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Authorities In N.J. Smash Multi-State Heroin Ring

Heroin (file/credit: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

Heroin (file/credit: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images)

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WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Talk about delivering a “smackdown.”

Federal and state officials in New Jersey said they’ve cracked a major heroin network that operated “mills” and stash houses in Paterson.

State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said the network was selling millions of dollars in heroin in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Fifteen suspects were arrested, including the alleged ringleader, Segundo Garcia. Two other suspects remain at large.

Garcia, 36, was charged with leading a narcotics trafficking network and could face life in prison. He previously served more than five years in prison of drug dealing and was deported before re-entering the U.S. illegally, authorities said.

Four kilos of heroin were seized, along with about $255,000 in cash.

“Drug dealing is at the heart of the crime and violence plaguing Paterson and our other cities,” Chiesa said. “So taking down major drug suppliers like these defendants, who we allege were polluting our communities by distributing millions of dollars in heroin, will have a real impact on public safety and quality of life.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)