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Feds: Second Reputed Mob Associate Admits Role In Jersey Shore Drug Operation

Jason Vella Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy OCEAN COUNTY PROSECUTOR

A Toms River man on Thursday became the second reputed associate of the DeCavalcante crime family to take a plea deal from the government in connection with a Jersey Shore drug bust.

Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office discovered several ounces of coke during a warranted search of the home of Jason Vella, 39, in September 2019, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Also arrested in the takedown was Mario Galli III, 28, also of Toms River, who was sentenced in July to more than six plea-bargained years in federal prison for a pound of cocaine and a 9mm FEG Model PGK-9HP gun loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition reportedly found in his home.

Galli was on supervised release at the time after serving 30 months for a 2016 conviction for conspiring to distribute more than a pound of cocaine.

SEE: Reputed Toms River Mob Associate Gets 6+ Years In Fed Pen For Pound Of Coke, Loaded Gun

Vella was expected to receive a much lesser term when Thompson sentences him on Feb. 26, following his guilty plea Thursday in federal court in Trenton to possession with the intent to distribute the drug.

Carpenito credited members of the FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force and investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas, secured by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of his Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

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