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Ocean County Authorities Bust Local Heroin Ring

A search warrant was executed on a silver 2009 Nissan Rogue that was located on Route 9 in the area of Sylvan Lakes Boulevard in Berkeley

Alicia Ruddy
Alicia Ruddy

Four have been arrested after Ocean County authorities busted a local heroin distribution network run by Newark residents, according to Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.

The investigation alleges that Newark residents established a drug distribution network in Ocean County and operated a CDS manufacturing facility located at 190 Emmet Street in Newark.          

The operation established probable cause to obtain search warrants, which were executed on Wednesday. The first took place at approximately 4 p.m.; detectives executed a search warrant on a silver 2009 Nissan Rogue that was located on Route 9 in the area of Sylvan Lakes Boulevard in Berkeley Township. 

According to Coronato:

At the time of the stop, the 2009 Nissan Rogue was occupied by Eslin Santos, 27, of Newark and Manuel Valentin, 25, of Kearny  The second operation began at approximately 5:10 p.m. as members of the Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group, the New Jersey State Police Street Gang North Unit, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, and the Newark Police Department Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant at 190 Emmet Street, Newark.

As a result of the execution of the search warrant on the 2009 Nissan Rogue, approximately 2000 individual dosage units of heroin were found in the vehicle, Santos and Valentin were taken into custody, and the 2009 Nissan Rogue was seized pending forfeiture action.

As a result of the search warrant executed at 190 Emmit Street in Newark, law enforcement authorities confiscated an additional 800 individual dosage units of heroin, along with assorted paraphernalia used during the manufacturing, production and distribution of Heroin. 

Police seized hundreds of new wax folds used to package heroin, assorted sifters, scales, stamps, electric grinders and mixers.  Also seized was approximately $9500 in suspected drug proceeds.  Idia Z. Torres, 36, and Alicia A. Ruddy, 23, of 190 Emmet Street, Newark were taken into custody at that time.

The following individuals were arrested as a result of this cooperative multi-jurisdictional investigation:

Santos was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin (2 Counts: 2000 individual dosage units in Ocean County and 800 individual dosage units in Newark), possession of heroin (2 Counts: 2000 individual dosage units in Ocean County and 800 individual dosage units in Newark), and maintaining a CDS Production Facility (Newark).

Judge Francis Hodgson JSC set bail for Santos at $300,000 cash only.

Valentin was charged with possession intent to distribute heroin (2000 individual dosage units) and possession of heroin (2000 individual dosage units).

Hodgson JSC set bail for Santos at $150,000 no 10 percent.

Torres was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Torres was released on a summons to appear in court on a future date.

Ruddy was charged with possession intent to distribute heroin under one half ounce, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ruddy was released on a summons to appear in court on a future date.

The following agencies assisted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Group in the investigation:

Berkeley Township Police Department,

Newark Police Department, Emergency Response Team,

Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Narcotics Task Force,

New Jersey State Police,

Ocean County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit.

This investigation is continuing and additional arrests charges are expected. 

“Drug dealers importing their deadly product from jurisdictions outside of our county are targeting Ocean County residents for profit," Coronato said. "To stop the high number of overdose deaths we must stem this flow of illegal narcotics.  These arrests highlight the tremendous drug interdiction capabilities of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group.  They are to be commended for their investigative skill and courage in pursuing dealers beyond our borders in an effort to end the misery they import.  I also want to acknowledge the help and cooperation we received from of all the partnering law enforcement agencies outside our jurisdiction.” 

Robert Yates February 12, 2014 at 01:03 PM
@Clementine: I think you are on to something when you suggest that we shift the focus of the war away from drugs and toward addiction. This way, the solution is focused on a human being and not an inanimate object. I would definitely be on board with that type of shift. I hope all goes well for you as well with this storm. No flooding, please!
Clementine February 13, 2014 at 07:34 PM
@Robert... I'm glad you "get" what I was trying to say. Sometimes I'm kind of muddled. I'd like to see a situation where these folks who are being arrested for drug-related incidents are taken to jail, but not just jammed into county... As I'd suggested before, perhaps a detox-jail type setting. I believe addiction is a disease, but the lifestyle is often criminal. Im not of a mind that a "cushy" hospital stay (read: traditional rehabilitation setting) is the answer though. There still needs to be some consequences for the criminal behavior. So what would be wrong with a work-camp type setting. Now before anyone jumps me for that, I'm not talking Buchenwald. I'm thinking a therapeutic approach; working a recovery program, paying restitution, making amends, working for their keep... Learning an honest day of work is a good thing, gaining pride in accomplishment, getting an education/learning a vocation, being mentored into careers... Think of the money saved. ;-)
Clementine February 13, 2014 at 07:36 PM
PS: Hope the rain caused no trauma/drama. I'm anxiously awaiting round 2. Yes, I'm the asshole who asked for the snow. ha!
voiceofreason February 19, 2014 at 07:56 PM
@ Clementine Snide, you really have a grasp on the complexity of addiction. I commend you and the way you are able to articulate it. So many people are not able to grasp it at all, yet have the nerve to stereotype and condemn.
Clementine February 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Thank you, @voiceofreason.

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