TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA
FROM: PROSECUTOR MARK MUSELLA
DATE: AUGUST 7, 2020
Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrests of FRANK SMITH III (DOB: 9/20/1982; married; unemployed) of 44 Crocker Mansion Drive, Mahwah, NJ; RAYMOND ULLOA (DOB: 08/06/1990; single; unemployed) of 61-63 Carmer Ave., Apt. B, Belleville, NJ; SANDY LEONARDOMATEO (DOB: 02/13/1996; single; unemployed) of 428 Franklin St., Elizabeth, NJ; and DONALD WALLACE (DOB:05/24/1995; single; Amazon driver) of 668 Clifton Ave., Newark, NJ 07104 on charges of Maintaining A Controlled Dangerous Substance Production Facility; YARITZA OCHART (DOB: 10/18/80; single; bartender) of 566 West 191st St., New York, NY and MICHELE CASTILLO (DOB: 01/18/1977; single; sales) of 65 Mariners Circle, San Rafael, CA 94903 on charges of Money Laundering; and JOIE SMITH (DOB: 07/03/1986; married; hospitality) of 44 Crocker Drive, Mahwah, NJ 07430 on charges of Possession With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance and Money Laundering. The arrests are the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the East Rutherford Police Department under the direction of Chief Dennis Rivelli.
On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Narcotics Task Force and the East Rutherford Police Department initiated a narcotics investigation after a medical call at The Monarch, Apartment 429, in East Rutherford, NJ, revealed that FRANK SMITH III, RAYMOND ULLOA, and SANDY LEONARDOMATEO appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. DONALD WALLACE, the lessee of the apartment, came to the apartment while police personnel were present. While inside the apartment providing medical attention to the occupants, officers observed that the items within the apartment were all coated with an unknown powder. Bergen County Hazmat was notified and responded to the location to conduct field analysis on the powder, which yielded a positive indication for the presence of Fentanyl.
The New Jersey State Police Hazmat Unit responded to assist. Law enforcement obtained a court-authorized search warrant, which revealed a large-scale Fentanyl production facility in the apartment. Officers discovered a pill press in which raw Fentanyl and cutting agents were being used to produce pills that replicate commonly abused opioids. They also found thousands of Fentanyl-laced pills disguised as Oxycodone 15mg, Oxycodone 30mg, and Percocet; multiple cutting agents; numerous Heroin glassine envelopes; and approximately $12,000 in suspected drug proceeds.
Within hours of FRANK SMITH III’s arrest, surveillance units observed his wife, JOIE SMITH, along with MICHELE CASTILLO and YARITZA OCHART loading two vehicles with bags and other items from SMITH III’s Mahwah residence located at 44 Crocker Mansion Drive before departing the Rio Vista neighborhood. A pair of motor vehicle stops and subsequent search warrants of the vehicles revealed that the three women were in the process of removing approximately $325,000 in suspected drug proceeds from SMITH III’s residence. The proceeds were seized by police along with paperwork showing that SMITH III had recently purchased a luxury yacht that was located
at the Alpine Boat Basin. Simultaneously, detectives from the BCPO Narcotics Task Force, Mahwah Police Department, East Rutherford Police Department, and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office executed a court-authorized search warrant of the Mahwah residence, which yielded an additional several thousand suspected Fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills, suspected raw Fentanyl, suspected raw Heroin, cutting agents, and approximately $10,000 in suspected drug sale proceeds.
The street value of the narcotics and illicit items seized in this investigation is estimated at $1,000,000. In addition to the money, detectives also seized five vehicles, designer jewelry, luxury watches and SMITH III’s 40-foot motor yacht, which are all pending forfeiture proceedings.
On August 5, 2020, FRANK SMITH III, RAYMOND G. ULLOA, SANDY LEONARDOMATEO, and DONALD H. WALLACE were each charged with one count of Maintaining A Controlled Dangerous Substance Production Facility, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-4, a 1st degree crime; and one count of Possession With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Fentanyl, in violation of N.J.S.A.2C:35-5B(4), a 2nd degree crime. SMITH III, ULLOA, and WALLACE were remanded to the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, NJ each pending a detention hearing on Monday,
August 10, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. LEONARDOMATEO was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing scheduled for August 7, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. MICHELLE CASTILLO and YARITZA OCHART were each charged with one count of Money Laundering, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25a, a 2nd degree crime. CASTILLO and OCHART were released on their own recognizance pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, NJ on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.
JOIE M. SMITH was charged with one count of Money Laundering, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25A, a 2nd degree crime; and one count of Possession With Intent To Distribute A Controlled Dangerous Substance, namely Fentanyl, in violation of N.J.S.A.2C:35-5b(4), a 2nd degree crime. JOIE M. Smith was released on her own recognizance pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, NJ on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.
Prosecutor Musella stated, “Counterfeit pills like those seized in this investigation have contributed to a surge of overdoses throughout the tristate area in recent months. We are proud of the work of our Narcotic Task Force and the agencies who assisted in this investigation for dismantling this drug production facility and ultimately saving countless lives. Those agencies that assisted us in this investigation – East Rutherford Police Department, Mahwah Police Department, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, New Jersey State Police Hazmat Unit, and Bergen County Hazmat – deserve special recognition for the conducting this investigation in especially dangerous conditions.”
Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
FRANK SMITH III