A Pennsylvania man admitted in federal court in Trenton that he participated in a drug ring that trafficked major quantities of heroin and cocaine into the Raritan Bayshore area.
Guy Jackson, 47, was the 10th defendant snagged in a federal sweep to plead guilty in exchange for leniency at sentencing.
The 11th is his wife, Lashawn Mealing, 48, who admitted trying to destroy evidence in the case.
Jackson, of Effort, PA, “regularly obtained large quantities of heroin and cocaine for further distribution from co-defendant Gregory Gillens,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Friday.
Mealing was involved, as well, he said.
Some of the heroin sold by the defendants was laced with the potentially lethal synthetic opioid fentanyl, the U.S. attorney said.
Following the November 2018 filing of a complaint in U.S. District Court in Trenton, Mealing orchestrated the break-in, at Jackson's request, of a rental vehicle that had been used as part of the conspiracy and the removal of evidence, Carpenito said.
Mealing, of Manchester (and formerly of Effort, PA) pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Trenton to obstructing and attempting to obstruct justice, which Carpenito said happened while she was on federal pretrial release in the case.
Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess at least a kilo of heroin with the intent to distribute it in the Raritan Bayshore area.
The northernmost part of the Jersey Shore, the Bayshore stretches from the Amboys to Sandy Hook in Monmouth and Middlesex counties and includes the towns of Perth Amboy, South Amboy, Sayreville, Old Bridge Township, Aberdeen Township, Keyport, Union Beach, Keansburg, Middletown, Atlantic Highlands and Highlands.
U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti scheduled sentencing for Jackson and Mealing for June 23.
Gillens previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2. Four defendants remain, Carpenito said.
The U.S. attorney credited:
- special agents of the FBI-Newark Division’s Red Bank Resident Agency;
- the Jersey Shore Gang and Criminal Organization Task Force (including the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office and police from Bradley Beach, Brick, Howell, Marlboro, Toms River), Department):
- special agents of the FBI-Philadelphia Division’s Scranton Resident Agency;
- New Jersey State Police;
- Police from Matawan, Holmdel, Highlands, Old Bridge, Keansburg, Hazlet and Aberdeen;
- the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Securing the pleas was Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of Carpenito’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
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