Also sized were a total of 54 guns, (including assault rifles, a submachine gun, and a ghost gun) and high-capacity magazines.
December 11, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan announced today that the New Jersey State Police have arrested Andre Sulimenko, 56, of Barnegat, N.J., and United States Postal Service employees William Woolley, 52, of Jackson, N.J., and Nicholas Gooskos, 41, of Spring Lake, N.J. for various drug and weapon offenses and seized 2 kilograms of fentanyl, heroin, 54 guns, and high-capacity magazines.
On Wednesday, December 2, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit, Neptune City Police Department, Middletown Township Police Department, and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, working together as a part of the New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force (OETF), received information about the possible distribution of fentanyl by two employees of the United States Postal Service in Jackson Township, Ocean County.
While conducting their investigation in Jackson Township, detectives observed Andre Sulimenko pull his Subaru into the driveway of William Woolley’s residence for an alleged narcotics transaction. Detectives observed Woolley exit his residence, approach the car, and hand a bag to Sulimenko. Shortly after the exchange, detectives stopped Sulimenko who was found to be in possession of one kilogram of fentanyl, which was located in the bag that he had just received from Woolley. Sulimenko was arrested at the scene without incident.
Later that day, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Trafficking Central Unit and the Opioid Enforcement Task Force along with the State Police T.E.A.M.S. Unit, K-9 Unit, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant on Woolley’s residence. William Woolley was found to be in possession of 18 handguns, 28 rifles and shotguns, high-capacity magazines, and various firearm parts. Among the weapons seized were an assault rifle, a submachine gun, and a ghost gun. A ghost gun is a firearm that is assembled from various parts that are not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer, making them difficult for law enforcement to trace.
As a result of the continuing investigation, detectives identified Nicholas Gooskos as another suspect in the fentanyl distribution network. On Thursday, December 3, with the assistance of the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, detectives arrested Gooskos while on his mail delivery route in Neptune Township, N.J. As a result of the arrest, detectives later seized 120 individual doses of heroin. Detectives later searched Gooskos’ residence in Spring Lake, N.J. and seized one kilogram of fentanyl, five rifles, one assault rifle, two shotguns, high-capacity magazines, and ammunition.
The New Jersey State Police Hazmat Unit safely processed the fentanyl seized in this investigation. Fentanyl is an extremely lethal synthetic opioid, and as little as two milligrams are enough to cause a fatal overdose. The street value for a kilogram of fentanyl is $50,000, but when mixed with other agents and broken down into individual doses, the fentanyl seized in this investigation had an estimated street value of $3,000,000.
William Woolley was charged with distribution of fentanyl, conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, possession of a firearm during a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) offense, possession of a ghost gun, possession of an assault rifle, possession of a machine gun, manufacturing an assault firearm, and possession of high-capacity magazines.
Nicholas Gooskos was charged with possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, possession of a firearm during a CDS offense, possession of an assault rifle, and possession of high-capacity magazines. Andre Sulimenko was charged with possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.
William Woolley and Andre Sulimenko were lodged in the Ocean County Jail and Nicholas Gooskos was lodged in the Monmouth County Jail. All were lodged pending a detention hearing.
“Undaunted by the COVID pandemic, the New Jersey State Police are working ceaselessly to protect the public, in this case by seizing large quantities of the super-potent opioid fentanyl and outlawed weapons, including two assault rifles, a machine gun, and an untraceable ghost gun,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “By arresting these men and removing these highly lethal drugs and guns from our communities, we have made residents safer and more secure. The State Police and Division of Criminal Justice will continue to collaborate with law enforcement at all levels to target these dangerous criminal elements.”
“Fentanyl is one of the deadliest opioids in existence, just a few milligrams can kill an adult. This narcotic is not only lethal to users, sellers, law enforcement, and forensic scientists tasked with handling it, trace amounts left on surfaces by traffickers could easily claim the lives innocent victims, including unsuspecting children,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “While New Jersey remains on the forefront of the battle against the opioid epidemic, with the State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force leading the charge with innovative enforcement strategies, we will continue to work with our partners and communities to develop education and awareness campaigns to combat this plague on all fronts.”
“The members of DCJ’s Gangs and Organized Crime Bureau stand ready at all times to work with the New Jersey State Police and our other law enforcement partners in these investigations targeting illegal drugs and weapons,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Those who bring deadly narcotics like fentanyl and banned firearms into our communities will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
To date, the OETF has conducted 131 enforcement operations and seized more than 800,956 individual doses of packaged opioids valued at $4,004,780, more than 75 kilograms of raw heroin valued at $4,500,000, more than 25 kilograms of fentanyl valued at $1,250,000, more than 50,000 fentanyl based pills valued at $500,000, more than 33 kilograms of cocaine valued at $2,088,000, more than $2,462,137 in U.S. currency, and 143 firearms. The OETF has also disrupted or dismantled 33 fully operational opioid packaging facilities, a fully operational fentanyl pill pressing operation, and arrested 301 suspects during this time.
The Barnegat Police Department also assisted in this investigation, and the State Police Ballistics Unit identified and processed the firearms seized by detectives. The case is being prosecuted by the Division of Criminal Justice.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.