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UPDATE: Suspected Heroin Deal at Lacey Library Leads to Arrests

Cops followed vehicle from suspected drug dealing house to public library, kicking off larger investigation

Ralph Monaco (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Ralph Monaco (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Lacey police have charged six local residents with numerous drug offenses after following a vehicle from a suspected house where drugs were being dealt to the Lacey branch of the Ocean County Library.

UPDATE: Ocean County Library officials declined to comment on the arrests Thursday.

The arrests have been made over the course of the past week, though the incident which sparked the investigation occurred Oct. 3, when Lacey detectives witnessed a vehicle departing from the house at 311 Nautilus Boulevard in Forked River, where they say drug dealing activity was suspected.

The vehicle, police said in a statement, was observed dropping off a male passenger at the Lacey Branch of the Ocean County Library – then, after meeting with a second male, the passenger entered the bathroom of the library.

An investigation led to the arrest of 19-year-old Michael Capone of Forked River, who police say was found in possession of heroin and was suspected of injecting the drug while in the library bathroom.

During Capone's arrest, detectives located paraphernalia "consistent with the use of heroin," the statement said.

Other detectives conducted a traffic stop of the suspect vehicle which led to the arrest of the driver, 21-year-old Alexandria Walker, of Forked River.

Walker was found in possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia, police said, and ultimately charged with possession of heroin, distribution of heroin, and possession of a hypodermic syringe.

Capone was charged with possession of heroin and possession of a hypodermic syringe.

Another man, Joseph Ferenc, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and lodged in the Ocean County Jail after being unable to post $750 bail on an outstanding warrant.

More arrests came Wednesday, Oct. 9, police said, when detectives observed what they say was a "suspicious transaction" between a pedestrian and a vehicle in the Burger King parking lot at the Lacey Mall.

The passenger of the vehicle, 23-year-old Ralph Monaco, was identified as a resident of 311 Nautilus Boulevard in Forked River, the home where the previous week's alleged drug deal originated.

As detectives approached the vehicle, the driver of the vehicle, identified as 22-year-old John Clifton of Forked River, attempted to conceal cash, the statement said.

The pedestrian, identified as 25-year-old Devin Demichele of the Whiting section of Manchester, had heroin and a hypodermic syringe in his possession which led to his arrest, police said.

A search by officers yielded an additional quantity of heroin and drug paraphernalia along with nearly $2,000 cash, police said.

Clifton and Monaco were both charged with possession of heroin, distribution of heroin, and possession of a hypodermic syringe. Both were lodged in the Ocean County Jail in default of $20,000 bail.

Demichele was being lodged at the jail after bail was set at $10,000, in addition to an outstanding $2,500 warrant issued by the Tabernacle Municipal Court, police said. 

A third passenger in the vehicle, 21-year-old Fred Vona of Forked River, was also arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Mr. Happy October 11, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Hi Spooner- as I had written before, last night's meeting was a generic club meeting, not the official "meet and greet." No reason to advertise. The official meet and greet is next Wednesday. As to advertising, I don't know what the budget allows. Unlike the (R) candidates, fully funded by the boardwalk, the (D) rely on citizen donations. And no, I did not attend because I didn't see the ad in the Ocean Star. I don't read it. I read the Star Ledger. I love that Mulshine guy, don't you??
proud October 12, 2013 at 06:45 AM
Mr Lackey, maybe you could augment up the citizen donations in the (D) campaign coffers by bringing your shoeshine box to the "not so generic" meet and greet. You're going to have it there anyway.
JAKE2 November 03, 2013 at 09:24 AM
Make their bail higher with nooo 10%. Get them in a rehab !!!! I know this is not just the answer ! They have to mentally wanna be clean. Which is a difficult road !!! But it can be done ! But the bails set are soooo low ! They are right back out and on the streets ! Let them withdraw in jail. Now that's tough !!!!
JAKE2 November 03, 2013 at 09:36 AM
They are not starting with heroin. They are starting with pills. Then moving into heroin. As you know it alls know. It's cheaper. ! All talk no action ! It's not helping ! The police has a job. To stop crime ! They are not there to rehab addicts !!!! Laws have to get tougher and education is lacking in our schools ! We have an epidemic here ! Lets step it up !!!! Saying noooo to drugs is not education ing. These kids need to know hard facts from peers that made the dreadful mistake !!! These kids are not scumbags. These are kids the made a really bad choice !!!!! Let them come in and talk to these kids !!!!!! I'm talking about kids in recovery. Let them tell their story !!!!! It's time to set these kids straight. It may not stop all of it !!! But I know it will make some stop and think. And hopefully. And I pray. Walk away !
JAKE2 November 03, 2013 at 09:38 AM
This also affects college age students too ! A lot try this in college too !!!! ( pills). And move to heroin !

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