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Drug Bust Nets 25 In Hopatcong, Roxbury

'Operation Roxicong' spawned by burglary, theft investigations, police say.

Police said that a month-long drug investigation led to the arrest of more than two dozen people in Hopatcong and Roxbury early Wednesday morning.

Police said 87 officers from towns in Sussex and Morris counties began arresting the 22 men and three women at about 3 a.m. Wednesday in 'Operation Roxicong.' Twenty-three of the people were charged with offenses related to distribution. 

The drugs ranged from heroin to marijuana to prescription drugs, including roxicotin and xanax, police said. Police said more 100 roxicotin or xanax pills were purchased by undercover officers over a one-month period.

Roxbury Police Chief James Simonetti said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the arrests were made by utilizing the undercover officers and cooperating witnesses throughout the past month.

Police said the investigation began when Det. Richard Ricco of the Roxbury Police and Det. Ryan Tracey of Hopatcong discovered several individuals shared similar characteristics in the crimes.

Simonetti said incidents involving stolen property sparked the investigation.

Police also recovered two motorcycles in Hopatcong Wednesday that were suspected to be stolen in Roxbury, Simonetti said.

"The detectives were working other cases – burglaries, thefts – and were coming up with the same people as possible suspects in cases," Simonetti said. "They put the cases together, realized that the common denominator was narcotic distribution, and it was effecting both our communities."

Simonetti and Hopatcong Police Chief Robert Brennan thanked other agencies that assisted in the investigation, including MAGLOCEN, a federally funded organization that provided funds, equipment and analytical studies, the Morris County K-9 Unit, Sussex County K-9 Unit, New Jersey State Police, Division of Consumer Affairs-Enforcement Bureau, and the multiple jurisdictions that provided manpower for the search warrants and arrests.

Here's a list of the individuals charged by town:

Hopatcong

  • John McKevitt, 23: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS)
  • Michael J. Furman Jr., 28: Possesion of a CDS (6 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS (5 counts), distribution of a CDS (5 counts), distribution of a CDS within 500 feet of a park
  • Mark J. Vogt, 35: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, conspiracy to possess a CDS, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS, conspiracy to distribute a CDS
  • Theodore R. Hadyka, 23: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, conspiracy to possess a CDS, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS, conspiracy to distribute a CDS
  • Joseph T. Leonard, 28: Possession of a CDS (3 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS (3 counts), conspiracy to possess a CDS (3 counts), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Corey J. Barber, 29: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, conspiracy to possess a CDS, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS, conspiracy to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS within 1,000 feet of a school
  • Matthew S. Smith, 24: Possession of a CDS (2 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to possess a CDS, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute CDSa , conspiracy to distribute a CDS
  • Michael P. Liberti, 27: Possession of a CDS (3 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS (3 counts), conspiracy to possess a CDS (3 counts), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to distribute a CDS (2 counts)
  • Robert Jones Jr., 29: Possession of drug paraphernalia (2 counts), possession of CDS (2 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS within 1,000-feet of a school (2 counts)
  • Christopher G. Cordasco, 25: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS
  • Sean C. Murray, 20: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, distribution of a CDS within 500-feet of a park
  • John M. Leonard, 25: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, conspiracy to possess a CDS, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS, conspiracy to distribute a CDS
  • Justin T. Fastiggi, 25: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS
  • Scott J. August, 23: Possession of a CDS (2 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS (2 counts)
  • Kurt J. Neubauer, 23: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS
  • Zachary Martindell, 20: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS

Roxbury

  • Charles C. Tredway: Possession of a CDS
  • Steven D. Howell, 29: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, conspiracy to possess a CDS, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS, conspiracy to distribute a CDS
  • Erin M. Cikovsky: Possession of a CDS (2 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to possess a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a controlled dangerous substance within 1000-feet of a school, distribution of a CDS within 500-feet of a park
  • Wilmot A. Watson, 20: Possession of a CDS (2 Counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to possess a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), conspiracy to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS 1,000-feet of a school, distribution of a CDS within 500-feet of a park
  • Dylan S. Nowakowski, 19: Possession of a CDS (2 counts), possession with intent to distribute a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS (2 counts), distribution of a CDS within 500-feet of a park (2 counts)
  • Melissa L. Zabriskie, 29: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, distribution of a CDS within 500-feet of a park
  • Scott H. Rosica, 23: Possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS, conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance

