Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force collaborated with the Lacey Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of illegal narcotics in Ocean County. This cooperative, multi-agency investigation identified a residence in Lacey Township as being used by Douglas Ward, 59, of Lacey, to store and distribute cocaine.
On July 28, 2022, Detectives from the aforementioned law enforcement agencies established stationary and mobile surveillance on the subject residence. Ward was observed by Detectives leaving the residence and meeting with an individual later identified as Thomas Prosser, 60, of Bayville. Detectives approached Ward and Prosser, and both individuals were taken into custody.
At the time of his arrest, Ward found to be in possession of several small bags containing cocaine. Additionally, a court authorized search warrant was executed on Ward’s Lacey Township residence, resulting in the seizure of approximately 70 additional grams of cocaine, and nearly $20,300 in United States Currency.
Ward was charged with Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25a. He was transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.
Prosser was charged with Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1), and Wandering in a Public Place to Obtain or Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.1b. Prosser was served with the charges via summons pending an upcoming first appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Lacey Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.