The Secaucus Police Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with the aid of Jersey City and North Bergen police as well, teamed up to dismantle a methamphetamine and fentanyl ring yesterday.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In June 2023, the Secaucus Police Anti-Crime Unit began conducting an extensive investigation into the illegal sale of narcotics to patrons of Secaucus hotels, Police Chief Dennis Miller said in a statement.
During the investigation, undercover detectives made numerous purchases, resulting in the seizure of over five ounces of methamphetamine, Fentanyl pills, and cocaine.
Due to the lethality of fentanyl affecting the nation, the Secaucus Police Anti-Crime Unit partnered with Investigators from Homeland Security Investigations.
During this collaborative investigation, undercover officers purchased over 430 pills containing Fentanyl and quantities of cocaine.
Then yesterday, members of the Secaucus Police Department, Secaucus Police Department K-9 Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, Jersey City Police Department Street Crimes Unit and North Bergen Police Department conducted an operation that led the arrest of Nilo Ibarra, 38, of Jersey City, Ramon Lopez Arias, 32, of West New York and Alexander Sanchez-Castillo, 37, of North Bergen.
After his arrest, a court-authorized search of Ibarra’s residence, located on Van Wagenen Avenue in Jersey City, was conducted.
During the search a quantity of methamphetamine, morphine, drug paraphernalia along with two .22 caliber rifles were seized.
Also on this date, Lopez Arias was located in a relative’s residence on the 8100 block of 4th Avenue in North Bergen, which was searched.
Upon entering the residence, officers observed evidence that Lopez Arias and Castillo were manufacturing crack cocaine.
During a court-authorized search of the residence, over 480 grams of suspected Fentanyl, with a street value of almost $25,000 was seized along with over six ounces of suspected cocaine, 25 fentanyl pills, and evidence that the residence was being used to manufacture controlled dangerous substances for street sale.
“The Secaucus Police Department will stop at no territorial boundary to bring those to justice who adversely affect the quality of life of the residents and visitors of Secaucus,” Miller added.
“I am extremely proud of the work of my Anti-Crime Unit and their investigative talent. I also welcome, appreciate and am thankful for the collaborative investigative efforts of Homeland Security Investigations and the Jersey City and North Bergen Police Departments.”
Lopez Arias was charged with maintaining a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) production facility, distribution of cocaine, two counts of distribution of fentanyl, two counts of conspiracy to distribute CDS, four counts of possession of CDS, two counts of money laundering, and distribution of drug paraphernalia.
Sanchez-Castillo was charged with maintaining a CDS production facility, distribution of cocaine, two counts of distribution of fentanyl, two counts of conspiracy to distribute CDS, three counts of possession of a CDS, and distribution of drug paraphernalia.
Finally, Ibarra was charged with two counts of possession of CDS, distribution of cocaine, two different counts of distribution of methamphetamine, three counts distribution of fentanyl, distribution of fentanyl, two counts of unlawful possession of rifles, two counts of possession of firearm while committing a CDS offense, unlawful possession of handgun ammunition, two counts of money laundering, five counts of conspiracy to distribute CDS, six counts of possession of CDS, and distribution of drug paraphernalia.
All three men were processed and remanded to the Hudson County Correctional Facility.
“As a result of this investigation, HSI Newark special agents and Secaucus Police Detectives, have unquestionably made the Hudson County and surrounding areas safer by preventing these drugs, specifically fentanyl, from poisoning our communities”, noted HSI Newark Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Kurtz.
“HSI will continue to support our New Jersey law enforcement partners in dismantling narcotics trafficking organizations like this.”
Miller also stated that the investigation is ongoing and further arrests may be made.