Anthony “Nygee” Stevenson, a 48 year old Long Branch restaurateur , was sentenced to 50 years in state prison today by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge John T. Mullaney, Jr, according to a statement by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christoper J. Gramiccioni.
Stevenson was convicted by a Monmouth County Jury in May on 91 counts of selling drugs and guns out of his Long Branch restaurant, Christabell’s American Soul Food Restaurant. He has been incarcerated at the Monmouth County Correction Insitution since his August 1, 2011 arrest, according to the Sheriff’s Office website. He will be eligible for parole in 26 years.
The case was part of an investigation dubbed “Operation Grand Opening” where Stevenson sold drugs and guns to undercover investigators, mostly out of a restaurant he was renovating at 530 Springdale Avenue in Long Branch. The Operation was dubbed, “Grand Opening,” because surveillance began on the day of the grand opening of the restaurant on May 25, 2011. During the course of the investigation over 9,000 calls were intercepted by detectives from county and local law enforcement agencies culminating with the arrest of over 40 people between August 1- 8, 2011.
Stevenson sold heroin to an undercover officer on 22 occasions (about 1,900 bags total) either directly or through the use of the delivery man at his restaurant, who also delivered heroin. One of the lower level dealers who had been supplied heroin by Stevenson then re-distributed the drugs to another undercover detective. On the day Stevenson was arrested, he and another co-defendant were in possession of 2,500 bags of heroin after meeting with his supplier in Newark. In addition to drugs, Stevenson also sold two assault rifles, both with large capacity magazines, to an undercover detective for $3000.