Newark Narcotics Investigation Leads to Two Arrests

An armed drug suspect and his client were arrested Thursday afternoon by Essex County sheriff’s detectives.

According to authorities, officers from the Bureau of Narcotics conducted a surveillance operation in the city’s North Ward at Highland and Park avenues yesterday in response to numerous complaints of drug trafficking in the area.

Officials say, a suspect, later identified as Jadiel Fuentes, 22, of Newark, was observed loitering at the intersection. Moments later, a 2006 Honda minivan, driven by 22-year-old Jason Lopez, also of Newark, pulled up to the scene and parked.

Police say Fuentes approached the vehicle and after a brief conversation with Lopez, he exchanged items from his pocket for cash.

Authorities say, believing they had just witnessed a drug sale, detectives announced their presence and moved in to investigate further. In the process of boxing in the Honda, officers noticed the handle of a gun protruding from Fuentes’s pants pocket. Police immediately placed Fuentes under arrest.

Detectives subsequently seized a fully loaded, .380 Glock semi-automatic handgun, 20 Xanax tablets, 15 oxycodone pills and $420 in cash.

Authorities charged Fuentes with the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a firearm while committing a narcotics crime and 13 counts of the sale, possession and distribution of narcotics.

Police also charged Lopez with two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance. He was also found to be the subject of an open warrant issued by the Newark municipal court.

Both suspects were lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings.