PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities have accused seven people in connection with two heroin mills that they said were run out of apartments in Paterson, New Jersey.
A state grand jury handed up the 15-count indictment on Friday, but it became public on Monday.READ MORE: Police: Man Stabbed In Head With Machete After Argument At Walmart In Kearny, N.J.
The indictment includes five Paterson residents — 27-year-old Manuel Perez-Guerrero; 41-year-old Jose Romero-Rivera; 43-year-old Franklin Mejia; 22-year-old Juan Perez-Guerrero and 23-year-old Rosaline Engracia Ulloa — as well as 29-year-old Lakey Guerra-Pujols of Oakfield, New York, and 23-year-old Alexsander Padro, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
The indictment stems from two traffic stops in March in which state troopers allegedly seized drugs and weapons, which then led to the search of two apartments in Paterson.
That search allegedly turned up more drugs and weapons.
Separately, law enforcement officials said more than 30 people have been arrested in a ring that sold about $1 million in drugs over the past three months.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray says the arrests announced Monday stem from an ongoing investigation dubbed “Operation Joint Effort.” It involved 26 law enforcement agencies on the federal, state, and local levels.READ MORE: Some Real Estate Agents Report Surge Of New Yorkers Moving From Manhattan To The Bronx
Murray says the investigation found that various drugs were being sold within the Route 21 Corridor.
Authorities seized 518 bricks of heroin and made 31 arrests during early morning raids Sunday in several towns in northern Jersey. An undetermined smaller amount of cocaine and marijuana was also seized, along with nine high-end vehicles more than $71,000 in cash.
Murray said the heroin operation was a “middle-level” distribution ring, according to an NJ.com report, Prosecutors said Jermaine Nelson, 37, of Edgewater; and his sister, Shakira Nelson, 22, of Newark ran the operation, along with Edgar Ortiz, 35, of Newark; Teyoina Simon, 22 of Newark, and Ibn Walker, 30, of Orange, the newspaper reported.
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