More than a dozen individuals were arrested for running a major North Jersey network that allegedly distributed millions of dollars of heroin to a number of processing mills and stash houses in Paterson, authorities announced Tuesday afternoon.
Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa made the announcement at the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office.
The network is thought to have supplied multiple kilos of Columbian heroin a week to other suppliers and large-scale dealers in North Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., according to Chiesa.
“Crime and drugs have no boundaries,” said Sheriff Richard Berdnik. “The fact that a major network was taken down will, in my opinion, have a significant impact on Passaic County and in the tri-state area.”
Personnel from the sheriff’s department, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, and the state’s Division of Criminal Justice’s Gangs, and Organized Crime Bureau participated in Operation Dismayed, a six-month long investigation designed to take down the distribution network.
Detectives from various agencies raided 10 heroin processing and stash houses in Paterson and Prospect Park last week.
Workers wore aprons and surgical masks allegedly worked at these locations to cut, process, and package heroin for the network.
Authorities seized three kilos of bulk heroin, another kilo of heroin packaged in thousands of glassine envelopes for individual sale, and $225,000 in cash. The heroin had a wholesale value of more than $300,000, authorities said.
Authorities estimate the bulk heroin could have sold for more than $1 million if sold on the street.
The heroin was not sold to individuals on the street. It was sold to wholesalers who in turn sold it on the street for approximately $10 a bag, Berdnik said.
Fifteen individuals were charged with running the network. The network’s alleged ringleader, Segundo Garcia, 36, of Prospect Park, was charged with leading a narcotics trafficking network, a first-degree crime that carries of sentence of life in prison.
Garcia was also charged with distribution of heroin, possession with intent to distribute, both first-degree charges, and second-degree conspiracy. The other 14 defendants were charged with first-degree possession of heroin with intent to distribute or second-degree conspiracy to distribute heroin.