BREAKING WEST ORANGE NJ: Essex Sheriff Breaks Up $1M Meth Lab in West Orange

West Orange – A major drug manufacturing facility was shut down last night and nearly one million dollars in methamphetamine was seized by a law enforcement task force comprised of Essex County sheriff’s detectives and detectives from the Newark, Bloomfield, Irvington and West Orange police departments.

​Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that as a result of a two-month investigation, the task force executed a search warrant at a residence, located at 1 Lorelei Road in West Orange, on Monday evening.

​“Our officers entered the premises and found the target of our investigation, Mr. Brian Chedahackembruch, 23, in his bedroom,” Sheriff Fontoura said.

“During a thorough search of the house, our detectives recovered 4,450 grams of methamphetamine in both liquid and crystal form, 96 ounces of gamma-butyrolactone, a chemical that is used to convert one drug into another, 74 grams of marijuana, a wide assortment of narcotics paraphernalia, including butane torches, digital scales and plastic funnels, $3,840 in cash, four BB guns, a video surveillance system and bank deposit receipts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

​Because the narcotics are dangerous to human beings, both the Nutley and the New Jersey State Police HAZMAT teams were called to the scene where they confirmed the toxicity of the drugs.

​“The traffic in methamphetamines is not unknown in our urban areas as it is more prevalent in rural areas,” Fontoura noted. “However, from 2015 to 2017, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Northeast Regional Lab has seen a 5,657 percent increase in the total weight of methamphetamine exhibits analyzed from 4,468 grams in 2015 to 257,206 grams in 2017.

Meth is a psychostimulant drug that is similar to amphetamines and usage may lead to structural and functional changes in the brain associated with emotion and memory, and some of these changes may be irreversible.”

​Following his arrest, the suspect complained of physical discomfort due to a recent medical condition. He was transported to University Hospital in Newark by West Orange EMS where he currently remains under guard.

​Chedahackembruch was charged with three counts each of possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 of a public park.

The suspect was also charged with maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, maintaining fortified drug premises, possession of a weapon while committing a narcotics crime, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

​A second suspect, Eduardo Martinez, 39, also a resident of the same Lorelei Road address, remains at-large and similar charges have been filed against him.

According to Chedahackembruch's Facebook page, he is a 2018 NYU Bioinformatics Engineer - Clinical Research student.