By Karen Zautyk
Kearny Vice Squad detectives have been busy with drug busts in recent days, including the arrest of an alleged heroin dealer who was also found to be packing a fully loaded automatic, police reported.
The suspect, Gerard Gilfone, 44, of Newark was apprehended at 11 p.m. Nov. 21 on Seeley Ave. after police trailed his car from the 200 block of Laurel Ave.
The detectives had information on suspected drug activity on Laurel and had set up ongoing surveillance in the area.
On the date in question, Police Chief John Dowie said, they spotted a car driven by an individual known to have been involved in drug activity in the past. While he was outside the vehicle, they observed him to be in possession of packages believed to contain a controlled dangerous substance — and also saw that he had a handgun shoved in the waistband of his jeans, Dowie said.
The officers followed his car, a 2000 Cadillac DeVille, down Chestnut St. and onto Seeley, where they made the MV stop and reportedly confiscated 64 bags of suspected heroin, along with 75 oxycodone tablets and 10 alprazolam pills.
The police report said the suspect was also relieved of a .380 Bersa automatic pistol, which was found to be fully loaded, with a bullet in the chamber.
Gilfone was charged with possession of the drugs, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute within a school zone and a playground zone, possession of drug paraphernalia, illegal possession of a hand gun, possession of a firearm while committing a CDS offense and, due to his prior arrest record, possession of a firearm by a person not allowed to possess one.
His Cadillac was impounded and so was he, being sent to the Hudson County Jail in lieu of bail.
On Nov. 27, the Vice Squad was conducting surveillance in the area of Wilson Ave. and Elm St. when they observed another known drug offender approach a parked car. When the cops approached too, they reportedly saw the driver removing items from a small bottle and, in plain view on the dashboard, saw oxycodone and alprazolam.
The driver reportedly refused instructions to turn off the engine, so the officers did it for him. He had to be forcibly removed from the car and then proceeded to struggle with the cops until subdued, Dowie said. In addition to the drugs, he was reputedly in possession of more than $600 in cash, believed to be the proceeds from drug transactions.
The suspect — the aptly named Johnny Medic, 25, of Harrison – was charged with possession of the drugs, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute within a school zone and playground zone, possession of a paging device while in commission of a crime, resisting arrest, and possession of CDS while operating a motor vehicle.
Nov. 29 brought another drug bust, this one on the 50 block of Wilson Ave. At 7:15 p.m., detectives observed a man leave a residence and approach a parked vehicle, where a handto- hand transaction took place.
Inside the vehicle, police reportedly found vacuum-sealed bags containing suspected marijuana, an assortment of other plastic bags and a digital scale.
The car’s operator, Wellington Dasilva, 18, of Kearny, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a CDS, possession of paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute, possession in a school zone and operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a CDS.
Also arrested was his reputed customer, Thiago Campos, 18, of Kearny, charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia. On Dec. 1, at 5:20 p.m., P.O. John Fabula responded to a report of a shoplifting at Kmart on Passaic Ave. The store reported that a man had attempted to steal flash drives and memory cards and, when approached by security, assaulted the guard and fled on foot.
Fabula located the suspect, who was still in the area, and, after a struggle, subdued and arrested him, the report said. Taken to KPD headquarters, the man was searched, and a memory card was reportedly found stuck to the small of his back.
Charged with robbery was Ronald Alston, 40, of Newark, who was transported to the Hudson County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Also on Dec. 21 and on Passaic Ave., a man entered the Payless store at about 7:30 p.m., selected a pair of shoes from the rack, approached the counter and engaged the female clerk in conversation: A chat that ended with him saying, “I don’t want to scare you, but I need the money from the register.”
Police said he also indicated he had a gun, although none was shown.
The clerk complied and the bandit fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash. He was described as a blonde white male about 6-feet tall, wearing a gray skullcap and a black hoodie.
P.O. Derek Hemphill conducted the initial investigation. Dets. Scott Traynor and Ray Lopez are doing the followup.