Charges announced in Dark Web drug network; largest quantity of pills in New Jersey history discovered

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Charges have been lodged in a nationwide Dark Web narcotics operation based out of Central New Jersey.

An 18-month investigation initiated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office resulted in the execution of six search warrants and charges against three suspects in New Jersey. The search warrants were executed by a team of law enforcement agencies at locations in South Brunswick, Jamesburg, Old Bridge, Jackson, Asbury Park and Vineland on April 3.

Law enforcement officers uncovered the largest quantity of pills in New Jersey history, with approximately 620,000 alprazolam tablets (Xanax) seized, according to a statement provided by the South Brunswick Police Department. The pills had a street value of $3 million.

In addition, investigators seized approximately 500 glassines of fentanyl-laced heroin and quantities of methamphetamine, ketamine, gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and more.

Investigators also recovered four pill presses and two industrial mixers, among other drug manufacturing items, and thousands of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency, according to the statement.

The suspects allegedly operated storefronts on the Dark Web that sold and shipped hundreds of thousands of counterfeit Xanax tablets and other controlled substances to buyers in 43 states, and laundering $2.3 million in cryptocurrency by using preloaded debit cards and withdrawing cash at ATMs in Manhattan and New Jersey, according to the statement.

In New Jersey, the suspects face the following charges:

Chester Anderson, 44, of South Brunswick, is charged with being a leader of a narcotics trafficking network, maintaining a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) facility; manufacturing, distributing and dispensing CDS; possession with intent to distribute over 100 prescription pills; endangering the welfare of a juvenile; maintaining a fortified CDS manufacturing facility; distribution of CDS in a school zone; possession of steroids and CDS paraphernalia.

Jarrette Codd, 41, of Jamesburg, is charged with possession of MDMA; maintaining a CDS facility; possession with intent to distribute over 100 prescription pills possession; possession of steroids and CDS paraphernalia.

Ronald MacCarty, 51, of Jackson, is charged with possession of steroids.

All three suspects are currently being held in New York where they face money laundering and conspiracy charges, according to the statement.

Investigating agencies included South Brunswick Police, Manhattan District Attorney, United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, New Jersey State Police, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

“This case involved local, county, state and federal law enforcement working collectively for 18 months to identify, track and dismantle this operation. The suspects traveled the Dark Web in the hopes of concealing their crimes but investigators tracked them both online and with physical surveillance to crack this case,” South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in the statement. “A key aspect of the investigation was the collaboration between the prosecuting agencies, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Manhattan District Attorney Office.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said, “When our office received reports of suspicious activity at ATMs in New York and New Jersey, our talented investigators followed the money, using our state-of-the-art Cyber Lab to uncover a Dark Web counterfeit pill seller whose $2.3 million operation spanned the U.S.. Not only is this the first time state prosecutors in New York have taken down a Dark Web storefront, this takedown represents the largest pill seizure in New Jersey’s history. If you are engaging in illicit activity on the Dark Web, you are on notice: we know how to find you, we know how to put you out of business, and we know how to hold you criminally accountable.”

For a link to Vance’s press conference, visit www.manhattanda.org/dark-web-takedown/