FLEMINGTON, NJ – An undercover operation begun in response to the ever increasing number of heroin overdoses - including 15 deaths in Hunterdon this year – has led to a string of arrests.

The operation specifically targeted people distributing heroin and other illegal narcotics, according to a press release from Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III.

A total of 11 people were arrested and authorities have charged two others that are still being sought.

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Those who were arrested are:

  • Jordan Wideman, 21, of Flemington; charged with distribution of a prescription legend drug.
  • Eric Cruse, 53, of Flemington, charged with conspiracy to distribute a prescription legend drug.
  • Jerry Mills, 38, of Flemington, charged with distribution of heroin and distribution of a prescription legend drug.
  • Michael Pillar, 48, of Whiting, charged with distribution of a methamphetamine.
  • Ernest Mittasch, 47, of Frenchtown, charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
  • Samantha Miles, 35, of Bloomsbury, charged with distribution of cocaine.
  • Melissa Kostka, 37, of Bloomsbury, charged with distribution of oxycodone, distribution of cocaine within a public park and endangering the welfare of a child.
  • Kenyatta Rodgers, 31, of Bloomsbury, charged with distribution of cocaine.
  • Cherrelle Cooper, 26, of Flemington, charged with distribution of MDMA.
  • Lisa Vargas, 34, of Flemington, charged with distribution of marijuana.
  • Rashawn Gaines, 26, of Flemington, charged on three counts of distribution of heroin.

Being sought by police are Kenneth Wideman, 27, of Flemington, who was charged with distribution of imitation crack cocaine and Donte Spence, 20, of Allentown, Pa., who was charged on two counts of distribution of heroin.

The joint investigation included detectives from Kearns’ Narcotics Task Force, State Police, and police from Clinton Township, Raritan Township, Readington and Flemington.

“Overdose deaths are rising at alarming rate in Hunterdon County and across our nation,” Kearns stated in the press release. “The heroin epidemic continues to take lives, destroy families and impact government and healthcare services.

“While we have learned that this isn’t a problem that can be fought on the law enforcement front alone, we will continue to work with our local and state law enforcement partners to track down and arrest those that sell illegal narcotics.”