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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Office (609) 882-2000
Capt. Albert Della Fave  x6514
A/Lt. Gerald Lewis  x6516
A/Sgt. Stephen Jones  x6513
Tpr II J Hengemuhle  x6515

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 20, 2005


 
 
"OPERATION BRICKHOUSE" DEMOLISHES HEROIN RING
Investigative Partnership Exposes Gangs International Ties

Essex County College Police Academy, Cedar Grove - Attorney General Peter Harvey, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes and Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow today announced the arrest of numerous individuals after an extensive investigation dubbed Operation BrickHouse. The operation exposed a direct connection between street-level heroin sales by the Bloods street gang and a Colombian cartel supplier.

The investigation, began in September 2003, resulted in the issuance of arrest warrants for twenty-four individuals located in New Jersey and New York. Operation BrickHouse quickly escalated and identified large-scale heroin distributors operating in the Essex County area. These individuals were responsible for distributing approximately one pound of packaged heroin each week within Newark. This heroin eventually made its way to other locations within New Jersey including New Brunswick, Asbury Park and Paterson.

"We will continue to reclaim our neighborhoods from drug dealers, gang members and others who threaten ordinary citizens," said Attorney General Harvey. "We are committed to taking back the community from criminals and we will continue to vigorously investigate, flush out and prosecute this menace in our communities."

"We are less concerned with photo opportunities that show drugs on the table than we are with dismantling criminal enterprises," said Colonel Fuentes. "The success of Operation BrickHouse relied on the time consuming process of building this case from drug runners on the streets to the major decision makers in criminal enterprises."

"This investigation established a nexus between street gangs, street level drug sales and international drug cartels. It is a well-known fact that profits from narcotics sales are key to financing other illegal activities." Fuentes added.

"Since assuming the post of Acting Essex County Prosecutor in 2003, I have targeted gang and drug activity as a priority," said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow. "I remain committed to the dedication of valuable resources to address this burgeoning problem. The residents of the Felix Fuld Houses deserve a decent quality of life and safe place to live."

Working cooperatively with the East Orange and Newark Police Departments, this investigation initially targeted heroin sales by Bloods members Ali McKinnon and Sharif Gillard. McKinnon allegedly controlled heroin distribution in and around the Felix Fuld Public Housing Complex in Newark. The complex, also known as "Little Bricks," is a public housing complex rampant with violence and drug distribution run by members of the Bloods street gang.

Luis Manuel Antonio Estevez of New York was identified as a key supplier, selling large amounts of packaged heroin to dealers in Essex County. This same heroin was eventually sold to Bloods street gang members. Estevez has been arrested by members of the New Jersey State Police Street Gang Bureau and charged with being the leader of a narcotic distribution network, racketeering and conspiracy. He is presently being held in the Essex County Jail in lieu of $2.5 million bail.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was a partner in Operation BrickHouse and is looking into possibly expanding the investigation. These companion investigations identified a large, structured network in which the raw heroin was processed in Colombia, smuggled into the United States, packaged in New York City and made available to gang members in Newark.

The New Jersey State Police would like to acknowledge the other law enforcement agencies that assisted in Operation BrickHouse. These agencies include: The Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Administration, United States Marshal's Service, New Jersey Attorney General's Office, the Division of Criminal Justice, New York City Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor's Office, Newark Police Department, East Orange Police Department and Tinton Falls Police Department.

The following individuals have been have been arrested this morning and charged with racketeering, distribution of heroin and conspiracy:
NAME
AGE
CITY
Dwight Sanders
37
Orange
Kevin Davis
43
Newark
Rhodesia Mays
20
Newark
Photo
not
available
Joyce Green
55
Newark
Rasuwl Walls
41
New Brunswick
William Green
29
Newark
Shawn Johnson
34
Newark (arrested 7-19)
Photo
not
available
Steve Sylvester
21
Newark
Photo
not
available
Darien Scriven
39
Brooklyn
Photo
not
available
Leon Robinson
26
Middlesex Boro
Photo
not
available
Henry Ledbetter
34
Millville


The following individuals were previously arrested during “Operation BrickHouse”:
 
NAME
AGE
CITY
Marcel Green
35
Newark
Charles Hill
55
Montclair
Photo
not
available
John Best
61
Staten Island, NY
Kurtis Barnes
27
Asbury Park


The following individuals are currently incarcerated and will be served with charges in jail:
 
NAME
AGE
CITY
Ali McKinnon
36
Newark
Mariole Arzeno
29
NY, NY
Photo
not
available
Roderick Mclean
34
Irvington
Juan Peralta
26
NY, NY
Luis Manuel Antonio Estevez
37
NY, NY

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