FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2017
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Bureau (609) 882-2000
Major. Brian Polite - ext. 6514
Lt. Theodore Schafer - ext. 6515
SFC Jeff Flynn - ext. 6516
Sgt. Lawrence Peele - ext. 6531
Tpr. Alejandro Goez - ext. 6527
Tpr. Gene Hong - ext. 6532
Paterson, N.J. - The New Jersey State Police have charged 18 suspects responsible for operating a drug trafficking organization in Paterson, N.J. As a result of the takedown, 31 additional individuals were charged with various drug-related offenses and detectives seized more than 18,000 bags of heroin, 5 bags of cocaine, 1 pound of marijuana, and 3 handguns.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Pitfall,” began in May of 2017 and targeted a drug trafficking organization operating in the 4th ward of the city. The group, known as the 4K Bloods/Korner Boyz, is a subset of the Bloods street gang. Detectives identified Jaumel Reese, 30, and Marvelous Pitts, 31, both of Paterson, N.J., as the leaders of the heroin trafficking ring. Reese and Pitts are both alleged members of the 4K Bloods street gang.
Jaumel Reese has been charged with being a leader of a narcotic trafficking network, distribution of heroin, employing a juvenile in a CDS distribution scheme, and possession of CDS on school property. Marvelous Pitts, who is currently serving a sentence in Trenton State Prison, has been charged with distribution of heroin, possession of heroin, and possession of CDS on school property.
On Saturday, November 19, State Police detectives and officers from partnering agencies executed search and arrest warrants in Lodi, N.J. where they arrested Jesse Garcia, 27, of Lodi. As a result, troopers seized more than $20,000 in cash, more than 400 bags of heroin, and a handgun. Garcia, also an alleged member of the 4K Bloods street gang, was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a handgun during a CDS offense, certain persons not to possess a handgun, distribution of heroin, and additional CDS offenses.
The cooperative effort was led by the New Jersey State Police Gangs and Organized Crime North Unit, the New Jersey State Parole Board, Newark Police Department, along with assistance from the Division of Criminal Justice, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Paterson Police Department, Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Police Department, Prospect Park Police Department, Wallington Police Department, Elmwood Park Police Department, Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne Police Department, and Clifton Police Department.
“Paterson is a major heroin distribution hub and these Bloods gang members allegedly were a big part of the problem,” said Attorney General Christopher Porrino. “We’re losing thousands of lives to the opioid epidemic in New Jersey – over 2,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone – and we will not rest in our efforts to stem that death toll, whether it be through arresting drug dealers, arresting doctors who behave like drug dealers, or dramatically reducing the opioid pain pills prescribed in New Jersey through the five-day prescription limit signed into law by Governor Christie and implemented on an emergency basis in March, a measure that undoubtedly has prevented pill diversion and addiction.”
“The opiate epidemic has not only devastated far too many families and claimed the lives of far too many victims who lost their battle with addiction, it has also negatively impacted many of our communities, which have suffered the consequences of the violence that goes hand-in-hand with trafficking,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Dismantling this trafficking organization will in all likelihood create a positive ripple effect that will not only be felt by the citizens of Paterson, but in many other communities throughout New Jersey.”
“Gang violence and heroin are twin scourges that threaten the safety and quality of life of many Paterson residents, particularly those in the 4th Ward neighborhoods where these defendants operated,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Through Operation Pitfall, we took aim at both of these corrosive influences, taking down the alleged leader and other 4K gang members who ran this heroin network.”
“These individuals trafficked highly addictive drugs into New Jersey neighborhoods, preying on the people in the community in order to make a profit,” said Michael S. McCarthy, acting special agent in charge of HSI Newark. “HSI will continue to work with the New Jersey State Police and our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these types of drugs trafficking rings who have complete disregard for law enforcement or the communities in which we serve.”
The following suspects have been identified as members of the drug trafficking organization:
Jaumel Reese, 30, Passaic, NJ
Marvelous Pitts, 31, Trenton State Prison
Eric Huntington, 41, Paterson, NJ
Herbert Pitts, 59, Paterson, NJ
Jeffrey Hunter, 29, Paterson, NJ
Jerome Deas, 38, Paterson, NJ
Jesse Garcia, 27, Lodi, NJ
R.S., 17, Paterson, NJ
Angela Whitehead, 31, Prospect Park, NJ
Shaques Huntington, 23, Paterson, NJ
Justin Jones, 23, Paterson, NJ
Jahad Toney, 32, Paterson, NJ
Jahmel Vaughn, 32, Paterson, NJ
Branden Perry, 37, Paterson, NJ
Davon Armstrong, 39, Paterson, NJ
Markeith Davis, 47, Paterson, NJ
Jonathan Cedeno, 21, Paterson, NJ
Tariq Jackson, 24, Paterson, NJ
This investigation is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
Charges are mere accusations and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty
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