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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
November 9, 2004

For further information contact:
Special Agent Douglas S. Collier
Public Information Officer
TEL: (973) 273-5095
CELL: (862) 849- 9833

DEA Task Force and Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Arrests and Seized 44 pounds of Heroin along with a MAC-10 machine gun and $100,000.00 in cash

Sheriff Jerry Speziale - Passaic County Sheriff's Department
Special Agent in Charge Michael Pasterchick, Jr. - DEA Newark Division
Prosecutor James Avigliano - Passaic County Prosecutor's Office

NOV 9--Special Agent in Charge Michael Pasterchick, Jr., of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Prosecutor James Avigliano from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, along with Sheriff Jerry Speziale from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department announced today that the DEA Task Force had arrested 5 Dominican nationals and 1 Irvington man and seized 44 pounds of heroin along with a loaded MAC-10 machine gun with hollow point ammunition. Also, seized was approximately $100,000.00 in cash.

Pursuant to a state search warrant executed on 11-08-2004, at the location of 53 Center Street, Second Floor, Clifton, NJ, the DEA Task Force encountered and dismantled a Clandestine Heroin Mill Processing Plant. The heroin mill contained over 20 different stamps, packing material, thousands of glassines, rubber bands, strainers, rubber gloves, and air purifiers. Further, boxes of baby wrapping paper were seized and used to disguise packages of heroin.

Arrested on 11-08-2004, were the following defendants:

1. Luis Gonzales, 37 YOA, Clifton, NJ
2. Fausto Rodriguez, 40YOA, Clifton, NJ
3. Elida Polanco, 51 YOA, Clifton, NJ
4. Iris Polanco, 37 YOA, Clifton
5. Esthel Grullon, 26 YOA, Clifton

Arrested on 11-09-2004, was the following defendant:

6. Douglas Kennedy, 27, Irvington, NJ

During the task force investigation, information revealed that Luis Gonzalez was in charge of a heroin milling plant in Clifton, NJ. State wire taps revealed that Gonzalez and his organization were responsible for supplying the Northern NJ area with heroin. Throughout the investigation several diversion techniques were used to conceal the organization’s drug trade. This organization would utilize baby gift wrapping paper to hide the true identity of the street level heroin distribution. Additionally, they set up their heroin milling plant in a residential area to blend in with the community. All are facing federal distribution of heroin and conspiracy charges, along with a machine gun violation.

Sheriff Jerry Speziale - Passaic County Sheriff's Department
Special Agent in Charge Michael Pasterchick, Jr. - DEA Newark Division
Prosecutor James Avigliano - Passaic County Prosecutor's Office

SAC Pasterchick credited the cooperation of all the Task Force agencies involved in this most important investigation. SAC Pasterchick stressed that “the cooperation between agencies was paramount to the success of this criminal drug organization being dismantled.” The DEA Task Force is comprised of the following agencies: DEA, Paterson Police Department, Newark Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Essex County Sheriffs Office, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Kearny Police Department, East Orange Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Sheriffs Department, Elizabeth Police Department, and Jersey City Police Department.

Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano stated “this investigation sends a strong message to drug traffickers, that the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and its officers are committed to dismantling drug organizations that use Passaic County to facilitate their drug trade.”

The investigation is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey headed by U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. John Gay is the Assistant United States Attorney who will represent the Government.

Notwithstanding the criminal complaint, every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal law.

The complaint charges the defendants with distribution and conspiracy. If convicted each defendant faces a statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a statutory minimum of 10 years in federal prison and a $4. million dollar fine.


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