A trail of Fentanyl streaming from a Toms River hotel takes investigators to a pair of suspects from Philadelphia.

Farid Brown (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)

Farid Brown, 24, and Ganiel Howard, 25, were arrested on multiple drug charges during a raid at the Howard Johnson's on Hooper Avenue December 28, according to a joint statement by Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Toms River PD Chief Mitchell Little.

Fentanyl is the synthetic pain-relief formula that, in its raw state, is considered 50 times stronger than heroin, and nearly always fatal. Increasingly, say law enforcement authorities, users are unknowingly buying Fentanyl that is either mixed with heroin, or replacing it entirely.

Investigators began monitoring what appeared to be steady distribution in mid-December, leading to a no-knock warrant executed by Toms River PD Emergency Services officers.

Detectives seized about 40 grams white powder suspected to be raw, unpackaged heroin, more in packaged doses, unused wax folds, rubber bands, a scale, and a small spoon associated with packaging heroin, authorities said. Tests revealed the powder to be Fentanyl.

Brown is charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of more than a half-ounce with intent to distribute, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was placed in the Ocean County Jail, with bail set at $150,000.

Howard, charged with conspiracy to possess more than a half-ounce of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, was released on a summons to await a hearing.

The investigation involved the Prosecutor's Special Operations Group and Toms River PD Special Enforcement, Emergency Services, Operations and K-9 units.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

105.7 The Hawk Newsletter