Crime Family Associate From Toms River, Admits Possessing Cocaine With Intent To Distribute

October 22, 2020

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–An alleged crime family associate today admitted possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jason Vella, 39, of Toms River, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

On Sept. 19, 2019, investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutors Office executed a search warrant on Vella’s residence and recovered in excess of 150 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia, $2,295 in cash and pieces of jewelry.

The charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the members of the FBI’s Organized Crime Task Force under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; and investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O=Malley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

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Defense counsel: Dennis Carletta Esq., Cedar Grove, New Jersey