Authorities arrest 20, recover $1M worth of drugs, $118k in cash, in massive bust

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The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, and the New York Police Department, along with many other law enforcement partners, arrested 20 people, recovered $1 million worth of drugs, and $118,395 in cash as part of a massive bust.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

In addition to the arrests, officers seized more than 9,400 grams of fentanyl, more than 3,400 grams of cocaine, more than 1,700 grams of methamphetamine, more than 800 grams of fentanyl pills, approximately 8 grams of heroin, and a loaded firearm, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.

The operation’s ring leader and a major supplier of cocaine, fentanyl and heroin in Northern New Jersey – Juan Tejada of Union City – has been charged along with his intricate web of nearly two dozen associates.

The operation – which involved the execution of search warrants at approximately two dozen locations across New Jersey and New York – also brought down a fentanyl manufacturer and supplier, Juan Carlos Moreno, who was producing tens of thousands of fentanyl and fentanyl/heroin pills in Washington Heights in New York City that were later provided to the Tejada drug trafficking network and eventually into the hands of individuals in New Jersey.

“This was a large-scale, highly-organized narcotics trafficking network that for years had
operated in Northern New Jersey and New York City funneling large volumes of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine onto the streets of our communities,” Suarez said in a statement.

“The Tejada brothers used front businesses and counter-surveillance and had built an intricate network they believed was impenetrable by law enforcement, however, this joint agency investigation demonstrates the power and reach of the law in stopping these deadly and destructive narcotics operations.”

Four main co-conspirators of Tejada – his wife, two brothers, and an associate – were also
arrested, as well as seven couriers and seven main customers who themselves are mid-level drug dealers.

The narcotics were sold primarily in Union City, North Bergen, West New York, Bayonne, and municipalities in Essex, Bergen and Union Counties and Tejada employed the couriers to deliver the narcotics to his customers who then sold the drugs throughout the region.

“The veneer of seemingly legitimate businesses that include a barber shop and a used car lot gave the Tejada family the appearance of normalcy. However, the reality was quite
different. Behind the family run businesses was a transnational fentanyl and cocaine trafficking organization. The Tejada brothers and their organization have filled our streets with fentanyl and cocaine. That ends today,” added Jason Molina, the special agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Newark.

“HSI and our law enforcement partners work together across the country and the world and bring down organizations like this, no matter how mighty or invisible they may seem.”

1. Juan Tejada, also known as ranger, “RANGER,” 31, of Union City, has been charged with two counts of leader of narcotics trafficking network (one count for cocaine and one count
for fentanyl), two counts of conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (one count for cocaine and one count for fentanyl) two counts of possession of CDS (Fentanyl) with the intent to distribute, three counts of possession of CDS (cocaine) with the intent to distribute, possession of CDS (heroin) with the intent to distribute, and possession of CDS (fentanyl or its analog) with the intent to distribute

2. Enmanuel Tejada, 24, of Union City, has been charged with two counts of
conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (one count for cocaine and one count for
fentanyl), possession of CDS (cocaine) with the intent to distribute, and financial facilitation of criminal activity

3. Jancel Tejada, 30, of Union City, has been charged with conspiracy to
manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine), possession of CDS (cocaine) with the intent to distribute, and financial facilitation of criminal activity

4. Manuel Rodriguez, aka, “Manolo,” 49, of Union City, has been charged with
two counts of conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (one count for cocaine and one
count for fentanyl), maintaining/operating a CDS production facility, possession of CDS (heroin) with the intent to distribute, possession of CDS (fentanyl or its analog) with the intent to distribute, and possession of CDS (cocaine) with the intent to distribute

5. Milka Dominguez, aka “Rachel,” 32, of Union City, has been charged with
conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (fentanyl)

6. Juan Carlos Moreno, aka “Samuel,” 43, of Manhattan, NY, has been charged
with leader of narcotics trafficking network (fentanyl) and conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (fentanyl)

7. Jesus Leon-Segura, aka “Charro,” 48, of Union City, has been charged with
two counts of conspiracy of manufacture/distribute CDS

8. Jorge Bisono, aka “Flaco,” 34, of Union City, has been charged with
conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine) and possession of CDS (cocaine) with the intent to distribute

9. Ammar Haimor, aka “Arab,” 27, of Ridgefield, has been charged with two
counts of conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (one count for cocaine and one
count for fentanyl)

10. Jassell Ventura, 26, of Newark, has been charged with conspiracy to
manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine)

11. Rafael Franco, aka “RAFFY,” 34, of Newark, has been charged with two counts
of conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS

12. Milton Gomez, Jr., 51, of Bayonne, has been charged with conspiracy to
manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine) and financial facilitation of criminal activity.

13. Melvin Aviles, aka “Bori,” 37, of North Bergen, has been charged with
conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (fentanyl) and two counts possession of CDS with the intent to distribute (one count for cocaine and one count for fentanyl)

14. Jose Cruz-Perez, aka “Lapiz,” 22, of Union City, has been charged with conspiracy
to manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine)

15. Richard Gonzalez, 36, of Elizabeth, has been charged with conspiracy to
manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine)

16. Curtis Lamont Lane, 46, of Jersey City, has been charged with two counts of
conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS

17. Aligie Delatorre, aka “Ligi,” 29, of Belleville, has been charged with conspiracy
to manufacture/distribute CDS (fentanyl)

18. Fidel Torres, 54, of Union City, has been charged with conspiracy to
manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine)

19. Jeremy Lopez-Urena, 21, of West New York, has been charged with conspiracy to
manufacture/distribute CDS (cocaine)

20. Antonio Hidalgo, aka “CACONA,” 43, of Manhattan, NY, has been charged
with conspiracy to manufacture/distribute CDS (fentanyl)

Additional arrests are expected and Suarez credited the following law enforcement agencies for their role in Friday’s successful operation.

Investigative Agencies

Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office
Homeland Security Investigations – Newark
Homeland Security Investigations – John F. Kennedy Airport
New York City Police Department
US Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey
US Attorney’s Office – Southern District of New York
Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor in the City of New York

Assisting Agencies

Hudson County Regional SWAT team
Hudson County Sheriff’s Office
Hudson County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit
Union City Police Department
Hoboken Police Department
North Bergen Police Department