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3 Million Seized In Huge Heroin Bust In New Jersey

November 18, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
3 Million Seized In Huge Heroin Bust In New Jersey Image courtesy of nj.com

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A month-long investigation by municipal, county and federal law enforcement agencies in Linden, New Jersey resulted in smashing two heroin processing mills and the seizure of 5.5 kilograms (4,300 bricks) of the drug with an estimated street value of $3 million.

“We had a historic seizure of heroin. This is our largest seizure of heroin in the last decade in Union County,” said acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park.

On Friday, police raided two locations, including a house on the 300 block of Richford Terrace in Linden and an office in a commercial building on the 2100 block of Morris Avenue in Union Township, just a block from the Union Township Police Department and Burnet Middle School.

Eight people were arrested, including William Camino, 35, of Elizabeth, who authorities said was directing the operations at the two drug mills.

Image courtesy of nj.com

Image courtesy of nj.com

Law enforcement officers conducted a search warrant in Linden, on the second-floor unit of a two-family home and found a heroin packaging operation in the kitchen of the residence.

“This was in a residential, unsuspecting neighborhood,” Park said.
The people in the first-floor unit of the house were unaware of the drug operation, said Chief John McCabe of the prosecutor’s office.

“When you’re packaging that much stuff, you want to maintain a low profile,” McCabe said.

A next store neighbor confirmed police were at a two-family home at 303 Richford Terrace from Friday morning until about 5 p.m.

“There was all kinds of cars here, about six or seven cars,” John Sirochman said.
He said officers wore surgical masks and gloves as they entered the house on the tree-lined street in a neighborhood with neatly kept homes. Sirochman said he was surprised by the police activity.

“This is a beautiful neighborhood. We don’t have anything like this,” he said.
A woman at 303 Richford Terrace declined to comment.

The joint investigation involved the Elizabeth, Union and Linden police departments; the prosecutor’s office, Narcotics Task Force; and federal agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“The successful culmination of the operation completely dismantled two heroin mills, and will result in reducing hundreds of thousands of personal hits of heroin reaching the streets,” said Christopher Jakim, assistant supervising agent in charge of the DEA in New Jersey.
Jakim said the heroin likely came from Colombia.

Park said officers confiscated the equivalent of 4,300 “bricks” of packaged heroin, with each brick containing 50 individual doses of the drug in separate tiny folds.

Image courtesy of nj.com

Image courtesy of nj.com

The drugs were distributed throughout at least five counties in New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania and other states, Park said.

Police also seized numerous packaging folders, face masks, cutting agents and strainers used in processing the drug, Park said. Officers also raided two locations in Elizabeth, one on Seib Avenue and the other on Florida Street, where investigators found a .40 caliber handgun with hollow-point bullets, a 30-round magazine, a silencer and a bulletproof vest, the prosecutor said.

Camino is being held on $2 million bail, charged with acting as a leader of a drug trafficking organization, as well as racketeering, maintaining a drug manufacturing facility and possession of heroin with intent to distribute, all first-degree crimes.

Also arrested were Yakin Bryant, 34, of Elizabeth; Ricardo Gaule, 25, of Plainfield; and Jasmin Sachez, 23, of Jersey City, charged with racketeering, maintaining a drug manufacturing facility and possession of heroin with intent to distribute, all first-degree crimes.

Others under arrest are Arain Juarez-Alvarez, 25, of the Bronx; Frank Pino, 29, of Elizabeth; and Lakisha Mensah, 24 of East Windsor, all charged with maintaining a drug manufacturing facility and possession of heroin, both first-degree offenses.
Eriadna Victoria Mentor, 23, of Linden, was arrested and charged with weapons offenses and conspiracy.

All of the suspects are being held at the county jail in Elizabeth.

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