ELIZABETH — Following a three-month investigation, four men were arrested earlier this week and more than 70 bricks of heroin and $36,000 in cash were seized, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced Thursday.
“These were not small time dealers, but rather men who ran a sophisticated, wide-reaching, and lucrative drug ring both in and outside the state of New Jersey” said Romankow. “This is an example of multiple law enforcement agencies combining their resources and working together to remove high level drug dealers from the streets. I am very proud of the efforts of all involved.”
The arrests were part of a joint investigation with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and the Elizabeth Police Department dubbed “Operation Nine Lives.” Tuesday’s arrests were the third prong of an investigation that has already netted seven other suspects, including Wendell Wilson, reputedly a high-ranking member of the East Side Mob Gang PIRU, a set of the Bloods criminal street gang. The second prong of the investigation resulted in the arrest of Kareem Anderson and the execution of a search warrant in Harrison. During that portion of the investigation, detectives seized a Ruger P345 handgun, approximately $90,000 in cash, and 2 ½ kilograms of heroin with a street value of $140,000.
The third prong of the investigation occurred late on Tuesday and resulted in the arrest of Dennis Jones, also known as “Fat Cat,” and three other individuals. Search warrants were executed in the Elizabeth, Fords, and Rahway and investigators seized 75 bricks of heroin packaged for street-level distribution with a street value of $38,000, a .40 caliber handgun, and $36,000 in cash.
Jones, 35, was charged with being the leader of a narcotics trafficking network and maintaining a drug manufacturing facility. The investigation revealed that members of Jones’ alleged distribution network operated throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
In addition to Jones, authorities arrested
- Dennis Wactor, 25, of Elizabeth, who was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute
- Rasheen Tucker, 35, of Rahway, who was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and maintaining a production facility
- Clarence Johnson, 36, of Elizabeth, who was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, and illegally possessing a weapon.
Bail was set at $3 million for Jones, $2 million each for Johnson and Tucker, and $500,000 for Wactor.
The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!