Cape May Court House, NJ (February 8, 2017)-- Cape May County Prosecutor
Robert L. Taylor and Middle Township Police Chief Christopher Leusner announce the arrest of Michael R. Stewart, age 50 of Oaklyn, New Jersey for the distribution of heroin and cocaine on February 3rd, 2017.
This arrest was the conclusion of a cooperative investigation between the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force and the Middle Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit.
On February 3rd, 2017, the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, Gangs, Guns and Narcotics Task Force along with the Middle Township Street Crimes Unit were conducting an investigation into the open air drug distribution in the Rio Grande section of Middle Township. During this time, Stewart was observed and believed to be making narcotics transactions from his vehicle. From this investigation, Stewart was arrested during one of these alleged sales in the area of the 3500 block of US Route 9, Rio Grande. Also arrested at the scene was Eric J. Mate, age 31 of Hamilton Township, New Jersey.
At the time of his arrest, Stewart was found to be in possession of distribution amounts of crack cocaine. Stewart’s vehicle was seized and Court authorized warrant was obtained to search Stewart’s vehicle. Seized as a result of the search of the vehicle were 249 bags of heroin and approximately one half ounce of crack cocaine. Additionally, $1,011.00 in U.S. currency along with Stewart’s vehicle, a 2003 Acura TL are being seized for civil forfeiture as proceeds from the distribution of narcotics.
Eric J. Mate was charged with Possession of CDS (heroin), 3rd Degree, and was placed on a summons. Mate had an outstanding warrant from the Hamilton Township Municipal Court and was subsequently lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Center in lieu of bail.
Michael R. Stewart was charged with Possession of CDS (cocaine), 3rd Degree; Possession with the Intent to Distribute CDS (cocaine), 3rd Degree; Possession of CDS (heroin), 3rd Degree; Possession with the Intent to Distribute CDS (heroin), 3rd Degree;
and two (2) counts of Possession with the Intent to Distribute CDS within 500 feet of a Public Place, 2nd Degree. Stewart was subsequently lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Center pending Court proceedings.
Prosecutor Taylor advises that persons convicted of a second degree crime are subject to a term of imprisonment of 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and third degree crimes are subject to a term of imprisonment of 3 to 5 years. Prosecutor Taylor stated that his office will continue to work hand in hand with the Municipal Police Departments to target anyone selling illegal controlled dangerous substances.
Prosecutor Taylor continues to urge the citizens of Cape May County to report any information regarding illegal drug activity and or any criminal activity within the community to Cape May County Prosecutor's Office at 609-465-1135, or the Middle Township Police Department at 609-465-8700 or text TIP MTPDTIPS followed by your message to 888777 or anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff's Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net and click on anonymous tip.