Alleged drug mill in West New York and Union City busted by state police

38 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl were seized by authorities

New Jersey State Police have arrested three men for their roles in operating a drug mill in Hudson County.

Police arrested Richard Stroman Jr., a 38-year-old of North Arlington; Jose Acosta, a 37-year-old of Hoboken; and Miguel Carrasco-Lara, a 35-year-old of Lyndhurst; for various drug offenses.

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During a two-month investigation, detectives dismantled a drug mill and seized 38 kilograms (about 83 lbs.) of heroin and fentanyl. In May 2022, detectives with the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit, working as a part of the Opioid Enforcement Task Force (OETF) began investigating Stroman Jr. for the distribution of narcotics in northern New Jersey.

38 kilos of heroin and fentanyl seized

Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Stroman Jr. was operating a drug mill out of a residence in West New York and using a residence in Union City to support his operation. Additionally, detectives identified Acosta and Carrasco-Lara as members of the drug trafficking network.

On June 24, detectives from the Trafficking North Unit, Hazmat Unit, Gangs and Organized Crime North Unit, and Opioid Enforcement Task Force executed search warrants at the two residences and Strotman Jr.’s residence in North Arlington. As a result, detectives arrested Strotman Jr., Acosta, and Carrasco-Lara, and seized heroin and fentanyl, bulk cutting agents, a digital scale, kilogram presses, several cellular devices, and $1,900 cash.

Strotman Jr, Acosta, and Carrasco-Lara were charged with maintaining a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) production facility, possession with intent to distribute, possession of CDS, possession of CDS paraphernalia, and conspiracy. All three were lodged in the Hudson County Jail pending a detention hearing.

The case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are innocent until proven guilty.

Targeting opioid supply sources

“By targeting heroin and fentanyl supply sources and intervening to prevent these deadly drugs from reaching the street, the Opioid Enforcement Task Force is fulfilling its mission to save lives,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin. “The take down of this drug mill advances that mission and we will continue to pursue this collaborative strategy, spearheaded by the State Police.”

“The take down of the two drug producing mills and as a result of the seizure of these illegal narcotics, we have undoubtedly saved multiple lives, because even the smallest amount of fentanyl is deadly to anyone who comes in contact with it,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to work with our partners and use the tools at our disposal to target and take down these drug trafficking networks, but the positive relationships within our communities remains one of our most valuable resources.”

Since its inception the OETF has conducted 319 enforcement operations and seized more than 1,263,951 individual doses of packaged opioids valued at $6,319,755, more than 110 kilograms of raw heroin valued at $6,600,000, more than 207 kilograms of fentanyl valued at $10,350,000, more than 79,000 fentanyl based pills valued at $790,000, more than 151 kilograms of cocaine valued at $5,436,000, more than 28 kilograms of methamphetamine valued at $280,000, more than $4,673,440 in U.S. currency, and 317 firearms.

The OETF has also disrupted or dismantled 59 fully operational opioid packaging facilities, eight fully operational fentanyl pill-pressing operations, and arrested 650 suspects during this time.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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