A Nutley man stands accused of possessing and manufacturing cocaine within the confines of the township and then laundering money from the proceeds, and now he’s behind bars, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
Omar Rios, 44, of Franklin Avenue, was charged with possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, maintaining a controlled dangerous substance production facility and money laundering.
The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to Musella:
On Nov. 9, 2023, during a narcotics investigation, detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotic Task Force executed a search warrant at Rios’s Nutley apartment. There, detectives say they found more than 800 grams of cocaine, $58,070 in suspected drug sale proceeds, cutting agents, packaging material, and a hydraulic press used to compress cocaine for packaging.
Search warrants were also executed at another location nearby in Nutley and a detached garage in Belleville, which had been identified by detectives as stash locations Rios used. Detectives found $273,920 in suspected drug sale proceeds in the Nutley location and found 10 vintage exotic cars in the detached garage in Belleville, which Rios reportedly owned and which authorities believed he purchased with the proceeds of drug sales.
As a result of the investigation, Rios was arrested at his residence and charged with first-degree possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, first-degree maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility and second-degree money laundering.
Rios was remanded to the Bergen County Jail, Hackensack, pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court.
Musella thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for its assistance in the investigation.
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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.