Following a more than two-month investigation, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, the Jersey City Police Department, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and various other area law enforcement agencies executed multiple search warrants in both Hudson and Union counties on March 3, leading to the seizure of seven firearms, half a kilogram of heroin, a quarter kilogram of cocaine, more than 100 grams of marijuana and more than $360,000 in suspected drug proceeds.
During the operation, officers arrested 23 individuals who were charged with various narcotics and firearm offenses, 21 of which were Jersey City residents.
“As evidenced by the sheer volume of drugs, money and weapons recovered, this network brought violence and fear throughout the neighborhoods in which it operated,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, whose office provided a news release about the drug sweep. “Knowing how deadly these drugs and guns are and the severely negative impact they place on the safety and quality of life for those living near these locations, we are pleased to have stopped their operations. We thank all of the agencies who worked with us on these arrests.”
Beginning at 2 a.m., more than 200 law enforcement officers executed search warrants of multiple residences and vehicles in Jersey City – where the seven handguns were seized – as well as in Roselle and Elizabeth in Union County.
The officers also recovered prescription Xanax and Oxycontin pills, hollow-point bullets, a bulletproof vest, extended/prohibited magazines, handcuffs and firearm holsters, and a stun gun.
Jersey City resident Dwight Drew, 31, was one of two alleged leaders of the drug trafficking network according to his list of charges as was Jersey City resident April Rice, 47.
Drew was charged with Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Conspiracy to Unlawfully Possess a Firearm, Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS), Money laundering, Committing a Drug Offense While Possessing a Firearm, Certain Persons Not To Have Weapons, Possession of Armor Piercing Bullets, multiple counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS, Possession With Intent to Distribute Drug Paraphernalia, Operating a CDS Production Facility, and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
Rice was charged with Leader of a Narcotics Trafficking Network, Conspiracy to Distribute CDS, Money Laundering, multiple counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute CDS, Possession with Intent to Distribute Near School Property, Possession with Intent to Distribute Within 500 Feet of Public Property, Possession of 50 grams or less of Marijuana, Possession of Prescription Drugs (Xanax), Resisting Arrest, Hindering, and Obstruction.
Prosecutor Suarez also credited the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team, the Bergen County Regional SWAT team, the Jersey City Police Department Emergency Services Unit, the Bayonne Police Department, the Hoboken Police Department, The Drug Enforcement Agency – Newark Field Office and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, K-9 and Transportation Units for assisting with the arrests and execution of the search warrants.
“It’s a long battle but over time the side of good will win,” tweeted Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “Thank you @HCPOProsecutor, JCPD, and our partners at the state and federal level for help.”
The 21 other individuals who were allegedly part of the operation were arrested on charges ranging from drug possession and/or intent to sell, weapons possession, money laundering, endangering the welfare of a child.
Their charges are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Jersey City residents include Michael Aviles, 44; Alicia Aviles, 51: Veronica Raysor, 47; Kenneth Anglin, 43; Kevyn Simmons, 18; Kelly Robinson, 31; Alexander Shukla, 29; Bobby Raysor, 46; Cardell Raysor, 49; Tawana Anglin, 40; Abdul Bash, 39; Shaniqua Davis, 29; Jalisa Evans, 29; Shawn Pinkney, 26; Danyisha Beverly, 25; Dermaine Scott, 27; Malcolm Haynes, 49; Carlene Orr, 59; Bernadette Drew, 59; and Hayer Abdi, 29.