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.” 

brianna January 30, 2014 at 02:47 PM
On the right track! Lets keep this stuff off the streets!
Diane Denise Vouglitois January 30, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Great work!
Robert Yates January 30, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Attorney Coronato is delusional. Operations like these are an amazing waste of resources and time. You have to hand it to Coronato though. If drugs ever do become legal, at least he has a future in marketing as he is a great self promoter and lobbyist for law enforcement.
Concerned local January 30, 2014 at 03:10 PM
The Captain January 30, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Couldn't even imagine what their parents think seeing this. I think it would absolutely crush most normal people. Hopefully these dopey kids will get the help they need and turn their life around now. Otherwise it will surely ruin their lives.
Mama January 30, 2014 at 04:16 PM
2000 bags are now off the street. It just goes to show you that Ocean County is a hot spot for heroin. It's worth the drive from up North to make a alot of money down here. Way to go, Berkeley Township. Keep is going!!
People wake up January 30, 2014 at 05:01 PM
BEENIES GO HOME!!!!! and stay there!!!!
Clementine Snide January 30, 2014 at 08:04 PM
@Robert... Why do you say that? (Pease remember I'm a simple dog... use small words and simple concepts). I'm happy there are 2800 less folds of dope flooding Ocean County. I've been to too many funerals in the last three years.
bayway mike January 30, 2014 at 08:14 PM
After looking at their mugshots, it looks like they are sellers and not users.. Sellers usually don't use, and users are always buyers..It's a sellers market..
Robert Yates January 31, 2014 at 08:53 AM
@Clementine: I see the matter from the perspective of liberty first and foremost. Certain societal ills must be tolerated if a generally free society is to be preserved. This is why adult literature and alcohol are permitted. Even the likes of St Thomas Aquinas acknowledged that prohibition of things like prostitution would be a bad idea as it would violate liberty interests and it would be counterproductive. Indeed these things are terrible to indulge in, but frankly it is none of the government's business and prohibition causes more societal ills than it prevents. Just look at northern Mexico. Over 50K souls dead as a result of the former President Calderon's drug eradication crusade. The Volstead Act and the rise of Al Capone were also great examples of the failure of prohibition. What is the difference between morphine, oxy, heroin and alcohol? The answer is not much other than the fact that we praise the dispensers of two, are ambivalent toward the dispenser of one and demonize the dispensers of another. In the end the war on drugs is beneficial to drug lords, law enforcement, the justice system, and the jail system. It has not stemmed the tide of use and has not stemmed the tide of supply. Those 2800 bags will be on the street and available to anyone who wants them before you can blink. And I do not believe for a second that you are a simple dog, Ms. Snide. ; )
Linny January 31, 2014 at 09:54 AM
Go back to Mexico where you belong and keep out of our kids lives..
Robert Yates January 31, 2014 at 10:29 AM
That was an intelligent reply @Linny. Perhaps you can actually add something substantive to the conversation, no? Also, you should do a little more research on Mexico before you consign it to penal colony status. Mexico is a beautiful country with a rich history. And while the country certainly has its problems and while I disagree with Mexico's politics generally speaking, they did just pass a great bill that legalizes the spontaneous formation of citizen police forces to help combat cartel violence in the north. It was a nice little victory for libertarianism.
hardesthit January 31, 2014 at 12:29 PM
Also, Mexico has very liberal drug laws, decriminalization of small amounts of most drugs. I have vacationed there several times, it was lovely and I had a fun time.... no I did not do any drugs (except lots of alcohol) before anyone accuses.
Clementine Snide January 31, 2014 at 08:29 PM
@Robert- thanks for the insight into your views. Interesting points. I have some very conflicting emotions about all chemicals of abuse. I don't really see the difference between alcohol and heroin. I think both are hideously debilitating and cripple people, families and communities. Oxys and the like (including Xanax, Valium and Klonopin) are merely legal forms of incredibly nasty drugs, and whereby I see the medicinal value for SOME, I become frothy mouthed at the lack of judgement used by physicians in handing them out, refilling prescriptions and allowing patients to use them long-term without any boundaries. I know, I know... where's the patient's responsibility? Well, once addicted, it's out the window. Very circular arguments in all of this stuff. Now, prostitution... (yeah, you brought it up)... personally, I think it's ridiculous that's it's illegal. Everyone, ESPECIALLY those who CHOOSE the profession, would be better off with it being above the boards and legally regulated. Imagine the taxes that would be generated. Imagine a professional with RIGHTS and BENEFITS...imagine lowering the STD rate, keeping the illicit drugs out of the industry, eliminating pimps, having consequences for a abusing a professional... Clearly I live in a funny world. Anyway, much to mull over in terms of what you explained. I'm initially "with" much of it. But my experience with drugs of abuse is pretty long and complicated, and I've seen way too much damage to really have any desire to have them legalized. Not that I don't see the other side of the argument, because I do. Guess it's just a double edged sword. PS... thanks for the non-simple dog vote of confidence, but you're going to have to trust me on that one.
