TRENTON - Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a drug dealer from Monmouth County was sentenced to state prison today for distributing a first-degree quantity of cocaine. He was charged in an investigation led by the New Jersey State Police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Edward Scattaglia Jr., 43, of Red Bank, N.J., was sentenced today to 10 years in state prison, including 40 months of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels in Ocean County. Scattaglia pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree distribution of cocaine. Scattaglia was charged in 2015 in “Operation Tidal Wave,” a cooperative investigation led by the New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-Atlantic City Office, with assistance from the Division of Criminal Justice, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Middletown Township Police, and Jersey City Police.
The investigation revealed that Scattaglia was a top member of a drug network that distributed cocaine in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. During the investigation, Scattaglia used his residence as the focal point of his trafficking network, where he would meet with various individuals and supply them with cocaine for redistribution. Rick J. Hiemenz, 37, of Toms River, N.J., another ring member arrested in Operation Tidal Wave, was sentenced On Feb. 16, 2018, to 10 years in state prison. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree distribution of cocaine.
Deputy Attorneys General Michael A. Klein and Jaclyn Poulton prosecuted Scattaglia, and Deputy Attorney General Poulton handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau.
“While law enforcement has focused its attention on heroin, fentanyl, and opioid pain pills in its fight against the opioid epidemic, we continue to target major traffickers like Scattaglia who distribute cocaine, which contributes to hundreds of overdose deaths each year in New Jersey as well as the violence that accompanies street-level drug dealing,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our collaborative efforts take aim at all drug dealers who fuel addiction and crime in our communities.”
“We will continue to work closely with the State Police and our federal, county and local partners to investigate and prosecute the drug dealers profiting from addiction in New Jersey,” said Director Veronica Allende of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. “This sentence will keep a major drug distributor in prison and out of business.”
“The positive effects of collaborative investigations like ‘Operation Tidal Wave’ include a reduction in violence associated with dealing, the disruption of a major trafficking network, and almost certainly a life saved,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “The New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit and our law enforcement partners are committed to shutting down these organizations and bringing dealers like Scattaglia to justice.”
Susan A. Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New Jersey Division said,“The sentencing of Mr. Scattaglia takes a dangerous drug trafficker off of the streets of New Jersey for a long time. He will no longer be able to spread his poison throughout the community. DEA and our law enforcement partners will remain vigilant to target those who seek to prey on our citizens.”
Deputy Attorneys General Klein and Poulton prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, Chief of the Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, and Deputy Bureau Chief Erik Daab. Attorney General Grewal commended all of the members of law enforcement who conducted the investigation for the New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-Atlantic City Office, Division of Criminal Justice, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Middletown Township Police Department, and Jersey City Police Department.
Peter R. Willis, Esq., Jersey City, N.J.
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