By Ron Leir
NORTH ARLINGTON –
An incident in North Arlington ultimately led police on a trail culminating in the arrest of seven individuals who, police believe, are members or associates of the Bloods (Sex Money Murder set) street gang.
The arrests marked the end of a month-long investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Gang and Major Crimes Unit, headed by Chief Steven Cucciniello; the North Arlington Police Dept.; the Passaic Police Dept.; and the Garfield Police Dept., according to Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli.
Molinelli said it all started on July 1, shortly after 1 a.m., when the North Arlington patrol officers responded to a call about a street fight at Bergen Ave. and Ninth St. and found a pickup truck with its windows broken and a female claiming her boyfriend had been assaulted and kidnapped by several individuals in two vehicles.
North Arlington police detectives and the investigators from the prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit got a description and partial plate number on one of the getaway vehicles – listed as a burgundy Acura – involved in the alleged kidnapping.
They also got a phone number of one of the suspected kidnappers.
Further investigation led detectives to President Ave. in Passaic where they found a 2004 burgundy Acura parked across from 76 President Ave.
At 10:20 a.m. prosecutor’s personnel, joined by North Arlington and Passaic police, went to that address where the vehicle’s registered owner Jesus Henrique-Marte, 30, was listed as living, and his girlfriend, Yulissa Liranzo- Guerrero, 34, and brought them to the prosecutor’s office in Paramus for questioning. Both were booked on charges of kidnapping, a first-degree crime, and aggravated assault, a third-degree offense.
As the investigation progressed, police said they tracked two more suspects in the case to an Outwater Lane apartment in Garfield where, they said, the driver of the second vehicle – a white 2012 Honda – involved in the kidnapping was living. Diana Rodrigues, 28, listed as that driver, and Harold Williams, 29, also living at that address, were both booked at 1 p.m. that same day on kidnapping and aggravated assault charges.
An hour later, police said they found the kidnap victim in Passaic and brought him back to Paramus for questioning. Police said he told them he was a member of the Bloods Sex Money Murder set but had been dodging the gang for several months, trying to extricate himself from the organization.
But on July 1, he told police, several gang members found him in North Arlington, broke the window to his girlfriend’s car, dragged him out of the car, beat him, forced him into another car at knifepoint and drove him to a pier in Hoboken or Jersey City where he was scolded and kicked out of the set. He said he was then driven to Passaic, where he was beaten and let go.
Three more suspects in the case were subsequently implicated: Aurelio Valverde, 30, of Garfield, was grabbed on July 5; Lorenzo J. Rosado, 22, of Clifton, was booked on July 20; and Rendell Maldonado, 24, of Passaic, was picked up on July 25, each charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault.
Bail for Henrique-Marte and Williams was set at $300,000 each with no 10% cash option; bail for Liranzo-Guerrero and Rodrigues was fixed at $200,000 each with no 10% cash option. Bail for Valverde, Rosado and Maldonado was set at $275,000 each with no 10% option. All were held at the Bergen County Jail, Hackensack, pending court action.