A resident of Sayreville, Middlesex County, has admitted he conspired to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin as part of a conspiracy that was responsible for distributing significant quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Daniel McHugh, 50, pleaded guilty on Sept. 22 before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti via videoconference to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, according to a press release from Carpenito’s office.
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 the press release.
McHugh’s guilty plea followed a coordinated takedown in November 2018 of 15 defendants who were charged by complaint with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine.
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 the press release.
According to documents filed in the 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 personnel learned that McHugh regularly obtained heroin and cocaine for further distribution from Jackson. 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. During that search, law enforcement personnel recovered quantities of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine intended for further distribution.
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. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20.
Carpenito credited Special Agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including representatives from the Bradley Beach Police Department, Brick Township Police Department, Howell Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Toms River Police Department, and Union Beach Police Department) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; Special Agents of the FBI, Philadelphia Division, Scranton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent; the Matawan Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Falco Jr.; the Holmdel Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Mioduszewski; the Highlands Police Department, under the direction of Chief Robert Burton; the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni; the Old Bridge Police Department, under the direction of Chief William A. Volkert; the Keansburg Police Department, under the direction of Chief James K. Pigott; the Hazlet Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip Meehan; and the Aberdeen Police Department, under the direction of Chief Richard A. Derechailo, with the investigation leading to McHugh’s guilty plea, according to the press release.