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East Orange Resident Arrested in Kenilworth with Drugs, Stolen Firearm


By: Richard L. Smith 

Union County authorities successfully apprehended an Essex County man in Kenilworth, charging him with numerous offenses, including drug possession and possession of a stolen firearm.FitnessKenilworth Police Lieutenant Michael Scanielo said the arrest resulted from a traffic stop executed by Officer Dominick Riccelli on Monday, March 18.

According to Lt. Scanielo, the incident happened around 2:00 PM when Officer Riccelli pulled over a 2020 Infiniti driven by East Orange resident Mr. Yusef Chapman at 730 Federal Avenue.

Scanielo said Chapman was initially stopped for tinted windows and careless driving. However, the situation quickly escalated when a K-9 unit from the Union County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene and indicated the presence of narcotics in the vehicle.

A thorough search led to the discovery of a loaded Diamondback 9mm handgun with hollow point rounds, reported stolen from East Taylor Twp., Pennsylvania.

Additionally, Lt. Scanielo said officers found multiple bottles of promethazine cough syrup, cocaine, heroin, a significant amount of cash, three scales, and drug packaging material within the vehicle.

The seized amount of cocaine was substantial enough to warrant a charge of 2nd-degree drug distribution.

Chapman faces a series of charges, including Possession of a Weapon, Possession of Hollow Point Bullets, Certain Person Prohibited from Possessing a Weapon, Weapons with Narcotics, Drug Possession, Drug Distribution, Receiving Stolen Property, and Drug Paraphernalia.

Following the arrest, Chapman was transferred to Essex County Jail, where he will await his detention hearing on March 22, 2024, in Union County Superior Court.

This arrest marks a significant victory for local law enforcement in their ongoing efforts to combat drug distribution and gun violence within the Union County community.