STAFFORD, NJ — A seven-month long drug investigation in Stafford Township ended on Oct. 18 with Atlantic County residents being charged and the large-scale seizure of guns, drugs, money and more, police said.
Four were charged, including Kai Sylvester (27) of Somers Point, Abdul Shakur Hopewell (28) of Atlantic City, Javon Brooks (39) of Atlantic City and Leland Loftin (49) of Atlantic City, according to Stafford police.
The investigation began in April 2022 when the Stafford Township Drug Enforcement Unit responded to “numerous Heroin and Fentanyl related overdoses” where wax paper folds stamped with “Beetlejuice” were recovered, police said.
“Information gathered from these fatal and non-fatal overdoses led to a joint investigation with the NJSP Crime Suppression South Unit in Atlantic City,” police said.
The heroin and fentanyl distributed was responsible for 39 overdose incidents, 22 of which were fatal in Stafford Township and Atlantic County, according to police.
Officials worked to discover the source of the drugs and identified Sylvester as the main distributor of the heroin and fentanyl, police said.
Three Atlantic City residents (Hopewell, Brooks and Loftin) were found to be coordinating with Sylvester to distribute in Stafford Township and Atlantic County, police said.
“During the course of this long-term investigation, advanced techniques were utilized to gather information, which led to the approval and execution of nine search warrants of vehicles, residences and storage facilities,” Stafford police said.
The search warrants ended with the following being seized, according to police:
Sylvester, Brooks and Hopewell were charged with various first, second and third degree CDS distribution and weapon offenses, possession of firearms in commission of a CDS offense, and promoting organized street crime, according to police. All three were taken to the Atlantic County Jail.
Loftin was charged with third degree CDS offenses and released on criminal complaint summonses pending a future superior court date in Atlantic County, police said.
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