NEWARK, NJ - An Elizabeth man was arrested along with 30 others in a drug bust that netted $1 million in marijuana, and 7 Guns Recovered. 

Kelvin Portes, age 30, of Elizabeth, was charged with Conspiracy to distribute CDS. Others charged were from Newark, Hillside Kearny, Bradley Beach, Harrison, Linden, Union, and North Bergen. 

According to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office executed search warrants in the Ironbound section of Newark,  Harrison, Kearny and locations in Monmouth and Ocean counties that resulted in the confiscation of approximately 23,000 grams of marijuana and two kilos of cocaine with a combined estimated street value of $1.1 million.

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According to Authorities, it is alleged that drug dealers delivered to buyers at their homes or other locations throughout the Ironbound section of Newark in what was a retail business on wheels. Buyers would call in their orders and drugs would be delivered shortly. 

“These distributors operated in a way that made them feel they were immune from detection. The methods employed were designed to avoid attracting the attention of law enforcement. The distributors used non-descript vehicles. Having a well-established customer base gave the drug dealers a false sense of comfort,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Stephens. “They thought they could sell narcotics with impunity.”

Authorities also noted that in addition to the cocaine and marijuana, seven guns, including a .223 assault rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun, were recovered; nearly $300,000 in U.S. currency; 62 oxycodone pills with a street value of $1,550; and three Xanax pills with a street value of $30.

Dubbed “Operation Short Storm,” the raids resulted in the arrest of 31 people. Another 16 have been charged but remain at large. In addition, 12 vehicles, including two Mercedes Benz 550 sedans, were seized, authorities said. 

The search warrants were executed on August 22 and 23, by detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office along with officers from police agencies in Newark, Harrison, Kearny, Monmouth County and Ocean County.

Jewelry, including apparent Rolex, Brietling and Gucci watches, were also seized, say officials. 

“As always, effective law enforcement is about partnership, whether it’s with other agencies or the community,” Director Ambrose said.

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