Three residents in Ocean County have been arrested and charged after a multi-law enforcement agency investigation uncovered that they were dealing a sizable amount of cocaine out of homes in Toms River and Lakewood.

The arrests of Ivan Contreras-Cruz, 41, of Toms River, Alberto Vasquez-Ventura, 27, of Lakewood, and Natalia Mihok, 49, of Toms River were announced by Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer on Wednesday afternoon.

An investigation run in point by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Narcotics Strike Force along with the U.S. DEA - High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Monmouth/Ocean Post of Duty (HIDTA/MOPOD) Group 5, Lakewood Police, LPD SCU and SRU and K-9 Unit, Toms River Police and TRPD SEU learned that three combined homes from the aforementioned municipalities -- including two in Lakewood -- were drug dens being used to stash and deal cocaine.

(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
(Photo: Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
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With evidence in hand, Prosecutor Billhimer said that these law enforcement agencies set up a stake out outside the residences on September 22 and watched as Contreras-Cruz and Vasquez-Ventura left one Lakewood residence, but, in separate vehicles leading to motor vehicle stops by township police.

Prosecutor Billhimer said that Contreras-Cruz and Vasquez-Ventura were detained and arrested without incident.

Mihok was arrested at the Toms River home.

Ocean County Prosecutors Office. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
Ocean County Prosecutors Office. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)
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When Detectives searched all three residences after obtaining court-authorized search warrants, they found and seized approximately 100 grams of Cocaine and nearly $18,000 in United States Currency, according to Prosecutor Billhimer.

As a result of their roles in the drug operation in Ocean County, all three are now facing several charges.

(Photo: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)
(Photo: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)
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Prosecutor Billhimer said that Contreras-Cruz was charged with Distribution of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine, Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Conspiracy to Distribute more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, was brought to the Ocean County Jail and then had to be released "as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform."

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As for Vasquez-Ventura, Prosecutor Billhimer said that he was charged with two counts of Conspiracy to Distribute more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine, two counts of Distribution of less than One-Half Ounce of Cocaine, two counts of Possession of less than One-Half Ounce of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Cocaine, and Conspiracy to Commit Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity and is being detained in the Ocean County Jail, pending trial.

Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels
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And Prosecutor Billhimer said for Mihok, she was charged with Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Conspiracy to Distribute more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, jailed in OC but then released "as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform."

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