Officials said three male suspects were arrested this morning in the city's South Ward by Essex County sheriff's detectives and charged with multiple drug crimes.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that plainclothes officers from his department's Bureau of Narcotics conducted a surveillance operation at the intersection of Van Vechten and Hanford streets, a known drug trafficking location, on Sunday morning.
Fontoura said the detectives observed three men loitering in the area and that they were approached by three female passers-by.
Each woman engaged in brief conversations with the suspects culminating in the exchange of items on their persons for cash.
"Believing they had witnessed narcotics transactions, our officers moved in to further investigate," the sheriff noted.
"The three suspects were detained and searched. Terry Lewis, 27, Anthony Levett, 24, and Edwin Cooper, 20, all of Newark, were collectively found to be in possession of 298 heroin-filled glassine envelopes and 83 clear plastic jugs of 'crack' cocaine. The narcotics has a street value of more than $3,500. $181 in alleged drug proceeds was also confiscated."
Lewis, Levett and Cooper were each charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public housing complex.
A search of the area for the three female buyers proved negative.
The three suspects were lodged at the county jail where they await a bail hearing on today's arrests.