Two reputed members of the Bloods street gang were arraigned today on multiple drug charges following their arrests yesterday by Essex County sheriff’s detectives.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that in response to numerous complaints of open-air drug trafficking at the intersection of Delavan Avenue and Romaine Place in the city’s North Ward detectives from his department’s Bureau of Narcotics conducted a plainclothes surveillance operation at that location on Thursday afternoon.
“Shortly after settling our BON detectives into position, two suspects, later identified as Rodney Burch, 23, and Christopher Ojeda, 22, arrived at the intersection where they loitered until they were approached by two males on bicycles,” Sheriff Fontoura said.
“After a brief conversation with the cyclists, each suspect exchanged items from his waistband for cash,” Fontoura noted. “When our BON detectives moved in to further investigate Burch was found to be in possession of 67 vials of ‘crack’ cocaine while Ojeda was in possession of 43 vials of ‘crack’ cocaine.”
Burch and Ojeda were placed under arrest and 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 Broadway Elementary School and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet a public housing complex.
A canvass of the area for the cyclists proved negative.
At today’s arraignment, Burch and Ojeda were ordered held at the county jail each in lieu of $100,000 cash bond only.