FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2021
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Bureau (609) 882-2000
Lt. Jeff Flynn - ext. 6516
SFC Lawrence Peele - ext. 6531
Sgt. Philip Curry - ext. 6515
Tpr. II Alejandro Goez - ext. 6527
Tpr. Charles Marchan - ext. 6513
Trenton, N.J. - The New Jersey State Police have arrested Lawrence Priester, 39, of Morrisville, PA, Deniece Reeves, 26, of Browns Mills, N.J., Rosa Lind, 36, and Tyran Kelsey, 35, both of Trenton, N.J., for drug offenses and money laundering during an investigation that led to the seizure of $150,000 worth of narcotics and stamps linked to two fatal and one non-fatal overdose.
During a four-month investigation, detectives with the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit and the Opioid Enforcement Task Force (OETF) began investigating the distribution of narcotics in and around the City of Trenton. Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Priester was involved in narcotics trafficking in Pennsylvania and in the Trenton area of New Jersey. Additionally, detectives were able to identify narcotics mills located in Bucks County, PA and in Trenton, N.J. where Priester was allegedly packaging heroin and fentanyl for distribution.
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, detectives with the Crime Suppression Central Unit, Opioid Enforcement Task Force, along with members of the Trenton Police Department SWAT, West Windsor Police Department, agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and detectives from the Bucks County Prosecutor’s Office executed search warrants in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Evidence seized as a result of the search warrants included approximately $150,000 worth of narcotics and more than $5,000 cash.
During execution of a search warrant in Trenton, detectives seized several different stamps used to brand packaged narcotics. Drug traffickers market their “brand” of drug by ink-stamping the outside of a wax fold with a unique image, word, or phrase such as “Facebook,” “187,” and “Completed” which are examples of stamps that were recovered. “Facebook” has been linked to two fatal overdoses in New Jersey and “187” has been linked to one non-fatal overdose in New Jersey.
Lawrence Priester was arrested on March 16, 2021 at a residence in Pennsylvania and charged with the following:
Rosa Lind was arrested on March 16, 2021 at a residence in Trenton and charged with the following:
Tyran Kelsey was arrested on March 16, 2021 after a motor vehicle stop in Trenton and charged with the following:
Deniece Reeves was arrested on March 16, 2021 following a motor vehicle stop in Trenton and charged with the following:
Kelsey and Reeves were lodged at the Mercer County Jail pending detention hearings. Lind was released pending a future court date. Priester was lodged at Bucks County Jail. The case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
“Through their innovative strategies, the State Police have dismantled over 40 opioid mills over the last two years and arrested nearly 370 suspects involved in criminal activity. In the process, they have seized over $12 million worth of dangerous opioids and more than $3 million in illegal drug proceeds, while recovering 165 firearms used in furtherance of drug activity,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “They have undoubtedly saved lives and improved communities, but the State Police’s enforcement efforts are only one part of our fight against the opioid epidemic, which also focuses on prevention and treatment strategies. I commend the State Police and all of the law enforcement partners that contributed to this operation.”
“Oftentimes massive, bulk seizures make the headlines, but the most vital component of a narcotics trafficking network is the processing mill. Through collaboration with our partners, we were able to identify and assist with shutting down a Pennsylvania mill producing brands of narcotics linked to fatal and non-fatal overdoses here in New Jersey,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The opioid epidemic recognizes no borders, jurisdictions, or state lines, which is why we will continue to work together with our partners across the river to shut down processing mills and bring those responsible to justice.”
“Drug dealers don’t stop at state borders, and neither do we, thanks to our highly effective law enforcement partnerships both inside and outside New Jersey,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend all of the agencies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that worked together to take down these alleged interstate drug traffickers.”
To date, the OETF has conducted 168 enforcement operations and seized more than 843,862 individual doses of packaged opioids valued at $4,219,310, more than 82 kilograms of raw heroin valued at $4,920,000, more than 30 kilograms of fentanyl valued at $1,500,000, more than 51,000 fentanyl-based pills valued at $510,000, more than 42 kilograms of cocaine valued at $1,512,000, more than $3,424,430 in U.S. currency, and 165 firearms. The OETF has also disrupted or dismantled 39 fully operational opioid packaging facilities, four fully operational fentanyl pill pressing operations, and arrested 370 suspects during this time.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.
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