FREEHOLD — The woman accused of running a drug trafficking ring will stay jailed while she awaits trial.
Mechelle Distaulo, 52, of Brick, was arrested in Florida July 2 and in Monmouth County Court Monday, where she learned she would be staying in jail.
She has been charged with second degree conspiracy, first degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, first degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Authorities conducted a 16-month narcotics investigation dubbed “Operation Finished Business,” which busted up a large-scale heroin/fentanyl distribution ring in the Bayshore region. The arrests were announced in April, when Mechelle Distaulo was a fugitive.
The drug ring distributed 20,000 bags of heroin/fentanyl throughout the Bayshore region monthly, the prosecutor’s office said. The drugs had a street value of $200, 000 to $400,000.
Authorities said Mechelle Distaulo had passed her drug empire onto her son Anthony Distaulo, 33, of Jackson, who “acted as the leader of this heroin trafficking network.”
He too is in Monmouth County Jail, charged with first degree leader of a narcotics trafficking network, second-degree conspiracy, first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, first-degree distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Thirty others were charged as part of “Operation Finished Business,” either as part of the drug ring or as customers.