Two alleged drug distributors were taken into custody Wednesday night, and more than one-quarter of a kilo of heroin was seized by Essex County sheriff’s detectives.
According to authorities, narcotics officers in response to numerous neighborhood complaints of narcotics trafficking staged an area surveillance operation last night from the parking lot of a local fast food store in the area of Central Avenue and Halsted Street.
Upon arrival, detectives observed as a black 2005 Lincoln Town Car with tinted windows pulled in and parked in the lot. Within moments, a marked East Orange patrol car with its overhead lights activated, passed by the location.
Immediately upon seeing the passing police car, the driver of the Lincoln, later identified as Hamayun Mumtaz, 27 of Jersey City, put the suspect vehicle in reverse and drove away from the scene.
Officers followed the Lincoln and conducted a motor vehicle stop for the illegally tinted windows at the intersection of Central and South Munn avenues. As officers approached the front passenger window - which was partially open - James Sweigart, 37 of Kenilworth, was seen passing a large clear plastic bag, filled with a powdery substance, to Mumtaz.
In turn, Mumtaz attempted to secrete the bag in a hidden compartment in the driver’s armrest.
Both suspects were ordered out of the suspect vehicle, and the open hidden compartment was found to contain two plastic bags which contained more than one-quarter of a kilo of heroin.
Police say the suspects were allegedly dealing in volume and were not running ‘a mom and pop operation. They were reportedly in town to supply local street dealers.
The estimated street value of the narcotics is in excess of $50,000. A search warrant for the Lincoln is expected to be issued later today.
Mumtaz and Sweigart were both charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Ecole T. Louverture Elementary School and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.
Authorities issued Mumtaz a motor vehicle summonses for having tinted windows and for transporting drugs in a motor vehicle.