THREE MEN CHARGED WITH DRUG OFFENSES IN

LACEY TOWNSHIP

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today the culmination of a two-month cooperative investigation into Heroin distribution in the Lacey Township area. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force and the Lacey Township Police Department identified a residence in Lacey Township being used by Joshua Casper, age 36, to store and distribute quantities of Heroin.

On Monday, November 25, 2019, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force and Lacey Township Police Department were conducting surveillance on the subject residence when they observed Kevin Smith, age 36, of Barnegat, and Kyle Frate, age 34, also of Barnegat, exiting the residence and entering a motor vehicle with Casper. The Detectives followed the vehicle to a local convenience store and observed Casper exit the vehicle. A subsequent motor vehicle stoprevealed that both Smith and Frate were in possession of approximately ten wax folds of Heroin/Fentanyl as well as drug paraphernalia. A short time later, Detectives executed a no-knock search warrant at Casper’s residence in Lacey Township. The search of the residence yielded approximately 280 wax folds of Heroin and assorted drug paraphernalia. Casper, Frate and Smith were all arrested and charged.

Joshua Casper, 36, of Forked River, was charged with Distribution of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2. Casper was released pending a future court appearance.

Kyle Frate, 34, of Barnegat, was charged with Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1) and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6a. Frate is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail on an unrelated matter.

Kevin Smith, 29, also of Barnegat, was charged with Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A.2C:35-10a(1) and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6a.  Smith is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to thank the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lacey Township Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit for their assistance in this investigation.

The public and media are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.