The Essex County Sheriff’s Department ended a narcotics investigation Tuesday afternoon resulting in the arrest of three Essex County men and the seizure of more than $7,000 in narcotics.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a surveillance operation at South 12th Street and Gould Avenue in Newark, Tuesday afternoon in response to numerous neighborhood complaints of open-air drug trafficking in the area.
Officials said shortly after 1 p.m., detectives observed Rashon Peterson, 35, and Cassandra Beaman, 28, both of Newark, loitering near a parked Oldsmobile Intrigue at that location.
Moments later Peterson was observed removing three larges items, later identified as bricks, packages of 50 heroin-filled glassine envelopes, out of the vehicle’s glove compartment. Police said Peterson then handed one of the bricks to Beaman who secreted it in her waistband.
According to authorities, Lawrence Nesmith, 45, of East Orange, approached Peterson and Beamen and after a brief conversation, Beaman exchanged the heroin with Nesmith for cash.
Sheriff’s detectives followed Nesmith and ultimately detained him a few blocks away. Upon being stopped, Nesmith threw three plastic jugs, containing “crack” cocaine to the ground. He was immediately placed under arrest.
Officials then followed Peterson and Beaman and placed them under arrest without incident. Police said Beaman was found in possession of 49 decks of heroin, stamped ‘Booty Call’ in red ink, and $140 in alleged drug proceeds. A search of the suspect vehicle yielded an additional 1350 decks of heroin.
Authorities charged Peterman and Beaman with the sale of a controlled dangerous substance, sale of CDS within 1000 feet of St. Rose of Lima School, possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of St. Rose of Lima School and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.
In addition, police issued Peterson a summons for CDS in a motor vehicle and found that the subject had an open warrant issued by the Berkeley Township municipal court.
According to officials, Nesmith was charged with possession of CDS. He was issued a summons and released. He will face a court hearing on the charge at a later date.
Authorities said Peterson and Beaman are currently being lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings.