A drug-dealing operation that police say was responsible for 22 fatal overdoses in Atlantic and lower Ocean Counties was broken up this week by a joint law enforcement task force from the New Jersey State Police and Stafford Township.

A seven-month investigation into the drug ring began in April when police in Stafford Township became aware of numerous heroin and fentanyl-related overdoses in which wax paper folds stamped “Beetlejuice” were recovered.

On Tuesday, morning, police arrested four people connected with the drug sales and seized a large cache of weapons, heroin, and fentanyl.

Officials say their investigation showed that Kai Sylvester, 27, from Somers Point, was the ringleader of the distribution ring, dealing the deadly drugs to Stafford Township and Atlantic County.

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Three Atlantic City men, Abdul Shakur Hopewell, 28; Javon Brooks, 39; and Leland Loftin, 49; were also arrested and charged with a variety of drug distribution and weapons offenses.

Police say they used advanced techniques to gather information, leading to the execution of nine search warrants for vehicles, residences, and storage facilities.

Three of the men are being held in the  Atlantic County Jail. Loftin was charged with 3rd-degree drug offenses and released on criminal complaint summonses pending a future superior court date in Atlantic County.

The list of drugs, weapons, and cash confiscated during this sweep is startling.

  • Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver (reported stolen from Galloway Twp.)
  • Glock 19 9mm handgun
  • Ruger 9mm handgun
  • Taurus 9mm handgun
  • FN Five-Seven 5.7mm handgun
  • Bushmaster .233 AR-15 Rifle
  • Large quantity of ammunition
  • Extended pistol magazine
  • Multiple pistol magazines
  • 30-round .223 magazine
  • 13,000 individual wax paper folds of heroin/fentanyl
  • 100 grams of cocaine
  • 24.3 grams of methamphetamine
  • 71.3 grams of crack cocaine
  • Various CDS packaging materials
  • 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • $14,205 in cash

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