Berkeley Township police detectives recently made a number of drug arrests involving street transactions in the Bayville area, Detective Sgt. James J. Smith said today.
"For the past three weeks, members of the Berkeley Township Detective Bureau and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Special Operations Group have been investigating open air drug dealing in several locations around Korman Road as well as Route 9 and Frederick Drive," he said.
The surveillance culminated in a number of area arrests made on Aug. 3, Smith and Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele said.
First arrested was Jacob Applegate, 21, Ocean Gate, near Route 9 and Frederick Drive. He was charged with possession of heroin. Municipal Court Judge James Gluck set Applegate's bail at $5,000, with no ten percent option.
Next was Michael Hughes, 28, Forked River. He was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance - Rexicet and Xanax- and possession with intent to distribute. Police also seized Hughes' white Ford pickup and found $500 in cash believed to be proceeds from drug transactions, Smith said.
Both Applegate and Hughes were taken to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, he said.
"As we continued our investigation into the evening, in the same area, officers observed what appeared to be a drug deal between the occupant of a motor vehicle and a male on a bike," Smith said.
When a plainclothes detective moved in to investigate, the driver of the red Honda "sped up," and a pursuit began, he said.
Detective Scott Stoker apprehended the man on the bike.
Driver still at large
Detective Joseph Robertazzi and Patrolman Jason Malley pursued the Honda, which sped down a neighborhood street, then entered the Baywick Shopping Plaza on Route 9, Smith said.
"They tried to take the access road behind the plaza into the Hidden Creek Apartments," he said. "The driver stopped the car short of crashing into a fence and fled on foot. It ended without him being located."
The driver was identified as John Dames III, with addresses in several towns, including Lakewood, Rahway and Bayville. Policed seized the Honda and found his identification, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and nearly $4,300 in cash, also believed to be proceeds from drug transactions, Smith said.
A female passenger in the Honda was identified as Lauren Quigley, 28, Milford. Charges against her are pending, he said.
Dames is currently wanted by police on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin, eluding police in a motor vehicle, aggravated assault and resisting arrest by flight, Smith said.
Ocean County Superior Court Judge Francis Hodgson set Dames' bail at $200,000, with no ten percent option.
"His whereabouts is unknown at this time," Smith said.
Arrest at Walgreens
Police that same night arrested Dennis O'Leary, 48, Bayville, who was already wanted for robbing an 18-year-old Bayville man of his cell phone and $40 earlier that evening. O'Leary was arrested at the Walgreens store on Route 9 on Route 9 and Korman Road, Smith said.
He was charged with conspiracy to possess heroin and robbery. Ocean County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Wauters set O'Leary's bail at $50,000 with no ten percent option.
DiMichele said that the Ocean County Sheriff's Department's K-9 unit and officers from Ocean Gate, Pine Beach and Toms River also assisted in the arrests.
She and Smith urged residents to continue to call the township's anonymous tip line to report narcotics or suspicious behavior at 732-341-1132, ext. 611.