Robert Yates February 03, 2014 at 08:52 AM
That was very well put @Clementine and I certainly sympathize with that position. Some may not believe that given that I am a regular advocate of legalization, but I do. You are right that it is indeed a double edged sword. I hate the destructive effects of intoxicating substances, but I also hate the abrogation of liberties. There is no easy answer to this problem. I just figure it is time to hand the remedy over to families, friends, community groups, charities and professionals. This way liberty is preserved; a more helpful, personal and voluntary structure will be responsible for solving the problem and the ulterior motives associated with the proliferation of police states with shrink as will said proliferation. In simple dogs, I'll trust.
Robert Yates February 03, 2014 at 09:40 AM
"will" not "with"
Clementine Snide February 03, 2014 at 01:32 PM
@Robert: You are so right. There is no easy answer. In the eighties, rehab facilities thrived. Anyone could go and get the help they needed... long term, short term, outpatient, therapeutic community... kids, adults, seniors... no, it wasn't winning any "war against drugs", but it was educating addicts at astounding rates, and we all know an educated consumer is one who's more likely to make a "right" decision. I digress a little, because my point is that there IS much responsibility that should be picked up by families, friends, community groups, charities and professionals. And there used to be tons of resources available to everyone, not just the rich or the poor (oh yes, I said it. Better to be indigent then have crappy insurance). The shift changed. It felt like someone said, "Cool! This is working! Let's cut the funding, they don't need it anymore." Sometimes it feels like we're all just rearranging deck furniture on the Titanic. Woof.
Robert Yates February 04, 2014 at 04:33 PM
@Clementine and anyone else interested in a good read: I thought this was a fine article given the heroin/drug problem that persists. He may be on to something. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/mar/09/russell-brand-life-without-drugs
Clementine Snide February 05, 2014 at 07:37 AM
@Robert: thank you for sharing that. All of what he says is true. I absolutely adored the beauty and brilliance of this, "Peter Hitchens is a vocal adversary of mine on this matter. He sees this condition as a matter of choice and the culprits as criminals who should go to prison. I know how he feels. I bet I have to deal with a lot more drug addicts than he does, let's face it. I share my brain with one, and I can tell you firsthand, they are total fucking wankers. Where I differ from Peter is in my belief that if you regard alcoholics and drug addicts not as bad people but as sick people then we can help them to get better. By we, I mean other people who have the same problem but have found a way to live drug-and-alcohol-free lives. Guided by principles and traditions a programme has been founded that has worked miracles in millions of lives. Not just the alcoholics and addicts themselves but their families, their friends and of course society as a whole." ".. I share my brain with one.." so true. I say all the time to those who beat the 'it's a matter of willpower' drum, "if it was that easy, do you think there'd even BE addicts? At what point do you think a person says, 'Wow! I am so LOOKING FORWARD to sticking needles in my arms and drinking myself into a coma and maybe even, if I'm SUPER LUCKY being homeless on the street! I cannot WAIT to break into my neighbor's house and rob them, or steal my family blind! WOOHOO! GO ME!" No. Addicts wake up every morning and wish, pray and beg to the universe 'not today... please.' and use because the disease (or dis-ease, if that makes you happier) is so strong, so prevalent, so debilitating... The shame is too much to bear. So getting high, drinking, living in oblivion becomes the way out. Some addicts hide in drugs, some in food or work or sex or gambling or religion... But I'm just babbling now. And Mr. Brand is right. One addict helping another to achieve sobriety is easily the most effective way 'out'. Without promoting anything, there are 12 step programs for a reason. Those principles and guidelines have helped countless addicts and alcoholics to live. Treatment programs have recognized this for decades, and are largely founded on these same principals. Communities need to support these efforts. Detoxes and rehabilitative programming need to be readily available for those who seek it WHEN they seek it. Jail isn't always the answer... Perhaps the addicts who are arrested need to go to detox-jail. Wouldn't that be a cool concept? While they're waiting for bail (or whatever) have the sweet nothings of the first step AT LEAST whispered I their ears by someone who cares whether they make it or not? ::shrug:: Maybe I'm an idiot. There are so many 'arguments' to be had with addiction, I know. And I will probably encounter a few people in here who will sneer at what you posted, mock or attack what I'm saying. Thank you, @Robert. I'm deeply moved by Russell Brand's truths. You are very thoughtful to share that with us all.
