59 Arrested After Narcotics Crackdown on Newark-East Orange Border

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose and East Orange Police Director Domingos Saldida announced today that 59 people have been charged as part of “Operation Border Patrol” – a joint operation to combat crime and drug distribution on the Newark/East Orange border.

“These arrested demonstrate our unwavering commitment to fight drug trafficking in our community,’’ said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Stephens. “We simply will not tolerate it.’’

Of those charged, 57 have been arrested. Two remain at-large. They are: Devon Taylor, 31, and Alsharif May, 26, both of Newark.

Approximately $80,000 in cash, two vehicles, 18 weapons and drugs with an estimated street value of $770,700 were seized. The drugs recovered include: heroin, cocaine, marijuana, fentanyl, suboxone, buprenorphine, promethazine, oxycodone, Roxicodone, Percocet and Xanax.

The arrests were the result of a two-month investigation following an analysis by the ECPO and Newark and East Orange Police Departments which helped to identify certain areas on the East Orange/Newark border as drug hot spots.

“The goal of this operation was to both interrupt drug activity and halt the violent crimes that often accompany these transactions,’’ said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Stephens.

“With these arrests, which are part of a coordinated and cooperative effort by law enforcement, we believe we have significantly undercut the sale of drugs that fuel the opioid epidemic that is ravaging Essex County and virtually every other part of the state,’’ said Acting Essex Prosecutor Stephens.

Newark Public Safety Director Ambrose said, “The operation is a testament to the importance of collaboration. We can’t do it alone. We thank and support Prosecutor Stephens.

The drugs and certainly the firearms seized will save lives and reduce violence in our cities. It’s pathetic the number of firearms that are in our county and cites in a state with the strictest gun laws in the country.’’

Further underscoring the cooperation among agencies, Director Saldida said, “We will continue to aggressively target those who engage in drug trafficking in East Orange by working cooperatively with our law enforcement partners.’’

These are accusations.

All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.