NJ Law Enforcement Makes Several Arrests in Investigation of Alleged Drug Trafficking Network in Middlesex County
Authorities arrested 20 people, including a Bergen County man, who were allegedly involved in a drug trafficking network operated out of Central Jersey. Police made the arrests at the conclusion of a five-month-long investigation that included the NJ State Police, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspector, and various police departments in New Jersey. Detectives gathered evidence and ultimately arrested the suspects for allegedly playing roles in a drug distribution network that moved cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs like oxycodone, roxycodone, suboxone, and morphine in Central Jersey, including Middlesex County and Somerset County.
The police investigation was called Operation Bird Cage and ended when detectives got search warrants for spots in Bergen County, Middlesex County, and Somerset County, NJ. The subsequent drug raids allegedly turned up more than one kilogram of cocaine, more than 2,000 bags filled with heroin, around one pound of marijuana, an unspecified quantity of methamphetamine, around 300 Oxycodone pills, six Roxycodone pills, nearly 250 Suboxone pills, just under 50 morphine pills, 15 ecstasy pills, almost 300 unidentified pills, and a hydraulic kilo-press. The seized drugs reportedly have a street resale value of approximately $370K.
Law enforcement also seized nine motor vehicles during the NJ drug raids. If prosecutors in the case are able to prove that the cars were used as part of illegal drug activity, the State might be allowed to keep the seized property under the New Jersey civil forfeiture law. The State might also be able to keep $98K in cash that was reportedly seized in the drug busts.
The police departments and law enforcement agencies that assisted with the drug raids included Hillsborough police, South Bound Brook police, Dunellen police, the Bound Brook K-9 unit, the Bergen County SWAT team, SWAT teams in Middlesex County and Somerset County, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Group 3.
Drug Distribution Charges for Dumont Man
One suspect who was arrested by police in the Central Jersey drug trafficking case is a resident of Dumont in Bergen County, NJ. Leon Blue, Jr. is a 52-year-old man who lives in Dumont. He has been charged with second degree crimes (promoting organized street crime, possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), and conspiracy) and third degree crimes (possession of a CDS and financial facilitation of criminal activity). As a result, Blue could face severe penalties that include significant prison time if he is ultimately convicted.
Among the other individuals arrested by police as part of Operation Bird Cage were Dunellen man Robert Cardinal, Dunellen woman Georgiann Cardinal, Hillsborough man Timothy “TJ” Jenkins, and South Bound Brook man Michael “Low Rider Mike” Wayne. Cardinal faces criminal charges for first degree leader of a narcotics trafficking network, while the other suspects face charges for lesser crimes.
Gun Trafficking Charges for Drug Crime Suspects in Middlesex County
The illegal drug distribution network allegedly trafficked guns as well as narcotics in Middlesex County and Somerset County, New Jersey. While executing the drug raids, police officers allegedly seized 19 weapons: handguns, rifles, shotguns, and assault weapons.
The weapons seizures led to additional criminal charges for the suspects. For instance, Robert Cardinal faces criminal weapons charges for unlawful transfer or sale of an assault firearm. If Cardinal is convicted on these third degree felony charges, he would be subject to a sentence of 3-5 years in state prison. Michael Wayne, one of the other suspects arrested by police, faces even more severe penalties because his charges for unlawful possession of an assault firearm are classified as a second degree felony.
Contact an Experienced Bergen County Criminal Lawyer About Your Drug Distribution Charges
The Tormey Law Firm is a criminal defense team in Bergen County that helps clients fight drug crime charges throughout New Jersey. If you have been charged with cocaine possession, heroin distribution, marijuana distribution, or other any drug offense in NJ, we are prepared to defend you and help you avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us anytime to schedule a free initial consultation.