BRICK – The combined efforts of the Drug Enforcement Unit and the Selective Enforcement Team of the Township Police Department have resulted in further arrests of drug offenses in the area of a Wawa at 116 Brick Blvd.
Three individuals were arrested on the night of November 12 when officers in the area observed three men selling perfume in the parking lot of Wawa. When officers approached to determine if they had a permit to solicit, one of the men, 26-year-old Andres Rodriguez of East Brunswick was found to have an active warrant for his arrest.
Rodriguez was arrested on the warrant, and all three men were issued summonses for soliciting without a permit. After processing, he was released on his own recognizance. Officers that night had also observed a female, Shannon Kieffer, 33, Toms River, take merchandise from the Wawa without paying.
Kieffer left the store and entered the back seat of a vehicle and the vehicle left the scene. Officers stopped the vehicle and arrested her for shoplifting. She was also found to be in possession of a prescription legend drug. She was later lodged into Ocean County Jail.
While officers had the vehicle stopped for Kieffer, further investigation at the scene of the stop led to the arrest of Tyler Bartholomew, 26 of Rhode Island Ave. Bartholomew was charged with possession of a synthetic controlled dangerous substance. He was also found to be in possession of a container of someone else’s urine, he was subsequently charged with possession of a device to defraud the administration of a drug test.
Bartholomew was also lodged into Ocean County Jail. On the morning of November 15, four more arrests were made. Officers in the area of the Wawa witnessed a drug transaction take place between Eugene Samuels 39, Toms River and Ashley Rose, 33, Toms River.
Samuels was charged with three counts of possession of a prescription legend drug, and three counts of possession with intent to distribute. Rose was charged with three counts of possession of a prescription legend drug. Both were lodged into Ocean County Jail.
The officers also observed suspicious activity take place as a vehicle pulled into the parking lot and the driver entered the Wawa store, only to leave with a sample cup of coffee. K-9 Officer Scott Smith observed the driver, Renee Simonovich 32, of Skyline Drive, talking on her cell phone while driving, and he stopped her vehicle.
The investigation led to the arrest of Simonovich on charges with possession of crack, heroin, paraphernalia, and possession of methadone with intent to distribute. She was processed and released on summonses for those charges.
While in the same area, officers observed a subject they were familiar with, Jason Feliciano 32, of Manchester whose driver’s license they knew was suspended and that he had an active warrant for his arrest. The investigation led to the discovery of prescription legend drugs found in his vehicle. He was arrested, processed, and released on a summons.
The next morning officers made two additional arrests. Patrolman Joseph DeLuca observed a Ronnie Ferrigno, 29, Berkeley, inside the Wawa store remove merchandise without paying. He was placed under arrest by DeLuca for shopliftingand was subsequently processed and released on a summons.
Officers in the area also observed a male distribute controlled dangerous substances. Their investigation on the scene resulted in the discovery of prescription legend drugs and proceeds of a shoplifting. The suspect, Albert Pettit 33, Jackson, was arrested and charged with distribution of a prescription legend drug, possession of a prescription legend drug, and shoplifting. He was subsequently lodged into Ocean County Jail.
Although recent street crimes investigations and stings have focused on this particular location, township police are conducting similar operations in several areas throughout Brick. Chief James Riccio wishes to send a clear message to would-be wrongdoers that criminal activity will be dealt with swiftly and thoroughly.
Riccio has expressed that the peace and “well-being of our residents are our first priority.” Riccio commended the members of the Brick Drug Enforcement Unit, SET team and patrol division “who have been doing an outstanding job following up on information of criminal activity about the township and making these apprehensions.”