NEPTUNE – A Neptune man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for heroin and cocaine distribution, announced Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer.
On December 17, 2019, 30-year old Darryl Merritt was sentenced by the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C., to twelve years in New Jersey State Prison with a six year period of parole ineligibility.
On October 13, 2019, Merritt was found guilty of Possession of Over a Half-Ounce of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute; Possession of Over One Half Ounce of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute; Possession of Heroin; Possession of Cocaine; Possession with the Intent to Distribute Heroin in a School Zone; Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine in a School Zone; and Obstructing the Administration of Law, following a ten day jury trial before Judge Collins.
Police arrested Merritt following an OCPO Narcotics Strike Force investigation into the distribution of heroin and cocaine out of a rented house near the Bay Head Elementary School in late 2016 and early 2017.
On March 20, 2017, law enforcement executed a no knock search warrant on the Bay Head residence where SWAT Officers observed Merritt leaving the bathroom where he had attempted to destroy eleven bricks of heroin by flushing them down the toilet. Over one half-ounce of heroin and one half-ounce of cocaine and paraphernalia associated with the distribution of a controlled dangerous substance were recovered from the residence.