An Essex County man has been found guilty on all counts filed against him after being arrested for serious narcotics offenses twice in Linden last year, Union County officials announced Wednesday.
Following separate trials that took place earlier this month, 42-year-old Lamont Taylor of Irvington was convicted on one second-degree and five third-degree drug offenses, including possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park, and within 1,000 feet of school property, according to Union County officials.
On Thursday, June 28, 2018, Union County officials reported that Linden Police Department detectives witnessed Taylor engage in a hand-to-hand drug transaction on the 200 block of East Price Street, behind the Linden Public Schools Academy of Excellence.
Union County officials say that the detectives followed Taylor’s vehicle out of the neighborhood and initiated a traffic stop, at which point they recovered quantities of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine from the vehicle, as well as approximately $500 in cash.
According to Union County officials, Taylor was convicted following a two-day trial that commenced on Tuesday, July 2, as well as several hours of jury deliberation spread over two days.
Taylor’s second trial began shortly thereafter. At that time, a separate jury heard evidence indicating that several weeks before his June 28, 2018 arrest, Taylor was pulled over on U.S. Routes 1&9 southbound, after being spotted swerving between lanes by Linden Police Department patrol officers, Union County officials said.
A search of Taylor’s vehicle turned up approximately 150 folds of heroin and approximately $2,000 in cash, Union County officials stated.
Taylor’s second trial also lasted two days, and resulted in convictions returned by the jury last Friday. According to Union County officials, State Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch presided over both trials.
Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, September 13, before Judge Kirsch, at which time Taylor will be eligible for an extended term of 10 to 20 years in state prison due to an extensive criminal history, according to Union County officials.
Members of the Linden Police Department Narcotics and Patrol units, Union County Forensics Laboratory, and Narcotics Strike Force of the Prosecutor’s Office contributed to these investigations and prosecutions.