*** Investigation Leads to Heroin and Cocaine Arrests ***
The Lacey Township Police Department’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit conducted a several month investigation into the distribution and possession of narcotics within Lacey Township. On December 8, 2018, Lacey Police Detectives, assisted by Detectives from the Berkeley Township and Ocean Gate Police Departments, conducted a motor vehicle stop in Lacey Township on a 2003 Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer was occupied by the driver, 49-year-old Veronica Gasmen, and the passenger, 45-year-old Ned Berwanger, both residing on the 800 block of Oxgoose drive in Lanoka Harbor. The two subjects were arrested and found to be in possession of over 600 wax folds containing a substance indicative of Heroin, along with a quantity of cocaine, and a quantity of crack cocaine. A search of Veronica Gasmen’s residence produced an additional quantity of cocaine, along with drug paraphernalia consistent with the packaging and distribution of narcotics. Both Veronica Gasmen and Ned Berwanger were charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Heroin, Possession of Heroin, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Additionally, Veronica Gasmen was charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine. As per Bail Reform, Veronica Gasmen was released on a complaint summons and Ned Berwanger was lodged in the Ocean County Correctional Facility. A quantity of cash and the Ford Explorer were seized from Veronica Gasmen, pending forfeiture.
The investigation continued, and on December 14, 2018, Lacey Police Detectives executed a search warrant on the 400 block of Drew Avenue in Lanoka Harbor. As a result, the resident, 31-year-old Vincente Scalzo, was arrested on numerous narcotics related charges, including Distribution of Heroin, Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Possession of Heroin, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
During the execution of the search warrant, 36-year-old Jeffrey Smith, Deerhead Lake Drive in Forked River, fled from the Drew Avenue residence in his motor vehicle, striking the residence’s mailbox in the process, and committing numerous motor vehicle violations while eluding Lacey Police detectives. A brief motor vehicle pursuit was terminated a short time later. A warrant was issued for Jeffrey Smith’s arrest for 2nd Degree Eluding, Obstructing the Administration of Law, Distribution of Heroin, and Possession of Heroin.
On December 20, 2018, Lacey Police Detectives located Jeffrey Smith in the Cornerstone Apartments, located at 900 Gary Smith Way in Forked River and placed him under arrest for his charges. Jeffrey Smith was found to be in possession of an additional quantity of CDS, and was charged with additional offenses. As per Bail Reform, Jeffrey Smith was subsequently lodged in Ocean County Correctional Facility.
Residents are urged to report illegal narcotics activity to the Lacey Township Police Department by calling 609-693-6636. In addition, residents may log onto our website, LaceyPD.org, and utilize the “Crime Tips” box located on the toolbar. You may leave an anonymous tip.
-Chief Michael C. DiBella