Ocean County Man Pleads Guilty To Dealing Cocaine

Andrew Contaldi (Photo courtesy Ocean County Jail)

  BRICK – A township man has pleaded guilty to dealing cocaine after a four-month investigation, “Operation Checkmate,” connected him to a drug network.

  Andrew Contaldi, 47, of Brick, pled guilty to Possession of Cocaine in an Amount Greater than Five Ounces with Intent to Distribute. At the time of his sentencing on August 12, 2022, the State will be recommending a term of 10 years New Jersey State Prison.

  “The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force managed and directed three simultaneous multi-agency investigations into high level cocaine distribution in Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex Counties, as well as New York City. During the course of these investigations, approximately 50 additional law enforcement personnel were assigned to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force on a full-time basis. Multiple agencies, both within and outside of Ocean County, assisted in every aspect of all three investigations,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.

  The investigations, identified as “Operation Checkmate,” began in July 2021 and concluded in October of 2021, Billhimer stated.

ADVERTISEMENT

  According to officials, three cocaine networks were responsible for the import of more than three kilograms of cocaine per week into the Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex County areas. 

  With surveillance methods and undercover operatives, “Operation Checkmate” was successful with dismantling illicit controlled dangerous substance (CDS) distribution activities in these three counties, as well as New York City. 

  On October 26, 2021, 24 people were arrested for various offenses involving distribution of drugs.

  In addition, 24 search warrants were executed resulting in the seizure of more than four kilograms of cocaine, over 15 pounds of marijuana, in excess of $650,000, seven firearms (three handguns, three “ghost guns,” and one pistol grip shotgun), 10 vehicles and additional illegal narcotics. 

  On October 26, 2021, a court authorized search warrant was executed on Contaldi’s home in Brick. As a result, detectives seized approximately 400 grams of cocaine and $19,500. 

  Contaldi was arrested at his home and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.

  Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledged the efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Burke who is handling the case on behalf of the State and also recognized the following agencies for their collaborative assistance and cooperation with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force: Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, United States Drug Enforcement Administration – HIDTA Group 5, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, New Jersey State Police – Trafficking Central Unit, New Jersey State Police Teams Unit, New Jersey Air National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Unit, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, Matawan Police Department, Matawan Police K-9 Unit, Keyport Police Department, Manalapan Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Field Services Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Barnegat Police Department, Brick Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Brick Police Department Special Response Team, Brick Police Department K-9 Unit, Beachwood Police Department, Berkeley Police, Jackson Police, Lakewood Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit, Lakewood Police Department Special Response Team, Lakewood K-9 Unit, Manchester Police Department Special Enforcement Team, Ocean Township Police Department (Waretown), Point Pleasant Borough Police, South Toms River Police, Stafford Police Department, Toms River Police Department Special Enforcement Unit, Toms River Police Department Emergency Services Unit, Toms River Police K-9 Unit, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Aberdeen Police Department, Asbury Park Police Department, Hazlet Police Department, Hazlet Police Department K-9 Unit, Keansburg Police Department, Marlboro Police Department, Middletown Police Department, Sea Bright Police Department, Old Bridge Police Department – Bureau of Narcotics, Union Beach Police Department, Union Beach Police Department K-9 Unit, New York City Police Department – 50th Precinct Field Intelligence Office and the City of New York Office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor.