Passaic County Sheriff’s Officers recently arrested two men after uncovering a substantial heroin supply during a building search in Paterson, New Jersey. The defendants are now facing charges for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute as well as possession with intent to distribute near or on school property.
According to Richard H. Berdnik, the Passaic County Sheriff, 39-year-old Fausto Lugo and 31-year-old Ezequiel Martinez were arrested following a search conducted by detectives from the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, March 11th at a building located on Lewis Street in Paterson. Per reports, officials who were monitoring the area observed two men driving into the building’s garage and removing suspicious packages from their vehicle’s trunk.
The search that followed resulted in the discovery of large quantities of heroin, the total value of which has been estimated at $1.7 million. Specifically, investigators confiscated 8 kilograms of raw heroin as well as $290,000 in cash, divided into $10,000 parcels, which they believe are the profits of drug distribution. They also seized 3 vehicles, including a 2011 BMW 5 Series and multiple Nissans.
Lugo and Martinez are now facing extremely serious drug charges, particularly those for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, which is codified under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5.Under the New Jersey Criminal Code, any person who violates said statute with respect to:
Heroin, in a quantity of five ounces or more, including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree (punishable by a term of incarceration between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State Prison). The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Further, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed.
Bearing this in mind, the consequences for the accused will be tremendously severe if this case proceeds to trial and they are ultimately found guilty.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Sheriff says $1.7M worth of heroin seized in Paterson raid