PATERSON, NJ - Members of the Paterson Police Department engaged in two separate operations Tuesday leading to three arrests the confiscation of both heroin and marijuana, and the recovery of a large amount of cash.

According to Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale, detectives, responding to a complaint of drug distribution in the area, initiated surveillance in the area of East 31st Street, between 20th Avenue and 21st Avenue at approximately 5:00 p.m.

While observing the area detectives saw a silver Toyota double-parked on East 31st Street, between 20th Avenue and 21st Avenue, with the driver inside whom they say was on the telephone and “appearing to await a person’s arrival.” After a short time the car in question drove to the corner of 20th Avenue and East 33rd Street where it parked and met by a man later identified as Rashawn S. Chung, 18, Paterson. 

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At this point Chung entered the vehicle where he appeared to proceed in a hand-to-hand drug transaction with the driver, later identified as Benjamin Pinillos, 32, Cresskill. After the car departed the area with the men still inside it was stopped by police on East 33rd Street and both were arrested.

An investigation found Pinillos to be in possession of two bundles of heroin, a total of 20 glassines. 

Just hours later Paterson detectives again responded to complaints of drug sales by initiating surveillance in the area of East 15th Street and 7th Avenue.

At approximately 7:15PM, surveillance detectives reported observing Bryan R. Medina, 28, Elmwood Park, park at the location and engage in what appeared to be a hand-to-hand drug transaction with a Hispanic male. Following the drug transaction, surveillance detectives observed the unidentified male examining what appeared to be a controlled dangerous substance. 

Medina departed the location shortly after and was stopped near East 18th Street and Fair Street. Upon approaching Medina’s vehicle, detectives smelled a strong odor of raw marijuana within. Medina was found to be in possession of 36 plastic baggies and 12 jars of suspected marijuana and four edible THC snacks. $6,032 in US currency was also seized. 

All three men were arrested and charged accordingly.

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