Contact Us

Ocean County’s War On Drugs Ramps Up [AUDIO]

Ocean County law enforcement officials have launched a multi-phase approach to battle a dramatic increase in heroin addiction and overdose deaths in its boarders.

Drug Displays (Photo by Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media)

Over the weekend, Ocean County’s overdose death toll rose to 60 so far this year.

Prosecutor Joseph Coronato says the heroin addiction increase is being fueled by its affordability. Coronato says people, who are addicted to painkillers, are switching to heroin because it’s cheaper.

He says prescription painkillers cost anywhere from $20 to $30 a pill on the black market, but it costs just $5 for a hit or a small bag of heroin.

Coronato announced a plan Wednesday attacking the addiction crises through stepped-up law enforcement, the education of middle and high school students and parents in schools, bringing K-9 units to schools this fall, lobbying state lawmakers to toughen drug possession penalties for distributors and to direct addicts to Drug Court.

During his press conference, Coronato presented a film they’ll be showing to students on how certain drugs are made as well as a slide presentation showing the declining physical appearance of an addict.

He says he’s also planning to bring parents who lost a child to overdose death to share their painful stories.

“We’re also in September going to bring dogs into the schools to make sure that there are no drugs in the schools. So we want to make sure that there’s no drugs being passed in either the bathrooms, the parking lots, anywhere on school property.”

They’ve also stepped up enforcement by separating and doubling the size of its Special Operations Group into north and south units.

“As a result of it, we’re now aggressively working with our informants and we’re taking all our leads so that we can find the ultimate supplier of heroin into the county.”

The enforcement lead to 19 arrests in four separate warrant raids recently.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato (Photo by Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media)

When asking where the heroin is coming in from, Coronato talks about its international origins.

However, he says the supply is being driven by a tremendous demand within Ocean County.

“The floodgates are now open where dealers are now constantly bringing in heroin into the county from all different areas. We have heroin coming in from Atlantic City. We’ve got heroin coming in from Camden. We’ve go heroin coming in from Newark and from Paterson. It’s coming in from the north and it’s coming in from the south because there’s such a demand here in Ocean County.”

Cornato says they’ll be also going to state legislators to make changes to the drug laws on the books.

“In the past, the way that they’ve graded out drugs has always been by weight and I’m asking the legislature to do it by dosages. Right now, that if you had 4,000 or 5,000 packs of heroin, it would still only be a third degree crime which it would be no jail that would be required. To me if you had at least 4,000 packs of heroin on you you’re distributing and it should at least be a 2nd degree crime if not a first degree crime.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

More from WOBM AM

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wobmam.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on WOBM-AM 1160 & 1310 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!