MONTVILLE, NJ - Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli and Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes announce the results of a multi County Heroin Task Force Initiative in the City of Paterson. The Initiative lasted eight weeks, starting on April 7 and ending on May 30.
According to the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, as part of the Heroin Task Force Initiative, members of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, Special Enforcement Unit, including law enforcement officers from twelve Morris County municipalities joined a task force of law enforcement officers from Bergen, Passaic and Sussex counties to combat the heroin epidemic affecting our counties.
The initiative focused on heroin sales occurring in Paterson, which according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, supplies the most pure and potent heroin in the United States. Tactics utilized during the initiative included surveillance, interdiction and arrests of buyers and sellers of heroin, undercover operations, deployment of an overdose response team to aggressively pursue the drug dealers who supplied the narcotics related to the overdoses, direct contact with the users’ families to help them focus on treatment, and exposing the heroin epidemic to the public through cooperation with the media.
Recognizing that heroin use and addiction affects all of our jurisdictions in terms of drug related deaths, burglaries and violent crimes, police departments throughout Morris County supplied manpower to the initiative, and by combining manpower and resources, a demonstrable impact was achieved in which each participating department was a proud partner.
There were 325 total arrests including over 280 users, some of whom went into rehabilitation, and over 40 dealers. 38 Morris County residents were arrested. 30 guns and over $25,000 in U.S. currency was seized. Approximately 1,200 grams of raw heroin, which equates to over 60,000 bags on the street, and approximately 12,000 bags from users were seized. The heroin had a street value of $350,000.
Participating Morris County law enforcement agencies included the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, with Task Force Officers from Jefferson Township and Morris Township, the Butler Police Department, the Kinnelon Police Department, the Lincoln Park Police Department, the Pequannock Police Department, the Mt. Olive Police Department, the Roxbury Police Department, the Morris County Park Police, the Boonton Township Police Department, the Montville Police Department and the Riverdale Police Department. Twenty Morris County Law Enforcement Officers participated with a total of 3,032 man-hours.