July 12, 2017
The father of a former New Jersey high school pitching standout who had been linked to the Phillies as a possible top draft pick in 2016 was arrested this week on drug and weapons charges, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Jason Groome, 43, of Barnegat, is accused of distributing, possessing and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. He was also charged with possessing a 9 mm handgun and possessing the handgun while committing a drug offense.
Two other men – Anthony Brandt, 53, of Barnegat and Daniel Wunder, 61, of Little Egg Harbor, were also arrested and face multiple drug charges, according to a press release from the prosecutor's office.
Authorities searched their cars and their homes, and seized guns, cocaine, marijuana and hundreds of Oxycodone pills, the release stated.
Groome's son is Jason Groome, 18, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox last year.
The younger Groome was selected straight out of Barnegat High School, where he made a name for himself as a top, left-handed pitching prospect. Considered a top-3 pick entering the draft, Groome fell to the No. 12 selection and the Red Sox, who gave him a $3.65 million signing bonus.
Groome was injured in his first appearance this season with the Class A Greenville Drive in the Red Sox farm system. He recently returned to the mound with the Lowell Spinners of the New York/Penn short season league.
Groome's father has been lodged in Ocean County jail in Toms River, where he awaits a hearing, according to the prosecutor's office.
Brandt and Wunder were released on a summons pending a hearing, authorities said.