A Sayreville man admitted that he conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin as part of a conspiracy responsible for distributing significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties.
Daniel McHugh, 50, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti via videoconference on Sept. 23 to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin.
McHugh also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and possessing with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
The guilty plea follows a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, according to the statement. To date, 13 defendants have pleaded guilty, including supplier Gregory Gillens and lead defendant Guy Jackson. Gillens was sentenced on Sept. 8 to 10 years in prison. Jackson is awaiting sentencing.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from May 2017 to November 2018, McHugh and others engaged in a narcotics conspiracy that operated in the Raritan Bayshore region of Middlesex and northern Monmouth counties. Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine, the use of confidential sources of information, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that McHugh regularly obtained heroin and cocaine for further distribution from Jackson, according to the statement. Some of the heroin distributed by the conspiracy contained fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.
On the date of his arrest, McHugh gave consent to search his residence, according to reports. During that search, law enforcement recovered quantities of heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine intended for further distribution, according to the statement.
The heroin conspiracy count to which McHugh pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2021.