Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

7 Allegedly Ran Paterson Heroin Mills

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

7 Allegedly Ran Paterson Heroin Mills

Article excerpt

PATERSON -- Seven alleged members of a drug ring, including five city residents, have been indicted on charges that they operated heroin mills inside two Paterson apartments, the state Attorney General's Office announced Monday.

The indictments stem from arrests made in March, during which authorities say they confiscated about a pound of heroin during searches of the apartments and suspects' vehicles, according to officials. Authorities said they also seized three guns along with the drugs with a street value of more than $100,000.

"The heroin and handguns seized in this case speak to the grave danger posed by these alleged drug dealers," acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a release. "Heroin and illegal firearms are the twin scourges that are racking our communities with addiction, overdoses and drug-related gun violence."

After an investigation involving state and county law enforcement agencies, police initially arrested several suspects during traffic stops along Route 80 and then raided the apartments in the 2nd and 5th wards. At an apartment on the 200 block of Spring Street, authorities say, they seized almost 5 ounces of heroin and numerous items of paraphernalia used for heroin milling, including grinders, masks, wax folds and empty kilogram wrappers.

Police say the heroin was packaged as 146 bricks, with each containing roughly 50 single-dose wax folds of the drug packaged for street distribution. Also seized at that location were a stolen .45- caliber Ruger semiautomatic pistol, a loaded .45-caliber magazine, and a silencer for the gun, police said.

At a second apartment, on the first block of 18th Avenue, authorities say, they seized $16,841 in cash and numerous items of paraphernalia used for heroin milling, including a kilo press, stamps, a scale and cutting agents. Detectives also reported finding a .40-caliber Glock handgun and illegal hollow-point bullets. The windows of the apartment were covered with black garbage bags, a technique used at heroin mills to avoid police detection, according to the Attorney General's Office.

Authorities also searched three vehicles belonging to the suspects and found two of them had hidden compartments that opened electronically. …

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