TOMS RIVER — The arrest of a Newark man led police to find a much larger operation in neighboring Ocean County towns.

With heroin being a growing problem in the county, the Toms River Police Department's Special Enforcement Team worked with other local law enforcement organizations to crack down on the problem heading into 2017.

The department reported that one of the final arrests of 2016 was 27-year-old Kevin Porter, of Newark, who was found with 250 wax folds, 50 grams of powder heroin and $750 cash.

The investigation, which also included Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Special Operations Group, and the Lavallette Police Department, moved from Toms River to the 100 block of Philadelphia Avenue in Lavallette. There, investigators found "a full manufacturing facility," according to the Toms River Police.

Executing a search warrant, law enforcement found heroin in the process of being mixed, packaged and stamped by Porter. Items including empty wax folds, sifters, stamps and others were confiscated as a result of the warrant.

As a result of the investigation, Porter was charged with second-degree possession of heroin, second-degree possession of heroin over one half ounce with the intent to distribute, and first-degree maintaining a heroin manufacturing facility. His bail was set at $75,000 with no 10 percent option.

Heroin and opiates were a significant problem in Ocean County last year with prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato reporting there were close to 200 overdose deaths in the county alone.

 

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