Mount Olive

  • John J. Youssef, 28: Possession of an with intent to distribute a CDS, distribution of a CDS
Peggy Morris-Vele October 25, 2012 at 09:34 PM
This generation is in BIG trouble ....hopefully these kids will get help now...prayer is needed...sorry for the parents,but these kids just meet the wrong people.....families need God more then ever.....
maggie d'amico October 25, 2012 at 09:54 PM
So very sad for all involved....
Local Citizen October 25, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I'm really tired of people defending this entire things with the disease comment. It's a disease that they foolishly and willingly brought upon themselves. You aren't born with an addiction to this or any other drug; at some point they made a conscious decision to do what they did. Just because drug addiction is a disease does not mean you can do whatever you like. Yes, if you have an addiction you need help. I understand that part of having an addiction is funding that addiction, but that does NOT excuse this type of behavior. These people should be punished for what they've done. They've taken their disease and spread it around to other people and now their friends and family, while a tragedy to them, want to defend a organized drug ring. You got caught doing something you knew was wrong. Own up to it and get you life on track. I grew up in the same town, knew the same people, went to the same schools, and didn't make the decision of doing drugs, falling into these types or crowds, and making money off of selling dangerous substances to others. Enough with the excuses. Does this make these 25 unfortunate people evil? No. Terrible? No. But they should pay the price because they know what they did was wrong. Ask yourself if you child was killed or something else horrible happened because of the actions of these people. Would "But they have a disease" make you feel better? No. So own up to what you've done and deal with it.
Jessica October 26, 2012 at 12:18 AM
"Not your fault your addiction is illegal" That is quite possibly the most the ridiculous statement I have ever heard. You had a choice whether or not to get involved in drugs, it didn't just happen. Also I see one person saying bad things about the people arrested. The rest were just comments on the job the Hopatcong Police department did. And guess what a lot of us grew up in this town and know more than a few of the people arrested. You aren't the only person who knows them.
ElenaMaria Baccollo October 26, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I commend the police department who brought those to justice. Drugs are luring our innocent children down the wrong path. This is just the beginning of an endless battle. Unless, we join forces and fight drug abuse our future is doomed.
Atimadiched October 26, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Cool
Brendan Kuty October 26, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Hey, Warren. I don't work at Patch anymore. But it's doubtful that information will be released any time soon. Specifics vital to an ongoing investigation often aren't released to the public. Though these people have been arrested, you can bet the police department is still investigating at least a few other drug-distribution leads and probably would want to keep things such as where alleged dealers were working out of print so that they can catch more. Just my hunch.
Mom Average October 26, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Like it or not, addiction IS a disease....does run in families and I guarantee ALL of us know someone who has this disease. Addictive tendencies can show up in eating habits /shopping habits/ collectors/ etc. How many smokers do you know? They are addicts. I totally agree that if you do the crime - you MUST deal with the consequences. I don't know ALL of those listed, but I know a few as they are in the same age group as my kids.......and they are indeed opiate addicts. They need help and this is the first step in their facing reality.The word addict brings up visuals of strung out junkies sitting on street corner in a seedy part of any given city. The reality is that the new face of addiction could be your grandchild, your neighbors daughter, a co-worker. Don't be blind to the truth
Surenuff October 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM
PAleease....I looked on the cdc website and saw no such a thing. (http://www.cdc.gov/DiseasesConditions/). I had a rough life and actually know people with diseases. Disease doesn't make you rob, steal, and vandalize. These are grown *ss people. Grown people make grown up decisions knowing full well the consequences . These people deserve everything they get! Good job HPD! Keep them outta here and off our streets!
tom vicedomini October 26, 2012 at 01:26 PM
These punks burglarized homes and cars and pushed drugs on our town youth. Yeah im really sorry for them........ they are model citizens. Congratulations hopatcong and roxbury police on a well planned operation.
Alice Deward October 26, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Stacey-you are a twit. Of course anyone who sells drugs is a bad person!! Get real.
STATE PARK October 26, 2012 at 03:09 PM
If they where buying why are they listed as dealers. The Keystone cops can't get it right.
Concerned Citizen October 26, 2012 at 05:24 PM
I went to the Hall of Records and obtained the police report of the investigation (it is open to the public, anyone can get it). I was shocked to learn the alleged "ring leader" of the group was not arrested or named in the poster. Here is a link to their Facebook page Facebook.com/profile.php?=73322363. Hopefully if enough of us ask for this criminal to be arrested and brought to justice the police will take down this monster.
Lake Resident October 26, 2012 at 06:23 PM
ADDICTION: The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. DISEASE: A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, illness; sickness; ailment.
STATE PARK October 26, 2012 at 06:47 PM
SHORT TIMER YOU SHOULD HOOK UP WITH STACEY. TWO MORONS.
Hopatcong Resident October 26, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Well it looks like my 10th class reunion will be held in the county lockup. I know most of the people from Hopatcong on this list. They dont need help they need a kick in the a**.
Gianni L October 26, 2012 at 09:36 PM
