Drug Enforcement Getting Boost From New DEA Office

Aug 22, 2018

Valerie A. Nickerson, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, announced the formation of a new task force for Ocean and Monmouth counties.

She said over the past several years, the DEA recognized the increased heroin and prescription opioid threat to the Monmouth and Ocean County areas, which led to the creation of this new unit. It will provide additional resources to address the ongoing drug threat plaguing the region. The office was created with the support of Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Tom MacArthur, NY/NJ HIDTA Executive Director Chauncey Parker, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni and Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.

Nickerson said the new task force will work with other law enforcement agencies operating in the area. Collaboration includes enforcement operations, intelligence sharing, community outreach and prevention initiatives as well as enhancing the partnership between public health and public safety.

“The creation of this new office means the permanent assignment of DEA special agents and task force officers,” she said. “The office will aim to disrupt the trafficking of narcotics throughout Monmouth and Ocean County. It will also allow for the increased use of federal resources to combat the current heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkiller epidemic that has taken a toll on the area resulting in an unprecedented number of drug overdose fatalities.”

Coronato stated, “I’m thrilled with the official partnership and the significant difference it makes in terms of our proactive narcotic operations. This past March our cooperative investigations with the DEA already played a major role in a massive drug bust, leading to 28 arrests, the seizure of more than 90,000 doses of heroin and 191 pounds of cocaine.

“That was just the beginning to a tremendous partnership that will send a resounding warning to those who choose to transport narcotics into Ocean County. The official office will not only bring more manpower to the shore area but also more federal funding. This will give us access to more tools to really do our jobs. It’s beyond significant.”  —E.E.


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