Two employees at a Newark liquor store were recently arrested by members of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and are now facing charges for drug-related offenses.
According to Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, detectives arrested 40-year-old Jersey City resident Nileshkum Patel, who serves as the manager at Hometown Liquor Store, located on 7th Avenue in the North Ward of Newark, on Thursday, January 16th. That same day, they also arrested his associate, 49-year-old Newark resident Nelson Cardona, who works as a clerk at the establishment. The arrests followed an investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office after they received notifications of drug distribution occurring in the area.
Per reports, detectives were canvassing the vicinity on Thursday when they witnessed a woman enter the store and accidentally drop four packages containing a substance, which they suspected to be heroin, on the floor. The woman, who was identified as 23-year-old Newark resident Tiffany Antonetty, was subsequently charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
During the search of the store that followed, detectives discovered 38 envelopes of heroin bearing the label “justice for all” in a counter drawer, as well as 335 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a back room. The estimated total street value of the illegal substances recovered is $4,000, according to Fontoura.
Patel and Cardona were arrested and are currently being at the Essex County Jail, with their bails set at $40,000 each.
The charges the two are potentially facing include: Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing Heroin and Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing Marijuana, both of which are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5; Possession of Heroin and Possession of Marijuana, both of which are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10; as well as Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2.
With regard to the offenses for distribution and possession of controlled dangerous substances, the degree of the offenses are determined by the quantity of the substance involved in each case. Further, the degree of each offense has a significant impact on the defendant’s sentence if convicted of the charges.
In addition, offenses involving Manufacturing, Distributing, or Dispensing Heroin and Marijuana are violations subject to sentencing under the “Brimage Guidelines,” which eliminates the defense attorney’s opportunity to argue for a downward departure at the time of sentencing.
If you or a loved one have been charged with any of these types of offenses, contact Essex County, NJ criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup for a free consultation about your case.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Newark liquor store manager and clerk arrested on heroin charges