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Five-county North Jersey probe snags 20 alleged traffickers

Twenty people were arrested on drug trafficking charges in northern New Jersey by local, county and state police and federal immigration officials. Sixteen Bergen County municipalities were part of the sweep that also reportedly turned up more than $3,000 in cash, prescription drugs, an unidentified amount of cocaine and two pounds of marijuana.

Eleven of the suspects were charged with marijuana trafficking, including two Teaneck residents who allegedly sold drugs in or near school zones and public parks. A half-dozen of the arrests included reported cocaine or crack cocaine distributors.

Among the cocaine trafficking arrests are five suspects charged with dealing drugs near schools, public parks or housing developments.

A 20-year-old River Edge man was nabbed for Roxicodone trafficking. A 45-year-old Paterson man, the oldest of the suspects and one of two arrestees in their 40s, was charged with heroin dealing.

Some of the nearly two-dozen suspects were hit with extra charges for possession or possession with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine, Percoset and Oxycodone.

More than one dozen of the suspects are in their 20s, all 26 years of age or younger. Three are male teenage adults, ages 18 and 19. All 20 will face court action in Hackensack at the Central Municipal Court.

Each person arrested has a story, a life beyond the drug charges they face. One of the younger suspects, a 22-year-old Teaneck resident, was a promising high school athlete. Authorities say the former ball player was caught selling marijuana to undercover agents.

Some of those arrested have posted bail and are free to explore their criminal defense options until they are required to appear in court. Others could not meet bail and are being held, including one suspect already jailed on a separate charge.

Source: Cliffview Pilot, "Bergen drug sweep gets 20 in their 20s, a bit younger, a couple much older,"May 18, 2012