Newark- As part of an on-going investigation into drug trafficking in the city’s West Ward, a semi-automatic handgun and close to $2000 in illegal narcotics were seized on Thursday evening as Essex County sheriff’s detectives arrested an adult male.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a search of a vehicle on the corner of Clinton Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard after investigating a possible uptick in potential shootings and narcotics crimes in the area.
“Our detectives were provided information about a blue Nissan Altima which had reportedly been involved in illegal narcotics activity," the sheriff said.
"Detectives observed the vehicle pull into a lot at 139 Clinton Ave and park.
At this time, an unknown female entered the vehicle and proceeded to talk with the male driver, later identified as Tariq Echols, 25 of Newark."
After a brief conversation, Echols exited the car and made his way to the trunk. He then removed a large brick from the back of the trunk and proceeded to remove several items from that brick.
Due to their training in the field of narcotics, the detectives immediately identified the brick and items as CDS Heroin.
“Upon returning to his vehicle, Echols proceeded to drive south on Clinton Avenue and eventually allowed the unknown female passenger to exit the car,” Fontoura noted. “Once he began driving again, our officers conducted a motor vehicle stop of Echols.”
The team of officers pulled Echols over on Muhammad Ali Boulevard and informed Echols of the reason for the stop.
When asked about the brick of Heroin, Echols proceeded to answer that "he did not know what was in the truck".
"Our officers then began a search of the trunk and observed the brick of Heroin, as well as four bundles of heroin wrapped in magazine paper, one black Taurus Spectrum 380 caliber handgun loaded with eight ball ammo and $164 of narcotics proceeds," the sheriff noted.
"A search of Echols revealed an additional 15 rounds of ball ammunition."
Echols was immediately placed under arrest and was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon while committing a CDS offense.
An additional searched found that Echols had three open warrants including two in violation of his probation.
He was then booked and transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility where he will be lodged.