Police & Fire

18 Arrested; Four Piscataway Residents Caught Up in Bi-County Drug Sweep

Frank Quezada, aka: “Smoke” Credits: Courtesy of Somerset County Prosecutor's Office
Lori Jinotti Credits: Courtesy of Somerset County Prosecutor's Office
Nancy Henriquez-Leon Credits: Courtesy of Somerset County Prosecutor's Office
Ricky Van Ness Credits: Courtesy of Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

SOMERVILLE, NJ - A drug sweep in Somerset and Middlesex counties netted a quantity of heroin, cocaine and other drugs, resulting in 18 arrests, including four residents of Piscataway, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of approximately 370 grams of raw heroin, 2 pounds of marijuana, approximately 1,300 bags of heroin, approximately 44 grams of cocaine, 20 individually wrapped bags of crack cocaine, a hydraulic kilo-press and other drug manufacturing equipment, according to Robinson.  In addition, detectives located and seized approximately $71,000 in U.S. currency and a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun.

The seized controlled dangerous substances have the following street values: heroin $70,000; cocaine $3,000, and the marijuana $6,000. 

Sign Up for E-News

The four primary suspects were arrested between May 23 and May 26 following a seven-month investigation, according to Robertson.

The primary suspects are:

Frank Quezada, aka: “Smoke”, 38, Forest Drive, Piscataway;

Lori Jinotti, 36, S. Randolphville Road, Piscataway;

Nancy Henriquez-Leon, 27, Harmony Street, Piscataway;

Ricky Van Ness, 40, Winder Drive, Bridgewater.

Detectives executed three search warrants including the residences of Quezada and Van Ness.

Quezada was charged with 2nd degree distribution of CDS and 2nd degree conspiracy to distribute CDS. Jinotti was charged with 2nd degree distribution of CDS and 2nd degree conspiracy to distribute CDS. Van Ness was charged with 1st degree maintaining/operating a CDS manufacturing facility, 1st degree possession of CDS (heroin) with the intent to distribute, 2nd degree possession of a firearm while committing a CDS offense,  2nd degree certain persons not to have weapons, and 2nd degree endangering. Henriquez-Leon was charged with 2nd degree distribution of CDS.

The following were all charged with 3rd degree conspiracy and 3rd degree attempt to possess CDS:

John Verden, 46, Tanglewood Drive, Piscataway;

Grant Buchanan, 30, Chimney Rock Road, Bridgewater;

Michael Faligiano, 40, 13th Street, Somerset section of Franklin Township;

Kelsey Frost, 35, Penny Lane, Flemington;

Jennifer Gallo, 29, Welshs Lane, Somerset section of Franklin Township;

Torin Houlihan, 25, Starview Drive, Hillsborough;

Paul Mason, 29, Thompson Avenue, Raritan Borough;

Autumn Benning,  28, Lee Avenue, North Brunswick;

Brad Mullen, 36, Route 22, Whitehouse Station;

Ryan Murphy, 26, Rutgers Court, Belleville;

Justin Nowicki, 24, Courtes Place, Sayreville;

Nicole Parah, 29,Wilson Avenue, Hamilton;

Franklin Perez-Guerra, 21, Wayne Street, Perth Amboy;

Evan Stockwell, 36, Downbury Court, Hillsborough.

Robertson credits the success of the operation to the cooperation of the municipal police departments assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force, including: Bound Brook Police Department, Branchburg Township Police Department, Hillsborough Township Police Department, Manville Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Piscataway Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Strike Force, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey HIDTA Group 3.

Note: The charges are merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Sign Up for E-News to get top stories delivered daily to your inbox. 

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Prosecutor defends his effort to oppose release 911 tape.

March 5, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, who was recently ordered to pay two news organizations more than $100,000 for legal fees in a battle over a 911 call, defended his decision not to release a recording of the call related to a fatal police shooting.

On March 2, a state Appellate Court upheld a lower court decision ordering Carey’s office to pay $71,848.28 ...

Rep. Watson Coleman Urges Support for Students Participating in Protests: Letter to Local School Officials Asks for Encouragement Rather Than Punishment

March 16, 2018

EWING, NJ – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) sent letters to principals and other school administrators in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District urging support and encouragement for students who engage in protests and demonstrations for gun violence prevention amid reports that some New Jersey schools had suspended or otherwise punished students for their ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts “The Jews of Tsarist Russia and Bessarabia Before the Holocaust” Program

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) presents the fifth installment in the series “The Jews of Eastern Europe Before The Holocaust” on April 8 at 2:30 pm.

“The intent of the series is to bring to light the legacy of my Jewish ancestors, prior to their annihilation during the Shoah,” said Dr. Michael G. Kesler, ...

Need a Passport? Save Money by Getting It Before April 2

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—If you are planning to get a new United States passport, you can save $10 by submitting your application at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) before Monday, April 2.

The cost of a passport’s execution fee is rising from $25 to $35. The fee increase is mandated by the Department of State for any passport application submitted to ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...