Law & Justice

'Operation Bird Cage' Seizes Drugs, Guns, Cars and Cash, Nabs 17 in Drug and Firearm Distribution Ring in Somerset County

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'Operation Bird Cage' Seizes Drugs, Guns, Cars and Cash, Nabs 17 in Drug and Firearm Distribution Ring in Somerset County Credits: SCPO
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SOMERVILLE, NJ - 17 people, including a 40-year-old Dunellen man and his 69-year-old mother, were arrested on charges of drug and firearm distribution as part of a five-month investigation called “Operation Bird Cage,” Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, and public safety officials from a number of police jurisdictions announced on Wednesday.

 

 Robert Cardinal (age 40) of Center Street Dunellen, Georgiann Cardinal (Robert’s mother - age 69) of Center Street Dunellen, Timothy Jenkins aka: “TJ” (age 47) of Tall Oak Lane Hillsborough, Leon Blue, Jr. (age 52) of Sunset Street Dumont, and Michael Wayne aka: “Low Rider Mike” (age 42) of LaTourette Avenue, South Bound Brook  were arrested following a five month long investigation into the distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone pills, and firearms in the Somerset/Middlesex County area, the release said. 

 

Prosecutor Robertson stated that investigators executed seven Superior Court Search Warrants including the residences of Robert Cardinal, Georgiann Cardinal, Timothy Jenkin, Michael Wayne and Leon Blue Jr. Those searches culminated in the seizure of approximately one thousand three hundred twenty two( 1,322) grams (over 1 kilogram) of cocaine, approximately one thousand five hundred (1,500) grams (over 1 kilogram) of methamphetamine, approximately one (1) pound of marijuana, two thousand ten (2,010) bags of heroin, two hundred ninety eight (298) Oxycodone pills, six (6) Roxycodone pills, forty eight (48) morphine pills, fifteen (15) ecstasy pills, two hundred forty seven (247) Suboxone films, two hundred ninety four (294) unidentified pills, a hydraulic kilo-press and various other drug manufacturing equipment.

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In addition, investigators located and seized approximately $98,159.00 dollars in cash, nineteen (19) total firearms to include nine (9) handguns (loaded 9mm Taurus, two (2) 92A1 9mm Berettas, .22 cal RG Industries revolver, .44 cal Ruger revolver, .22 cal Ruger SR22P, .327 cal Ruger SP101 revolver, .22lr Smith & Wesson MP22, and 45ACP FHN FNX-45), four (4) rifles (.22 cal Marlin, Savage rifle, .30-06 Remington Arms, and .30-30 Stevens), four (4) shotguns (2 Ithaca 12 gauges, M&R 20 gauge, and a loaded Mossberg 20 gauge), and two (2) assault weapons (one .556/.223 AR15 platform assault rifle and one 308 caliber AR10 platform assault rifle).

Nine (9) motor vehicles were also seized.

Based upon current trends, the cocaine seized has an estimated street value of $84,000, the methamphetamine seized has an estimated street value of $255,000, the heroin seized has an estimated street value of $14,070, the assorted pills have an estimated street value of $12,735 and the Suboxone films have an estimated street value of $4,940.

 

Charges are: 

Robert Cardinal – 1st Degree Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network, 1st Degree Promoting Organized Street Crime, 1st Degree Maintaining or Operating a Controlled Dangerous Substance Production Facility, 3rd Degree Unlawful Transfer or Sale of an Assault Firearm, 3rd Degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, and 2nd Degree Conspiracy.

 

Timothy Jenkins – 1st Degree Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network, 1st Degree Promoting Organized Street Crime, 2nd Degree Conspiracy to Possess a Controlled Dangerous Substance with the Intent to Distribute, 3rd Degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, and 2nd Degree Conspiracy.

Leon Blue, Jr. – 2nd Degree Promoting Organized Street Crime, 2rd Degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, and 2nd Degree Conspiracy.

Michael Wayne – Two counts of 2nd Degree Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm, 3rd Degree Unlawful Manufacture, Transfer or Sale of an Assault Firearm, 4th Degree Transfer or Sale of a Large Capacity Magazine, and 2nd Degree Conspiracy.

Georgiann Cardinal – 2nd Degree Promoting Organized Street Crime, 3rd Degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, and 2nd Degree Conspiracy.

 

Furthermore the following individuals were arrested and charged with the following various offenses:

Anthony Alston, age 38, Emma Street 2nd floor Elizabeth, New Jersey - 2nd Degree Promoting Organized Street Crime, 3rd Degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity, and 2nd Degree Conspiracy.

Eric Ward, age 48, Woodlawn Avenue, South River, New Jersey - 3rd Degree Manufacturing a Controlled Dangerous Substance and 3rd Degree Conspiracy.

Anthony Mastroserio, age 31, Washington St, South Bound Brook, New Jersey - 3rd Degree Unlawful Transfer or Sale of an Assault Firearm and 3rd Degree Conspiracy, 4th Degree Transfer or Sale of a Large Capacity Magazine and 3rd Degree Conspiracy.

Kelly Smith, age 52, Tall Oak Lane Hillsborough, New Jersey – 3rd Degree Receiving Stolen Property.

The following individuals have not been arrested but Arrest Warrants have been filed charging them with the following offenses:

Shawn Page, age 46, West 116th Street Unit 21 New York, New York – Arrest Warrant was issued charging him with 3rd Degree Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Dangerous Substance, 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, and 3rd Degree Conspiracy.

Andres Nazario, age 49, Oak Place, Piscataway, New Jersey - Arrest Warrant was issued charging him with 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance and 3rd Degree Conspiracy.

William Keithley, age 47, Orlando Florida - last known address - Arrest Warrant was issued charging him with 3rd Degree Unlawful Transfer or Sale of an Assault Firearm and 3rd Degree Conspiracy.

And the following individuals were all arrested and charged with 3rd Degree Conspiracy and Attempt to Possess CDS:

Alan Lisezewski, age 35, Vernon Court, Piscataway, New Jersey

Daniel O’Brien, age 53, Runyon Avenue, Piscataway, New Jersey

George Walling Jr., age 27, Arlington Avenue, Union Beach, New Jersey

Antonio Esposito, age 55, Bergen Street, South Plainfield, New Jersey

Arthur Kamenetsky, age 33, Harbour Club, Drive Parlin, New Jersey

Mark Hall, age 33, Giles Avenue Middlesex, New Jersey

Maria Saltsides, age 37, Lewis Street Apt. 204, Rahway, New Jersey

Gerald Sullivan, age 59, Hodge Road Flagtown, New Jersey

Prosecutor Robertson said that the success of this operation would not have been possible without the active cooperation of the Somerset County, Middlesex County, and Bergen County SWAT teams, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey HIDTA Group 3, Bound Brook Police Department K-9 Unit, Somerset County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office as well as their K-9 Unit, Houston (Texas) Police Department, and Greenville (South Carolina) Police Department as well as Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Gerald McAleer, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Robert Anzilotti,New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting U.S.  Postal Inspector in Charge, Guy Cottrell, Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell, South Bound Brook Chief of Police Jeffrey Titus,South Plainfield  Chief of Police James Parker, DunellenChief of Police Jeffrey Nelson, and Middlesex Borough Chief of Police Matthew Geist announced t

Anyone with information regarding this incident can contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force Unit at 908-231-7100 or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All calls will be kept confidential.


 

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