MONMOUTH COUNTY – Thirteen individuals have been indicted for their roles in a drug-trafficking conspiracy that distributed cocaine and crack cocaine in and around Monmouth County, announced US Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Damion Helmes, Dawn Stephens, Shantay Walker, Keith Logan, Shamar Dudley, Tonya Underwood, Elizabeth Conover, Curtis Jenkins, Ralph Lee, and Eric Yarbrough were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine. Helmes, Stephens, Walker, Logan, Dudley, Underwood, Conover, Jenkins, Lee, Yarbrough, Derrick Hayes, Dequan Copeland, and Cassius Williams were also charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.
Helmes was also charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hayes was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, between April 2019 and August 2019, these individuals engaged in a drug trafficking conspiracy in Monmouth County towns, including Cliffwood, Keansburg, Matawan, Keyport, Red Bank, Long Branch, Neptune, and Asbury Park, and Brick Township in Ocean County.
Through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, law enforcement discovered that Helmes obtained regular supplies of cocaine from Hayes and Copeland and then re-distributed that cocaine, portions of which he converted into crack cocaine, for profit, to other conspirators, distributors, sub-dealers, and end users throughout Monmouth County. During the wiretap portion of the investigation, law enforcement intercepted numerous communications by and between the conspirators regarding such issues as cocaine quality and availability, pricing, packaging, quantity, and customer satisfaction.
The defendants were originally charged by complaint on Aug. 22, 2019.