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Nine Charged in Takedown of Newark Drug Trafficking Ring

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NEWARK, NJ - The New Jersey State Police have arrested seven suspects and seized weapons, heroin, crack cocaine, prescription drugs and more than $31,000 as a result of "Operation Dead End."

After a six-month investigation by the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression North Unit, detectives were able to identify nine suspects accused of operating a drug trafficking ring in Newark. On Monday, April 3, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression North Unit, T.E.A.M.S Unit, Gangs and Organized Crime North Unit, Auto Theft Unit and K-9 Unit along with the Newark Police Department, Essex County Sheriff's Office, and Plainfield Police Department executed multiple search warrants in Newark and Plainfield. As a result of the investigation, detectives arrested seven individuals. 

“The culture of violence in our cities is rooted in a culture of drug dealing,” said Attorney General Porrino. “With investigations such as this one, we are taking aim at the primary threat to safety and quality of life of Newark residents.”

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“By dismantling this drug trafficking network, more than two-thousand doses of heroin and crack cocaine never made it to the street, which almost certainly saved a life,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to work with our partners to aggressively target individuals who peddle poison in our communities.”

"When law enforcement work together in these types of operations, the community are the benefactors," said Anthony Ambrose, Newark City Public Safety Director.

The following were arrested and charged:

Maurice Stokes, 30, of Plainfield
•Possession of heroin
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Distribution of CDS within 500’ of park and public housing
•Conspiracy to distribute CDS
•Possession of a handgun
•Lease, occupy or control a fortified structure while distributing CDS 
•Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
•Possession of marijuana
•Possession of prescription legend drugs
•Possession of a firearm while in possession of CDS
•Theft of movable property

Jarell Martin, 26, of Irvington
•Possession of heroin
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Distribution of CDS within 500’ of park and public housing
•Conspiracy to distribute CDS
•Possession of a handgun
•Lease, occupy or control a fortified structure while distributing CDS 
•Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
•Possession of marijuana
•Possession of prescription legend drugs
•Possession of a firearm while in possession of CDS
•Theft of movable property
•Certain persons not to possess a firearm

Anthony Jones, 40, of Newark
•Possession of heroin
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Distribution of CDS within 500’ of park and public housing 
•Conspiracy to distribute CDS 

Jessica Acevedo, 25, of Newark

•Possession of a handgun
•Lease, occupy or control a fortified structure while distributing CDS 
•Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute
•Possession of marijuana
•Possession of prescription legend drugs
•Possession of a firearm while in possession of CDS
•Theft of movable property

James Middleton, 45, of Newark
•Possession of heroin
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Distribution of CDS within 500’ of park and public housing
•Conspiracy to distribute CDS

Yazeem Lovett, 20, of Elizabeth
•Possession of heroin
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Distribution of CDS within 500’ of park and public housing
•Conspiracy to distribute CDS

Tyquan Price, 21 of Newark
•Possession of heroin
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Distribution of CDS within 500’ of park and public housing
•Conspiracy to distribute CDS

As a result of the investigation, detectives seized the following:

•1871 decks of heroin valued at $18,700
•711 bags of crack cocaine valued at $28,400
•73 grams of crack cocaine valued at $7,300
•Prescription drugs valued at $900
•Three grams of marijuana valued at $60
•.40 caliber handgun
•9mm caliber handgun
•.38 caliber revolver
•More than $31,300 in cash
•2012 Infiniti FX35 Sport Utility Vehicle

All suspects were lodged at the Essex County Jail on no bail warrants. Andre Banks, 48, and Tuasan Wise, 26, both of Newark are still at large and have active arrest warrants. Anyone with information about the remaining suspects is asked to contact the Crime Suppression North Unit at (973) 881-1226.

This case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

Charges are mere accusations the suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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