Troopers & Partners Arrest 26, Seize Guns, Drugs and Cash in Heroin Distribution Network Bust
New Brunswick, N.J. – Almost 100 law enforcement officers from many different departments swept across central New Jersey this morning, executing search and arrest warrants in connection with a major drug distribution network. Beginning before 6:00 a.m., 26 people were arrested as a result of a 12-month cooperative investigation by the New Jersey State Police Violent & Organized Crime Control Bureau, New Brunswick Police Department and other agencies. The Division of Criminal Justice in the Office of the Attorney General will be prosecuting the defendants.
The investigation focused on the alleged drug distribution operation of Derek Fuqua and Kevin Harrell, both of Piscataway. They are believed to have utilized a large network of family and friends, including six members of the Fuqua family to distribute heroin in Middlesex, Union, Somerset, Mercer, Monmouth, and Hudson Counties.
Fuqua and Harrell were arrested this morning at their homes and charged with Leader of Narcotic Network, Maintaining a Drug Production Facility, Possession of Heroin, and Distribution of Heroin and lodged in the Middlesex County Jail in lieu of bail.
“Through this operation, we have dismantled a major narcotics network that was allegedly distributing large quantities of heroin across six counties in New Jersey,” said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. “Drugs are at the core of the culture of violence plaguing our cities, and the illegal guns seized in this operation speak to the threat posed by these alleged drug dealers.”
“The numbers tell this story: 26 arrests, hundreds of rounds of ammo, six guns, and body armor seized along with more than $250,000 in drugs and about $150,000 in cash. This was indeed a well established drug network that represented a true danger to the citizens and law enforcement in our state,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
“We have charged the two alleged leaders of this drug set with leading a narcotics trafficking network, a first-degree crime that carries a sentence of life in prison, including 25 years without parole,” said Elie Honig, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with the State Police to make our communities safer by targeting these criminal enterprises from top to bottom.”
Police executed nine search warrants in five towns this morning. The majority of the drugs and weapons were found in two locations, Aspen Court in Piscataway and Ellen Street in New Brunswick. Derek Fuqua uses both of these residences. In total, detectives recovered more than two kilos of raw heroin worth $190,000, more than 150 grams of black tar heroin, more than 100 bricks (50 doses each) of packaged heroin, 70 grams of crack cocaine, 22 grams of crystal meth, six handguns (four of which were entered as stolen), one bullet proof vest, and more than $150,000 cash. Additionally, many items related to a drug production facility were seized including grinders, scales, stamps and ink pads, and packaging materials.
The operation utilized more than 50 troopers, plus numerous officers from partnering law enforcement agencies. All of the warrant entries were made by the NJSP T.E.A.M.S. Unit, which is a tactical operations group similar to SWAT, Middlesex County SWAT, Somerset County Tactical Team, and Piscataway PD SWAT.
Below is a list of those arrested during the operation. Each was lodged in the Middlesex County Jail:
List of those arrested during the operation [pdf]
Photos of those arrested during the operation [pdf]
The agencies participating in the operation are:
Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office
Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office
New Brunswick Police Department
Somerset County tactical unit
Edison Police Department
Piscataway Police Department
Franklin Police Department
North Brunswick Police Department
Jersey City Police Department
Charges are mere accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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