The New Jersey State Police arrested 3 for running a West New York heroin and fentanyl ring, seizing over 38 kilograms after a two-month investigation.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In May 2022, detectives with the New Jersey State Police Trafficking North Unit, working as a part of the Opioid Enforcement Task Force (OETF) began investigating Richard Strotman, Jr., 38, of North Arlington, for the distribution of narcotics in northern New Jersey.
Through various investigative means, detectives determined that he was operating a drug mill out of a residence in West New York and using a residence in Union City to support his operation.
Additionally, detectives identified Jose Acosta, 37, of Hoboken, and Miguel Carrasco-Lara, 35, of Lyndhurst, as members of the drug trafficking network.
On June 24th, detectives from the Trafficking North Unit, Hazmat Unit, Gangs & Organized Crime North Unit, and Opioid Enforcement Task Force executed search warrants at the two residences and Strotman, Jr.’s residence in North Arlington.
As a result, detectives arrested Strotman Jr., Acosta, and Carrasco-Lara, and seized more than 38 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, bulk cutting agents, a digital scale, kilogram presses, several cellular devices, and $1,900 cash.
All three men were charged with maintaining a controlled dangerous substance production facility, possession with intent to distribute, possession of CDS, possession of CDS paraphernalia, and conspiracy.
As a result, they were all lodged in the Hudson County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing.
“By targeting heroin and fentanyl supply sources and intervening to prevent these deadly drugs from reaching the street, the Opioid Enforcement Task Force is fulfilling its mission to save lives,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin.
“The takedown of this drug mill advances that mission and we will continue to pursue this collaborative strategy, spearheaded by the State Police.”
Since its inception the OETF has conducted 319 enforcement operations and seized more than 1,263,951 individual doses of packaged opioids valued at $6,319,755, more than 110 kilograms of raw heroin valued at $6,600,000, more than 207 kilograms of fentanyl valued at $10,350,000, more than 79,000 fentanyl based pills valued at $790,000, more than 151 kilograms of cocaine valued at $5,436,000, more than 28 kilograms of methamphetamine valued at $280,000, more than $4,673,440 in U.S. currency, and 317 firearms.
“The take down of the two drug producing mills and as a result of the seizure of these illegal narcotics, we have undoubtedly saved multiple lives, because even the smallest amount of fentanyl is deadly to anyone who comes in contact with it,” added New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan.
“We will continue to work with our partners and use the tools at our disposal to target and take down these drug trafficking networks, but the positive relationships within our communities remains one of our most valuable resources.”
The OETF has also disrupted or dismantled 59 fully operational opioid packaging facilities, eight fully operational fentanyl pill-pressing operations, and arrested 650 suspects during this time.
The case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.