Police & Fire

Police Blotter

Sussex County Law Enforcement Teams Up To Successfully Bust ‘K2’ Ring

The U-Save Quick Mart in Newton, one of the two locations where "K2" was seized on January 9. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller

NEWTON, NJ – Local authorities from the Newton Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, and officers working undercover from the above agencies and other police departments within the county (comprising the Sussex County Gangs, Guns, and Narcotics Task Force), made a bust on Wednesday, January 9, of two locations within the county selling “K2” (also known as “Spice”), and accompanying drug paraphernalia.

“K2” is a synthetic marijuana product, classified as a “psychoactive designer drug,” meaning it is chemically modified to mimic the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

The locations selling “K2” were U-Save Quick Mart on Sparta Avenue in Newton, and the Getty Quick Mart, on Route 206 in Andover Borough.

Sign Up for E-News

The arrests of five individuals involved and charged was the result of a two-month investigation between the Newton Police Department, and the detectives from the Sussex County Gangs, Guns, and Narcotics Task Force.

“There was a lot of intelligence gathered,” said Newton Police Department Lieutenant Robert Osborn, a spokesperson for the department. “We believed those involved were selling ‘K2.’ It was a cooperative investigation for a long time.”

Newton Police Department Detectives Thomas Muller, and Joseph D’Annibale worked with the undercover officers.

“It [the operation] involved some purchases from the task force,” said Osborn.

A press release from the Newton Police Department described the purchases.

“Throughout the investigation, purchases of various amounts were made of synthetic marijuana and paraphernalia," was on the statement issued by the department.

Osborn said the drug paraphernalia was in plain view in both locations, while the “K2,” was kept concealed within the stores.

Law enforcement seized more than 2,500 pieces of drug paraphernalia from both locations (approximately 1,200 pieces from each store), 44 bags of “K2” for individual sale, and $3,000 cash.

Both "K2" busts happened simultaneously, said Osborn, after the coordinating agencies executed search warrants of the two locations.

“It’s [‘K2’] a product that is illegal, and they [those distributing it at the U-Save Quick Mart, and Getty Quick Mart] know it’s illegal,” added Osborn.

According to a Newton Police Department press release, those arrested and charged were:

  • Ismail Alptekin, age 35, of Lafayette Township, the owner of the U-Save Quick Mart, and co-owner of the Getty Quick Mart,  was charged with two counts of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Synthetic Marijuana (a third-degree crime), and two counts of Possession to Distribute Drug Paraphernalia (a fourth-degree crime).
  • Sener Alptekin, age 30, also of Lafayette, and co-owner of the Getty Quick Mart, was charged with Possession with the Intent to Distribute Synthetic Marijuana (a third-degree crime), and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Drug Paraphernalia (a fourth-degree crime).
  • Employee Baris Makinaci, age 27, of Andover Borough, was charged with; Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia (a fourth-degree crime), Possession with the Intent to Distribute Synthetic Marijuana (a third-degree crime), Possession with the Intent to Distribute Drug Paraphernalia (a fourth-degree crime).
  • Employee Mustafa Deniz, age 35, of Palisades Park, N.J., was charged with Distribution of Drug Paraphernalia (a fourth-degree crime), Possession with the Intent to Distribute Synthetic Marijuana (a third-degree crime), and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Drug Paraphernalia (a fourth-degree crime).
  • Employee Ahmet Ilhan, age 47, of Newton, was charged with Distribution of Drug Parphernalia (a fourth-degree crime).

All of the above were released after receiving complaints summonses. The parties are scheduled for their first court appearances in the Town of Newton Municipal Court on Tuesday, January 15, and the Joint Municipal Court (for Green, Fredon, and Hampton Townships, and Andover Borough), on Friday, February 8.

Third and fourth-degree crimes are both indictable crimes in the State of New Jersey. Third-degree crimes can carry penalties up to three to five years in prison, and fourth-degree crimes, up to 18 months in prison.

When asked if the parties from the U-Save Quick Mart, and the Getty Quick Mart, sold “K2” to minors, Osborn responded, “If we can substantiate it was sold to minors, we can charge for that.”

When asked if these stores could possibly attempt to sell these items again, Osborn said, “The best deterrent is they will be held accountable in court, and, it’s an illegal activity.”

“We won’t turn a blind eye,” Osborn concluded. 

