Jackson man pleads guilty to maintaining meth production facility

Michael Canto, 41 (Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

A resident of Jackson has pleaded guilty to a charge relating to the production of methamphetamine.

On Feb. 10, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Michael Canto, 41, of Jackson, pleaded guilty before state Superior Court Judge Michael T. Collins to a charge of maintaining a controlled dangerous substance production facility.

The prosecutor said Canto’s sentencing is scheduled for April 3. He said the state will seek a term of five years in state prison, with a two-year period of parole ineligibility.

On July 31, during an investigation into illegal drug activity in the Jackson area, Jackson police officers conducted a motor vehicle stop with Canto, who was operating a motorcycle, according to Billhimer.

He said Canto was found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine and was arrested.

Police subsequently obtained a search warrant for a 2002 pickup truck owned by Canto and a search of the vehicle by the Jackson Police Department Detective Bureau, with the assistance of the New Jersey State Police Hazardous Materials Recovery Unit, produced evidence indicating Canto was operating a methamphetamine production facility out of the truck, according to the prosecutor.