walko’s 25-year-old brother, Richard, who was present during the execution of the search warrants, was also arrested.

Both Christian and Richard Walko were ultimately charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of hashish, possession with intent to distribute hashish, possession of Psilocybin mushrooms, possession with intent to distribute Psilocybin mushrooms, possession of drug paraphernalia and money laundering.

Winterstein was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The cash, along with two vehicles involved in the investigation, were seized pending forfeiture, Malland said.

Assisting in the investigation were members of the Manchester Township Police Department’s Patrol Bureau and K-9 Unit as well as members of the Toms River Police Department’s Patrol Bureau, K-9 Unit and Special Enforcement Team.

None of the suspects were listed as remaining in custody Sept. 29, when police announced the arrests.