UNION COUNTY, NJ – An Indianapolis man traveling through Union County by way of Pennsylvania was arrested in the parking lot of a store on Route 22 in Union after an investigation led to a search of the vehicle, resulting in the seizure of two kilograms of heroin late last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

Noel Ramiro Hernandez of Indianapolis, Indiana is charged with first-degree possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and third-degree heroin possession.

Members of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Narcotics Strike Force and the FBI-Newark Hybrid Task Force office launched a joint investigation, assisted by the Union County Police Department, after receiving information that a shipment of heroin was going to be traveling through Union County, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Cleaver, who is prosecuting the case.

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Investigators located the suspect vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban, traveling east on I-78 and tracked it to the parking lot on Route 22 in Union. There Hernandez was arrested without incident.  A search of the SUV revealed two kilograms of heroin concealed in a speaker in the rear of the vehicle.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the quantity of seized heroin is equivalent to more than 100,000 individual doses. Heroin appeared in the toxicology reports of 75 of the 126 people who died due to a drug overdose in Union County last year, or nearly three in every five.

Hernandez was subsequently transported to Union County Jail pending a first appearance.  Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 10 to 20 years in state prison.

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