Law & Justice

2 Leaders of Heroin Operation Plead Guilty After Multi-Million Drug Bust

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Fifteen people were arrested in late 2014 after authorities seized millions of dollars' worth of heroin, officials said. Credits: Fran Sullivan
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ELIZABETH, NJ - Two leaders of a drug ring pleaded guilty after they were caught with millions-of-dollars’ worth of heroin about three years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park said yesterday.

William Camino, 38, and his second-in-command, Yakin “Yaya” Bryant, 37, both admitted to first-degree racketeering and first-degree possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, officials said.

Camino, Bryant and 13 others were arrested in late 2014 after authorities seized more than an estimated $3 million of heroin, according to the Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremiah Lenihan. The bust dismantled high-volume heroin mills in Linden and Union Township, said Lenihan, who prosecuted the case.

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Additional drugs were also seized in two Elizabeth locations, Lenihan said. The heroin mills supplied wholesale-quantity amounts of narcotics throughout New Jersey and out-of-state areas, the prosecutor’s office said.

The drugs were seized after a Guns, Gangs, Drugs and Violent Crimes Task Force investigation, Lenihan said. Approximately 5.5 kilograms of raw and processed heroin, including 2,100 packaged bricks were seized, officials said.

A silencer, bulletproof vest, loaded, .40-caliber handgun with hollow-point ammunition and extended 30-round ammunition magazine were also seized, the prosecutor’s office said.

Multiple agencies helped in the investigation and search warrants, including the Union County Emergency SWAT Unit and the Elizabeth, Linden and Union police departments.

Camino and Bryant are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 20 before state Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch. Prosecutors will recommend sentences of 15 years for Camino and 12 years for Bryant, with 85 percent of both terms to be served before the possibility of parole.

Eleven others involved in this case have also pleaded guilty, officials said.

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