Prosecutor’s Office Investigation Dismantles Marijuana Distribution and Money Laundering

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Morris County Prosecutor Fred Knapp during a press conference. Photo by Nicolas Limanov

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces the arrest of several high level marijuana traffickers following a several month long drug investigation into the head of east coast operations. Arrested are Salman “Tito” Khalid, 25, Wharton Borough, James E. Matthews, 50 of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Kernley Saint-Victor, 25, Clifton.

Members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Enforcement Unit, received information from numerous individuals regarding a multi-state marijuana distribution network locally controlled by Salman “Tito” Khalid, 25, Wharton Borough.

An investigation was commenced by members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Enforcement Unit and Task Force Officers assigned to the Unit.

Intelligence developed during the investigation revealed that Salman Khalid was receiving significant quantities of marijuana weekly in Morris County. Further information established that the bulk quantities of marijuana received by Salman Khalid were being provided to lower level dealers to be distributed throughout the area. Information was also developed that Khalid was going to receive a delivery of marijuana on Tuesday, March 3.

James E. Matthews,
James E. Matthews

On Tuesday, March 3, an individual later identified as James E. Matthews, 50, Indianapolis, Indiana was observed operating a Ford F-350 with an attached trailer. Matthews, with the assistance of Khalid, were observed by law enforcement unloading several large cardboard boxes at Khalid’s residence. Police conducted a motor vehicle stop of Matthews at the direction of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

After K-9 patrol alerted to the presence of a Controlled Dangerous Substance within the vehicle and trailer, a search warrant was obtained. Matthews was released by law enforcement at the scene pending the search warrant application. After a search warrant was approved, law enforcement officials located and seized roughly 360 pounds of marijuana from the interior of the vehicle and trailer.

This bulk seizure has an estimated retail street value of over $1 million dollars. In addition, approximately $124,000.00 in U.S. currency was also located during the search. The marijuana and money were contained in vacuum sealed pouches located within several large cardboard boxes, duffle bags and storage bins. Police also located a large quantity of marijuana “wax” which is an extremely dangerous and potent derivative of marijuana that contains high concentrations of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).

It was later determined that Matthews fled the area after he was released from the scene of the motor vehicle stop. He was located in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday, March 5 and was arrested by the Indianapolis Police Department. Found in his possession was $73,000.00 in U.S. currency. Matthews was taken into custody and has been charged with first-degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, second-degree Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, second-degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity (Money Laundering), and fourth-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. Matthews is currently lodged in an Indianapolis jail awaiting extradition to Morris County.

Police searched the Wharton residence controlled by Khalid and the vehicle of one of Khalid’s customers, Kernley Saint-Victor, 25, Clifton. These searches revealed multiple pounds of marijuana and an additional $9,000 dollars in cash, both of which were seized.

Salman “Tito” Khalid
Salman “Tito” Khalid

Salman “Tito” Khalid was charged with second-degree Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, second-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with the Intent to Distribute, third-degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity and fourth-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. Khalid is currently lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility with a $200,000.00 bail as well as a no bail Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) Detainer out of Hudson County, New Jersey for a prior Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance conviction.

Kernley Saint-Victor
Kernley Saint-Victor

Also arrested was Kernley Saint-Victor, 25, Clifton. Saint-Victor was charged with second-degree Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, third-degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance with the Intent to Distribute, and fourth-degree Possession of Marijuana. Saint-Victor is currently lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility with a $200,000.00 bail.

The Honorable Stuart A. Minkowitz, P.J.Cr. authorized the warrant complaints and bails for all defendants.

All cash seized and three (3) vehicles and trailer are all subject to civil forfeiture.

Prosecutor Knapp stated: “The coordinated efforts of numerous law enforcement agencies dismantled a sophisticated multi-state drug distribution and money laundering network that was importing hundreds of pounds of narcotics into Morris County.  I would like to thank each Chief of Police and our Federal Law Enforcement partners that committed manpower to this investigation.  Law Enforcement agencies working together in a taskforce are an invaluable resource that is necessary to combat well-financed organized criminal networks.”

Ford F-350 with an attached trailer used by James E. Matthews
Ford F-350 with an attached trailer used by James E. Matthews

Prosecutor Knapp wishes to thank the following agencies for their tireless efforts and assistance: Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Enforcement Unit, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Park Police, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Postal Service (USPS), Morristown Bureau of Police, Florham Park Police Department, Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, Roxbury Township Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, Mendham Township Police Department, Chester Township Police Department, Mendham Borough Police Department, Madison Borough Police Department, Chatham Township Police Department, Randolph Township Police Department, Wharton Borough Police Department, Jefferson Township Police Department, Hopatcong Police Department, Hanover Township Police Department, Kinnelon Borough Police Department, Montville Township Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Parole and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The investigation was led by Captain Michael Rice, Lieutenant V. Harrison Dillard, Sergeant Joseph Costello and Task Force Officer Edward Zienowicz of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Division. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant Prosecutor Anthony J. Scibetta of the Special Operations Division and supervised by Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury.

Anyone with information about this investigation, is asked to call the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Enforcement Unit at (973) 285-6300

Editors Note: A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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