Two suspects, a Newark man and an East Orange woman, were arraigned today on multiple drug and weapons charges following their arrests on Friday by Essex County sheriff’s detectives.
In response to numerous neighborhood complaints of open-air drug trafficking in the area of Homestead Park on Hawthorne Avenue, Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a plainclothes surveillance operation at that location on Friday afternoon.
“Three suspects, later identified as Davon Anderson, 18, a 16-year-old male juvenile, both from Newark, and a female, Shanice ‘Safiyah’ Morgan, 24, of East Orange, were observed loitering in front of 457 Hawthorne Avenue,” Sheriff Fontoura said.
Soon, the male driver of a silver BMW pulled up and parked at the scene.
“Anderson approached the driver and engaged in a brief conversation,” Fontoura noted. “Anderson then walked down the building’s alleyway and removed a black plastic bag from within a garbage can. He removed items from the bag and exchanged them with the driver for cash.”
A female passerby on foot then arrived on the scene and engaged in conversation with the male juvenile who also removed an item from the garbage can and exchanged it for cash.
Both the BMW and the female were followed from the area. The BMW could not be located but the female suspect, identified as Regina Evans, 21 of Newark, was detained and found to be in possession of one zip-lock bag containing marijuana.
“Our BON detectives then moved in on Anderson and the male juvenile,” Sheriff Fontoura added. “Anderson was found to be in possession of a loaded Hopkins and Allen .22 caliber revolver and four bags of marijuana. A search of the garbage can yielded an additional 106 bags of marijuana.”
As Anderson and the juvenile were being placed under arrest, the sheriff’s detectives observed Morgan throw a second black plastic bag to the ground.
“That bag was found to contain an 85 zip-lock bags of marijuana,” the sheriff said.
Anderson and the male juvenile were both charged with the sale of a controlled dangerous substance, sale of CDS within 1000 feet of Hawthorne Avenue School, sale within 500 feet of Homestead Park, possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Hawthorne Avenue School, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of Homestead Park and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.
Anderson was additionally charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon while committing a CDS crime.
Morgan was charged with possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Hawthorne Avenue School and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of Homestead Park.
At today’s arraignment, bail was set on Anderson at $60,000 and on Morgan at $40,000. Both suspects were lodged at the Essex County jail.
Following processing on Friday, the male juvenile was placed in an electronic monitoring bracelet and released in the custody of his mother. He will answer the charges at a hearing in Family Court at a later date.
Evans was issued a summons for possession of CDS and released in her own recognizance. She will be arraigned at a later date.