In two separate arrests, law enforcement task force comprised of Essex County sheriff’s detectives and officers from the Newark and Bloomfield police departments took five suspects into custody on weapons and narcotics charges.
According to authorities, following complaints of drug trafficking in a parking lot behind a discount variety store at Central Avenue and Nassau Place in East Orange, the task force conducted a plainclothes surveillance operation on Monday evening.
Officials say while at the location, officers observed as a 2007 Infiniti sedan pull into the lot shortly before 11 p.m. After parking their vehicle the driver, Zyair Anderson, 19, of Roselle, and his passenger, Shaquana Calhoun, 18, also of Roselle, reportedly scanned the immediate area.
With the suspects demonstrating signs consistent with illegal activity the officers identified themselves and moved in to further investigate.
According to authorities, Anderson could not produce a driver’s license and Calhoun could not produce any personal identifiers. In the back seat of the car, officers spotted a large duffle bag with the barrel of a rifle protruding from it. A search of the bag revealed an AR-15 military assault rifle with a high capacity magazine with 18 rounds. Both suspects were then placed under arrest.
Earlier Monday evening, the officers executed a search warrant for 164 Roseville Avenue in Newark. The warrant had been issued following repeated neighborhood complaints of drug trafficking at that location.
Upon arrival, detectives spotted three suspects - later identified as Joshua Camacho, 25 of Orange, Michael Kearney, 36, and Monira Braxton, 35, both of Newark - in the hallway of the residence.
All three ran into a first floor apartment where they were allegedly seen throwing items from their wristbands onto the floor as they attempted to elude arrest.
Detectives recovered 35 heroin-filled glassine envelopes, stamped ‘MOST WANTED’ in red ink, and 93 plastic vials of ‘crack’ cocaine at the scene. The estimated street value of the narcotics is $5,000.
Police charged Anderson and Calhoun with the unlawful possession of a weapon, the unlawful possession of a large capacity magazine and conspiracy. Anderson was also issued a motor vehicle summons for being an unlicensed driver.
Authorities charged Camacho, Kearney and Braxton with two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of Washington Plaza Park and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.
The three suspects were also charged with resisting arrest by flight and hindering apprehension.
Officials say Camacho was also found to be the subject of four warrants issued by the municipal courts of Montclair, East Orange, Orange and Union as well as four warrants issued by the Essex vicinage of the Superior Court.
All five suspects were lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings.