NEWARK — Nearly a dozen people who live in The Observer’s readership area were among 31 arrested last week after the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office executed search warrants in Kearny, Harrison, the Ironbound section of Newark and locations in Monmouth and Ocean counties, resulting in the confiscation of approximately 23,000 grams of marijuana and two kilos of cocaine with a combined-estimated street value of $1.1 million, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose announced Tuesday, Aug. 27, in a joint statement.
It is alleged that drug dealers delivered to buyers at their homes or other locations throughout the Ironbound section of Newark in what was a retail business on wheels. Buyers would call in their orders and drugs would be delivered shortly.
“These distributors operated in a way that made them feel they were immune from detection. The methods employed were designed to avoid attracting the attention of law enforcement. The distributors used non-descript vehicles. Having a well-established customer base gave the drug dealers a false sense of comfort,’’ Stephens said. “They thought they could sell narcotics with impunity.”
In addition to the cocaine and marijuana, seven guns, including a .223 assault rifle and 12-gauge shotgun, were recovered; nearly $300,000 in U.S. currency; 62 oxycodone pills with a street value of $1,550; and three Xanax pills with a street value of $30.
Dubbed “Operation Short Storm,” the raids resulted in the arrest of 31 people. Another 16 have been charged but remain at large. In addition, 12 vehicles, including two Mercedes Benz 550 sedans, were seized.
The search warrants were executed on Aug. 22 and 23, by detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office along with officers from police agencies in Harrison, Kearny, Newark, Monmouth County and Ocean County.
Jewelry, including apparent Rolex, Brietling and Gucci watches, were also seized.
“As always, effective law enforcement is about partnership, whether it’s with other agencies or the community,” Ambrose said.
Officers from Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Bloomfield Police Department, Essex County Sheriff’s Department, East Hanover Police Department, East Orange Police Department, Fairfield Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Irvington Police Department, Lacey Police Department, Livingston Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Sheriff’s Department, Montclair Police Department, Newark Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, Paramus Police Department, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Paterson Police Department, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, West Orange Police Department, West Caldwell Police Department also assisted.
Below is a list of all defendants from The Observer’s readership are and their charges.
- Antonio Marques, 38, of Harrison, was charged with conspiracy, distribution of CDS.
- Brian Teixeira, 29, of Kearny, was charged with conspiracy, possession of prescription legend drugs.
- Jovanni Perez, 39, of Kearny, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
- Frank Cunha, 55, of Harrison, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
- Jose Dacosta, 64, of Kearny, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
- Jose Dealmeida, 35, of Kearny, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
- Marinete Doyle, 52, of Kearny, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
- Annmarie Golya, 50, of Kearny, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
- Jose Hermo, 44, of Harrison, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
- Angel Ruiz, 46, of Belleville, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
• Carlos Nicolau, 38, of Kearny, was charged with conspiracy to distribute CDS.
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.