Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today that on December 17, Darryl Merritt, 30, of Neptune, was sentenced by the Honorable Michael T. Collins, J.S.C., to twelve years in New Jersey State Prison, with six years of parole ineligibility.
According to officials on October 13, Merritt was found guilty of Possession of Over a Half-Ounce of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Over One-Half Ounce of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C: 35-10a(1). Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession with the Intent to Distribute Heroin in a School Zone in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7a.
Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine in a School Zone in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7a; and Obstructing the Administration of Law in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, following a ten-day jury trial before Judge Collins.
Officials say the guilty verdict arose from an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force into the distribution of Heroin and Cocaine out of a rented house near the Bay Head Elementary School in late 2016 and early 2017.
According to officials on March 20, 2017, detectives from the Ocean County Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, executed a no-knock search warrant on the residence in Bay Head.
During the execution of the warrant, SWAT Officers observed Merritt leaving the bathroom where he had attempted to destroy eleven bricks of Heroin by flushing them down the toilet.
Over one half-ounce of Heroin and one half-ounce of Cocaine and paraphernalia associated with the distribution of a controlled dangerous substance were recovered from the residence.