BERKELEY – After a lot of suspicious activity was noticed by neighbors in the Holiday City West senior community, police got a search warrant and found the house to be part of a drug operation
Berkeley and Ocean County Prosecutor officers initiated the search at 8:50 p.m. on Jan. 23 at an address on Bedivere Court, according to a release from the prosecutor’s office. The warrant stemmed from an ongoing narcotics investigation. Additionally, residents were tipped off by the unusually high amount of vehicles and people coming and going to the property in an otherwise quiet area.
“It was suspected that the home was being used as what is commonly referred to as a ‘crack house,’ a location used by multiple nonresidents and transients for the purpose of using narcotics as well as distributing them,” according to a release by the prosecutor’s office. “Prostitution was also alleged to have occurred at this home. Further, this home was used as an unlicensed tattoo parlor.”
Arrested was Jason Scala, 47, who lived in the home. Investigators found cocaine, prescription pills, marijuana, and a substance suspected to be heroin. There was also paraphernalia used to manufacture, package and distribute cocaine. He was charged with Possession of Control Dangerous Substance, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Possession with the Intent to Use Drug Paraphernalia, Possession with the Intent to Use a Hypodermic Needle, and lodged in the Ocean County Jail.
The lead investigators were Berkeley Detective Michael O’Connor and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Alex Bromley. Detective Sgt. Peter La Rocca, and detectives Joseph Santoro, Michael Riccardelli, and William Somers of the Berkeley Township Detective Bureau and detectives Denis Mitchell and Anthony Carrington III from the prosecutor’s office also assisted in the investigation. Assisting in the execution of the search warrant was the Berkeley Township Patrol Division, the Ocean Gate Detective Bureau, the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department.
Anonymous tips about suspicious activity can always be reported to Berkeley police by calling 732-341-1132 ext. 611.