UNION COUNTY, NJ - The wave of drug arrests is continuing.
According to the Union County Prosecutor's Office, 20 members of an alleged major drug ring were arrested from late Friday into Monday.
Earlier this year, 14 people were arrested after a seven-month undercover police investigation into the sale of MDMA, aka "Molly" and heroin in Watchung and Franklin. More than $16,000 worth of heroin and “Molly” were seized in “Operation Raw Deal.”
And earlier this month, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office of Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force ended a five-month investigation on April 4 with the arrest of 27 individuals on drug, weapon, and warrant offenses.
In addition to the arrests, significant quantities of cash and multiple types of drugs were seized as the result of a nearly year-long investigation into a multi-tiered narcotics distribution ring operating throughout parts of North Jersey, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park and Linden Police Chief James Schulhafer announced Tuesday, April 22.
Seized at the various locations, including sales sites and stash houses, were approximately $116,500 in cash, plus approximately 4.5 kilograms of MDMA (or “molly”), 60 grams of crack cocaine, 140 grams of cocaine, 140 grams of heroin, 14,000 counterfeit Viagra pills and more than 100 bottles containing a cumulative total of more than 10,000 units of various prescription pills, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“Not only did this mark the largest seizure of prescription pills in Union County Prosecutor’s Office history, but it also eclipsed the cumulative total of the number of pills processed at the Union County Forensic Laboratory from 2011 through 2013,” the prosecutor’s office stated in a press release.
Altogether the drugs had a combined estimated street value of more than $525,000, and during the execution of the search warrants, two handguns and four vehicles were also seized, the prosecutor’s office said.
From April 18 through April 21, SWAT teams and other law-enforcement representatives from more than a dozen jurisdictions executed search warrants and made arrests at about a dozen places, including properties Linden, Rahway, Elizabeth, Bloomfield and Newark.
The investigation earlier had revealed that a location in Linden on Grier Avenue location housed a fully functional heroin mill; the building was fortified with thick planks of wood mounted on the insides of doors and a comprehensive surveillance system, according to the prosecutor’s office. Similar video surveillance systems were also in place at a Bloomfield location and an apartment on West Grand Street in Elizabeth, where “customers” would frequently walk to the rear of the building to make purchases of multiple types of drugs in the building’s attic.
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