MONMOUTH COUNTY – Two more suspects pleaded guilty to being part of a drug ring that dealt heroin and cocaine to the Bayshore area of Monmouth and Middlesex counties.
The two men were part of 15 people charged last year with a conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito. They are the sixth and seventh to plead guilty.
Gregory Gillens, 47, of Hillside, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Gillens also admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine.
Tyler Scarangello, 34, of Hazlet, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine.
Police said they monitored telephone calls and text messages, in addition to other investigative techniques, to close in on the suspects. They learned that Gillens regularly supplied large quantities of heroin and cocaine for further distribution to codefendants Guy Jackson, Richard Gethers, and Deberal Rogers. Jackson distributed the narcotics to others, including Scarangello.
The opioid epidemic is sweeping New Jersey, and many fatalities include heroin mixed with fentanyl, law enforcement personnel have stated. The U.S. Attorney said that some of the heroin distributed in this ring contained fentanyl.
The heroin conspiracy count to which Gillens pleaded guilty carries a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10 million. The cocaine conspiracy to which Scarangello pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 19, 2020.