NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) issued a press release on September 30 touting three arrests that resulted in the "recovery" of what they claimed was $20,000 worth of heroin, as well as six handguns and a bulletproof vest.
The official statement claimed the trio was "running a street-level drug sales operation that netted thousands of dollars annually."
All three defendants were charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute it and possession of a firearm while distributing heroin:
Monroe and Graham were also charged for being "certain persons who are prohibited from possessing weapons due to prior, unrelated criminal convictions," according to the MCPO.
Monroe was also charged with receiving stolen property, which authorities identified as "two of the handguns that were seized during his arrest," while Graham was charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute it in a school zone.
“In order to address the current heroin epidemic in New Jersey, we must take a two-pronged approach,” said County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, saying the first prong was providing education and treatment "to those vulnerable to addiction."
“In addition, it imperative that law enforcement continue to investigate and prosecute vigorously those who profit from the addictions of others, and who are responsible for the violence associated with the illegal drug trade,” said Carey.
"Those who use illegal firearms to make a living selling this poison simply do not care that our citizens are dying," he continued.
Though none of the defendants live in Edison, according to the statement, that municipality's embattled police department was apparently involved in the "lengthy investigation" that led to the three arrests on September 15.
According to the MCPO statement, the "intensive" joint investigation involved the EPD and the MCPO's "Gangs, Guns and Drugs Task Force." It lasted about six months, having began in April 2016.
Carey credited EPD Detective Michael Carullo with initiating the investigation and MCPO Assistant Prosecutor Tzvi Dolinger for serving as a "legal advisor" during the investigation.
According to the MCPO, Dennington was released from custody after posting $25,000 bail. Graham remains in the Middlesex County Jail on $250,000 bail.
However, the September 30 statement inaccurately claimed that Monroe was still in the slammer. He had actually been released one day prior after posting $250,000 bail.
New Brunswick Today obtained the statement despite the MCPO removing all of our reporters from their press list earlier this year.