Lacey police detectives arrested four township men on July 2 after an ongoing heroin distribution investigation, Police Chief David A. Paprota said.
The detectives saw a car driven by Joseph Bevilacqua, 30, 507 Ashwood Place, and a passenger John Daly, 41, 303 Enterprise Drive, driving to various homes and engaging in what appeared to be drug distribution activities, the chief said.
The surveillance led to a Serpentine Drive home in the Pines section of Forked River, where detectives saw Matthew Copeland, 23, 1758 Lakeside Drive North, get in the back seat and engage in what appeared to be a drug transaction, Paprota said.
When police approached the car, Bevilacqua sped from the area at a high rate of speed while Copeland tried to exit the car a number of times, the chief said.
The vehicle came to a stop near Huffy Wallis Park in the Pines Section of Forked River where all three occupants were arrested. A search of the vehicle by detectives and a K-9 unit from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department yielded 92 bags of heroin, Paprota said.
Members of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Warrants Division responded to 315 Yorktown Drive residence where the fourth suspect, 26-year-old Christopher Jones, was arrested as he attempted to flee through a rear window of the home, he said.
Bevilacqua was charged with possession of heroin, distribution of heroin, intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park and eluding police. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, the chief said.
Daly - who was
wanted for violation of probation from a previous drug
charge - was lodged in the county jail in lieu of
an additional $35,000 bail for charges of possession of heroin and distribution of heroin, Paprota said.
Copeland was charged with criminal attempt to possess heroin and released on his own recognizance. Jones was transported to jail in connection with an outstanding no-bail warrant issued by the Ocean County Superior Court, the chief said.
Police seized Bevilacqua’s Lexus and will be seeking civil forfeiture, as it was used in the furtherance of a crime.