JACKSON – You are never really off-duty when you’re a police officer and Township Police Chief Matthew Kunz knows that all too well.
He observed a hand-to-hand controlled dangerous substance transaction while he was off duty on January 16.
Chief Kunz contacted headquarters stating what he observed and provided a vehicle description and the direction it was traveling in.
The vehicle was quickly spotted by Police Officer Kevin Chesney who stopped the vehicle on Bennetts Mills Road. He was quickly backed up by fellow Officer Michael Morizio.
Officer Chesney spoke with the driver and while doing so, observed a large hunting knife along the floor board which was in close proximity of the driver. For his safety, he requested the driver step outside the vehicle so that he could speak with him in a safe location away from the weapon.
The driver was asked why they were observed in the dead-end location and the transaction also witnessed. While this was continuing, Police Officer Anthony Riso arrived on scene to assist. Chesney informed Riso what he had learned while Riso was heading to the location given to him so he could speak with the person whom the driver said he was both conversing with and conducting business with.
Riso then returned and advised that the story he was given was a different one from the events told to Chesney. Consent was requested and refused by the driver to search his vehicle and as a result, a K9 from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department was requested to the scene to conduct a narcotics sniff of the suspect vehicle.
Officer Fiorentino and his dog “Utah” arrived on scene and quickly gave a positive indication of suspected narcotics within the car.
Utah’s sniff of the car yeiled results with the discovery of a large amount of suspected heroin and crack cocaine. Also found was drug paraphernalia for CDS ingestion as well as a burglary tool kit, a small scale and a plethora of used empty wax folds utilized to contain heroin which were spread about throughout the vehicle.
More than $5,300 in cash was also located in the vehicle and as well as on the driver which was seized along with the suspect vehicle. Both parties were subsequently arrested and charged.
Police charged Brian Vientos with two counts of Possession of CDS for the heroin and crack cocaine, two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS, Possession of a Weapon and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Vientos was additionally charged with motor vehicle summonses and was released on a complaint summons with a pending court date.
Also charged was Amanda Meklin with two counts of Possession of CDS for the heroin and crack cocaine, two counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Prescription Legend Drug.
As a result of the charges, she currently remains lodged in the Ocean County Jail.