Clean-minded suspect in drug sweep

BLOOMFIELD – 

A Bloomfield woman who allegedy stored hundreds of envelopes of heroin, along with vials of crack cocaine, in her vacuum cleaner was arrested last week by a joint task force of Essex County sheriff’s and Bloomfield police detectives, Sheriff Armando Fontoura reported.

Fontoura said officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics and the Bloomfield PD surrounded the suspect’s residence at 43 Hickory St. on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 17. When the target of their investigation, 53-year-old Carolyn Mendez-Molder, exited the home and entered her SUV, she was followed by the task force officers, who pulled her over a few blocks away.

At the residence, officers executed a search warrant for her second-floor apartment, where they reportedly discovered 499 glassine envelopes of heroin and 150 vials of crack cocaine secreted in the vacuum cleaner in the living room.

An additional 30 vials of crack cocaine were found in a bedroom laundry hamper, and a bag of marijuana, along with drug-processing and packaging materials, were in a kitchen cabinet, police said.

During a subsequent search of the suspect, she was reportedly found to have $1,145 on her person.

Authorities said Mendez- Molder was charged with three counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, three counts of possession of CDS with intent to distribute, and with possession of narcotics paraphernalia.

At arraignment last Wednesday in Newark, Judge Marilyn Williams set bail at $300,000 and ordered her held at the Essex County Jail.

– Karen Zautyk 

The Observer Staff