According to Prosecutor Edward DeFazio, the arrests were the result of a six-month investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office Municipal Task Force, Hoboken Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The individuals arrested were allegedly part of a major organization that supplied heroin throughout the Hudson County area. Detectives also seized a number of high-end customized luxury vehicles with secret compartments allegedly used by members of this organization to hide and transport the heroin.
According to DeFazio, detectives executed search warrants at various locations in Hudson County, including 406 3rd St., Union City, and 4525 Kennedy Blvd., North Bergen. Detectives also searched several vehicles.
The searches resulted in the recovery of 22,000 bags of heroin from "a sophisticated hidden compartment" in a Ford Explorer.
DeFazio added that police also recovered four loaded semi-automatic handguns and 5,000 bags of heroin from a hidden compartment in a Lincoln Navigator. The guns recovered were two Highpoint .9mm handguns, one .45 caliber Ruger, and one .40 caliber Glock, which was reported stolen.
Also, 811 bags of heroin were recovered from the Lumina. A bulletproof vest was found in the Range Rover.
DeFazio said police seized a total of more than 27,800 bags of heroin with a street value of over $250,000. Detectives believe the organization was trafficking 15,000 to 20,000 bags of heroin per week.
DeFazio said that those arrested "represented high- and mid-level distributors, suppliers and supervisory level participants. As such, they face potential state prison sentences ranging from a minimum of five years to a maximum of life imprisonment in the case of those charged with leader crimes."
· DeFazio said that the U.S. Attorney's office of New York will prosecute the case because they believe it might lead to a large source of heroin in New York City. He also said that he expects more arrests in this case and that several of those arrests will be local.