LINDEN — A Linden man was arrested earlier this month and charged after police raided his home and discovered 65 marijuana plants and several high-caliber assault weapons, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced today.
Acting on a tip provided to Union County Crime Stoppers, members of the Prosecutor’s Office Gangs, Guns and Violent Crimes Task Force and the Linden Police Department’s Narcotics Unit launched an investigation earlier this year. After gathering sufficient evidence members of Union County SWAT entered the Academy Terrace house arrested Jeffrey Smith, 41.
Inside the house officers discovered two AK-47 assault rifles, one Glock 19 handgun, and a .45 caliber handgun, said Romankow. One of the AK-47’s was loaded with 20 rounds of live ammunition and officers found numerous boxes of live ammunition as well as several magazine clips for the assault weapons throughout the house, according to the prosecutor’s office. Additionally, police recovered two bulletproof vests, handcuffs, a police scanner, ski masks, and night vision equipment.
After entering the house, police observed Smith running towards a room where one of the assault weapons was located, authorities said. He was detained and arrested without incident, said Romankow.
“This suspect was heavily armed and we are all grateful that no one was injured in the operation,” said Romankow.
In addition to the 65 marijuana plants, authorities also seized equipment including heating lamps, thermometers and gardening tools necessary to maintain a marijuana production facility. In all, authorities estimate the marijuana has a street value of over $200,000.
“This was a sophisticated operation that was putting a significant quantity of illegal drugs on the streets of Union County,” said Romankow.
Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips through phone calls, the Internet and text messages. Tips that lead to an arrest and indictment of a criminal suspect are eligible for a reward of up to $5,000. Crime Stoppers may be reached by calling 1-908-654-TIPS, logging onto www.uctip.org, or texting UCTIP plus a message to 274637.
Smith is being held in the Union County Jail on $500,000 bail.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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