Passaic County law enforcement recently apprehended a Paterson New Jersey man accused of using a local business to produce and distribute illegal drugs.
The suspect reportedly owned and operated Chelo Grocery Store on Carroll Street in Paterson, New Jersey. According to officials, the 49-year-old suspect was using the grocery store as a site to distribute heroin.
When authorities became aware of the suspect’s alleged drug activity, they started an investigation. The investigation lasted approximately one month and concluded with members of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office narcotics bureau raiding the Paterson NJ grocery store.
During the drug raid, police officers allegedly discovered 250 glassines of heroin, in addition to various items of drug paraphernalia, including several thousand empty glassines, grinders, digital scales, and rubber bands.
Police officers also reportedly seized $6,538 in cash that may have been the proceeds of illegal heroin sales conducted at the grocery store.
Moreover, law enforcement searched an Infiniti FX 35, which is owned by the suspect and which he allegedly used to transport heroin throughout Paterson, NJ. During the search of the vehicle, police allegedly found more illegal drugs.
The suspect, who lives in Paterson, faces numerous drug crime charges, including heroin possession, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, distribution of heroin in the area of a school, maintaining a narcotics production facility, and drug paraphernalia possession.
If the suspect is ultimately convicted of heroin distribution, he would be subject to significant criminal penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5, anyone who manufactures, sells, or distributes at least five ounces of heroin can be charged with a first degree crime. A conviction on first degree heroin distribution charges could lead to a sentence of 10-20 years in NJ State Prison.
For further information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “Man Ran Heroin Production Facility out of Grocery Store, Cops Say.”