According to a June 2012 article in Forbes, “K2,” or “Spice” (also known as “Black Mamba,” “Zohai,” “Fake Weed,” “Bombay Blue,” “Genie,” “Yucatan Fire,” “Skunk,” “Moon Rocks,” “Bliss,” “Blaze,” “K3,” “Incense,” “Red X Dawn,” and “Nice”), has chemical compounds not safe for humans, including JWH-018 (a fertilizer), JWH-073 (a “chemical concern” with the Drug Enforcement Administration), and HU-210 (said to be 100 to 800 times more concentrated than THC).

“Spice” can cause hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, anxiety, coughing, nausea, vomiting, inattention, heart palpitations, seizures, tremors, violent tendencies, and even death.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs lists on its website, “designer drugs,” such as “K2,” and also “Bath Salts” (packages of multicolored crystal salts in different colors, replicating the properties of amphetamines, and cocaine), as street drugs with questionable purity, made under conditions to avoid federal regulation, containing unknown chemicals, and responsible for serious health side effects. 

Also according to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, "K2," which has been in existence since 2006, marketed as “herbs,” and sold by tobacconists, and gas stations, stays in a person’s system longer than THC, which in turn, creates a higher risk of organ damage and overdose.

“K2”, “Bath Salts,” and other “designer drugs,” contain components classified as Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substances.

The United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, defines Schedule I Controlled Substances as having “no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”

In New Jersey, “K2” became a drug placed as a Schedule I Drug, under the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substance Act, this past October, meaning it is banned for sale and distribution in the State of New Jersey, because of the risks to the public, and to the health of those who take it.

 

Editor's Note: Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Continue to follow The Alternative Press of Sussex County for news, as well as news and community information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page.

Editor's Note: This article relies on information provided by law enforcement officials and the subjects are presumed innocent. If notified of changes to the charges or their outcome, TAPinto.net will update this report.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Newton

Man Resists Arrest for Possession, Flees From Newton Police

April 24, 2017

NEWTON, NJ—A Newton man faces drug charges after he was seen in public taking drugs and then fleeing the scene.  Newton Police Special Officer Don Donofrio saw James Muller “ingesting a substance,” in the area of 120 Spring Street on April 15 around 3:20 p.m. police report.

When Donofrio approached Muller the officer saw syringes in his bag for which he did not have a ...

Sparta High School Service Dog Update: Fundraisers, New Dog

April 26, 2017

SPARTA, NJ - Sparta High School's newest staff member is currently undergoing training and is due to join the team sometime before the end of the school year.  Melvin has some important work to do as he is prepared to step in to the role of therapy dog for the students and staff at the school. 

Like any loved one, Franc will never be replaced.  Franc and his companion ...

The First Earth Day and Now

April 24, 2017

To the Editor: Earth Day

I went to the first Earth Day at a college in Jersey City. Earth Day had been proposed by Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, and Pete McCloskey, a Republican Conservationist, for April 1970 after an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  We would have many more  of those in coming years.

At the first Earth Day, we students probably had a ...

Need another reason to stop drinking diet soda? New research finds an association between artificial sweeteners, stroke and dementia.

Results of research published this week in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found that over a seven year period, people who drank one artificially sweetened beverage a day were almost 3 times (2.96 times to be exact) more likely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot than were people who didn’t drink artificially sweetened beverages. The same held true for dementia and ...

April 12, 2017 Sussex County Freeholders Meeting

Link to the video of the April 12, 2017 Sussex County Freeholders Meeting

Freeholder Meetings - YouTube

 

United Way, Early Learning Experts Spotlight Need for Affordable Child Care

April 27, 2017

AUGUSTA, N.J. – United Way of Northern New Jersey joined with early learning experts Wednesday to call for an increase in the state’s support for early childhood education so that more ALICE families can continue to work and afford quality care for their children.

United Way teamed up with Rainbows of Learning in Sussex County during the Week of the Young Child to ...

Rumors of Poisoned Animals Spread After Two Dead Deer Were Found in Kenilworth

April 25, 2017

KENILWORTH, NJ- Rumors of poisoned animals are spreading after a post in the Union County Lost Pets Facebook Group showed a photo of two dead deer on a Kenilworth street. The resident who posted the photo also claimed that there was a dead cat in the same area.

According to comments on the Facebook page, the animals were found on Michigan Avenue and the deer show no major signs of ...