DISEASE: A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, illness; sickness; ailment. A incorectly functioning organ. The brain is an organ. Mental Disease is often overlooked, but it still is a silent one. Whatever imbalance these people have caused them to do the drugs, could have been as simple as an absent father, or being bullied at school. Yes I know not everybody who had that happen to them turns to drugs but some do. Please do not overlook people with Mental diseases its serious and it sometimes kills people, directly or indirectly.
Gianni L October 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM
DISEASE: A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, illness; sickness; ailment. A incorectly functioning organ. Mental Disease is often overlooked, but it still is a silent one. Whatever imbalance these people have caused them to do the drugs, could have been as simple as an absent father, or being bullied at school. Yes I know not everybody who had that happen to them turns to drugs but some do. Please do not overlook people with Mental diseases its serious and it sometimes kills people, directly or indirectly.
Mom Average October 27, 2012 at 09:20 AM
If Addiction is not a disease..........then why is drug treatment covered by medical insurance? ( under mental health ) ?? Look - I do not feel SORRY of any of these guys..and TOTALLY agree they are where they are because of their actions. I feel sorry that their addiction brought them to this level.Drug addiction WILL make you lie/ cheat/ steal.....its part of the brain chemistry change. The NEED for the substance drives the compulsion to do whatever it takes for that next hit. But for any of you who say addiction is not a disease ...you are ignorant of the facts. Just because you haven't experienced it, doesn't mean it does not exist. I guess you don't feel sorry for Grandma with the oxygen tank - because of emphysema brought on by years of smoking cigarettes? Nah...she brought it on herself...RIGHT?
Derek October 27, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Hopatcong is a terrible place to raise kids. I'm so glad I got out when I did, otherwise my name may have been up there. I feel bad for the people involved, and I guarantee had those individuals grown up in a town like let's day Madison or Chatham, this would not have happened to them. This was no huge dent to the drugs in the town, what a joke that comment was. The people they arrested were small time users and dealers. Where's the Big fish? Hopatcong are to stupid to ever catch those guys. Lmao
Emily October 28, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Chief Brennan is truly a man of his word. He said he was going to start to deal with the horrific drug problem in the town and he didn't let us down. Keep up the good work and kudos to you and your department. I am sure there is alot more work to be done, but I have the utmost confidence the job will get done. Let's not forget the great job Roxbury police did in this joint effort. When everyone works together you can move mountains.
Frazure October 28, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Congratulations to Hopatcong and Roxbury PD's on a job well done. I know one of these individuals personally and know of one of the others. I am sure my kids know most of them but thankfully they are not involved with this sorry bunch.
ash0lee November 01, 2012 at 06:00 PM
i know these people very personally and in "Hotown" a few of them were high up on the food chain and have been for over ten yrs so maybe you should get your facts straight instead of thinking that saying hi to one of them classifies you as knowing them at all. they all got what they have had coming to them some of them have had it coming for 15 yrs.
ash0lee November 01, 2012 at 06:01 PM
fact
ash0lee November 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM
more than a handful of these people were like brothers to me and nothing anyone can say or do can clean someone up who doesnt want to be clean... i ran with them was an addict with them hell i even went to prom with them this is how close i know them...they need to be put away so they can get a clean head and realize that its time to grow up....so dont try to defend them it makes you look like a fool they need to grow the eff up already period. my advice to you stay away from them
Fifty_Shades_of_Snitch November 10, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I only counted 22 mug shot photos, and the title of the artice is "Drug Bust Nets 25 in Hopatcong, Roxbury." My friend is in law enforcement and she explains when there is a snitch, they help identify other drug dealers, in return for their mug shot not appearing in the media. If you look a the list of names, and check off whose photo does not appear, you can spot the snitch, or snitches. I fear for the snitches and their families. I work two jobs and still I have a hard time putting food on the table and paying the bills. These pampered suburban youth can buy drugs and profit off the misery of others. We have a chance to rid our town of these crime families, and the Police can only do so much. Vigilante justice is needed. Today. I don't want my child's mind and body ravage by the scourge of drugs.
david levine November 29, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Yeah the blonde girl in the bust. use to go to the Black River barn. and buy weed off Johnny John the bartender that works there. unbelievable. and he still works at the barn. after he got busted selling weed. back in March. show you what kind of honors run the barn and the people he has working for them
Mitch December 28, 2012 at 09:14 PM
The Romney Boyz solved the case!
S. Murray March 09, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Why do I see a certain surname again and again in relation to drugs and alcohol? Gee, wonder if there is any relation?
Sheila White April 13, 2013 at 07:03 PM
God's plan for the 25 drug families. He will take care of them. Hey, do me a favor. The next time you're near the pond, drop a stone in. Do you know what'll happen? It sends ripples. Imagine 25 stones, and the amount of ripples. These arrests send ripples though our families, our classmates, our relatives, our bouncers, our ministers, our bikers, our vandals, dropouts, shoe collectors, Celtic fans, Spanish ex-girlfriends, legal divorced secretaries, vulgar and naughty moms, bitter moms, moms who say, "She thinks she is better than everybody, our jailed husbands, our uneducated moms, our tanning moms, our moms with overharvested eyebrows, etc. Let's invite these criminal of the street and into church.

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