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Seven Arrested, One at Large in Newark Vailsburg Section Drug Bust


Eight people were charged for their respective roles in a heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine distribution organization that sold large quantities of controlled substances in the area of Columbia Avenue and South Orange Avenue in Newark, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Federal officials said Zacqual Lancaster, Maurice Lee, Felix Lesperance, Rodger Busby, Marcellus Allen, Jack Jean-Baptiste, Trevon Smith, and Natequah Polk, all of Newark, are each were charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and 28 grams or more of crack cocaine.

Seven of the defendants are in custody and are scheduled to have their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge André M. Espinosa in Newark federal court.

Lancaster remains at large.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Since January 2022, law enforcement conducted extensive surveillance of an open-air narcotics market in the area of Columbia Avenue and South Orange Avenue, conducted numerous controlled purchases of narcotics, and analyzed telephone records, all of which demonstrated the extensive interactions between and among the conspirators.