Prosecutors in New Jersey say that an investigation of heroin distribution in Middlesex and Somerset Counties that involved multiple agencies has led to more than two dozen suspects being arrested. Representatives of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office made the announcement on Nov. 15. The 53-year-old North Brunswick resident whom police believe was the leader of a large drug trafficking operation has been charged with promoting organized crime, possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, operating an illegal drug manufacturing facility and conspiracy to distribute drugs.

The four-month narcotics investigation culminated in the execution of eight search warrants at the residences of suspects in Spotswood, New Brunswick, Edison and Highland Park. The searches allegedly led to the discovery of about 2,500 bags of heroin that had been bundled for sale and 70 grams of raw heroin. Officers and deputies also claim to have found about $5,050 in U.S. currency, an ounce or so of cocaine and a handgun along with items commonly used in the manufacture, distribution and sale of illegal drugs.

Prosecutors who announced the results of the searches said that the individuals taken into custody would have earned more than $30,000 if they had sold the seized drugs on the street. The agencies that took part in the operation included the Somerset County and Middlesex Sheriff’s Offices and the Plainfield, Bound Brook, Edison and New Brunswick Police Departments.

When police investigations lead to the arrest of a dozen or more individuals, prosecutors may seek to strengthen their cases against the more prominent suspects by offering favorable plea agreements to defendants facing less serious drug charges. Experienced criminal defense attorneys could advocate on behalf of individuals apprehended during drug sweeps, and they could advise them to make a decision quickly when a plea agreement is available as these offers are often withdrawn once prosecutors feel that they have the evidence they need.

Source: MyCentralJersey.com, “ ‘Operation Transformer’: Dozens arrested in Middlesex, Somerset county heroin trafficking bust,” Suzanne, Russell, Nov. 20, 2019