Kearny man among 4 gang members indicted as part of Newark heroin, weapons ring

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A Kearny man was among four alleged gang members busted in a Newark heroin and weapons ring authorities referred to as “Operation Drive Thru,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced.

Photos courtesy of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Four alleged members of a drug ring that operated in a neighborhood near I-78 in Newark, where they sold drugs to motorists exiting the highway to make “drive-through” purchases of heroin, Grewal said in a statement.

The men were arrested in December 2018, when investigators seized 13 guns, including two AR-15 assault rifles, and large amounts of heroin and cocaine.

The Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment on April 11th for the following four individuals:

Dashon Coleman, 37, of Kearny, Lamon Thomas, 47, of Newark, Quameer Elamin, 27, of Newark, and Hashawn Landrum, 39, of Newark.

They were all charged with second-degree conspiracy, second-degree weapons offenses, and various drug offenses, including first-degree charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and maintaining a narcotics production facility, authorities said.

Additionally, Keena Bryant, 28, of Wilkes-Barre, P.A., faces first-degree charges of possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute. Four additional men who allegedly bought heroin from the ring are charged with possession of heroin, officials said.

“The 13 illegal firearms and 100,000-plus doses of heroin seized in this case starkly illustrate the threat posed by this drug ring,” Grewal said in a statement.

“By dismantling this drive-through drug market off I-78, we stopped many thousands of potentially deadly doses of heroin from reaching users across the region and took dangerous guns off the street, including AR-15 assault rifles.”

On December 12, 2018 detectives from the New Jersey State Police – including the Crime Suppression North Unit, T.E.A.M.S Unit, Gangs and Organized Crime North Unit, Trafficking North Unit, Fugitive Unit, and K-9 Unit – as well as officers of the Newark Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service executed multiple search warrants in Newark.

As a result of the operation, detectives arrested Coleman, Thomas, Elamin, Landrum and Bryant at various locations and seized the following:

• over 100,000 individually packaged “bags” or “decks” (wax folds) of heroin
• 13 firearms, including two AR-15 assault rifles, 10 handguns, and a tactical shotgun
• over a kilogram of cocaine (crack and powder cocaine)
• over a pound of marijuana
• over $195,000 in cash and
• three vehicles including a 2015 BMW sedan, 2007 Acura RL, and 2012 Cadillac CTS.