Robert Yates February 05, 2014 at 09:40 AM
@Clementine: I too found it to be a beautiful and moving piece. It was haunting yet hopeful; it evoked sympathy while at the same time offering a solution that involves personal responsibility. I am fully on board with the idea that addiction must be treated like an illness in order to increase the possibility of defeating the addiction (and I agree with the idea of a detox jail, as this would merely involve shifting resources). I think Brand's private efforts to fund rehab programs are particularly laudable. There is however an element of truth to Hitchens' suggestion that choice is still involved (man I can not believe I just agreed with Peter Hitchens - even a little bit) and I think Brand acknowledges this when he says that the solution is simple (just don't pick it up) yet difficult (hence the need for outside help). This is where Hitchens and Brand disagree, I think. Brand believes outside help (in addition to making a choice) is a prerequisite to recovery. Hitchens believes one can simply make an autonomous choice (as his world view kind of necessitates this position). I am torn on this (as it may differ from case to case), but erring on the side of Brand is definitely a better bet. As Bruce says: "Two hearts are better than one.": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3aqhFjYLWk
Clementine Snide February 05, 2014 at 07:18 PM
Again, @Robert, you speak truly. Addiction is an illness. But it is, i do believe, the only disease whose progression is based on cognitive decision making. I don't mean to imply addicts *want* to be addicted. But they are prisoners of their own design, on some level. They absolutely must be held responsible for their actions... in fact, that is a keystone to recovery. And just as they make a decision to use, they must make a decision to NOT use. But if you view the compulsion to use as an illness, then it becomes clear that the addict cannot just simply decide to not use... there is much more to it. Consider the compulsion as a cancer: It has a life of its own that grows, progresses, moves in and destroys the host unless some sort of intervention takes place. In the case of cancer, you'd never really expect the afflicted person to cure themselves by simply saying, "I won't have cancer anymore." They need doctors, maybe surgeries, medications, follow up care... and they really can only put it into remission. It's the same for the addict. Except instead of doctors and surgeries, they need detoxes/rehabs and counselors. Their "medicine" is therapy and meetings... "don't use and go to meetings" is so simple. And so hard. Recovery from any disease is a hard road. Addiction is no exception. Now... I have to admit I stink as a Jersey Girl because I just don't like Bruce. Don't flog me. But I actually listened to what you posted (and read the lyrics) and agree, two hearts will get the job done. Being more of a Manson gal, I think I generally have a bleaker view of things, though. Ha! http://www.jukebo.com/marilyn-manson/music-clip,count-to-six-and-die,vvrrz.html woof.
Robert Yates February 06, 2014 at 12:21 PM
Wow @ Clementine: that Manson song was bleak. At least we did not hear a bang after the 5 clicks at the end of the song; perhaps that indicates hope, but I may be stretching it. I like the rest of your post very much and think it quite sound. Maybe it's the pride in me, but I like to think that there is someone out there that can kick addiction by themselves, but maybe not. I guess it is kind of a side point anyway as the best road to recovery seems clear. How about this one although it's probably too Bruce-esq? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1L5zJ2afLs
Clementine Snide February 12, 2014 at 07:55 AM
@Robert... I'm sure Manson left the final shot out to offer SOMETHING... probably use of the mind. The Frank Turner song is quite nice! I chuckled at a few references, in that sardonic way that only one who's walked the path can. I've thought about your position on legalization of drugs like heroin. Actually, thought on it for a long time. And there is a part of me that concurs perhaps in a slightly different fashion... But perhaps the "war on drugs" needs to shift to a "war on addiction". I see where such a "war" might at least put a dent in some of the deaths. And I have no problem saying I absolutely believe a jail/rehab/work-camp setting might tip the scales in FAVOR of progress being made. 'Nuff said. Stay safe and warm in the upcoming storm (rain? really? >:[ ). Have a good one.
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 Snide 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 Snide 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 Snide February 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Thank you, @voiceofreason.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »