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Seven Arrested on Weapon, Drug Charges in Series of Essex County Police Raids

By kcora on
Newark East Orange Belleville

Seven male suspects were arrested on multiple weapons and drug charges Tuesday afternoon in a series of raids by a law enforcement task force comprised of Essex County sheriff’s detectives and Newark and Bloomfield police officers.

 

According to Sheriff Armando Fontoura, the first arrests occurred shortly after 1 p.m. at Stephen Crane Plaza where three individuals, later identified as Ibn Williams, 26, of Newark, Maurice Kelly, 34, of Newark, and Juan Gonzalez, 49, of Belleville, were taken into custody after an alleged narcotics sale.

 

Officials say Gonzalez was observed giving cash to Kelly who in turn escorted him to Williams who reached into his waistband and handed items to Gonzalez. Gonzalez was followed from the scene and was found to be in possession of five plastic jugs of ‘crack’ cocaine.

 

The task force officers moved in to further investigate and found Williams to be in possession of 45 heroin-filled envelops, stamped “SAVAGE” in red ink, an additional 42 jugs of ‘crack’ cocaine and $270 in cash.  

In addition, Kelly was found to be in possession of $65 in alleged drug proceeds.

 

According to authorities, an hour later, at Roseville Avenue and North 7th Street, a second surveillance operation was conducted where Hannif Brooks, 34, of Newark, and James Hines, 31, of East Orange, were observed loitering in the area.

 

Police say Hines was approached by Julian Santana, 48, of Newark, and, following a brief conversation, Hines allegedly flashed a two finger signal to Brooks. Brooks then exchanged items from his pants pocket with Santana for cash.

 

According to authorities, Santana was followed from the scene and was found to be in possession of two vials of ‘crack’ cocaine. While back at the intersection, officers found Brooks to be in possession of an additions 41 vials of cocaine and $51 in cash.  Hines had $41 in his possession.

 

Tuesday’s third stake-out occurred at Lincoln Park on Broad Street sometime around 4 p.m.

 

There detectives watched as Kevin McKenzie, 32, of Newark, constantly adjusted his waistband which is consistent for those carrying a firearm as he walked through the recreational facility where a large group of local residents and their children were enjoying the day. When the task force officers approached McKenzie for questioning, he ran from the scene.

 

Officers ultimately arrested McKenzie on Halsey Street where he was found to be in possession of a loaded, .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

 

Authorities charged Williams and Kelly with the sale and distribution of narcotics and two counts each of possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Park Elementary School and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing complex. They were also charged with conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

 

Officers charged Brooks and Hines with the sale and distribution of CDS, possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1000 feet of Newark School of the Arts, possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing complex and conspiracy to violate New Jersey’s narcotics laws.

 

Finally, officers charged McKenzie with the unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and resisting arrest.  McKenzie was also found to be wanted on a warrant for contempt of court.

 

Officials say Williams, Kelly, Brooks, Hines and McKenzie were lodged at the county jail where they await bail hearings. Gonzalez and Santana were issued summonses and released in their own recognizance.  

According to authorities, they will be arraigned at a later date.