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.
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 â€œdrive-throughâ€ 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.
â€œThe 13 illegal firearms and 100,000-plus doses of heroin seized in this case starkly illustrate the threat posed by this drug ring,â€ Grewal said in a statement.
â€œBy 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.â€
On December 12, 2018 detectives from the New Jersey State Police â€“ 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 â€“ 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:
â€¢ over 100,000 individually packaged â€œbagsâ€ or â€œdecksâ€ (wax folds) of heroin
â€¢ 13 firearms, including two AR-15 assault rifles, 10 handguns, and a tactical shotgun
â€¢ over a kilogram of cocaine (crack and powder cocaine)
â€¢ over a pound of marijuana
â€¢ over $195,000 in cash and
â€¢ three vehicles including a 2015 BMW sedan, 2007 Acura RL, and 2012 Cadillac CTS.