Baseball Star’s Father Arrested on Drug/Weapons Charges

Jul 17, 2017
Courtesy of: Ocean County Jail/NJMVC Jason Groome, 43, of Barnegat Township, Anthony Brandt, 53, of Barnegat Township and Daniel Wunder, 61, of Little Egg Harbor Township.

Jason Groome, father of the former Barnegat High School star pitcher of the same name, remains held in the Ocean County Jail without bail following his arrest last week on drugs and weapons charges.

Apprehended along with Groome, 43, were Anthony Brandt, 53, of Barnegat Township and Daniel Wunder, 61, of Little Egg Harbor Township. The arrests were the culmination of a three-month cooperative, multi-jurisdictional investigation, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.

Coronato said that on July 10 at 4:40 p.m, Prosecutor’s Office detectives, along with members of the Barnegat Township Police Department and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, executed a motor vehicle stop on a 2010 Dodge Ram that was being operated by Groome. The motor vehicle stop took place within the Gunning River Mall, located on West Bay Avenue in Barnegat, and resulted in the arrest of Groome on various drug and weapon charges. Approximately two ounces of cocaine and a defaced 9mm handgun were seized from Groome as a part of the stop and overall investigation, according to authorities.

Simultaneously with the arrest of Groome, members of the Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group, the Barnegat Police Drug Enforcement Unit, the Stafford Police Drug Enforcement Unit, the Little Egg Harbor Police Narcotics Unit, the Ocean County Sherriff’s Department K-9 Unit and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team executed no-knock search warrants on the residences of Groome, Brandt and Wunder.

The investigation and execution of the listed search warrants resulted in police seizing cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a Mossberg 12-gauge pump-style shotgun, approximately 400 Oxycodone pills and a .22-caliber rifle.

Coronato said detectives also identified a 2008 Chrysler 200 and the 2010 Dodge Ram pick-up truck as being utilized by Groome to store and distribute quantities of CDS and firearms.

Charges against Groome include possession of heroin with intent to distribute, distribution of heroin, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm (9mm handgun) and possession of a firearm during a CDS offense.

Al Della Fave, prosecutor’s office spokesman, said Groome appeared before Ocean County Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels on July 14 for a pretrial detention hearing. He reported Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Francis R. Hodgson III said the state recommended Groome be detained because he was a flight risk. Daniels agreed and Groome will remain incarcerated at least until his next court date, scheduled for Monday, Aug. 21.

He said the state also alleged Groome may have a “significant amount of unknown criminal contacts outside of the state” related to the distribution of controlled dangerous substances and firearms.

Groome’s son was a first-round pick (No. 12 overall) last year by the Boston Red Sox. He currently pitches for the Class A Greenville Drive in Greenville, S.C.

Brant was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of suboxone and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wunder was charged with possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute and possession of MDMA (Ecstasy).

Both were released on a summons pending a future municipal court date.

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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