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Trio arrested after drug probe in Fords

By KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

WOODBRIDGE — Three men were arrested on drug charges after several weeks of investigation by the Special Investigations Unit of the Woodbridge Police Department.

Anthony Smith, 37, of Fords, was charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances (CDS), possession with intent to distribute, possession of CDS and resisting arrest.

Antony Vaughn, 36, of Fords, was charged with a CDS offense with a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm for unlawful purposes, certain persons not to possess a firearm, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of public property, possession with intent to distribute, possession of CDS and endangering the welfare of children.

Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10 percent option for both Smith and Vaughn.

Tarlton Jesse O’Neil, 36, of Perth Amboy, was charged with possession of CDS, prescription drug offense and possession of marijuana. He was processed and released on his own recognizance.

The Woodbridge Police Department Special Investigations Unit had conducted extensive surveillance of the suspects.

On June 2, police detectives attempted to arrest two of the suspects during an alleged drug transaction at a hotel in the Fords section of town, according to Police Lt. Brian Murphy.

When the officers attempted to arrest Smith and O’Neil, a lengthy foot chase ensued. Ultimately, the two men were arrested, and CDS were recovered.

Immediately after the arrests, the detectives responded to Smith’s home on New Brunswick Avenue and searched it. Vaughn was arrested at the residence.

Smith was also found by police to be a wanted fugitive out of Virginia in reference to a shooting. During the search of the residence, a loaded handgun was recovered there, according to police.

Police reported they recovered approximately 10 grams of crack cocaine, over 150 bags of heroin, pills, marijuana and a loaded 9mm handgun.

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