Fentanyl mill ended in Harrison: AG

Three men were arrested in the takedown of a major fentanyl and heroin mill in Harrison that distributed its narcotics in wax folds stamped with the same brand names that have been linked to 227 overdoses, including 84 deaths, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal March 21.

Approximately 32,500 individual doses and four kilos of fentanyl and heroin were seized in the investigation.

The arrests were made in an ongoing investigation by the New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force and the Division of Criminal Justice. They were assisted by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, Cliffside Park police, Nutley police, Harrison police and Newark police.

The New Jersey State Police recently established the Opioid Enforcement Task Force, designed to strategically target heroin and fentanyl sources of supply across the state. In October, the Department of Law & Public Safety, New Jersey State Police, was awarded a $2.8 million grant for this Task Force from the Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Anti-Heroin Task Force Program.

Based on the evidence seized, it is estimated that the drug mill, set up in a luxury apartment at 300 Somerset St., Harrison, was supplying 15,000 doses of fentanyl and heroin per day. Timothy Guest, 45, of Irvington, allegedly operated the mill with associates working under him, including William Woodley, 27, of Belleville and Selionel Orama, 25, of Cedar Grove.

Those men were arrested on Thursday, March 14. They face first- and second-degree drug charges, including a charge of maintaining a narcotics production facility.

“We prevented countless doses of fentanyl and heroin from reaching drug users by taking down this mill, and given that the stamps seized bear the same names as drugs linked to 84 deaths, we may have saved many lives,” Grewal said. “This operation reflects a proactive and collaborative strategy in which we recently deployed a new State Police task force, supported by a $2.8 million federal COPS grant, to target drug mills and other major drug sources as choke points in the supply line of these deadly opioids. This case is an early and tremendous victory for the Opioid Enforcement Task Force and our new strategy.”

The New Jersey State Police Opioid Enforcement Task Force was conducting surveillance in the area of the mill in Harrison on March 14 when they saw Guest leave the apartment building with a black duffel bag suspected to contain drugs and enter a Cadillac XTS. When State Police attempted to stop the Cadillac, Guest allegedly fled, striking two occupied troop cars. The Cadillac became disabled and detectives placed Guest under arrest. Meanwhile, Woodley and Orama fled from the mill building and also were arrested.

Investigators found 150 bricks of fentanyl in the black duffel bag in the Cadillac XTS. A brick consists of 50 individual doses of narcotics packaged in wax folds. Inside the drug mill, they seized three kilograms of fentanyl, one kilogram of heroin mixed with fentanyl, 500 bricks of fentanyl (approximately 25,000 individual doses containing fentanyl packaged for distribution), and drug milling equipment, including 29 coffee grinders, kilo presses, wax folds, and respirator masks. They also found 43 rubber ink stamps used to stamp brands on the wax folds. Information obtained from police reports throughout the state indicates that 25 of those stamps bear the same brand names that have been linked to a total of 227 overdoses, including 84 fatal overdoses.

“We know that our state is home to far too many people struggling with addiction,” Grewal said. “But we ask that, no matter what challenges you’re facing in your life, if you see heroin stamped with these markings, please, please stay away from it. Your next fix could be your last.”

“If you encounter any of these stamps, please notify law enforcement,” continued Attorney General Grewal. “Many departments and County Prosecutors across our state allow individuals to turn in drugs and paraphernalia, no questions asked.”

At a second location in Secaucus that allegedly was used by Guest as a “stash house” to store proceeds from his illicit narcotics distribution, investigators seized approximately $200,000 in cash, a Bentley convertible worth an estimated $400,000, and a Range Rover worth an estimated $130,000.

Guest, Woodley and Orama are charged with the following offenses:

  1. Maintaining a Narcotics Production Facility (1st degree)
  2. Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute (1st degree)
  3. Possession of Fentanyl with Intent to Distribute (2nd degree)
  4. Possession of Fentanyl (3rd degree)
  5. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (4th degree)

Guest is also charged with third-degree eluding police. Guest is being held in jail pending a detention hearing. Woodley and Orama were released subject to conditions following detention hearings.

Grewal thanked all of the agencies participating in the Opioid Enforcement Task Force and all of the other agencies that assisted in this investigation.

First-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000. The first-degree charge of maintaining a narcotics production facility carries a mandatory minimum term without parole equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed and a fine of up to $750,000.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000, while third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, or $35,000 for the drug charge. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.

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