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Monmouth County Sheriff’s Officers made a significant drug arrest after they found 50 marijuana plants growing in the basement of a house on Bay Avenue in Leonardo. On Monday, August 1st, Sheriff’s Officers Leonard Maxfield and Thomas Ruocco showed up at the home to serve a fugitive warrant to Raymond Schmidt for failure to appear. The officers knocked on the door and Justin Strohmenger, 31, who resides at the house answered. Strohmenger stated to the officers that he did not know Schmidt. Upon entering the home the officers detected a strong odor of marijuana and observed drugs in plain view. After obtaining a consent to search, and, with the assistance of Detectives Joe Rivera and Denise Guerra, along with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office narcotics canine team Kurt Kroeper and partner Evan, an indoor growing operation of marijuana was discovered in the basement. Fifty plants of marijuana were confiscated along with numerous containers of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Strohmenger was charged with possession of CDS, possession with intent to distribute and manufacture CDS. “An arrest like this helps combat the proliferation of drugs in Monmouth County and keeps the communities where we live safer,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “I commend all of the officers involved for their quick and decisive actions.”